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Greatness of George Washington

Greatness of George Washington, “Is There a James Madison Problem?”

You will need the a copy of Revolutionary Characters by Gordon Wood and you will be doing two reviews 400-500 each
Greatness of George Washington Pg 31-63
James Madison pg 143-172
The book is really the only source you need the instructor asked to use as much example from the book as possible. Also you can exceed the

word count by 3-4 is the max
See the attachment below for more information

US History to 1877
Review of Gordon S. Wood, Revolutionary Characters

Secondary sources provide historical interpretation and analysis to the public and set the conversation for historical debate. Critical to

engaging in this debate is being able to understand and interpret the arguments put forth by modern historians in secondary works. Students

will write a review of two separate essays in Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different by Gordon S. Wood.

Each review will be between 400 and 500 words (about two full pages), giving you between 800 and 1,000 words in total. Each student will

review the first chapter, “The Greatness of George Washington,” and one additional chapter of your choice. To make sure there is a good

spread of chapters, there is a sign-up sheet available on D2L to make your selection.
If you have a chapter you definitely want to write about, make sure you put your name in a spot.

Successful reviews will identify and explain each chapter’s argument. Each chapter has a thesis, a main idea, that is the central argument

the author is trying to make. You can usually find it in the introduction, and reduce it to one to two (1-2) sentences. You should use that

main idea in your paper’s introduction to organize the rest of the review.

Use the bulk of your body paragraphs to provide details and smaller ideas from the book that support this big idea. There are a lot of

details in these chapters, so you will need to figure out which pieces are the most important to supporting the main idea.In your

conclusion, you should wrap up the argument and pass judgment on its effectiveness. Think about how well the author proved his thesis, and

do not be afraid to suggest there is missing information or areas for improvement. Reviews will be graded equally on both grammar and


As part of the writing process, students will also engage in peer reviewing. Each student will share his or her paper with a classmate, and

this version of the paper must be typed and printed by the start of class on that day. In this version of the paper, make sure you have

highlighted your thesis in some way (Bold, Italics, Underline) so that both you and your reviewer can find it easily. Because your

classmates are relying on you to have materials ready, there will be no late assignments accepted.

The final paper is due by the start of class as typed and stapled hard copies or files uploaded to the appropriate folder on D2L. You do

not need to have your thesis highlighted in the final version.
If you choose to upload your file to D2L, name it: LastNameFirstInitial_AuthorReview.
If I were to turn in a paper this way, it would look like this: AltavillaK_WoodReview.

Unless I have granted written permission otherwise, these are the only ways to turn in the paper.

Each paper will account for 10% of the student’s final grade.

All late assignments will be penalized 10 points per day.

Paper Requirements
– Begin paper with your name and a Chicago-style citation of the book. Use the formatting for a Chicago citation here: This link is also available on D2L.
– Each review should get a short title (the founders’ name should be enough) to help distinguish the two essays.
– Do not include additional information, including but not limited to items such as the due date, the class, my name, a cover page, or a

bibliography. That takes up space you could be using for the review.
– Use standard fonts (i.e. Times New Roman, Calibri, Cambria) in size 12, double-spaced.
– Use 1-inch margins on the page.
– For this kind of paper, do not use direct quotes. You do not need to provide quotes or citations, as you already have a citation at the

beginning. I want to hear your voice, not the author’s.

Avoiding Plagiarism
– Read the entire chapters. Not finishing themwill make it difficult to follow what is going on, and increases the chances that you will

try to make up for that by cheating.
– It is okay to work together outside of class. You need to make sure, though, that your paper is your own.
– It is okay to read other reviews that you might find online to help you highlight important parts of the book or main idea. It is not

okay to use those reviews in your paper. Make sure you always use your words when writing.
– Copying another review and using a thesaurus to change words is not “making it your own.” In most cases, this leads to you changing the

meaning of what was said in a way that makes your writing worse.

Other Writing Tips
– This book is a work of historic non-fiction, and therefore isnot “a novel.” Do not refer to it as such.
– A paragraph must have at least three (3) sentences.
– Do not use contractions (don’t, couldn’t, it’s).
– Book titles should always be underlined or in italics. Use one or the other, not both.
– On verb tenses: as a general rule, for historical actions use past tense (“Washington attacked…”), while for modern historians use

present tense (“Wood argues…”). Avoid mixing tenses in the same sentence.
– Limit the use of the passive voice. It is a correct verb tense, but regular use is not good writing. Keep sentences short and

declarative, and avoid “to be” verbs. “Lincoln gave a speech” is better than “The speech was given by Lincoln.”
– Limit the use of first person pronouns. The whole paper represents your thoughts, therefore it is not necessary to say, “I think…”
– Keep your sentences short and to the point. If your sentence is running on to a third line, it is too long, and can be broken up into

smaller sentences. This will keep your sentences focused, and help them to make sense.
– When introducing a person in the text, use their full name the first time (Thomas Jefferson), and their surname after that (Jefferson).

Do not use the person’s first name alone unless there is a specific reason for doing so. You do not know Jefferson personally, so there is

no reason to call him “Thomas” in your paper.
– To make a noun plural (more than one), add “s” to the end. Do not add an apostrophe (‘), as this makes the word possessive (Slaves is

more than one slave; Slave’s is something belonging to a slave)
– Do not ask questions in the paper. Reviews are for answering questions, so provide an answer. Let your reader assume the question being


Last Updated on February 20, 2018

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