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Detailed Instructions: For this final essay assignment, you will have the opport
Detailed Instructions: For this final essay assignment, you will have the opportunity to use the knowledge that you have learned in the course to craft your own argument about an issue that is important to you. While history is important for understanding our lives, this assignment asks you to consider the ways in which history affects YOU everyday personally and/or professionally. 1. Identify an current issue in your chosen career field or major. You may already be intimately familiar with the big issues in your field, but if not, a simple google search can help spark your research. Those in Medicine, Education, and Political Science have seemingly unending options to choose from right now! The only other requirement is that you relate the topic to the concept of "liberty." This will help you to focus your research and argument. For example, if you are interested in public health you might choose to focus on the issue of vaccine mandates vs. individual liberty. Those interested in criminal justice might look at the issue of private prisons and incarceration rates. Freedom of speech is a big issue that touches on many different fields and can be approach in different ways depending on the specific topic. For help narrowing down a topic, just reach out to your TA or myself during office hours. Haven't chosen a major yet? No worries. Pick a specific issue or problem [a proposed piece of legislation, an event or problem that is overlooked in mainstream media, a current trending news story] instead. Make sure that you can contextualize it in history going back to at least the 1950s. Some topics you can use as a starting point include: Police, prisons, and race Gun legislation Military intervention abroad School choice National security Public health Religious liberty Women’s reproductive rights Sexuality & gender norms Taxation Economic inequality Privacy Media Censorship Big government / the welfare state Environment: policies and human action Human trafficking Drug policy 2. Explain the problem or issue so that non-experts will be able to understand. Provide a clear research question and thesis statement that will guide your analysis. Make sure that you clearly relate your topic to the theme of liberty. (Approximately 250-500 words or 1-2 pages) 3. Begin tracing the historical roots of your issue or problem. Here's where it gets difficult. You will need to contextualize your issue going back at least 70 years. This section should represent at least half the paper. Summarize the overall trajectory of your issue by contextualizing it in the social, cultural, and political history of the United States and explain what specific people, events, and/or legislation led to the present moment. Use the historical thinking skills of causation, comparison, contextualization, and change and continuity over time. (Approximately 750-1000 words or 3-4 pages) 4. Now for the fun part. Given the history of this topic or issue, and your knowledge of the United States history, make a prediction about how the problem will look in the future. This can go a number of ways. You might need to write a jeremiad or warning about how you perceive this issue evolving. You may instead see a bright future. Predict out how events will unfold, given your historical insight into how similar events have unfolded in the past. This section will be assessed based on how compelling your argument is, and how well you back it up with evidence. (Approximately 500 words or 2 pages) Review the attached rubric before submitting to ensure full credit. We will be looking to see that you use primary sources and historical examples from the textbook and course materials as the foundation for evidence in this paper. Essays that rely entirely on outside sources will not score high on use of evidence. You should also ensure that you are USING the sources by analyzing them and explaining exactly how they support your argument and analysis. Simply dropping in citations will result in a low score in the close reading section of the rubric. Formatting: Use the Writing Guide to help you start your essay and proofread the paper when you are ready to submit. Format the paper using Chicago Manual of Style formatting. For a breakdown of proper formatting see this page.

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