Choose one of the five and write a 1,000-word response



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His 1112 Spring 2016, Midterm Essay Prompts
Choose one of the five and write a 1,000-word response, no more and no less (+/- about fifty
words). This intellectual exercise demands that you USE YOUR OWN WORDS. The use of
information from internet sources outside of class (e.g. Wikipedia) will be considered cheating.
You are allowed to use your textbook for additional information, but use it sparingly. This
assignment evaluates your comprehension of the in-class lectures. Use the lectures as your guide
and as your main source of information.
Your Midterm Essay is due on the day of your Midterm exam, Friday, March 4, before class.
Write your name on the first page of the essay and the number of the essay you have selected.
You must submit it to the link on Blackboard under the “Submit Essays Here” tab. Please do
NOT bring me a hard copy in class. When you arrive in class on Friday, March 4, you will sit
down and take a 50-multiple-choice-question objective exam based on the content of the lectures
(*See Midterm Study Guide).
Your essay must follow all of the rules of formal writing, except you need not cite my lectures.
Since for many of you this is a first, I have included some advice:
*The Introduction must set the historical scene (What is going on at the time?) and then
explain what you will argue and why. When teachers say they expect an analysis, they mean they
want you to gather information and ask questions about the material that begin with these two
words: how and why?
*In particular, you will notice that each of the following essay prompts asks you to make
several analytical judgments: you need to decide which historical factors are most important,
explain how they shaped the course of the event, and argue why they were (and are) ultimately
significant in U.S. History.
*Here’s how you do that: You begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence stating
which factor you argue is most important and why. Defend this claim as thoroughly as you
possibly can, using evidence, facts, drawing connections, and providing a strong and rigorous
interpretation throughout the paragraph. Repeat in each paragraph. To successfully answer the
question, you should present three to five well-defended factors, which contributed in significant
ways to U.S. History. Again, if you find it difficult to decide on which factors to analyze, use my
lectures as a guide.
*This essay is only four pages; thus, there is no need to waste time simply restating the
claims you just made in the preceding paragraphs once again in the conclusion. Rather, conclude
with a projection into later years beyond the scope of your essay: how did these factors continue
to play a role in later years? Why are these aspects of this historical event important for students
of history to know and understand?
Choose one of the five and write a 1,000-word response, no more and no less (+/- about fifty
words). Write your name on the first page of the essay and the number of the essay you have
chosen. Use specific examples from the course lectures to evidence your claims.
Essay 1
In what major ways did the federal government contributed to the development of the American
West, 1865-1890?
Essay 2
In what major ways did industrialization during the Gilded Age (1865-1900) change American
business and labor practices?
Essay 3
What were some of the major developments in U.S. government and politics from 1865 to 1901?
Essay 4
What is progressivism and how did it change American politics and society in the early twentieth
century (1901-1920)?
Essay 5
In what major ways did U.S. imperialism affect the development of the American nation from
1865 to 1919?

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