HIS 240: Final Paper Guidelines and Rubric
The project for this course should be centered on a historical argument that demonstrates an understanding of the consequences of World War I. You will
construct a fully researched, thesis-driven narrative paper containing both primary and secondary sources. In addition to the Shapiro Library History Guide as a
starting point for your research, click here or scroll to the last page of this document for specific source repositories that offer a variety of primary and secondary
sources related to the possible topic choices. The project is supported by two milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to
scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Two and Five. The final project will be submitted in
Module Seven.
Your task is to narrow your focus to a manageable question that can be answered in a coherent, thesis-driven fashion. Frequently, the assessment of World War I
includes some suggestion that the seeds of World War II can clearly be found in how World War I ended. The Nazi rise to power in Germany was fueled in no
small measure by deep-seated resentment at the reparation and war guilt clauses of the Versailles Treaty. Similarly, the geographic separation of Prussia from the
rest of Germany stood as a stark reminder of the manner in which Germany was made to pay for the war. The establishment of the League of Nations without
American involvement left that body comparatively weaker than it otherwise would have been. Yet, viewing World War I only through the lens of the causes of
World War II shrouds its deeper, longer-lasting impacts.
Some possible topics include but are not limited to:

The Failure of Diplomacy and the Arrival of War
Characteristics of German Nationalism
The Decline of the Romanovs and the Revolution in Russia
Literary Expressions of the War in the Post-War Period
Use of Propaganda in WWI
American Isolationism
Socialism and Dissent in the United States
Americanization Campaigns/American Nationalism
Technology and Modern, Industrial War
The Soldiers’ Experience of War
Ethnic Nationalism
The Armenian Genocide
The Versailles Peace Conference
Medicine, Disease, and Death in WWI (also, the Spanish Flu)
Remember that the topic needs to address the consequences of the war broadly speaking, so topics need to move beyond simply describing events. You should
NOT produce biographies or simple reconstructions of particular military campaigns.
You will strategically organize your paper to put together a highly effective response to the issue presented by your topic. Your paper will contain:

A Compelling Introduction: Identify your topic clearly, outlining the structure of the argument, defining key terms and clearly stating the thesis.

An Organized Body: Follow through your thesis in the body of your paper. Ensure you use effective transitions for every component of your argument.
The body of your paper should flow logically, arguing the thesis from your introduction with highly effective examples and facts that support each
element and claim in your thesis. The body will also include effective source evidence from your research in the form of highly relevant quotations and
concise paraphrasing.

