the new era

You are ready to write history. To practice, you will respond to two questions about the historical periods that we are studying in Weeks 8 and 9.

In this assignment, I am not looking only for “right” answers. The questions are broad to allow for many interpretations. What I am looking for is you to write two “short essays.”

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What is the difference between an answer and an essay? Often, an answer offers a collection of facts. This is not enough in an age that everyone has immediate access to Wikipedia.

An essay is a piece of writing centered on your argument. In other words, I am asking you to tell me your historical interpretation and to use primary and secondary sources to back your ideas.

Once you have read the assigned material, ask yourself the questions found in the presentation “Arguments”:

1) What do I think about the subject [in the question]?

2) What makes me think that?

3) How do I know that I am right?

In college, you will need to write many “full” essays consisting of an introduction, argument, development, and conclusion. In History 131, or goal is to practice essay writing in a short format. To do so in 300 words, your answer must include only:

  • A brief introduction of the subject
  • A clearly stated argument that addresses the question: “This essay argues (or claims or proposes) …”
  • Two pieces of evidence to back your argument: one from one primary source and one from the textbook.

Do not include a conclusion. You need the words to develop well the short essays.