Essay Exam #1 consists of two essays, and students will write an essay responding to TWO of the exam questions on page 2 of this document. Students will base their essay on course material (textbook readings, historical documents, assigned articles, documentary film clips, and the Odds and Ends documents) from Week 1 thru Week 4. The daily assignments should be the first place students look to organize the course information for each essay. Students should not do additional research and/or use other sources from the internet. Essays will be evaluated/grades on how well students use the course material to response to the essay questions.
Essay Length and Structure
Each essay should consist of at least 5 paragraphs for a word count per essay of at least 750 words. Please keep in mind that any heading information or inclusion of the essay prompt in your completed exam WILL NOT count toward the word count for each essay.
Each essay will be a formal essay with an introduction, conclusion, thesis statement, and at least 3 body paragraphs presenting supporting evidence from the course material. Students should formulate a thesis based on the essay question. Essays should include an introductory paragraph that presents the thesis statement and provides the necessary background information. The body paragraphs of the essay should systematically develop an argument that explains and expands the thesis statement and is supported with evidence from the course material. The concluding paragraph should remind the reader of the thesis and sum up the major points of the essay’s argument.
Using Evidence, Quotations and Citations
Throughout the essay, students will use specific information (what historians call evidence) from the course material to support their argument. All evidence needs to paraphrased, which means presented in students own words. Since these are not long essays, absolutely no quotes are permitted to be included in the essay. Using quotes in the essays will result in a substantial grade reduction.
Because the essays are based on course material, there is no need to include footnotes/endnotes or a works cited page. Students should concentrate on developing and writing a complete argument in response to the essay questions rather than including and formatting citations. I know where the course material is coming from, which means citations are not really necessary. Remember, essays will be graded on how well students use the course material. In short, I know the course material and expect students to use that material.
Help with your Essay
In the “Exam Information” module, I have posted links to three different sites for advice on essay writing. All three site present similar information. If one site isn’t helpful, try another site that will present the information a little differently.
I am also available to help students with the exam. Please email me with questions about the instructions, assistance understanding the essay questions or general help organizing course material and getting started.
If you are having trouble meeting the word count requirement, be sure you are fully explaining each point in your argument and/or go to the course material for an additional example.
Select TWO of the essay questions and write an essay for each of your selected questions. Please use the question number to identify each essay in your submission.
- The Market Revolution transformed American society in the first half of the 19th century. Write an essay explaining and analyzing the economic changes brought about by the Market Revolution and how these changes impacted the lives of American men and women?
- The first half of the 19th century is characterized by reform. Write an essay explaining and analyzing the antebellum reform movements and how this reforming impulse helped create class divisions in the US. Be sure to use examples from specific reform movements in the essay.
- During the first half of the 19th century, slavery became more entrenched in the US south. Write an essay explaining and analyzing slavery from the perspectives of the slaves, slaveholders, and anti-slavery activists/abolitionists.
Essay Grading (50 points per essay)
Focus and Argument (20 points)
Each essay has a thesis statement based on the essay question
Each essay develop a complete response to the essay question
Each essay’s analysis/argument are clearly constructed and explain key historical issues
Examples/Evidence (20 points)
Each essay’s argument is supported by evidence
All evidence should be examples from the relevant course material
All evidence/examples are fully integrated and explained in the essay’s argument
No quotes – all evidence is paraphrased
Grammar, Word Use, and Spelling (10 points)
Writing is grammatically correct
Words are spelled and use correctly
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