One was controlling, manipulative, and paternalistic; the other personal, familial, and private.Both survived; both became part of the structure of Indian-white relations." Either of these two conclusions could be drawn from the essay outlined above.
Thus, while federal policy might assert control over Indian lives in a variety of ways, reservation people perpetuated a hidden culture, drawing strength, power and happiness from the basic satisfactions provided by home and a persistent tribal identity.
Colonialism and the federal government had its power, but so too did the people who inhabited the reservation.
Here is a sample question that will serve as our example throughout this study guide.
"American Indians confined to federally-established reservations during the last quarter of the 19th century were hopelessly oppressed.
With thanks to Professor Melissa Stockdale, Department of History, University of Oklahoma.
In exams, there's not enough time to go through the entire writing process, but the same key principles apply.Nothing about reservation life offered them any avenues of happiness, let alone autonomy or self-expression." Discuss the adequacy of this statement.Make sure you understand everything stated by, or implied in the question.Each puts a final interpretation upon the evidence and argument developed in the body of the essay; each is provocative and leaves the reader with the thought that here is a student who has thought deeply about the implications of what he or she has studied.And that, after all, is what an essay examination is trying to discover. The best that most of us can hope to achieve is competency in writing.The introduction can be brief, but it must contain your thesis statement.All elements of the body must be tightly organized, logically connected, and relevant to the thesis statement.To write history well -- and to write an essay exam well -- requires you to present an argument, to offer an interpretation based upon an analysis of all the relevant evidence you have at your disposal. What issues you choose to focus upon, what evidence you choose to emphasize, and what interpretation you choose to give this evidence all become part of the argument that you make in your essay test.Thus, even before you see the question, you should realize that your task is to respond to the question by presenting a tightly organized argument.Your conclusions should reiterate the argument you first presented in the introduction and then developed in the body of the essay.Your conclusion should also indicate the broader significance of the argument you have presented and your appreciation of why this issue is something worth knowing about.