Creating an argument through the use of historical evidence is one of the key skills you should develop in this course. As this is our second essay, you should feel more comfortable with writinga well-polished essay.Just as with our previous essay, I am giving you multiple prompts to choose from as well as additional information that should help you feel more confident in writing an effective essay.
Please chose one of the following prompts to write a 600+ word essay. Your essay should create an argument to fully answer the question and draw any conclusions that may be substantiated by data. You need to incorporate historical evidence such as people, events, legislation, etc. to support your conclusions. To prepare for this essay, I am including directions on writing an outline. Students need to turn in their outlines with their essay.
This essay is due in the dropbox by 11:55pm Tuesday, July 7th.
1.American prosperity in the 1950s birthed a new era of consumerism. Evaluate the changing political, social, cultural, and economic landscape within the nation that led to this new “consumer culture.” Be sure to include analysis on groups that did not partake in this prosperity.
- Analyze the Vietnam War. Explain how and why the Vietnam War brought turmoil to American society and eventually drove Johnson and the divided Democrats from power in 1968.
- Analyze post-WWII civil rights as it applied to two of the following:
African Americans Homosexuals
Women Native Americans
This essay is worth 100 points and will be graded as follows:
– 20 points for a well developed thesis that fully addresses the prompt
– 50 points for content (accurate, thorough, and effective use of evidence to prove thesis)
– 10 points for writing style (Chicago format, grammar, and proof reading)
– 10points for your works cited and footnotes (your essay must include at least four sources, (you may use your textbook as one of your sources)
– 10 points for your outline (include at the end of the document. It can be typed or hand-written and scanned)
How to write successful essays for History 1302
Different Types of Essays
In your history courses you might write different types of essays. Most of them involve description of events, discussion of ideas, summarization of information, and analysis or evaluation. Analysis might involve classifying, comparing and contrasting, explaining causes and effects, exploring a topic’s history, or describing a process. Or, you might be asked to write an essay that explains the effects of something: the effects of a war, of a law, of a social movement. Sometimes you may need to take a stand on an issue and argue in support of your position or against another perspective. Most essays require several different types of analysis. What’s very important is that you understand what type of essay you’re writing.
Before you even start writing, you need to do the following:
- Carefully read the directions and writing prompts.
- Start the assignment early, several days before it is due.
- Plan how you will answer the different parts of the question. Write down some of your thoughts.
- Construct an outline for your answer. See below for an explanation of why an outline is important.
Why an outline?
- You need a thesis statement or ARGUMENT for your paper. See below for an explanation.
- Write a 4-6 sentence introductory paragraph with the following parts:
- Introduce the topic and your paper
- Clearly write your thesis statement
- Write one sentence describing each main point of your paper (see your outline)
- Tell the readers what you will discuss and in what order you’ll discuss it.
- After your introduction, you need paragraphs that address your thesis and each main point of the paper. Typically a paper that is 2-3 pages long will have between 4 and 6 paragraphs. These paragraphs are called the Main Body of the paper. Each paragraph should deal with a specific idea or part of the thesis.
- Each paragraph should have a topic sentence that tells the reader the topic of the paragraph.
- After the topic sentence, each paragraph should have 3-5 sentences in it. The sentences contain examples that address the topic of the paragraph. They can also contain analysis, evaluation, and explanation of a question.
- Finally, after the Main Body of the paper, you need a Conclusion. This restates your thesis, proves your argument, and reminds the reader about what you just discussed.
A thesis statement is a one- or two-sentence summary of a basic point or claim which you will either argue for or against. A thesis statement or argument lays out your main stand on an issue, your basic point of explanation regarding an issue. A thesis should be focused and brief, and will help you organize your paper. It is located in your introduction. You organize your paper around the thesis statement and the different parts of the essay question. Each paragraph in your paper might provide support for your thesis statement. While sometimes you will be asked to summarize the major points of an article or book, or compare and contrast certain theories or issues just to demonstrate your understanding of them, usually you will write a paper that supports a thesis.
Always start with an outline of your paper. An outline is like a road map for what you want to write in your essay. If you have a clear structure mapped out before you write, writing is easier. Try to do most of your THINKING while you construct an outline, so that the writing process is focused on supporting an argument and presenting examples. Using the roadmap idea, if you go on a trip without a plan or map, you may end up lost.
