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  1. – TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR THE GED SOCIAL STUDIES EXAM – O NLY H ALF S TORY criminologists believe a drop in crack cocaine use THE Another way a writer may slant information is to omit and gun carrying is the more likely cause. These evidence. A writer may try to convince you to accept his experts argue that as the crack market dropped or her interpretation of an event or issue by giving you off in the mid-1990s, fewer teens were dealing only one side of the story and by leaving out contrasting drugs and fewer were carrying guns to protect facts or perspectives. When this is done deliberately, it is themselves. Police also increased their efforts to a propaganda technique called card stacking. When you enforce gun laws. With fewer young people carry- read, evaluate whether the author has presented different ing weapons, the teen murder rate dropped. points of view and offered balanced evidence. For instance, a campaign ad might highlight a candidate’s According to the criminologists mentioned in the pas- positive qualities and leave out unfavorable characteris- sage, which of the following is NOT a cause of the drop tics. Campaign ads might also target an opponent, pre- in juvenile crime? senting negative qualities and omitting positive ones, a. fewer gun-carrying juveniles thereby creating a distorted perspective. b. enforced gun laws c. fear of jail time d. fewer drug dealers on the street C ause and Effect Relationships e. police presence The GED Social Studies Test will ask you to identify the The correct choice is c. In the passage, criminologists relationships between events. Often, historical events are argue that “adult time” laws have not had an effect on the connected to situations that came before them. When decrease in youth crime. They believe that choices a, b, d, you are considering the causes of an event, be aware that and e are multiple causes of the drop in crime. multiple causes can create one effect, just as one cause can have many effects. Sometimes, what is considered a S ocial Studies Key Words cause can be controversial. In the following passage, leg- islators and criminologists argue over the causes that might have contributed to a drop in the youth crime rate. As with any type of study, the social sciences use specific terms and vocabulary. While you are studying for the Juvenile crime has reached its lowest national test, use a dictionary to look up unfamiliar terms. How- level since 1988. The number of arrests for juve- ever, even if you do not recognize a word, you might nile murder has also dropped. It is now at the be able to figure out its meaning. The parts of a word— lowest level since 1966. Backers of “adult time” prefix, root, and suffix—can offer clues to its meaning. A legislation—“get-tough” laws that send violent number of terms used in social studies derive from Latin teenagers to adult prison—believe that fear of or Greek. Knowing some useful word parts can help you imprisonment is stopping juveniles from com- make an educated guess about the meaning of a word. mitting crimes. However, the decrease in crime Review these common Latin and Greek word parts: often started before these laws took effect. Some ante before cracy rule inter between super over anthrop human co, con with mis wrong theo god arche beginning, demo people mono one topos place government auto self dis not, opposite ology study tri three bi two femina woman poly many uni one bio life geo Earth proto first bene good genos race sub under, below 160
  2. – TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR THE GED SOCIAL STUDIES EXAM – Using the chart, isolate the word parts of the following Tools and Methods in words: Social Science monotheism ___________________________ Social scientists use polls in order to learn the attitudes and opinions of a population. Polls are surveys that ask autocrat _______________________________ people about the way they live and what they believe. democracy _____________________________ One method of polling is called sampling, in which a polltaker questions a small part of a group so that he or Now you can guess what they mean. Monotheism is she can speculate about the opinions of the whole group. the belief that there is only one God. Autocrat stands for In this way, polltakers can make accurate predictions. someone who rules by him- or herself: a ruler with However, sometimes polls are inaccurate. A historic unlimited power. Democracy is a government in which polling failure occurred in 1948, when polling groups the people rule either directly or indirectly through predicted that presidential candidate Harry S. Truman representatives. would lose the election. In the recent 2004 presidential Context—the words and sentences surrounding a election, the narrow margin in some states between can- term—can also offer clues to its meaning. Sometimes, a didates George W. Bush and John Kerry made it difficult word will be followed by a phrase that restates and for polling organizations to make predictions. explains its meaning. In addition to forecasting voting patterns in elections, polls can determine the opinions of groups on a whole Example: President Truman instituted a set of range of issues from consumer trends to health care and domestic programs that were later labeled the education. Polltakers may use personal interviews, tele- Fair Deal; these policies continued and devel- phone interviews, or mail-in questionnaires. The data oped Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. from these methods are then tabulated and evaluated. After social scientists gather information from surveys In this sentence, you can determine what the term or studies, they can organize the information into the Fair Deal means from the text that surrounds it. The Fair form of numbers or statistics. Statistics can help social Deal is both “a set of domestic programs” and a contin- scientists interpret information. They use statistics to fol- uation of “Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.” low trends in global or national rates of population, edu- A contrast or opposing point of view can also offer cation level, housing status, crime, or another category. clues to the meaning of a term. The following sentence They can also use statistics to make comparisons uses the term bipartisanship: between groups. Example: Despite the president’s plea for Example: The U.S. Census Bureau found that bipartisanship, Republican senators accused 36% of U.S. citizens between the ages of 18 and Democratic leaders of petty politics. 