Details: Use 12-point font and double space your essay. It should be between 5-6 double-spaced pages and be a Word Perfect document (.doc or .docx).
Cite appropriate passages from course sources and outside sources using either MLA format (parentheses) or footnotes (preferred). If you use MLA style, you may include a works cited page with the paper itself (not a separate document), although this is not required for class sources. Be sure to cite the names of documents from the Cold War reader. A quick footnote guide can be found here: https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html (????????).
Your Task: Write an interpretive essay of the early Cold War from 1956 to 1968. Write for a broad audience. You must use sources from class (you should base your arguments on the assigned class readings/materials and analyze them in your essay, including the Cold War collection) and engage with arguments made by 2 historians in your essay from articles published in the Journal of Cold War Studies or another good scholarly journal, which can be accessed electronically through the King Library website (be sure to peruse the contents of this journal early and to use articles, not reviews). You may also substitute a scholarly monograph for one of the articles (for example, a title of a book mentioned in lecture); be sure to rely on books published with reputable presses and preferably on recent books that use the latest evidence. When in doubt, check with Dr. Norris or your GA! You must also use Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart and Bao Ninh’s novel The Sorrow of War as evidence in your paper. Your task is to make an argument about the Cold War, use evidence to back up that argument, and wrestle with interpretations other historians have made. Some questions to pose (but by no means exhaustive) might include: how did the Cold War continue from 1956-1968? What defined this conflict, particularly its global dimensions?
Rationale: This essay asks you to do history by sifting through multiple forms of primary evidence, making historical arguments out of them, dealing with differences in interpretation, and writing historical narratives. It asks you to demonstrate that you have done the work for class, thought about the various sources you have encountered, and started to demonstrate an ability to interpret them. Finally, it asks you to build on your work done in the first essay.
Grading: The Grading Standards of the History Department will be used to evaluate your essays. Please see the syllabus for details. See also the second side of this sheet for the rubric that will be used to grade every essay.
Addendum: Although not required, please feel free to write a 2-3 sentence reflection at the end of your paper where you tell us what you think the strengths of the paper are, what you may have struggled with, and what areas you might need improvement.
Grading Rubric: what will you be evaluated on?
Argument. Does the essay contain an argument? Is the argument clear and convincing? Is it followed through and expanded upon throughout the essay? [2 points]
Evidence. Does the essay contain required class sources? Are they effectively used to support the argument throughout? Does the essay contain a range of evidence or only documents that conveniently support a shaky argument? [7 points]
Scholarship. Does the essay contain 2 articles from The Journal of Cold War Studies or other reputable source and the arguments presented by historians in them? Does the essay engage effectively with these arguments as a way to strengthen the argument? [3 points]
Writing. Is the paper well written and free of grammatical errors? Is it free of factual errors? Are there good transitions between paragraphs that explain to readers what these connections are and where you are headed with your argument? What points are emphasized in each paragraph? Do they emphasize the right thing? Do they employ good evidence that helps to make your point? [3 points]
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