Teaching History CATW Review

Only AFTER reviewing the article I gave in class on Thursday, look over these notes if you want to test yourself on your summarizing.

Your summary should contain these components:

  • Historical study in American schools has been decreasing.
  • Our form of government necessitates having an informed populace
  • An understanding of history is necessary for citizens to come to informed conclusions
  • Without historical reference, voters are easily swayed by unimportant factors

This article lists facts. You can argue that you disagree that history class is important (maybe explaining that politics/history are more readily available online than in the past) if you want, but you cannot disagree with the premise of the article, which is that historical study is declining and it is best when voters are informed.

Otherwise, you can simply begin your thesis with words like…

  • After reading this article, it is clear to me that…
  • I am amazed that Americans don’t learn much history in school. This can have many consequences, such as…
  • I think it is horrible that Americans don’t learn more history. It clearly shows in who they elect to public office, because…
  • etc…

There are an unlimited number of options; these are just a few examples.

The focus of your essay would likely be about the effect of an uninformed populace on the government and citizenry of a country. You would support your discussion with specific examples in America that shows why you believe what’s in your thesis, or maybe you would outline the way things are done in another country and explain the benefits of this other system and why America should be more like them.

Either way, you would need to support your points and connect them back to the article with direct references.

Please remember that these are just examples, and you might have a perfectly good idea that doesn’t quite fit with what I’ve discussed here. That being said, please review your CATW materials, especially on structure and what should be included in each portion of the essay. I woudl recommend going back over the rubric too, and don’t forget the CATW Student Handbook is available in the Information section of this site.


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