Discussion Forum 8
Using the readings and the class lecture, reflect on the idea of “postmodernism.” What are the key themes in the postmodern approach? Where have you observed the influence of postmodern thinking in our culture?
Response Paper 2 Instructions (Due Week 8)
Paper Due: Week 8
Length: 3-4 pages
For this paper, you will have your choice of four separate topics. Select 1 of these topics to write a 3-4 page paper on.
For each of these papers, you should consider the textbook, the primary source documents, and the course lectures in shaping your response. Also, most of the questions provide at least one additional document for you to consider.
Papers must make direct reference to course readings and lecture material. Failure to do so will result in a substantively lower grade evaluation. Please note that random internet sources are no substitute for the quality readings and lecture materials provided in this course.
You may find it convenient to write the paper in the week that the material is covered. You can upload your paper early, but you must submit this paper by the end of Week 8.
1. In thinking about the European enlightenments, we can see that they generated new attitudes to the world and to humans. One example where these attitudes came through was with the Lisbon Earthquake (mentioned in the selection from Voltaire’s Candide) In addition to the course readings, consider Voltaire’s “
Poem on the Lisbon Disaster
,” John Wesley’s
“Some Serious Thoughts Occasioned by the Late Earthquake at Lisbon,”
and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s
“Letter to Voltaire.”
How do these writers take different positions in responding to the Lisbon Earthquake and tidal wave? What do they stress? How do their responses help us understand the countercurrents of the 18th century?
2. Using all course materials, compare and contrast the American and French Revolutions. Should they be considered more as similar to or different from one another? You might find it useful to think about their origins, ideas, course of development, and results.
3. Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were both noted for their leadership in the 1930s and 1940s. Another example of leadership comes from
Dwight D. Eisenhower, the American General
. How do these speeches demonstrate leadership? What strategies of rhetoric do they employ to gain support? How do they set immediate events in a larger context? What are their ultimate goals?
4. In thinking about the Cold War clash between the West and Communism, consider authors such as George Kennan, Ronald Reagan, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Also consider the commentary provided by Whittaker Chambers in his book Witness [available on the Course Page]. How do these figures reflect on the nature of the USSR? What was at stake in the Cold War? What choices were presented to the world in the middle of the Twentieth Century?
Style: Papers should be typed and double-spaced. Set the margins at a width of 1-inch, and use a reasonable font (Calibri or Times New Roman). Please paginate your paper.
Citation: Please cite according to one of two formats. You may use either Chicago/Turabian Style or MLA Style. MLA Style uses parenthetical citations, while Chicago style uses footnotes. Those using Chicago Style should consult Kate Turabian’s A Manual for Writers, 8th edition and follow the Notes-Bibliography format for information on footnotes. Although many students are more familiar with MLA style, be aware that Chicago/Turabian is standard for research and writing in the discipline of History.
Late Papers: As indicated in the syllabus, for every day a paper is late, it will be marked down ½ letter-grade (e.g., A to A-). The professor will not accept a paper that is more than 7 days late.
Page Count: Page count does not include the bibliography or a title page (which is not required). Since you will be using multiple sources, you should include a bibliography.
Filename: To submit your paper, please title it “HIS1009.ResponsePaper2.<your last name>”where you insert your last name. So: HIS1009.ResponsePaper2.Smith .
Grading: A good paper will consist of a clear thesis, good supporting evidence (including both direct quotations and indirect references from the readings), and a method of argument which is easy to follow. It will also be free of grammatical problems. I am not interested that you come up with a “right” answer but that you argue your case clearly and effectively. I will be looking for how you engage with, interpret, and (if necessary) argue with the sources.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism will not be tolerated. The paper is expected to be of your own writing. Any paper proven to be plagiarized will receive a 0 grade and could lead to failure for the course.
For more information about plagiarism, I highly recommend that before writing this paper you walk through the plagiarism tutorial available from the Berntsen Resource Center. Go to the library’s “Guides” page at
. Then, select the “Plagiarism Tutorials” link.