Sam Houston

History Writing Assignment
Choose a monograph on Texas history. If it is on the approved list that is fine, if not, get my approval. Find at least two outside reviews of the book from a site such as JSTOR ( ). The rubric below will be used in grading your book review. Reading the rubric ahead of time will give you a fairly clear idea of the expectations.
Each book review is to be at least 5-pages in length, typed double-spaced with proper academic style. Any quotations must have a citation (last name, page number, in parentheses). In place of a title, a proper MLA bibliographic citation for each book should precede your review (as in the book review section of any academic journal; see below for template). Find the author’s thesis and assess his or her use of evidence to support this thesis. Comments on readability and style are allowed. The review should contain a summary of the major arguments, and an assessment based on your knowledge of Texas history, the readings and lectures, as well as comments by other reviewers. Set the book in historical context.
Once completed, upload a copy to safeassign for plagiarism check and turn in a hard copy for grade. Prepare a 5-8 min presentation on the most interesting thing you discovered as a result of reading this book.
Research Paper alternative. As an alternative, you may do a five to ten-page research paper on a topic in Texas history. See me for more guidance if you wish to do this.
GRADING CRITERIA: (Rubric on page 2)
1) Essay demonstrates a clear understanding of the subject matter.
2) Adherence to required format grammar, spelling, neatness, etc.
a. Format
b. Introduction, body covers each item, conclusion that addresses questions and the opinion part.
3) Essay contains sufficient support for author’s position.
4) Turned in on time
• Minimum of five (5) pages (full). (no cover page)
• Twelve (12) point Arial or Calibri font type; double-spaced on 8.5 X 11-inch paper
• Stapled—No binders, folders, paper clips, etc.
• Avoid contractions (can’t, won’t…)
• Spell numbers below 100 normally, except dates/percents.
• Write in third person.
• Italics for Book/magazine titles. “Quotes” for article titles
• One-inch margins. Many word processing programs have default margins of 1.25 inches. Adjust your margins accordingly.
• Page number on bottom of each page
• Header as on the top of this page.
Style guide: Avoid the word ‘thing’ or any word containing thing. Avoid words that contain ‘up’ or ‘out’ (ex: stir-up, head-out). Be careful to use the word ‘would’ correctly. It is normally not correct to use in a history paper, except most often use this to describe actions outside of the time line in the future, not for the next thing that happened.
Grading sheet

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