History Paper

A history position paper is a point of view paper based on analysis and supporting evidence.  It presents one side of an arguable opinion about an issue. The goal of a position paper is to convince the audience that your opinion is valid, defensible, and worth listening to. 

For this assignment, you need to select a topic from the list below, develop your argument/thesis, analyze the issue, and cite sources.  The paper should be a minimum of 300 words. 

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The following are guidelines for your paper:

Selecting a Topic

To take a side on a subject, you should first select a topic that is controversial, manageable, and contains distinctive opposing views.  Please select from the list below.

Developing an Argument

Once your topic is selected, you should do some study and research on the subject matter.  You need then develop an argument or a thesis, analyze the issue, making sure that your position is well supported with both pro and con sides of the topic and sufficient evidence for both sides.  You may find supporting evidence in books, articles, and primary sources that can be located in our class and online sources, particularly SCC library catalogue and electric databases.  

Organizing the Paper

In organizing the paper, you need to develop an outline that include a brief introduction, counter argument, your argument, and conclusion.  

Introduction: The Introduction should introduce the topic and its significance.  It should assert your thesis or your view of the issue.  This paragraph is your thesis statement with both your opinion and your approach to the issue so that the reader is interested in what you have to say.
Analysis: This section includes two parts— opposing opinion and your argument. In presenting the opposing opinions, you need to summarize the counter argument, and refuting those claims with supporting evidence.  It is critical to show that your argument is more valid than opposing arguments with analysis and evidence.  It is expected that you provide evidence for each position using more than one source.  In-text citations are required. 
Conclusion: The conclusion paragraph is to restate your argument and discusses its implications.

Citing Sources

Source citations are important for the position paper.  It should include at least two in-text source citations and a selected bibliography.  It is up to you to choose which style, MLA, APA, or Chicago Manual of Style (sometimes referred to as Turabian). 

Take a position on one of the following statements:

The colonization by Europeans of underdeveloped regions of the world was justified and in the long run a good thing for the natives of these underdeveloped regions.  
Nationalism gets a bad rap and is a good thing. 

Child labor was a good thing.  The ideas of the times were to make money and children were cheaper than adults.  So, it was logical and right.
The concept of Social Darwinism has little connection to the ideas of Darwinism (related to science).  
Rousseau’s concept of the social contract are the basis of a democracy and can only exist in a democracy.

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