Guidelines for Writing the Essays
Essays will be graded on the following criteria:
I. Organization (how well you structure your argument)
a. You should have an introductory paragraph that briefly summarizes your answer to the question.
b. The body of the essay should be logically organized to support your argument. Usually a topical organization is best. For instance, if the question asks you to talk about economics, politics, and social structure, a logical form of organization would be to have a paragraph on economics, a paragraph on politics, etc.
c. Each paragraph in the body should begin with a clear topic sentence. A topic sentence indicates the main point you’re making in that paragraph. As a general rule of thumb, never start a paragraph with a statement of fact or a quote. Your paragraph should stay focused on proving that central point. For instance, if you indicate in your topic sentence that you will be making an argument about politics, don’t wander off into talking about economics.
d. Your essay should have a clear conclusion that summarizes the main points of your argument (your answer to the question)
II. Use of Evidence (how well you support your argument with historical facts) a. Key assertions should be supported by specific historical facts rather than generalizations.
b. Evidence should be integrated into the argument. Just throwing out facts is not enough – you need to explain HOW the facts help prove your argument.
c. Facts should be CORRECT and RELEVANT. The first point is obvious. In the second case, students often dump a large quantity of facts into a paper without any regard to whether they relate to answering the question. This indicates that the student doesn’t really understand the significance of the evidence.
III. Overall Effectiveness of the Argument (Does your answer make historical sense) a. The essay should actually make an analytical argument, not just provide a narration of events. In...
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2/The second part consists of one essay which will be submitted through the Turnitin.com dropbox. This essay will be approximately 1000-1500 words long. Please remember that Turnitin.com is a plagiarism checking program -- in other words it will check to see if a portion of an essay has been copied from another source. Your essays MUST be in YOUR OWN WORDS. Essays that are copied will receive an "F" grade.
Submit the essay with a cover page that includes the title, your name and ID, the date submitted, and History 170. When you 're submitting it to Turnitin.com, please use a title that reflects the question you 're answering. For instance, rather than using a title like "Paper #1", use something more specific like "Revolution & Constitution Paper".
Please pick ONE of the following essays to write on:
In the period following the ratification of the Constitution Americans engaged in a fierce debate over the nature and role of the new federal government. The two competing political philosophies that came to dominate this discussion were those articulated by Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. What were the key differences between their political views and their vision of what the United States would become? Looking at the U.S. in the period up through 1877, whose vision came closer to being a reality?
You are a resident of the United States living in the year 1870. To what extent do you think the social, economic, and political changes the country has experienced since 1783 are fulfilling the promises of the Revolution? Is this truly a society characterized by political democracy, social equality, and individual economic opportunity?
Focusing on the period between 1800 and 1865, analyze how the institution of slavery affected the development of the American South and the lives of people living in that region. You should consider the economic, political, social, and cultural implications of slavery.
In the 1840s and 1850s many Northerners came to believe that the South was engaged in a conspiracy to destroy their liberty. At the same time, more and more Southerners became paranoid about Northern intentions. Why did the two regions become increasingly suspicious of each other, ultimately leading to the outbreak of the Civil War? In your reponse you should indicate not only specific events, but also underlying causes.
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