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Key Themes in History

Show the following 1. Demonstrated knowledge of the textbook, documents, and discussion assignments? 2. Applied this knowledge skillfully and persuasively throughout their essays? 3. Inferred from known facts to arguable or “educated” guesses? 4. Cited (given proper credit to) the sources used by using quotation marks to set off the words of others and citing sources? 5. Used no other outside sources other than the assigned readings and discussion assignments? 6. Written a clear, grammatically correct, well-organized essay, free of misspellings and basic writing rules? The Task: Please answer the two essay questions below below in two formal mini-essays. Be sure that your essays have clear-cut theses, that they logically develop their theses or main points, and that each part of your essays are backed with specific historical evidence – evidence that convinces me that you’ve read the textbook and that you’ve viewed the assigned websites and completed the Discussion assignments. The higher grades will be earned by those who use this evidence most fully and effectively. Citing Your Sources: Be sure to correctly cite the words you borrow. If you borrow another author’s words, data, or ideas, use quotation marks to make clear what you’ve specifically borrowed, then immediately give a parenthetical citation telling me the work you’ve used, the author, and the page number. Using another person’s words or ideas without citing their work or without using quotation marks to identify precisely what you’ve borrowed is plagiarism. Ignorance of the term is no excuse and it will earn you an “F” for the paper and a black mark on your academic transcript – the one that is sent to the college you hope to transfer to. Remember the mandatory Anti-Plagiarism Agreement. I — not you — will turn all essays into an anti-plagiarism service. In short, Good Student, do not plagiarize. Other Requirements: Each of your mini-essays must, at minimum, be 1500 words long. If you wish to exceed the minimum word requirement per essay, please do so so long as all parts of your essay support your thesis. In calculating your word total, your bibliography or title pages will not be counted, only the main body of the essays. Also know that the essays must be double-spaced throughout and typed. Please use Times New Roman. Read it carefully, bearing in mind the history we’ve learned in this class. List its three main points or claims. One is about progress. Another is about the value of history and the possibility of historical objectivity. Find the other one. Next, taking each claim separately, tell us whether you agree or not with each claim. More importantly — drawing on the history we’ve learned in this course — defend your position on each claim. If you agree with the claim, tell us why given the history we’ve examined. Use our material. If you disagree with the claim, tell us why with facts to back your own claim. This is the meat of this question: how well can you USE the history we’ve learned to support your claims? What will I look for in your answers? Did the student state the three key points clearly, fairly? Did they present historical facts to back their own position regarding the claims? 2. The key themes in our course are the key themes in today’s headlines. Take a look. We find articles about racism, freedom, rights, technology, progress. For this question, choose one theme that interests you among those we’ve examined. Define that theme and explain briefly why it’s important in your first paragraph. In the two paragraphs that follow, give us a balanced overview of where that theme has arisen in our history and the questions connected with it. Get down to specifics. Now finish up by finding two current articles in two major newspapers that deal today with the theme you’ve chosen — but how the theme is discussed today. (Give us the source info for both articles: name of author, name of paper, working link to article.) Summarize the articles briefly and then discuss how the theme you’ve chosen is different from or similar to how the theme appeared in the past. This is the meat of this question: how well can you link the past to the present, the better to understand the present?  Does the student convince me she understands the theme? Do the current articles link to the theme and shed light on it? Have the terms of the theme changed over time (then and now)?

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