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Using at least two of the readings and the two films (Violence Over the Land; Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq; A Peoples History of the United States:1492-Present; Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America; Our Spirits Don’t Speak English; Triangle Fire) compare and contrast the delivery of history to an audience. Which form, monograph or documentary is more effective? What are the strengths and weaknesses of both. Use specific examples from the readings and the films to make your case. Your paper should be 3-5 pages in length.I have uploaded the two corse reading and the two films are 1: tingle fire 2:Our Spirits Don’t Speak English


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Style Sheet For Courses with Justin Burch
History is past tense. Do not use literary present tense.
Use Times New Roman 12 point font throughout your paper.
Use 1-inch margins on the Left, Right, Bottom, and Top.
Awkward construction – read ALOUD – if it sounds strange out loud it is strange to read.
Be careful not to try and get too cute with your description.
5. Avoid “Be” verbs (has/have been), be, being, been.
6. Make your sentences active. Strong declarative sentences. Avoid passive voice. (See
reverse side for examples)
7. Avoid “this.” Tell the reader what “this” and “that” are. “This” includes “them” and
8. Avoid “the fact that.”
9. No periods for US abbreviation.
10. Avoid personal pronouns – us, we, I, me, etc. Also avoid the work around of “one.” Ex:
One must realize…
11. Avoid quotation marks unless you are actually quoting someone and citing. You are not
Dr. Evil talking about “lasers” on the heads of freakin sharks.
12. Place quotes within sentences. You should have no stand alone quotations in your paper.
13. Avoid mentioning source material within your text. That is what footnotes are for.
14. Use the full names of individuals when first introduced. The same goes for acronyms. Ex:
CIA. The first time it is introduced, you should write: Central Intelligence Agency,
followed by (CIA). Afterwards you may use the acronym.
15. Periods go inside quotations marks.
16. Avoid “felt.” You are not a psychic.
17. Avoid the semi colon…and for that matter the colon. (Unless using before a block quote).
18. Choose the proper word. (Word Choice).
19. Avoid first, second, third constructions. Especially if you say first with no second or
20. Try not to be repetitive. Do not say things twice in the same section/paragraph. The same
goes for particular words you are fond of… (Close Word Repetition).
21. Spell out numbers 1-100.
22. Don not put in an apostrophe when writing a general set of years. Ex: 1970s. Do not
write: 1970’s.
23. Put in a bibliography.
24. Be careful of subject verb agreement.
25. No exclamation points. Do NOT yell at me!!! Also you are not British.
26. Make an argument. Develop a strong thesis.
27. Avoid contractions in professional writing. Don’t use them.
28. Avoid the hyphen to separate clauses in sentences.
29. Avoid the Cliché: “Go down without a fight,” “Poster child,” “On top of the world.”
30. Avoid weak verbs, adjectives, and nouns. Such as “ways.”
31. Place your thesis statement within one sentence, and make that sentence the last of your
first paragraph.
32. Paragraphs should be a minimum of four sentences.
33. Italicize the titles of books, magazines, speeches, and newspapers. Only put quotation
marks around article titles found within magazines and newspapers.
35. Citations go at the end of sentences, not in the middle. The correct format is as follows:
end of sentence.2 Another example is a citation at the end of a sentence that also ends
with a direct quote: “the end of a great direct quote that you could not possibly put into
your own words any better.”3
36. Explain ideas and concepts within your paper. Do not assume your reader knows all of
the information that you have learned in the process of your research. For example: If you
write: “Deng Xiaoping was still favored by Mao Zedong, the great revolutionary leader
that dominated the CCP, during the Anti-rightest Campaign.”4 Then you must explain
what the “Anti-Rightest Campaign” was, even if you know that your TA and professor
know the term. Your job is to prove the depth and breadth of your knowledge of the
subject matter.
37. Avoid using pejorative words and language. Be objective to the best of your ability. You
are not judge, jury, and executioner of people in the past…at least not yet.
38. Avoid using terminology and language of a different age that is not common to the
present day. You must be, in some cases, a translator from the past to the present. Be
especially aware of using words and terminology that may have been acceptable in the
past, but is considered racist or bigoted today.
39. Block quote any direct quote four lines or longer.
If your reader cannot find the information you have provided in a general US or World history college survey
textbook, you must cite it. This pertains to all paraphrased information. All direct quotes must have a citation.
We will go over in class how to cite multiple sources in one footnote.
