The purpose of this writing assignment is threefold. First it is simply a writing assignment for the sake of practicing. One of the fundamental purposes of a college education is to teach writing skills. Secondly, learning how to research and write on a specific figure from the wide stretches of history will help you to better understand the broader scope of history. Finally, this assignment is designed to help engage in history in yet another median. This class will strongly focus on reading, lecture, powerpoints, and movies. Each of those is a different manner of interacting with history, and this paper will be yet another method. Not everybody can enjoy history at all those levels, and honestly, this will be the least interesting approach to many students, but it will still serve every student to work with this method, and it will prove to be some students’ (even just a select few) favorite interaction with history.
The Rough Draft (5 points)
1. Content 3pts
The most important aspect of this draft is to put down all the relevant material for your historical character’s major achievements. The more you give me the more feedback I can provide. This draft has the same format, length, and grammar expectations as the final draft.
2. Bibliography and Citation 2pts
Part of good historical writing is providing the appropriate citation. Not only should you provide the appropriate bibliography, but you should make sure to properly cite any in-text references in your paper.
The Final Paper
1. Proper Format 1 pt
Each paper must be in MLA or Chicago format. Either format is acceptable as long as you are consistent. It must be in 12 pt. Times New Roman font.
2. Grammar and spelling 2 pts
Even with spellcheck students turn in papers with far too many simple mistakes that proofreading could mitigate. One of the necessary skills to good writing is avoiding distractions caused by poor spelling and grammar. For that reason, it is essential that this exercise includes considerable consequences for those simple mistakes.
3. Proper length 1 pt
I have personally written enough papers in my life to understand the resolve to write as little as possible. However, part of college is learning to follow directions and developing the necessary discipline to fulfill the minimum requirements. Don’t be mistaken; I do not want you to write irrelevant and unnecessary information just to fill space. Writing the full five pages is a key requirement.
4.Implemented the corrections from the rough draft 1 pt.
There is little point to me giving you feed back if you do not use it to refine your paper. There is a saying: There is no such thing as good writing just good rewriting.
4. Content 5 pts
In the five pages you write, you should cover the life of your historical figure, but your primary focus and the bulk of your paper should address the major contributions your character has had on the history of Western Civilization. While researching your character you should ask yourself, why do we study this person? and why is this person’s life important to an understanding of history?