Historical Analysis Paper

Overview of the Assignment
The paper presents a historical argument of at least 1300 words on an assigned topic using assigned sources. It must be an organized presentation of an argument stating a claim or main idea based on historical evidence. It must be written in formal English language and tone. It must also cite sources appropriately using Chicago Style footnotes.
The paper must use all the assigned sources. A thesis or historical claim must be presented with supporting arguments and evidence in an organizational structure with: (1) an introduction containing general context, thesis, and at least 3 points supporting the thesis; (2) paragraphs with supporting argument and evidence for each of the points supporting the thesis; and (3) a conclusion.
The rubric for grading should be used as a checklist to make sure all parts of the assignment are completed satisfactorily. The guiding expectation is satisfactory performance of each task, not perfection.

Topic: The Benefits and Costs of the Agricultural Revolution.

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You are to write a paper of at least 1300 words that discusses the global adoption of agriculture in terms of relative gains and losses (positive versus negative impacts). Your discussion must consider the following issues: (1) the environment; (2) human longevity and happiness; and (3) the overall health of humanity and other forms of life on earth.
You are required to use and show understanding of all assigned sources. Remember this is a history paper that combines information with interpretation. Avoid the double temptations of: (1) broad generalizations not backed up with relevant information; and (2) the mere listing of facts. A historical argument (a statement, claim, or interpretation) must be presented and supported with relevant and correct evidence related to your argument.
Assigned Sources:
Robert W. Strayer and Eric W. Nelson, Ways of the World: A Brief Global History, 4th edition, Chapter 1.
A&E Television Networks, “Neolithic Revolution,” History.com, https://www.history.com/topics/pre-history/neolithic-revolution.
Jared Diamond, “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race,” Discover Magazine, http://discovermagazine.com/1987/may/02-the-worst-mistake-in-the-history-of-the-human-race.
Yuval Noah Harari, “Who Domesticated Humans,” selected from Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind, https://www.ynharari.com/topic/ecology/.
Craig Benjamin, “Transition to Agriculture,” Big History Project, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNwh90eJels.
David Christian, “Why Was Agriculture So Important?” Big History Project, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx6-m510hjU.

Rubric for Grading

Acceptance Microsoft Word Yes No
Drop Box Yes No
No Cheating Yes No
Finished Product Yes No
General 50% Responsive 10 5 0
Length 10 5 0
Thesis 10 5 0
Organization 20 10 0
Form 25% Format Directions 5 0
Grammar 10 5 0
Chicago Style 5 0
Appropriate Citation 5 2 0
Content 25% Tone 5 3 0
Sources 10 5 0
Critical Analysis 10 5 0
Total %
Points Earned (out of 10)

Requirements to be accepted and graded:
The paper must be written in Microsoft Word or a program compatible with Word and submitted to the correct drop box on Brightspace which will review it for plagiarism or other forms of cheating. PDF documents will not be accepted. If the file can’t be reviewed by turnition.com, the submission will not be accepted.
When there is reasonable evidence of plagiarism or other forms of cheating, the grade will be 0 and the student will be reported to the Office of Student Integrity for disposition according to GGC policies.
The assignment must clearly be a finished product, not a draft that is obviously incomplete or falls well under the minimum word count.
General Requirements (50%)
Responsive to the assignment: 10 points = The essay is written on the assignment and covers all points specified. 5 points = The essay is written on the assignment and covers most but not all the points specified. 0 points = The essay is not written on the assignment or specified points mentioned are unsatisfactory.
Length: Word count includes only the title and body of the essay. 10 points = Reaches the minimum of 1300 words. 5 points = Between 1200 and 1299 words. 0 points = Less than 1200 words.
Thesis: A historical claim or main idea must be clearly stated which is responsive to the assignment. 10 points = A clear thesis is stated in 1 or 2 sentences in the opening paragraph. 5 points = An unclear thesis is stated at the beginning or end of the essay. 0 points = No thesis is stated or what purports to be a thesis is not satisfactory.
Organization: There is context, a thesis, at least 3 specific supporting points with development of the points, and a conclusion, all of which are responsive to the assignment. 20 points = Context, thesis, at least 3 specific points, and a conclusion are present. 10 points = At least 1 element is unsatisfactory or absent. 0 points = 2 or more elements are unsatisfactory or absent.
Form Requirements (25%)
Format directions: 5 points = Directions for heading, double-spaced typing, and title are followed. 0 points = Directions for either heading, or double-spaced typing, or title are not followed.
Grammar, spelling, clarity of meaning, and sentence structure must be satisfactory: 10 points = Fewer than 5 notable errors. 5 points = Fewer than 10 notable errors. 0 points = More than 10 notable errors.
Chicago Style: Footnotes and bibliography are present and use Chicago style: 5 points = Present and used correctly. 0 points = Either footnotes or bibliography are missing or there are many errors.
Citation of sources: Assigned sources must be used and cited when appropriate. 5 points = Appropriately citing assigned sources. 2 points = Failing to cite several times when it was appropriate or using incorrect citation method. 0 points = Not citing enough, or at all, or failing to cite in the required manner.
Content Requirements (25%)
Tone: 5 points = Your tone must be formal and professional. 3 points = At least 2 violations of tone. 0 points = More than 2 violations of tone.
Using sources: 10 points = Using all assigned sources. 5 points = Using most but not all assigned sources. 0 points = If any unassigned sources are used or if too many assigned sources are not used.
Critical analysis: 10 points = Sources and events are discussed in a way that shows accurate understanding of the material. 5 points = Discussion of sources and events demonstrates some lack of understanding. 0 points = Sources are not discussed, or too little accurate understanding is demonstrated.