24 voted in the November 2004 election, while 72% of citizens between the ages of 65 and 74 The sentence tells you that the Republicans are mak- voted. ing accusations about the actions of the Democrats. The two groups are not in agreement. In the sentence, the From this information, a social scientist can hypoth- term bipartisanship refers to the opposite. So, you can esize about the causes and effects of this age difference in guess that it refers to the two groups when they are in people who vote. agreement. 161
  3. – TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR THE GED SOCIAL STUDIES EXAM – P rimar y Sources World Energy Consumption, 1970–2020 To gather information about the past, social scientists Year Quadrillion Btu Consumed and historians use a wide range of sources. Primary sources are firsthand records of the past that include let- 1970 207 ters, legal records, business records, diaries, oral histories, 1975 243 photographs, posters, maps, or artifacts. Secondary sources are accounts of an event made sometime after the 1980 285 event took place. These include newspaper articles, pam- 1985 311 phlets, books, or interviews. Together, these clues about the past make up the historical record. 1990 346 When reading historical sources, you need to use the 1995 366 same analysis skills that you would apply to a present-day source. Here are some basic questions to ask when you 2000 382 are evaluating the reliability of a historical source: 2005 439 Consider the purpose of the author. Was the 2010 493 ■ source intended for a private or public audience? 2015 552 Did the author witness the event or rely on oth- ■ ers’ accounts? 2020 612 Did the author express an opinion? What was his ■ Sources: History—Energy Information Administration or her point of view? (EIA), Office of Energy Markets and End Use, International Can you verify the source with other evidence? Statistics Database and International Energy Annual 1999, ■ DOE/EIA-0119(99), Washington, DC, February 2001. Pro- How much time elapsed after the event before the ■ jections—EIA, World Energy Projection System (2002). author made his or her account? (The sooner an account is made, the more reliable a source tends E XERCISE 11 to be. Also, the nearer the witness is in proximity Look at the table, “World Energy Consumption, 1970– to the event, the more reliable. Social scientists 2020,” and then answer the following questions. The and historians call this the time and place rule.) answers are on page 169. 1. How much energy did the world consume in P resenting Facts 1980? 2. What is the table’s estimate of world energy Social scientists often use tables, charts, and graphs to consumption for the year 2015? arrange information. Charts and tables divide figures 3. What is the trend of the world’s energy into columns. They organize information so that you can consumption? see the relationships between facts. Graphs visually dis- 4. In which five-year period in the past was the play information so that you can interpret facts more increase in the world’s energy consumption the easily. Graphs include tables, bar graphs, line graphs, and greatest? circle graphs. 5. Between 1970 and 2020, how many times will the world’s consumption rate grow, according Tables to the table’s estimate? Tables arrange figures (numbers) into columns in order to show a relationship between them. To read a table, Bar Graphs begin by noting the title of the table (the title runs across A bar graph is one way to present facts visually. A bar the top of the table). Next, read each column heading. graph features a vertical axis (running up and down on Now you can locate facts and begin to discern the rela- the left-hand side of the graph) and a horizontal axis tionships between them. 162
  4. – TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR THE GED SOCIAL STUDIES EXAM – (running along the bottom of the graph). The graph rep- Immigrants Admitted to the resents quantities in strips or bars. To construct a bar United States: Fiscal Years graph from the table, “World Energy Consumption, 1900–2000 1970–2020,” mark the five-year increments on the bot- Thousands 00 1,950 00 tom horizontal axis and the units of energy consumed 1,800 00 1,650 (by increments of 100 quadrillion Btu) on the vertical 00 1,500 00 1,350 axis. By representing the table’s data in a bar graph, you 00 1,200 00 can visualize the world’s energy consumption trend 1,050 00 900 more easily. 00 750 00 600 00 450 00 World Energy Consumption, 300 00 150 1970–2020 00 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 700 Projections History Source: 2000 Statistical Yearbook of the Immigration and 612 600 Naturalization Service. 552 493 Quadrillion Btu 500 439 E XERCISE 12 382 400 346 366 Look at the line graph, “Immigrants Admitted to the 311 285 United States,” and then answer the following questions. 300 243 The answers are on page 169. 207 200 100 1. What was the general trend of U.S. immigration between 1950 and 1990? 0 2. In which decades was lowest point of U.S. immi- 70 75 80 85 90 95 00 05 10 15 20 19 19 19 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 gration in the last century? 