SDSU Geographical Determinism

Regarding the Themed Research Essays

The purpose of the 2 Themed Research Essay assignments is to familiarize you with a “new” methodology of studying history (“new” because this is my own creation). In my lifetime of studying the past, I have seen certain reoccurring “themes” that help us understand the course of human events in this discipline we call history. I have also provided here the LIST OF THEMES. The general objective of your Themed Research Essay is to summarize a subject in history studied during the grading period in which the essay is assigned THROUGH the lens of a theme found in my list of themes. Example, if you were in an Early World History course and wanted to write about Alexander the Great, you would then choose to summarize the history of him through a theme, such as “Power of Personality,” where you might discuss his military leadership as conqueror of the world. OR you could talk about him through the theme of “Pivot Points in History” and talk about how he ushered in the Hellenistic Era and changed the political and cultural face of the world. Those are examples. You will choose 3 separate themes and write about 3 separate subjects from any of the history study during the grading period in which the essay is assigned through the lens of the themes you choose. Look at the STUDENT SAMPLE and see how they have formatted their 3 sections of the essay. For each subject you discuss through the lens of a theme, you need to quote your textbook OR an outside secondary scholarly source of your choosing once and ONE primary document found from either within your Mindtap Ebook chapters OR from outside research. (See further details about your sources below). Use a different primary document for each subject you write on. You must include a properly formatted Works Cited listing your primary sources separate from your secondary sources at the end. These assignments will help you learn to see history in terms of these themes. Some of these themes are quite self-explanatory and some are not. If you need more clarification, please do not hesitate to ask  –> There are 20 historical themes and 2 Themed Essay assignments you are expected to complete in the semester – therefore there are NO REPEATS of themes in these essays. You will use a total of 6 different themes in the semester for the 2 Themed Essay Assignments.

For each Themed Essay Assignment, you will write a minimum 750-word entry (CONTENT ONLY – Works Cited DOES NOT count towards minimum word count) about 3 historical topics that you can extrapolate from the subjects we have studied in that grading period in which the Themed Essay is assigned. EACH ENTRY PARAGRAPH WRITTEN ON A SUBJECT MUST BE A MINIMUM OF 250 WORDS. So the math here is easy = 3 different theme discussions of 250 word minimum each yields a total minimum word count of 750 words AND 3 separate themes X 2 Assignments = 6 historical themes used in the semester.   I expect to see original analysis, interpretation and rhetorical content.  Remember, I test all work for plagiarism.


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