Detailed Instructions
General Requirements (50%)
Responsive – The paper must cover all the points in the assignment. If you are not clear on what the assignment means, it is your responsibility to ask questions to improve your understanding.
Determining word count – In MS word, click on “Review” in the menu across the top. Highlight (select) the title and the paragraphs of the body of the essay, then click on “word count.” Do not count the heading, or any notes. This is how I will determine word count – and my count is official. If you are smart, you will make sure that your word count will not fall just under 1300. The count will be a definite number and the penalty will apply if that number is less than 1300.
Thesis and organization – A minimum of 5 paragraphs is needed for proper organization. More paragraphs can be used if desired. Here are the minimum requirements of this format:
There must be a topic paragraph in which you explain context, state a thesis or central idea and a minimum of 3 key points that will be explained or developed to support that thesis.
There must be at least one paragraph for each of the 3 key points. These points must be explained, not just listed or mentioned. The explanation is expected to relate to information in the required reading for the essay and to use historical information to back up explanations. Stating personal views is fine as long as they are backed up with historical information. Essays that only assert unsupported opinion will not receive many points.
There must be a concluding paragraph which sums up what you have shown. Once again, stating a personal view that is not supported by discussion of historical events and ideas in the paper will earn very few points.
Thesis statement – An adequate and appropriate thesis statement is required in historical papers. The thesis is the main idea or key point of the entire paper that will be backed up and supported by the points in the other paragraphs. Coming up with a good thesis statement is often the single most difficult part of this assignment, so don’t be surprised if it takes some time and thought. One way to find a good thesis statement is to turn the assignment statement into a question to be answered if it is not already in the form of a question. Then your thesis is a reply to the question that covers all aspects of the assignment and has at least 3 specific points to feature in separate paragraphs in providing your answer. If the assignment is in the form of a question, that should make your choice of a thesis and 3 points easier.
Form Requirements (25%)
Heading – In the top left of the first page, enter your name and then the name and section of our course on the next line. Drop down 2 spaces, center the text, and enter the title of your paper. Drop down two spaces, indent and begin the body of your paper.
Body – The body must be double-spaced with normal margins and in a font usually used in academic and professional settings, such as Times New Roman, Ariel, or Calibri. Very fancy and unusual fonts that are hard to read will result in a penalty. Font size must be 12 points. New paragraphs must be indented.
Grammar, etc. – Pay attention to the squiggle marks in MS Word that indicate spelling, grammar, or structure problems. Always proofread your final product or ask a fellow student to proof read for you. You should also use apps like Grammarly to check your work. If you have had problems with grammar, etc. in the past, you may want to use the tutoring services of the AEC (which are free). International students especially need help with proofreading because they may not be able to explain themselves in English as well as they intend. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for tutoring help – GGC provides it as one of the many free student services and you have a right to it.
Chicago Style – The paper is expected to be primarily your own words. When you quote or paraphrase a source, you must use a Chicago style footnote. When information is drawn from sources, you are expected to acknowledge it by a footnote. You must also include a bibliography at the end of the paper using Chicago style.
Appropriate Citation – Footnotes are used to acknowledge when information, interpretation, or quotations are taken from a source. Failing to cite sources appropriately can be cheating because you are claiming credit for the work of someone else. Using footnotes only for quotations is unacceptable because it indicates too many quotations and not enough of your own words and also omits citations when you draw information that is put into your own words.
Content Requirements (25%)
Tone – A professional and formal tone is expected. This means you write in the third person and rarely in the first person. Stating opinions is OK so long as they are backed up by evidence. This is an academic assignment – not an editorial, not a college “bull session,” and not the shouting back and forth you see on cable channels – so you are expected to discuss and explain in a rational, restrained manner rather than just assert unsupported views.
Critical Thinking – The paper is expected to show knowledge and thought based on reading assigned historical information. Discussion of your points is expected to refer to information in the assigned reading and to show understanding of it as you apply it in your essay. Once again, you are expected to support your views with historical information rather than just assert opinions.
Chicago Style Directions
For citations, bibliography, and quotations, you must use Chicago Style as presented by Kate Turabian in her famous manual. We will be using two recent editions of this work. For information in these directions, I will cite:
Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 7th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
There is also a more recent 8th edition with guidance available online that you may use as reference. The basic content for our purposes is unchanged between the two editions.
Kate L. Turabian, “Turabian Quick Guide,” A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th ed., http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/turabian/turabian_citationguide.html

