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Historical Analysis Research Essay

Essay III – Historical Analysis Research Essay

Analyzing historical events and their consequences is common research practice. In this essay, choose an historical event that is interesting to you, one that you may even be passionate about. Choose a topic that is debatable and has extensive sourcing. Prior knowledge of the event may be useful, even necessary. This assignment will require that you conduct a reasonable search for documentation and support. Start early and keep good notes. Start with an internet and library search. Good pre-writing protocol requires that you take notes as you read and that you document your sources accurately. Develop a thesis statement that is narrow enough to cover in a short (1700 – 2100) word paper and debatable—make a claim of value, fact, or policy.

Choosing a topic:

You may deal with various aspects of the topic: artistic, geo-political, scientific, moral, aesthetic, cultural, social, or economic. The following suggestions on the attached list may help you choose a topic.

You may wish to take a conservative or a liberal stance on a topic. Be sure that the essay is thesis driven. The essay should be developed according to the methods discussed in class and in the textbook. The paper should be 6 – 8 pages. The paper is worth 200 points. You will be responsible for all phases of the writing process. Research is required (6+ sources cited; websites/magazine/newspaper articles are OK but much less valuable).


Write a 6 to 8-page historical analysis research paper (including a Works Cited page) in MLA format on the topic of an historical event. Follow the writing process as discussed in class and in the textbook. Be prepared to show every step of the process in class. Show evidence of brainstorming, note taking, outline and rough draft. Write a thesis driven analysis of the topic. The thesis, preferably a divided thesis, should make a strong statement or claim about the event. Write a multi-paragraph essay analyzing the historical event that you have chosen. The essay should be expository, with some description and narration where appropriate.

Historical Analysis Essay Rubric (200)

40 pts. Structure SLO #1 – divided thesis with debatable claim, coherence, organization, unity, transitions, topic sentences, paragraph structure – SEE, logical, academic and scholarly, embedded sources

60 pts. Content Development SLO #2 – debatable issue; enough content; rhetorical strategies; skillful use of summary, paraphrase, and quotations; concrete details; integrated research; academic and scholarly; insightful/thoughtful analysis; engages in synthesis with sources; engages in a conversation with sources– extensive research is required for maximum credit!

20 pts Sentences/Style SLO #3 – clear and varied style; academic; scholarly; formal; objective; concise; uses MLA style tags for authors and sources; uses coordination; relative clauses; participial phrases; adverbial subordinate clauses

20 pts. MLA/ Presentation SLO #4 – MLA format; in-text citations (uses appropriate tags); spacing; and style

30 pts. Information Literacy SLO #5 – evidence of extensive research; using longer sources; peer-reviewed journals; academic sources

15 pts. Process Pre-writing (brainstorming; free writing; diagramming; clustering; outline); Hook and TS; Rough Draft and Peer Review; Final Draft proofread

15 pts. Mechanics punctuation; spelling; capitalization; syntax and grammar

+10 pts. Uniqueness / creativity 10 points bonus for fresh, innovative, thoughtful research

A – The student clearly understood the assignment and devoted a lot of time and effort to the writing process. The essay synthesizes a clear view using personal commentary; and additional common knowledge and research; fluently and logically. The essay must contain a thesis statement (divided), clear organization and unity. The essay presents six or more sources on the Works Cited page, the author proofread carefully; as there are very few in MLA format; mechanics; creativity and uniqueness.

B – The student understood the assignment and devoted sufficient time and effort to the writing process. The essay synthesizes a clear view using personal commentary and some additional information; clearly; clear and valid attempt to synthesize research with analysis. The essay must contain a thesis statement or claim. There are few errors in mechanics; usage; grammar; or spelling.

C – The student mostly understood the assignment and devoted some of time and effort to the writing process but did not clearly follow the writing process.

The essay synthesizes a clear view using personal commentary, and mostly cursory and superficial research.  There are errors in mechanics; usage; grammar; or spelling.

Last Updated on April 8, 2020

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