Purpose: 1) To fulfill requirements designed to develop crucial skills in areas such as the following: critical

thinking; research; evaluation; synthesis, and documentation of primary and secondary sources; argumentation;

and all phases of the writing process. 2) To help you develop knowledge of your chosen topic and the

awareness of the problems raised by your specific issue–and historiography in general–that can only be

achieved by working on an extended, in-depth project.

Assignment: Create and support an original thesis, that is, an


proposition on your chosen topic.

Support your paper with at least eight sources (include three scholarly journals and two primary sources

[internet sources no more than 25% of the total]. The argument may be prescriptive or descriptive (or some

combination), but it should be structured to persuade a specific audience.

You have quite a bit of latitude on the topic, but this must be on a humanities (analytic / interpretable) issue.

You may write, for example, on a historical issue, event, problem, or theme. Ideally, your paper will also

demonstrate your awareness of historiographical and rhetorical aspects of your topic–in other words, how the

topic has been presented, portrayed (including visuals and symbols), and written about; and how your topic has

been or continues to be perceived by various audiences.


The final paper will not be a simple “objective” report, random


of your topic, or collection

of facts

; but rather an interpretive analysis of your issue. Factual evidence will be used to support your thesis

directly (presenting your case) or indirectly (characterizing / refuting opposing views and possible objections to

your reasoning). MLA documentation is required and will be covered in class.

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