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Queen's University

Tips On Writing A Slide Test

  1. Be specific.  Give details.  Vague, general answers get low marks.  Show us that you KNOW what you are talking about.
  2. Make sure you know what the slide depicts.  Draw pictures in your notes.  Don’t lose all your marks because you have misidentified a slide!
  3. If there is a machine/device in the slide, then explain its parts and its function.  Also state why archaeologists use the machine (what it does for them)
  4. If it is a specific object, state its significance (eg a bull rhyton is a ceremonial vessel for pouring liquids).  Then you can expand on those points.
  5. Always keep in mind that this is about archaeology.  Say how the subject of the slide relates to archaeology.  Does it help you date things?  Does it help you locate finds on a map?  Ask yourself why the professor showed this slide to you.
  6. If it is a procedure (trench staking, digging, pottery washing), then say What they are doing, How they are doing it, Why they are doing it.  (remember Who/What, How, and Why.  Where and When might also be relevant questions in some cases)
  7. Approach the slide as if the professor were to ask you to give a lecture about it.  What would you say to a group of first year students?
  8. In the case of procedures (like #6 above), pretend the professor is going to send you to do one of these things.  How would you go about the task?  What tools do you need?  What do you do first?  Next?  What do you hope to accomplish by this procedure?  Is there another way to do it (eg, what does magnetometry tell you that resistivity doesn’t)?
  9. IDENTIFY the slide.  Don’t just describe it in general terms.  You don’t get marks for lists without explanations.  You also don’t get marks for saying something that would be obvious to someone who has never seen the slide before.
  10. Answer in point form, but please write legibly.  We don’t mark what we can’t read.
  11. If there are slides you are unsure about, ASK A TA.  Don’t go to the test with gaps in your notes!
  12. ATTEND ALL LECTURES.  This is important for slide courses.  You have to see the slides in the context of the lectures to really understand them.

Department of Classics, 505 Watson Hall
Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6.
P: 613.533.2745 | F: 613.533.6739