The first two paper assignments should be between 3 and 4 pages, double-spaced, and written in 12 point font, Times New Roman. You will upload the assignment onto TurnItIn, so be careful to use your own words. You do not have to use Chicago Manual of Style for the first two papers. Do not cite my lectures, but refer to the YouTube clips and the title of documents in the text (“According to the Charter of Expulsion of the Jews, . . .”)
We will be looking for whether
- the paper is written in essay format. Does it have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion? Does it have distinct paragraphs with topic sentences?
- the paper has a thesis statement. The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina offers good guidelines for writing thesis statements; https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/thesis-statements/
However, the best line in the handout reads “A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.” In other words, a thesis statement is not just a plan of action (such as with statements that begin “This paper will explore . . .”). Rather, it answers the question being asked with an interpretation based on evidence. A thesis is not a self-evident statement. It must be supported with evidence in the body of your essay.
- the thesis and paper address all parts of the question. Note that the thesis should come from answering the last question in the prompt, but make sure you deal with all parts of the question.
- the author supports assertions with specific pieces of evidence pulled from lecture, documentaries, and readings. Good history papers make sure that interpretations are well-supported with an abundance of evidence.
- the paper reflects a thorough engagement with the material (lecture, documentaries, and readings). Make sure to use all relevant lectures, clips, and readings.
- the student has striven for clarity, and edited his or her work. Remember to write in your best prose.