History &136 – Fall 2010 Essay on What They Fought For, 1861-1865 Length: 3-4 Pages (Double-Spaced) Purpose: For this assignment, you will read a secondary source document and write an analytical essay that interprets it. The assignment is intended to develop your analytical and writing skills and will also familiarize you with the conventions of writing in history. Essays must: 1) Directly respond to and answer one of the questions. 2) Be structured with an introduction, body, and conclusion.
3) Contain a thesis in the introduction that is supported with evidence from the document(s) in the body of the essay.Quotes and paraphrased ideas must be cited. Please use footnotes rather than endnotes. 4) Follow the conventions outlined on the back of this sheet. 5) Be proofread carefully. Topic: Compare and contrast the ideas that motivated Northern and Southern soldiers to fight in the Civil War. Why did they choose to fight? What motivated them? In what ways were Northern and Southern soldiers motivated by similar ideas? How is it possible that they had similar ideas? What was different in the thinking? How did slavery affect their thinking, both about the war and their decisions to serve?Assessment: When I assess your essay, I will look for the following things. Look at the rubric for an exact breakdown of how the grade will be calculated.
1) Does the essay have a clear central thesis? Does the thesis directly answer one of the above questions? 2) Is the thesis supported by evidence (quotes) from throughout the book? Is the evidence presented in an effective manner? 3) Is the thesis logical? Does it take all the evidence into account? 4) Does the essay have a clear structure? 5) Does the essay follow the conventions of writing in history? 6) Is the essay reasonably free of typos and other errors?Format • • • • Margins: 1″ on the top and bottom of the page, and 1. 25″ on the sides Font: use Times New Roman size 12 or Courier size 11 Please number your pages. Staple the paper in the upper-left hand corner. Do not use a binder of any sort. Conventions • • • • • For the most part, use the past tense when writing in history.
For the most part, use the third person perspective. (Avoid the pronouns I, me, we, and you. ) Use rhetorical questions sparingly, if at all. If you do use them, be sure to answer them. Avoid slang or colloquial (informal) language.Be careful to avoid anachronism – avoid discussing events, ideas, or people out of historical context. You should not read modern day ideas and beliefs into the past. Instead of moralizing about the past, explain how those in the past understood themselves and their era.
• Be careful with generalizations. Avoid using words like “always,” “only,” and “all. ” Only use them if you have solid evidence to support your statements. • • Do not use contractions. Be sure to proofread the final paper.
Footnote Format Author, Full Title (Place of Publication: Publisher, Date of Publication), page number(s). Subsequent Notes Ibid. page number(s). (“Ibid. ” means “same as above. ”) Author, page number(s). (Use this format when “Ibid. ” can not be used.
) For more information on footnotes, see: • • http://www. dianahacker. com/resdoc/p04_c10_s1. html http://www.
libs. uga. edu/ref/chicago. html#docnote (See Documentary Note Style) History &136 – Fall 2010 Rubric for the Essay on What They Fought For, 1861-1865 Introduction & Thesis Statement / 20 points The essay starts with a clear, organized introduction that gives the reader a good sense of the topic covered in the essay: the people involved, place, timeframe, and central issues.The introduction has a clear thesis that directly states the paper’s central argument. Use of Evidence / 20 points The essay’s argument is thoroughly supported by evidence (brief quotes) from throughout the assigned sources.
The evidence that is presented is relevant and directly supports the thesis, is presented in a clear and effective manner, and is properly cited. The evidence that is presented is representative of the sources and is not taken out of context. All major points are supported by evidence.
Paragraph Structure / 5 points Body paragraphs have one topic or entral point each. All paragraphs are relevant and focused. Paragraphs have a clear topic sentence that states the main point of the paragraph. Focus, Development & Quality of Argument / 40 points The essay has a central argument that is logical and fully answers the question asked. (No major parts are ignored) The essay is focused, well-organized, and does not wander off-topic.
The argument is sound, accurately and effectively answers the question, does not contain any major logical fallacies, and does not ignore evidence that would contradict it.Conventions / 10 points The essay has been proofread and contains a minimum of spelling and grammar errors. The essay is clear, easy to follow, and is written in an appropriate tone.
Quotes are presented properly: with quote marks, proper footnotes, and in the block format if over 50 words. All quotes and paraphrased material has been cited and footnotes follow the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines. Conclusion / 5 points The essay has a clear conclusion that effectively summarizes and reinforces the main argument and does not introduce new ideas, topics, or evidence.