American Diplomat in 1970
In this assignment you will write an essay based primarily upon Units 3 and 4 materials. You will upload the assignment through the link at the bottom of this page.
Worth up to 100 points, or one letter grade (10%) of your semester grade.
Details: 2-3 pages, double spaced, 12 pt type, 1 inch margins. Grammar, logic, and clarity count. Specific and detailed evidence required.
You will pull together skills learned in the three previous Reactions in this assignment. All students MUST
use primary documents (drawn from either the course module or the Triangle Fire book) in this assignment.
consider change over time
utilize Rule of Three organization
Imagine you are an American diplomat in 1970. You are part of a team sent to a strategic Third World country in hopes of making an alliance. Soviet diplomats have been
there before you and have suggested to the leaders of this Third World country that the United States should not be trusted as a partner because of how Americans treat
their own minority populations. You have been asked to provide a formal, written rebuttal to the Soviet claims.
After giving the matter some thought, you have decided to base your rebuttal on key changes in both foreign and domestic policy over the past 50 years to convince this
Third World country to join with the Americans as allies in the Cold War. You realize that you cannot simply “sugarcoat” things and be believable, therefore you plan
to provide a thoughtful response that does admit inequities in American society in addition to discussing ongoing changes and positive policies.
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 “good” and “bad” aspects of American society and policy. When looking at the “good,” ask yourself why they are good for the purposes of this rebuttal, how would
non-Americans perceive things? When looking at the “bad” (which is what the Soviets used against us in the Cold War, as well as the Nazis in WWII, as propaganda),
consider change over time. Are there groups working toward ameliorating the bad? Are public policy changes taking place, even if at a slow pace? Or is nothing being
done? Admitting injustices while discussing efforts at reform may be enough to sway someone to your side.
One way to organize would be along the lines of first discussing domestic socio-economic issues, followed by domestic political issues, and finally foreign policies in
the era under discussion. Remember that each of these elements of the overall argument would have its own paragraph and thesis (the rule of three)
Note 2: This is a real-life situation, there was a fight for the hearts and minds of the world. The Cold War is an ideological (and sometimes hot) battle over two
socio-economic/political systems and 1970 is in the heart of the Cold War. Who will be the victor was not yet clear. Most of the Third World nations courted by the
United States were not European, therefore how the US treated minorities would be a cause for concern. But these nations would also have very real geopolitical
considerations beyond American domestic policy to consider. The Soviet propaganda was meant as a wedge. Also remember that no nation or society is perfect, that is not
what you are arguing here. In your persona as a diplomat from 1970, you are giving an honest assessment of the US, warts and all, in hopes of gaining an ally.
THE “RULE OF THREE”
You will need to use an analytical writing style in this class. The basic form of analytical writing utilizes the “Rule of Three.” Simply, there should be at least
three key points/pieces of evidence in a piece of writing introduced by a strong clear thesis.
This is a 2-3 page essay length assignment. Your paper should begin with an Introduction which sets the prompt in the historical context, the LAST sentence of the
intro paragraph is the thesis statement which lists the (minimum of) three points (X,Y,Z) that will be more fully developed in the paper. The first paragraph of the
body (paragraph 2) would discuss key point X (this paragraph would have its own thesis as the first sentence, followed by three pieces of evidence/analysis in
support), then a paragraph on Y, and finally one on Z. An essay ends with a conclusion paragraph – which sums up the argument you made and ties X, Y, and Z together.
The conclusion is NOT the place to introduce new arguments or evidence.
Another way of thinking about it is that an essay is comprised of three paragraphs in the body of similar composition to the one paragraph you wrote in the Reaction 1
So Rule of Three means three key points in a thesis, a body with three paragraphs (one for each of your key points), each paragraph has a thesis supported by three key
pieces of evidence. Followed by a conclusion.
All information you need to respond to the prompt is contained within the materials assigned in the 1312 course module. I want you to react to the assigned materials.
DO NOT DO OUTSIDE RESEARCH or seek your answer on the internet.
I also want to know what YOU think, therefore DO NOT DIRECTLY QUOTE SECONDARY SOURCE MATERIALS. Most students use quotes as fillers, this is unacceptable in a college
history course and does not reflect upon YOUR understanding of the topic at hand. The only acceptable use of a quote is a short (phrase or sentence) quotation from a
primary source document (properly identified and cited) that you immediately discuss and is part of your analysis.
PRIMARY SOURCE = Something produced in the historical era under study
SECONDARY SOURCE = Something produced at a later date. A history textbook, a documentary film, etc.
How the Assignment is Graded
The assignment is worth up to 100 points. The following factors are taken into account when I grade:
THESIS – Do you have a well thought out and clear thesis?
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. You must provide a MINIMUM of THREE pieces of evidence in support of your argument.
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 to earn a point. However, the following sentences would earn a point:
“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.”
You should have a minimum of three pieces of evidence in support of your thesis (each point of the thesis needs at least one piece of evidence in support). There are
three possible points here, one for each piece of evidence.
HISTORICAL ACCURACY, CLARITY, AND LOGIC
Is your argument clear and does it make sense? Is it historically accurate? Does your evidence prove your point?
Have you properly cited? Have you used the format required in this course (modified Turabian). You must also FOOTNOTE (see information about creating a footnote in
Word given at the beginning of the course). Parenthetical cites are NOT allowed. No research allowed, so no outside sources.
GRAMMAR AND SPELLING
Is the journal entry up to college standards for grammar and spelling?
A = 90-100. Exceptional in all aspects noted above
B = 80-89. Above average in most of the aspects noted above
C = 70-79. Average work
D = 60-69. Below average work
F = 0-59 Unacceptable college level work
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