timer Asked: May 5th, 2016

Question description

Students in this course are required write a ten to twelve page paper describing and assessing events, episodes, or developments in the period of American history the class covers. 

  Your topic is not to be simply recounted (told), but instead assessed—was it truly significant, did it have a positive or negative effect on US history (and why), etc.  Remember when writing an essay or paper to use the following format:  1) Introduction—in which you state your argument or thesis, 2) main body, in which you support your argument with evidence, and also further develop it 3) Conclusion, in which you restate (and rephrase) your argument on the basis of your evidence  A certain length isn’t of paramount importance—you can make your case concisely or go into a fair amount of detail, as long as you make a good argument and do a good job of supporting it.

  When writing history, past tense should be used.  Also, since we’re not writing intricate diplomatic histories, where subtleties and nuance have to be employed, using an active voice rather than a passive one would be best.  Use clear, direct and fairly forceful language, especially when stating your thesis.

  As for the material you base your paper on—it’s not required, and I have seen papers using only online sources that worked, but I’d rather see you try to stick to written sources, whether primary or secondary—there’s plenty of information on the internet, but a lot of it is suspect (definitely including Wikipedia), so your best bet is probably using the Web to point to the written sources you’ll need.  Be sure to cite your sources, using endnotes and a bibliography; they won’t be marked down if the APA format is used, but I would like to see the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines if you want to give them a try, as they are the standard for history writing.

  Your paper topic is due about a month before the actual paper itself.  Turning in either early is perfectly acceptable and especially valuable in the case of the paper topic, since it will increase the amount of time I can devote to giving you feedback and suggestions.

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