Plagiarism – “The ethics of scholarship also require that whenever you quote words, tables, graphics, or data from a source, you clearly indicate what you borrowed and from where, using the appropriate citation style ….”
Run-in Quotations – “When quoting a passage of fewer than five lines, enclose the exact words quoted in double quotations marks.” In other words, indentation is not necessary. Usually, the number for the note should be placed at the end of the quotation or at the end of the sentence of which the quotation is a part.
Block Quotations – A quotation of five or more lines should be made a block quotation in the paper. “Single-space a block quotation, and leave a blank line before and after it. Do not add quotation marks at the beginning or end, but preserve any quotation marks in the original. Indent the entire quotation as you indent the first line of a paragraph.”

Indentation – “Notes are indented like other paragraphs in the text; all following lines are flush left.”
Single-space – Use single-space throughout the notes.
Basic Pattern for First Citation of a Book – “Note Number. Author’s First and Last Names, Title of Book: Subtitle of Book (Place of Publication: Publisher’s Name, Date of Publication), XX-XX.” XX-XX = pages where cited information can be found.
Example of First Citation of a Book – See the example in the footnote.
Subsequent Citation of a Book – You can just give the last name of the author, a comma, then the pages cited and a period. Sometimes it is more appropriate to give the last name of the author, a comma, a shortened title in italics, a comma, then the pages cited and a period.
Example of Subsequent Citation of a Book – See the example in the footnote.
Basic Pattern for an Article Online – “Note Number. Author’s First and Last Names, “Title of Article: Subtitle of Article,” Title of Journal Volume Number (Date of Publication), URL (accessed Date of Access).”
Example of Article Online – See the example in the footnote.
Subsequent Citations of Online Article – See the example in the footnote.

End of the paper – The bibliography is the last item of the paper, so do it after you have completed the paper and the footnotes.
Hanging Indentation – “Bibliography entries have a hanging indentation: the first line is flush left and all following lines are indented the same space as paragraphs.”
Single-space – Use single-space throughout the bibliography.
Alphabetical by Author – “A bibliography is normally a single list of all sources arranged alphabetically by the last name of the author, editor, or whoever is first in each entry.”
Basic Pattern for a Book – “Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher’s Name, Date of Publication.”
Example of a Book –
Strayer, Robert W. and Nelson, Eric W. Ways of the World: A Brief Global History: Volume I.,
4th edition. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2019.

Basic Pattern for an Article Online – “Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of Article: Subtitle of Article.” Title of Journal Volume Number (Date of Publication). URL (accessed Date of Access).” If there is no author, begin with the name of the company responsible for the publication in which the article appears and list the article alphabetically based on the first letter of the name of the company.
Examples of Articles Online –
A&E Television Networks. “Neolithic Revolution,” History.com (Updated August 23, 2019),
https://www.history.com/topics/pre-history/neolithic-revolution (accessed October 3, 2019).
Benjamin, Craig. “Transition to Agriculture,” Big History Project,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNwh90eJels (accessed October 3, 2019).

Christian, David. “Why Was Agriculture So Important?” Big History Project,

Diamond, Jared. “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race,” Discover Magazine,

Harari, Yuval Noah. “Who Domesticated Humans,” selected from Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind,
https://www.ynharari.com/topic/ecology/ ).

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