3. ESSAYS ON MONOGRAPHS. Each student shall craft a five page essay in response to
the following questions: (These essays should by typed-double spaced, no more than 12 point
font, one-inch margins all around). A monograph is a separate dissertation or essay on a single
subject or an aspect of it
1) The Civil Rights movement had many sources and catalysts. According to Stephen
Whitfield, how did the Emmett Till case generate attention and precisely how did it change the
movement for Civil Rights in the nation as a whole? What does the author reveal about the
social structure of the South during this period, and how does the rest of the country react to this
story? Be sure to be specific and avoid overgeneralizations, such as it had a big impact. This
paper is due at the end of Unit One prior to taking the first exam.
2) Although David Halberstams book deals with Vietnam prior to what most Americans
consider the true beginning of the war, his work suggests there was little reason to be optimistic
about the outcome of American involvement. What were the major problems with the effort of
South Vietnamese and Americans in preventing an eventual North Vietnamese takeover of the
country? And how did American policy during the Cold War lead to that involvement? This
paper is due at the end of Unit Two prior to taking the second exam. Since it deals with the
Vietnam War, you may want to read this early on in Unit Two.
4. TERM PAPER. Each student shall draft a term paper, and will consult with the instructor
on the topic for the paper. It will address a narrowly focused topic on some aspect of US history
since 1950. It should include a description of the event or person under study and spend at least
part of the paper analyzing the varied opinions offered by journalists, politicians, or historians.
It should contain a minimum of ten pages of text and use the endnote citation form described in
Turabian, Manual for Writers. These must make wholesale use of available primary sources
and address a controversy in the scholarship in the recent era. You must obtain my informal
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HIST 427 UNITED STATES HISTORY SINCE 1950
approval for a topic by Lesson Fifteen, submit a prospectus describing what you are going to
argue and what source materials you will use by Lesson Seventeen. You must submit your
final draft by Lesson Twenty. This, of course, can be done at any time during the course. I
would encourage you to find a topic in which you have been particularly interested and write on
that topic. I am always available to help you on this.
All papers will be submitted to a website to check for plagiarism.
NOTE ON RESOURCES: The Moss text contains excellent essays at the end of each chapter
that will help you on your term paper, as they summarize the critical books and suggest different
interpretations. They also suggest possible websites for primary sources.