Option written PhD doctorate only***

Assignment Description

Students will write a 600-800 word paper analyzing the contributions of one historical figure who contributed to the early success of the United States. Students will be given a list of historical figures that impacted the United States from the Reconstruction Era until the Modern Times and will be asked to pick one character that impacted the United States the most. To see the list of possible topics click here.View in a new windowView in a new window As students develop content for the paper the following should be considered:

  • What time period did the character live in and what was his/her contribution to that era?

  • What contributions did the character make to the overall character of the United States?

  • What primary sources can be found to substantiate your assertion that this character had a major impact on the United States?

  • What do historians have to say about the impact that the character had on American History and time period in which he/she lived?

  • Do you agree with the assertions of the historians? Why or why not? Evidence must be given to support your point of view.

 Assignment Requirements

  • The paper must be written according to scholarly standards—a well-developed thesis supported by thorough research which culminates in a definitive argument that is based on reasoning and facts rather than simple opinions.

  • Papers must have three sources with one of the sources being primary sources. Students may not use internet sources for the paper but are welcome to explore databases on the Panola library website for authoritative selections.

    • Students must use Chicago style for source citations and students must use Chicago style footnotes.

    • Papers will not be accepted without citation.

    • Students must use proper grammar along with proper spelling.

    • One inch margins (no exceptions). If the margins on a paper are extremely altered, the paper will be given back to the student for correction and the paper will be deducted one letter grade for each day it takes to make the correction.

    • Times Roman Font 12 pt.

    •  Cover page (Your cover page must include your name, paper title, and class information. Your name should not appear anywhere else on the paper. You many have the paper title as a header for every page.)

    • Absolutely no plagiarizing. Students caught cheating will receive an “F” on the paper. Plagiarism consists of copying 7 or more words of material without giving credit to the original author. Students who are caught intentionally plagiarizing in the paper by either down loading the paper off line or coping large portions of the paper from another source will receive a grade of “0”. Exemptions may be made for negligence or failure to properly reference a source. These will be judged on a case by case basis. All students are required to submit their work as a word document on canvas where it will automatically be run through turnitin.com. Any paper which registers above a 40% mark on the website will automatically receive a grade of “F.”


Rubric is subject to change as the instructor changes the emphasis of the assignment.


Thesis 15pts

Does the paper have a clear, insightful thesis?

  • Does it have definitive direction (follow the thesis)?

  • Does the paper stay on topic?

 Use of Evidence 20 pts.

  • Does the paper support its thesis with evidence?

  • Is the evidence well integrated in the paper?

  • Are primary sources used?

  • Is the evidence examined in a persuasive manner?

Analysis 15pts

  • Is the analysis of the subject fresh and intriguing?

  • Does the work display critical thinking skill?

  • Does it avoid simple descriptions and summaries?

Logic and Argumentation 25pts

  • Is the argument identifiable and reasonable?

  • Does the author anticipate counter arguments?

  • Is the paper logic elevated to a college, academic level?

  • Does the paper display depth and understanding of ideas, readings, and other evidence?

  • Is the paper persuasive and analytical?


Mechanics 25pts

  • Is the sentence structure, grammar, and dictation excellent?

  • Is the punctuation and spelling proper?

  • Is the paper properly cited?

  • Is the paper properly formatted?

  • Are quotes properly integrated into the paper?

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