Essay Instructions

Choose any of the Roman emperors, and write a biographical sketch explaining what you see as his most notable actions and character traits that impacted

Western civilization

A biographical sketch is shorter and more specific than a typical biography of a person’s character, life, and achievements. It should provide readers

with your insights into the person’s character and give people what you consider to be significant information about a historical figure.
Step 1: Choose an appropriate source. Those sources cannot include Wikipedia, biography.com, history.com, or other encyclopedias. You may research the

person on credible sources online or at your local library to read a variety of biographies about the person.
Step 2: Complete your research. Choose one interesting experience that illustrates the main point that you want to make about that person’s life. Gather

details about that incident. For example, write a timeline of the person’s life that will show that you know when and where the person was born; where

he lived; what he did throughout the course of his life; andwhere, when, and how he died. Make a list of the person’s pursuits and accomplishments. You

should know this person inside and out before you begin writing your sketch.
Step 3: Draw conclusions, and prepare your thesis. Reflect on the life of the historical figure. Once you have done your research and have gathered

enough information about the historical figure, you should sit back to think about what it means, to see if you notice any trends, and to have a better

sense of what you want to convey about the person. Your thesis statement will offer your reader the overall insight into this person you have perceived.
Use the following guidelines to help decide on your thesis:
• Ask yourself about how the historical figure was shaped by his time period and environment.
• Ask yourself how the historical figure impacted the lives of the people around him, the general public, and future generations.
• Figure out which of the figure’s achievements and life experiences you may want to emphasize. Figure out which quality of the person you would most

like to emphasize, and make sure the facts you present support it.
• Find the perfect anecdote to demonstrate the qualities of the person you would most like to show.

Be sure to consider the following guidelines in your essay:

• The introduction should engage the reader and clearly present the essay’s thesis and a summary of the main points that clarify the writer’s point of

• Organization should clearly present points arranged to illustrate your opening thesis.
• Writing should be clear and concise with no spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors.
• The number of sources should meet or exceed any expressed assignment requirements and should be peer reviewed or academic in nature. At least one

source must be from the CSU Online Library.
• APA formatting guidelines should be used for reference entries and in-text citations.

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