Footnotes should be in Times New Roman font just like the body of your paper.
Jida Zhang, “Change of Deng Xiaoping’s Tone of Political Speech from Anti-rightest Campaign to 1989
Democracy Movement,” Paper for Modern China 115 at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Spring 2015.
Passive Voice Examples:
a. Passive voice: The Confederacy was defeated in 1865.
b. Active voice: Union forces defeated the Confederacy in 1865.
c. Passive voice: The National Industrial Recovery Act was declared unconstitutional in
d. Active voice: The US Supreme Court declared the National Industrial Recovery Act
unconstitutional in 1935.
What is Thesis? What IS NOT a Thesis?
A good thesis is built on a solid argument. Below are examples of working up from a
statement of fact, to an argument, to a thesis.
Not a Thesis: Progressive Era photographers took important images, which I will examine in
this paper.
An Argument but not quite a thesis: Photographs taken by Progressive Era photographers
were used for a variety of reasons by diverse groups.
Good Thesis: Jacob Riis, a Progressive Era photographer, intended his photographs to be
used in efforts aimed at reforming tenement and urban slums. The photos were, however,
malleable, and quickly appropriated by immigration restrictionists to bolster racialized
demands to strictly limit yearly immigration.
Another Example:
Not a Thesis: President Truman had a tough decision because even now there are lots
of good reasons for and against dropping atomic bombs on Japan.
Thesis: Although the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki hastened
the end of World War II, other military options would have avoided its high human,
political, and social costs. A demonstration of the bomb’s power and a blockade
of Japan could have brought the war to a less horrible end and would have made
rebuilding Japan less costly.
Not a Thesis: Deng Xiaoping was a great leader.
Thesis: Deng Xiaoping transformed by reforming China’s political, economic, and foreign
policy, which led to the greatest economic expansion in world history.
Paper Editing Acronyms/Shorthand
1.) AWK = Awkward sentence construction.
2.) WC = Word Choice problem. Not the correct word or a better word is needed.
3.) CW = Close Word Repetition. Need to vary your words and not use the same ones in
close proximity.
4.) IS = Incomplete Sentence.
5.) SP = Spelling.
6.) T= Tense issue. History is past tense.
7.) SV=Subject verb agreement.
8.) C= Contraction. Don’t use them.
History Essay Rubric
Student did
not follow
the material
Student did a
below average
job of
the material
Student did an
adequate job of
the material
Student did a
good job of
the material
Student did an
excellent job of
the material
Use of Sources
Criteria for points in each section:
Excellent- No major grammatical or style issues. Student has followed instructions and style guide to the letter.
Good/Average- Some grammatical and style issues. Student may want to proof read more closely future papers.
Below Average/Poor- There are major grammatical and style problems with this paper that have likely effected
other elements of the grading rubric. The student should take the next paper to the writing lab for help in the future.
Excellent- No major citation or formatting issues. Student has followed instructions to the letter.
Good/Average- Some citation and formatting issues. Student should review Chicago style guidelines.
Below Average/Poor- Student needs to follow Chicago rules and may even be in danger of plagiarism.
Use of Sources
Excellent- Student fully utilized all relevant source material.
Good/Average- Student did an Okay job of utilizing source material. In need of improvement.
Below Average/Poor- Student did not follow directions and use available material to make their argument.
Excellent- Clear, insightful, original, sophisticated. The author has read and considered the assigned text and
brought their own independent thinking to their analysis.
Good/Average- Contains a strong argument, but does not put forth a strong thesis.
Below Average- Lacks a clear thesis, shows only a superficial understanding of the assigned text.
Poor- No apparent thesis, shows that the author did not read the assigned text.
Supporting Argument:
Excellent- Each paragraph builds on the thesis, argument is clear and coherent throughout.
Average/Good- Most paragraphs build on the thesis, some paragraphs are tangential, argument is unclear at points.
Below Average/Poor- The majority of paragraphs do not build on the thesis, argument lacks clarity and coherence
through most of the paper, fails on most occasions to anticipate and address counterarguments.
Excellent- Clear, insightful, original, sophisticated. The author has read and considered the assigned text and
brought their own independent thinking to their analysis. The Conclusion restates the thesis and succinctly
paraphrases the main arguments of the paper.
Average/Good- Does an average to good job of restating the thesis and has some elements of the main argument
within the conclusion
Below Average/Poor- Does not restate the thesis and/or paraphrase elements of the main argument.

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