Signature Essay Prompts
PROMPT: The Populist and Progressive reformers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought about widespread changes to American politics, economics, and society. In this essay, we want you to consider the ethics and civics of the reformers. Who were these reformers? What methods did they use to further their goals through civic engagement? What ethical considerations did they take into account in pushing reforms?
Note 1: Successful responses will consider a broad range of evidence in support of arguments. Take a few moments to consider how you would respond by making a list of both “ethics” and “civics” related to these reformers and reforms. Be sure to have a mixture of big/broad ideas and specific/detailed evidence in your argument.
Note 2: We DO NOT want summaries. Summaries will not earn a high grade. “A papers” utilize rule of three analysis (including strong rule of three thesis statements in the introduction and each paragraph of the body), specific and detailed historical facts as evidence, analysis instead of summary, consider change over time and historical geography (as necessary in response to the prompt), and properly cite both primary and secondary sources.
Note 3: Required length is 2 pages
Requirements for the Signature Essay
- Must be in Rule of Three format with a introduction and strong thesis statement, 3 paragraphs of the body (each with their own thesis statement – one for each of the three key points of your overall thesis), and conclusion. So a minimum of 5 paragraphs. (2-3 pages)
- This is a fact based essay, you must provide specific and detailed evidence for your hypotheses.
- You must utilize a minimum of three primary sources from the assigned materials (primary sources posted in the Blackboard course module OR found under the primary source section of each chapter in American Yawp only; you may not utilize sources linked to in the reference section of American Yawp) as evidence in your essay
- You must utilize a minimum of three secondary sources from the assigned materials as evidence in your essay
- You may only use materials assigned in this course for your essay (we have vetted all the materials utilized in this course, other materials may not be appropriate or accurate). If you use outside sources your grade will be docked.
- DO NOT QUOTE sources, paraphrase in your own words and cite
- You must consider ethics/ethical decision making in this essay
- Don’t forget about historical geography, where something takes place matters and it may be important to your argument.
- You must use Turabian citation style in this essay; all citations must be footnote style citations (no parenthetical cites allowed, no endnotes/works cited at the end, you need footnotes). Be sure to review how to properly cite a primary source that may be contained in another work and be sure to use page numbers where possible.
- 12 pt type, 1 inch margins, double-spaced
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