A Powerful Conclusion: This is where you pull it all together. Your conclusion will not only effectively restate your thesis, but it will pull all your claims
together. Your conclusion should clearly relate how the issue represented by the thesis is important, identify what bigger question it raises, and/or
address possibilities and implications for additional research.
Review the grading rubric below to identify all aspects of the proficiencies that differentiate an exemplary paper.
Milestone One: Final Project Proposal
In Module Two, you will post a brief paragraph outlining your course project topic to the Final Project topic. Your instructor will provide feedback as needed so
that you may begin your research to identify quality primary and secondary resources that will support your project topic. This milestone is graded as pass/fail.
Milestone Two: Rough Draft
In Module Five, you will submit a copy of a complete final project rough draft. This information will assist your instructor in providing you appropriate feedback
on the direction you are taking. Each critical element should be represented in this version of your final project, but it does not need to be fully fleshed out. It is
understood that this paper is just taking shape. Keep in mind that this rough draft will be reviewed by your classmates in the next module. To prepare for peer
review, also post your rough draft to the Module Six Peer Workshop topic. This milestone is graded with the Rough Draft Rubric.
Final Submission: Final Paper
In Module Seven, you will submit your final paper. It should be a complete, polished artifact containing all of the main elements of the final product. It should
reflect the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course. This submission will be graded using the Final Paper Rubric.
Final Paper Rubric
Guidelines for Submission: Your final paper should be a minimum of 6–8 pages (not including cover page or resources) and properly footnoted with a minimum
of six quality resources (3 primary, 3 secondary) in the Turabian style, guidelines for which can be found as a resource in the resources area of the course,
following these formatting guidelines: double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and citations in Turabian format. A helpful guide to
assist you in conducting your research can be found here.
Critical Elements
Integration and
Application of
Writing Mechanics
Exemplary (100%)
Identifies the topic, clearly
outlining the structure of the
argument, defining key terms
and clearly stating the thesis
Body of paper flows logically,
arguing thesis with highly
effective examples and facts
that support thesis claims
Proficient (85%)
Identifies the topic and outlines
the structure of the argument,
stating a thesis
Needs Improvement (55%)
Identifies the topic and states a
thesis, but the structure of the
argument is not clearly defined
Not Evident (0%)
Does not clearly identify topic,
thesis, and/or structure of
Body of paper flows logically,
arguing thesis with relevant
examples and facts that support
thesis claims
Body of paper requires
additional organization and/or
additional relevant examples
and facts to support thesis
Concisely paraphrases and
quotes, integrating source
evidence effectively at
appropriate points in paper
with all citations in accurate
Integrates source evidence with
effective paraphrasing and
quotations at appropriate
points in paper with all citations
in accurate format
Body of paper argues thesis
with examples and facts that
support claims but with gaps in
logic that can be addressed
with more effective
organization and evidence to
support thesis claims
Integrates source evidence
including paraphrasing and
quotations at many appropriate
points in paper, with most
citations in accurate format
Effective conclusion restates
thesis and not only pulls all
claims together but clearly
relates how the issue
represented by the thesis is
important and raises a greater
question or identifies
implications for additional
No errors related to grammar,
style, and flow
Cohesive conclusion not only
restates thesis and supports
claims but clearly relates how
the issue represented by the
thesis is important and raises a
greater question or identifies
implications for additional
Conclusion restates thesis and
supports claims but needs to
more clearly relate how the
issue represented by the thesis
is important and raises a
greater question or identifies
implications for additional
Errors of grammar and style are
marginal and rarely interrupt
the flow
Errors of grammar and style are
limited enough that the paper is
still able to be understood
Requires more selective use of
source evidence such as concise
paraphrasing or quotes at
additional points in paper,
and/or many citations are not in
accurate format, or does not
meet minimum source
Conclusion needs stronger
restatement of thesis to
support claims and/or needs to
clearly relate how the issue
represented by the thesis is
important and raises a greater
question or identifies
implications for additional
Errors of grammar and style
make the paper difficult to
Earned Total
Internet Links to Archives, Documents, and Multimedia Resources
AMDOCS: Documents for the Study of American History: http://www.vlib.us/amdocs/index.html#1910
World War I Document Archive: http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Main_Page
UK National Archives: The First World War: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/firstworldwar/
WWI Resource Centre: http://www.vlib.us/wwi/resources/
The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum: http://www.woodrowwilson.org
The Deadly Virus: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/influenza-epidemic/
U.S. National Archives: http://www.archives.gov
First World War: A Multimedia History of World War I: http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/index.htm
World War I: Documenting the First Total War of the 20th Century: http://www.library.yale.edu/rsc/WWI/primary.html
BBC: World War One: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/worldwarone/
Robert Lindsay Mackay’s First World War Diary: http://www.firstworldwar.com/diaries/rlm8.htm
Rupert Brooke: The War Sonnets: http://www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/LostPoets/Sonnets.html
The She-Soldiers of World War One: http://ww1centenary.oucs.ox.ac.uk/unconventionalsoldiers/the-she-soldiers-of-world-war-one/
Library of Congress: World War I Posters: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/wwipos/
Alan Seeger: Poetry http://www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/LostPoets/Seeger.html
British Trench Warfare 1917–1918: http://www.worldwar1.com/tlbtw.htm
Photos of the Great War: http://www.gwpda.org/photos/greatwar.htm
Georgetown: World War I Posters: https://www.library.georgetown.edu/exhibition/first-call-american-posters-world-war-one-collection-roger-n-mohovich
Propaganda Postcards of the Great War: http://www.ww1-propaganda-cards.com/
World War I: Propaganda Leaflets: https://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Propaganda_Leaflets

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