ESSAY INSTRUCTIONS:  Both essay assignments require a close reading of primary sources.

            Please follow these directions for each essay assignment:

1)      In your text, read the background on this source, and then read or examine the  source itself identifying key names, places, and terms.  Also begin to look for answers to the questions that have been assigned.

2)      After examining the source carefully, re-read the questions to be answered in the essay and write a one-sentence statement that lays out the main point or argument (thesis) of your paper.  Type that sentence at the top of the paper, and then below it organize and type an outline that answers the questions assigned.  The thesis statement and outline provide the framework for the essay.

3)      When writing the essay begin with an introductory paragraph that includes the thesis statement. The introductory paragraph should be followed by four to five paragraphs that answer the assigned questions and support and develop the thesis.  The body of the paper should be followed by a conclusion that summarizes your argument.

4)      The body paragraphs of the essay must be connected with appropriate transition sentences.  Do not simply answer the first question with paragraph one followed by question two in the second paragraph.  Make transitions that connect the paragraphs together in a unified argument that supports the thesis.  Use the introduction and conclusion to do the same- fit the essay together and support the thesis.

5)      End the essay with a conclusion that summarizes the main points of your paper.  Be sure to keep the paper focused on the main thesis and to write, simply and clearly, what you found and how you interpret this particular source. 

6)      Essays should be in your own words.  Use the textbook for background reading only.  Do not directly quote from the text; paraphrase if necessary.

7)      Outlines and essays must be typed, size 12 font.  Double-space between lines          and paragraphs.  The heading of the paper should be the title of the source. All sources, including the textbook, must be correctly cited at the back of the paper using the MLA style. See the Harbor College Library website- Writing and Research Guides for further help.

8)      The outline, thesis statement and essay must be handed in on the due date to receive full credit.  These dates are listed in the schedule.


Essay 1:  Jacob Riis and Reforming Urban America

            Essay 2:  The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War

Copyright Dr. Ellen Joiner 2015