SOURCE ANALYSIS PAPER
Please note the links at the bottom of assignment that leads to the document set that you will need. Please make sure you read the instructions and understand what you’re supposed to be doing!
Please upload your paper to the assignment dropbox using only .pdf or .doc/docx format. If you upload it in another format, I will not be able to make comments and possibly will not be able to view it.
The essay should be approximately 1000-1500 words. Please use one inch margins and double-space or space and a half. Make sure the title of your essay clearly refers to the specific question you’re addressing. In writing the essay make sure you have a clear introduction, main body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Make sure that you support all main points with brief quotes taken from the primary source evidence and that you cite your sources. Citations should be in the form of a parenthetical note after the quote indicating the author and date of publication (unless otherwise noted below). You should have a bibliography at the end of your paper with all the source documents you used.
Debate over the Intervention in Vietnam
By the beginning of the 1960s the United States had been indirectly engaged in Vietnam for some time. However, American involvement had been extremely limited. In 1964, with the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, the United States formally began to ramp up its commitment of troops. Even as the decision was being made there were doubts about whether this was the right choice for our country, and these doubts grew over time.
In an essay of 1000 to 1500 words compare and contrast the key arguments in these documents for and against American intervention in Vietnam. Overall, which side do you think presents a better case? You should provide at least three points of comparison (argument versus counter-argument).
Your arguments should be clearly supported by brief quotes taken from the primary source documents provided. This is NOT a research assignment — use only the documents provided.
I will have written assignments graded within one to two weeks of the due date. I make comments on the midterm essay and the primary source analysis paper, however, I’m not able to make comments on the final essay since I have to turn around the course grade very quickly. If you wish me to give you feedback on your final essay after the course if over, please e-mail me.
Essays will be graded on the following criteria:
I. Organization (how well you structure your argument)
- You should have an introductory paragraph that briefly summarizes your answer to the question.
- The body of the essay should be logically organized to support your argument. Usually a topical organization is best. For instance, if the question asks you to talk about economics, politics, and social structure, a logical form of organization would be to have a paragraph on economics, a paragraph on politics, etc.
- Each paragraph in the body should begin with a clear topic sentence. A topic sentence indicates the main point you’re making in that paragraph. As a general rule of thumb, never start a paragraph with a statement of fact or a quote. Your paragraph should stay focused on proving that central point. For instance, if you indicate in your topic sentence thatyou will be making an argument about politics, don’t wander off into talking about economics.
- Your essay should have a clear conclusion that summarizes the main points of your argument (your answer to the question)
II. Use of Evidence (how well you support your argument with historical facts)
- Key assertions should be supported by specific historical facts rather than generalizations.
- Evidence should be integrated into the argument. Just throwing out facts is not enough – you need to explain HOW the facts help prove your argument.
- Facts should be CORRECT and RELEVANT. The first point is obvious. In the second case, students often dump a large quantity of facts into a paper without any regard to whether they relate to answering the question. This indicates that the student doesn’t really understand the significance of the evidence.
III. Overall Effectiveness of the Argument (Does your answer make historical sense)
- The essay should actually make an analytical argument, not just provide a narration of events. In history we look at not just WHAT happened in the past, but WHY it happened and WHY it’s significant.
- All elements of the question should be addressed. If the question has two components and you only address one, that’s not a complete answer.
Overall, the essay should reflect a good understanding of the historical material being discussed