Generalize

One good way to analyze materials about a particular subject is to make generalizations and predictions. What are the patterns and connections that link the different materials? What can you say about the different materials that is true of all them? Practice this skill by reading the following statements. What generalization can you make about how new thought and inventions change the economy and society?

  • Beginning in the 1500s, profound changes took place in the sciences. These new understandings about the physical world became part of what is now called the Scientific Revolution. These startling discoveries radically changed the way Europeans viewed the physical world.
  • The Industrial Revolution brought radical change to people's lives. Before industrialization, people lived in villages and farmed. The economy was based on farming and craftwork. By the late 1800s, the economy had shifted. Manufacturing by machine in factories and urbanization became commonplace.
  • The invention of the computer in the twentieth century caused an unprecedented information revolution. It has helped spur development of the modern global economy and society. Few, if any, aspects of modern life remain untouched by computers.
  1. Make a list. Listing all of the specific details and facts about a subject will help you find patterns and connections.
  2. Generate a statement. From your list of facts and specific details, decide what most of the items listed have in common. Analyze your information by making generalizations and predictions.
  3. Ensure your generalization is logical and well supported by facts. Generalizations can be valid or invalid. A generalization that is not logical or supported by facts is invalid.

Make Predictions

You can analyze information by making generalizations and predictions. Predictions are educated guesses about the future, based on clues you find in written material and information you already have. When you analyze information by making generalizations and predictions, you are thinking critically about the material you read. Practice this skill by analyzing the passage below and predicting the impact this epidemic might have on society and the economy.

In the mid 1300s, a disease moved throughout Europe and North Africa. The bubonic plague, or Black Death, spread quickly. Boils erupted all over the body–a sign that the plague would likely claim more victims because the disease spread through contact. The plague brought terror and bewilderment, as people had no way to stop the disease. Entire villages were wiped out. It ravaged Europe: one in three people died.


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Table of Contents

World History Topic 1 Origins of Civilization (Prehistory–300 B.C.) Topic 2 The Ancient Middle East and Egypt (3200 B.C.–500 B.C.) Topic 3 Ancient India and China (2600 B.C.–A.D. 550) Topic 4 The Americas (Prehistory–A.D. 1570) Topic 5 Ancient Greece (1750 B.C.–133 B.C.) Topic 6 Ancient Rome and the Origins of Christianity (509 B.C.-A.D. 476) Topic 7 Medieval Christian Europe (330–1450) Topic 8 The Muslim World and Africa (730 B.C.-A.D. 1500) Topic 9 Civilizations of Asia (500–1650) Topic 10 The Renaissance and Reformation (1300–1650) Topic 11 New Global Connections (1415–1796) Topic 12 Absolutism and Revolution Topic 13 The Industrial Revolution Topic 14 Nationalism and the Spread of Democracy (1790–1914) Topic 15 The Age of Imperialism (1800–1914) Topic 16 World War I and the Russian Revolution (1914–1924) Topic 17 The World Between the Wars (1910–1939) Topic 18 World War II (1930–1945) Topic 19 The Cold War Era (1945–1991) Topic 20 New Nations Emerge (1945–Present) Topic 21 The World Today (1980-Present) United States Constitution Primary Sources 21st Century Skills Atlas Glossary Index Acknowledgments