Use of 3 different themes and 3 different subjects or topics
Vetting of sources within the essay
Proper notation of and use of quoted materials to support content argument
Proper formatting of citations for all quoted materials
Works Cited with proper sections listing Primary Documents and Secondary Sources
Full bibliographic information provided in Works Cited
Name and class information provided
For each theme you discuss, you need to quote your textbook OR an outside secondary scholarly source of your choosing once and ONE primary document found either in your ebook or from an outside source. (See further details about your sources below). Use a different primary document for each theme and history you write on. You must include a properly formatted Works Cited at the end. These assignments will help you learn to see history in terms of these themes.
For each Themed Essay Assignment, you will write a minimum 750-word entry (CONTENT ONLY – Works Cited DOES NOT count towards minimum word count)
18. “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall . . .” ~ paradoxes in history ~ “heads and tails,” i.e. flip sides (ex: good and bad) of the same event, person, or place.
This is a theme that requires a higher level of critical thinking and reasoning. It is important to understand that there is NO historical event, person, era, place, etc. that is monothematic = meaning there is only one way to view it. A good example of a historical person with many facets of interpretation is Martin Luther. He is credited with one of the bravest and selfless acts in history by challenging the corruption of the Catholic Church and becoming the driving force of the Reformation. But there is another side to Martin Luther that few know about because history prefers to focus on the positive side of him = I am talking about his raging Anti-Jewish attitudes. He advocated some of the most heinous anti-Semitic acts of his time, irrationally hating the Jews. One cannot truly say they know about Martin Luther unless they are willing to examine BOTH sides of his personality.
19. “For want of a nail . . .” ~ how technology has affected history
This is a favorite theme in history for students – how new inventions and innovations can change history. The Cotton Gin that I mentioned above would be a good example. The moveable type printing press used by Johann Gutenberg to mass print the Bible propelled an explosion in printed material that incited desires in people to become literate so they could read all the materials being circulated.
20. History and the Environment ~ exploiting Mother Nature and its consequences.
This in kind of the opposite of Geographic Determinism, in that it is how humans have impacted the earth, rather than how the earth has impacted humans. A good example is the Dust Bowl in American modern history. For thousands of years, the Great Plains of North America had been natural grazing lands for migratory herds. The deep rooted prairie grasses withstood droughts, storms, winds, and fires. But once humans started cultivating the Great Plains in the 1800s by plowing up all the prairie grasses and replacing them with temporary, short rooted crops, this directly resulted in the black blizzards of the 1930s. Droughts and winds carried all the top soil off the plains and carried it into the atmosphere, leaving the once rich farm lands a desert wasteland.
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