Signature Assignment Essay: Prompt
The Populist and Progressive reformers of the late 19th
and early 20th centuries brought about widespread changes to American
politics, economics, and society. In this essay, we want you to consider
the ethics and civics of the reformers. Who were these reformers? What
methods did they use to further their goals through civic engagement?
What ethical considerations did they take into account in pushing
Note 1: Successful responses will consider a broad range of evidence
in support of arguments. Take a few moments to consider how you would
respond by making a list of both “ethics” and “civics” related to these
reformers and reforms. Be sure to have a mixture of big/broad ideas and
specific/detailed evidence in your argument.
Requirements for the Signature Essay
- Must be in Rule of Three format
with a introduction and strong thesis statement, 3 paragraphs of the
body (each with their own thesis statement – one for each of the three
key points of your overall thesis), and conclusion. So a minimum of 5
- This is a fact based essay, you must provide specific and detailed evidence for your hypotheses.
You must utilize a minimum of three
primary sources from the assigned materials (primary sources posted in
the Blackboard course module OR found under the primary source section
of each chapter in American Yawp only; you may not utilize sources
linked to in the reference section of American Yawp) as evidence in your essay
- You must utilize a minimum of three secondary sources from the assigned materials as evidence in your essay
- You may
only use materials assigned in this course for your essay (we have
vetted all the materials utilized in this course, other materials may
not be appropriate or accurate). If you use outside sources your grade
will be docked.
- DO NOT QUOTE sources, paraphrase in your own words and cite
- You must consider ethics/ethical decision making in this essay
- Don’t forget about historical geography, where something takes place matters and it may be important to your argument.
- You must use Turabian citation
style in this essay; all citations must be footnote style citations (no
parenthetical cites allowed, no endnotes/works cited at the end, you
need footnotes). Be sure to review how to properly cite a primary
source that may be contained in another work and be sure to use page
numbers where possible.
- 12 pt type, 1 inch margins, double-spaced
How the Assignment is Graded
The assignment is worth up to 200 points. The following factors are taken into account when we grade:
Rule of three theses – Do you have a well thought
out and clear overall thesis in your introduction? Do you have a thesis
statement for each of your three paragraphs of the body? Do the
paragraphs of the body follow the overall thesis statement?
Evidence – You must have solid evidence for each
point you raise in the thesis. Evidence is not simply a statement,
there must be an explanation of how that evidence supports the thesis
statement. Example: If you were writing a paragraph on the causes of
the Cold War, you might use the Baruch Plan as an example. Simply
writing “the Baruch Plan was a cause of the Cold War” in your paragraph
would not be enough and would not be analytical. However, the following
sentences do provide a good analysis of this piece of evidence:”One
cause of the Cold War was the failure of the United States and the
Soviet Union to agree upon a plan for nuclear disarmament after World
War II. The Baruch Plan, presented by the US, would maintain the
American atomic weapon advantage for the foreseeable future. This
played into Stalin’s suspicions of the Americans’ true motivations
toward the USSR.”
Did you use the minimum number of primary sources? secondary sources?
Historical Accuracy, Clarity, And Logic
Is your argument clear and does it make sense? Is it historically
accurate? Does your evidence prove your point? Does your analysis
answer the prompt? Have you considered the concepts of ethics and
civics and any historical geography factors in your essay?
Have you properly cited? Have you used Turabian/Chicago? You must also FOOTNOTE. Parenthetical cites are NOT allowed.
Grammar, Spelling and Mechanics
Is the essay up to college standards for grammar and spelling? Is it
an analytical essay? Does it meet minimum length and formatting