Example of an Outline
I). Introduction (paragraph)
A). Main point of the whole paper
1). Present the central argument or thesis quickly
a). This includes the stand, position, or argument you want to make regarding an issue
B). Main goals/objectives of the essay
1). How you intend to “prove” or support your thesis
2).Generally two to three main points
C). Give the reader a brief roadmap of what you want to say in the essay
1).Usually focus on 3 issues or components in your paper
II). Main Body of Your Essay (2-4 paragraphs)
A). First Main Point (1 paragraph)
1).This focuses on the first major part of your essay
2). Have a topic sentence for each paragraph
3). Have 3-5 good sentences per paragraph
a). Sentences should contain evidence and examples that relate to the topic sentence
4). Remember to analyze, evaluate, and assess throughout your essay
B). Second and Third Main Part (1-3 paragraphs)
1). Repeat A, B, C, D from Part One
III). Conclusion to Essay (paragraph)
A). Remind the reader of the thesis to your essay
B). Restate how you supported the thesis
Proof Reading and Revisions
After your outline, move to the first draft of your paper. Focus on the overall organization and structure. Don’t worry about spelling and grammar. Next, write another draft that adds proper grammar and spelling. Before writing your final draft, you should read the essay aloud and have a friend proof read it. You might also take the essay and the instructions to the LoneStar writing center.
Technical Issues and Grammar
- Use simple and clear language. I encourage you to be creative, but remember that your main goal is to communicate an idea and convey an argument.
2).Though different cultures have different rules for writing, try to avoid the passive voice. You might talk like this, but the “passive voice” confuses the reader and leaves the source of an action unclear. Proper sentences usually have a SUBJECT, VERB, AND OBJECT in each sentence. For example, instead of “the fields were cultivated,” try this: “Women cultivated the fields.” “To be” sometimes leaves out crucial information, such as WHO did something. Passive voice is different from PAST TENSE, which refers to things in the past and uses “-ed.”
3). Avoid slang or phrases that only “insiders” recognize. If you need to use language specific to a culture or locality please clarify how you will use it. Remember that your audience may not understand informal language.
4). Remember to use the past tense when writing history. You may want to tell a story as if it happened in the present, but history occurred in the past. For example, “In Lonewolf v. Hitchcock, the Supreme Court RULED against Lonewolf, even after he STRUGGLED for several years to win his court case.”
5). Use complete sentences and avoid run-on sentences. Every sentence needs a subject, verb and object: together, these elements create a single thought or idea. Here is an example of two incomplete sentences: “River stopped flowing. Being a place where there were many dams.” Try this: “The water stopped flowing when the power company built several dams on the river.” Additionally, avoid long sentences that have three or four different thoughts. Run-on sentences contain several ideas that you can split into two sentences.
6). Use words that do the work of several words or an entire phrase: “The city council member supported the measure, then he opposed it, then he supported it, then he opposed it.” Try, “The city council member changed his mind on the measure.”
7). Use a variety of words in your paper. Use synonyms or creative words.
8). Keep direct quotations under four lines when using them in a sentence. If you need to use a long quote, use a block quote (single spaced, indented on the right and left). However, I do not want you to use more than two block quotes per paper. Learn how to paraphrase information.
9).Italicize book titles, but use parenthesis for journal titles.
10). Please avoid use of vague words such as: it’s, its, their, there, we are, were, where, etc. Be specific!
11). Use spell check, but make sure the computer keeps the word you wanted when it checks for correct spelling. Sometimes it will use the right spelling with an incorrect word. You should bee where of Miss Takes witch he computer dozen sea.
12). Read your paper out loud. Have another person read it. Proof read it.
13). Always cite the work and ideas you use in your paper! Remember what I said about plagiarism and cheating. If you use someone else’s words, you need to place those words in quotations, “……..” and at the end of the sentence, give them credit: ……..” () You must follow these rules when using the textbook, the internet, or any other source of information. Even if you change one word in a sentence you used from someone else, you need to give them credit. Any form of plagiarism can result in failing the assignment, the semester, or expulsion from the university.
Other Important Things to Remember
-You must type your papers
-ALWAYS save a copy of the paper and assignments on a disk, flash drive, or computer
-Do not use cover pages
-Write your name, I.D. #, date, A. Lerma, and HIST 1302 on every paper
-Submit your work as a file to the dropbox
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