Ethics and Civics Historical Analysis
The Populist and Progressive reformers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought about
widespread changes to American politics, economics, and society. In this essay, we want you to consider the ethics and civics of these reformers and their policies. Who were these reformers and what motivated them? What methods did they use to further their goals through civic engagement?
What ethical considerations did they make in pushing reforms? How successful were they in achieving these goals?
HINT – DO NOT discuss one reform movement or reformer and then the next, that is NOT what this prompt is asking. What we want you to consider are the ethical motivations of the reformers, the civic engagements they pursued, and how American society responded to these reforming impulses (so are they successful in changing American life or not, do Americans of the time think these are ethical policies to pursue for the public good or do not middle-class people push back, etc.) Keep the focus on ethics/civics here.
Note 1: Successful responses will consider a broad range of evidence in support of arguments. Take a few moments to consider how you would respond by making a list of both “ethics” and “civics” related to the policies and actions of the reformers and how the rest of society perceived these reforms. Be sure to have a mixture of big/broad ideas and specific/detailed evidence in your argument.
Note 2: We DO NOT want summaries. Summaries will not earn a high grade. “A papers” utilize rule of three analysis (including strong rule of three thesis statements in the introduction and each paragraph of the body), specific and detailed historical facts as evidence, analysis instead of summary, consider change over time and historical geography (as necessary in response to the prompt), and properly cite both primary and secondary sources.
Note 3: Required length is 2-3 pages (introduction, 3 paragraphs of the body, conclusion).
Must be in Rule of Three format with a introduction and strong thesis statement, 3 paragraphs of
the body (each with their own thesis statement – one for each of the three key points of your overall
thesis), and conclusion. So, a minimum of 5 paragraphs. (2-3 pages)
This is a fact-based essay; you must provide specific and detailed evidence for your hypotheses.
You must utilize a minimum of three primary sources from the assigned materials (primary sources posted in the course module OR found under the primary source section of each chapter in American Yawp only; you may not utilize sources linked to in the reference section of American Yawp) as evidence in your essay
You must utilize a minimum of three secondary sources from the assigned materials as evidence in your essay
You may only use materials assigned in this course for your essay (we have vetted all the materials utilized in this course, other materials may not be appropriate or accurate). If you use outside sources your grade will be docked.
DO NOT QUOTE sources, paraphrase in your own words and cite
You must consider ethics/ethical decision making in this essay
Don’t forget about historical geography, where something takes place matters and it may be
important to your argument.
You must use Turabian citation style in this essay; all citations must be footnote style citations (no parenthetical cites allowed, no endnotes/works cited at the end, you need footnotes). Be sure to review how to properly cite a primary source that may be contained in another work and be sure to use page numbers where possible.
12 pt type, 1-inch margins, double-spaced
REMINDER: Turabian/Chicago footnote citations are required for this essay. You will lose points if you use parenthetical cites or other citation styles. You must provide a specific page number or other location (chapter, section, etc.) where possible in your footnotes.
How the Assignment is Graded
The following factors are considered when we grade:
RULE OF THREE THESES – Do you have a well thought out and clear overall thesis in your introduction?
Do you have a thesis statement for each of your three paragraphs of the body? Do the paragraphs of the body follow the overall thesis statement?
EVIDENCE – You must have solid evidence for each point you raise in the thesis. Evidence is not simply a statement, there must be an explanation of how that evidence supports the thesis statement.
Example: If you were writing a paragraph on the causes of the Cold War, you might use the Baruch Plan as an example. Simply writing “the Baruch Plan was a cause of the Cold War” in your paragraph would not be enough and would not be analytical. However, the following sentences do provide a good analysis of this piece of evidence:
“One cause of the Cold War was the failure of the United States and the Soviet Union to agree upon a plan for nuclear disarmament after World War II. The Baruch Plan, presented by the US, would maintain the American atomic weapon advantage for the foreseeable future. This played into Stalin’s suspicions of the Americans’ true motivations toward the USSR.”
Did you use the minimum number of primary sources? secondary sources?
HISTORICAL ACCURACY, CLARITY, AND LOGIC
Did you analyze (not summarize)? Is your argument clear and does it make sense? Is it historically accurate? Does your evidence prove your point? Does your analysis answer the prompt? Have you considered the concepts of ethics and civics, change over time, and any historical geography factors in your essay?
Have you properly cited? Have you used Turabian/Chicago? You must also FOOTNOTE. Parenthetical cites are NOT allowed.
GRAMMAR, SPELLING AND MECHANICS
Is the essay up to college standards for grammar and spelling? Is it an analytical essay? Does it meet minimum length and formatting requirements?