3. When did the highest point occur? Line Graphs Line graphs compare two or more things and help you to Circle Graphs Circle graphs, also called pie charts, display information visualize trends at a glance. Like the bar graph, a line so that you can see relationships between parts and a graph features a horizontal and vertical axis. Look at the whole. The entire circle in the graph represents 100% of graph, “Immigrants Admitted: Fiscal Years 1900–2000.” something. Then it is divided into parts, or pie slices, that The vertical axis marks the number of immigrants (in together add up to the whole. To understand a circle thousands). The horizontal axis measures each decade graph, read the title of the graph. What does the graph between 1900 and 2000. A point for each year is plotted represent? Read all other headings and labels. What on the coordinate plane and a line connects the points. does each portion of the circle represent? Now you are By using a line graph, you can readily see immigration ready to see how the parts of information relate. Review trends over the century. the following circle graph and then answer the practice questions. 163
  5. – TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR THE GED SOCIAL STUDIES EXAM – The Federal Government Dollar 1. What percentage of the federal budget comes from social insurance receipts and corporate Where It Comes From income taxes? 2. What is the biggest source of income for the fed- Corporate Social Income eral government? Insurance Taxes 3. Which program receives the largest share of the Receipts 11 cents 33 cents national budget? Other 4. What proportion of the budget goes to health- 4 cents Excise care programs? Taxes Individual 3 cents Income Taxes 49 cents M aps Maps are printed or drawn representations of a geo- graphic area. Social scientists use different types of maps Where It Goes to understand the natural or cultural facts about an area. Maps can visually display many kinds of information, National such as the physical features of the land, political bound- Defense Social 16 cents Security aries between nations, or population densities. 23 cents Topographic maps show the physical features of land, Nondefense Discretionary Medicare including land elevations and depressions, water depth, 19 cents 12 cents rivers, forests, mountains, or human-made cities and roads. Political maps display political divisions and borders. Other Medicaid Mandatory Special-purpose maps can depict a wide range of infor- 7 cents 7 cents Net Interest Other mation about an area, from average rainfall, crop distri- 10 cents Means—Tested bution, or population density, to migration patterns of Entitlements 6 cents people. Source: U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the Execu- To read a map, carefully review each of the following: tive Office of the President. Title—this describes what the map represents. ■ Legend, or key—a table or list that explains the ■ Reading and Interpreting symbols used in a map. Graphs Latitude and longitude—latitude refers to the ■ lines on a map that are parallel to the equator; ➧ Note the title of the graph. longitude refers to lines parallel to the prime ➧ Look at the labels of the axes (or pie slices meridian that run north to south through Green- in a circle graph). wich, England. These lines help locate specific ➧ Carefully read the information in the legend areas on a map. or key if there is one. Scale—shows the map’s proportion in relation to ■ ➧ Look for relationships between the facts the area it represents. For example, on a topo- presented. graphic map, the scale might show the distance on the map that equals a mile or kilometer on E XERCISE 13 land. Use the circle graph, “The Federal Government Dollar,” to answer the following questions. The answers are on Review the special-purpose map on page 165, paying page 169. careful attention to its details, and then answer the prac- tice questions. The answers are on page 169. 164
  6. – TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR THE GED SOCIAL STUDIES EXAM – E XERCISE 14 cartoonist or the newspaper or magazine in which they 1. What is the title of the map? appear. A cartoon will often focus and simplify a single 2. What do the four shades of color indicate in the issue or event so that readers can easily grasp its message. legend? Cartoons employ few words, often just enough to make 3. How much did the population change in the last their point clear. They sometimes use caricature, a tech- decade in the state of California? nique in which the cartoonist deliberately exaggerates 4. Which states experienced the largest population the features of well-known people (often politicians) to change in the last decade? make fun of them. 5. Which area experienced a loss? Because of their emotional appeal, political cartoons can be effective tools in swaying public opinion. The power of political cartoons was demonstrated in 1869 P olitical Cartoons when Harper’s Weekly cartoonist Thomas Nast used his art to help end the corrupt Boss Tweed Ring in New York A regular feature in American newspapers since the early City. Nast first introduced symbols that we still use today: nineteenth century, political cartoons use satirical the tiger as the symbol of Tammany Hall, the elephant humor to comment on a current event. Their purpose is for the Republican Party, and the donkey for the Demo- to express an opinion—the political point of view of the cratic Party. Percent Change in Population for United States: 1990–1999 AK 16.9 to 50.6 9.7 to 16.8 0.1 to 9.6 −14.5 to 0.0 WA NH VT ME MT ND MN OR MA ID WI SD NY RI MI WY CT PA IA NJ NE NV OH DE IL IN UT MD CA CO WV VA KS DC MO KY NC TN OK AZ NM SC AR MS AL GA HI LA TX FL Source: Population Estimates Program, U.S. Census Bureau. 165



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