Posted: March 23rd, 2022
Essay Question: Please explain the causes, consequences, and legacies of cultural conflicts in the 1960s. How did these conflicts compare to earlier ones? Readings: Morone, Hellfire Nation, Ch 14 & Hartman, A War for the Soul of America, Chs 1 & 2 The essays should: * Be no more than 750 words or three double-spaced pages. * Demonstrate meaningful engagement with the assigned reading. * Make your argument – think of the essays as opportunities to try to figure out what you think and why. Don’t simply report on what the reading said; instead, use what you learned from the reading to explain why you think what you do. * Be focused – 750 words is enough to make only one point well. The teaching team will grade your essays looking at four key elements: * Does the essay make a clear, reasoned point? (30% of your essay grade) * Does the essay respond effectively to the prompt? (30% of your essay grade) * Does the essay effectively use examples and analysis from the reading to strengthen the argument? (30% of your essay grade) * Does the essay have strong command of syntax and style? (10% of your essay grade) Other guidelines: – You need to have an argument, you can’t just repeat the material back to me with no analysis of your own. If your essay contains three straight lines of quotation, ask yourself if that is actually necessary or adding more than you directly engaging with it. Maybe try to source it by putting that in your own words, show me you understand what you’re pasting into this. – Intros, so important, its your first impression so make it count. Try to start with something dynamic! Don’t get too quote heavy, maybe one quote in the opening paragraph, then outline the scope of the essay or set appropriate context. DONT IMMEDIATELY CONTRADICT YOUR ARGUMENT IN THE FIRST LINE OF THE SECOND PARAGRAPH, you have to lead with what you just established. Bring in your caveats and complications at a later point in the essay or it just undermines the foundations you just put forth. Start with definitions, context, arguments or setting the parameters of the essay. – Conclusions — don’t introduce new ideas into the conclusion, this is a moment to wrap up. If you are going to bring in a new idea, it has to come from the summation of the overall points of each paragraph. A little cheat structure for an effective conclusion can be going one sentence at a time, summing up the essence of each prior paragraph and then stating how they connect to one another. This is a very convincing way of bringing your whole piece together and making it clear that all the material you covered is relevant to the question but also is one final way to show off very clearly how you’ve engaged with the material.
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