5 sample papers

UCSB Hist 2c: World History, 1700-present
2006 Sample Papers
Index Page

course taught by Professor Harold Marcuse
(Prof's homepage, Course homepage, Events page)
page created June 5, 2006, updated 6/6/06

Why Sample Papers?
(with three assignment goals)
2006 Paper
See also:
Events Page with FAQ
See also:
2003 Sample Papers

Each of the following papers is on a separate page.
Paper 1, by S.M.:
Maathai & Green Belt
Paper 2, by J.S.:
Maathai & Green Belt
Paper 3, by J.A.:
McKiernan on Kurds
Paper 4, by M.H.:
Film After Innocence
Paper 5, by L.P.:
Film Shape of Water
superb background research;
use of EIEIO thin
excellent all-around,
but on the long side
(slight redundancies)
best summary
with analysis,
grammar a bit rough
great background
research & application
of paradigm concept
top-notch research, best in considering multiple perspectives

Why Sample Papers? (back to top)

This page links to five sample papers that students wrote for my Spring 2006 offering of "World History, 1700-present." To provide students with models of good papers, I decided to hold a prize competition for the best papers, for a total of $50 in bookstore gift certificates.
The procedure: Each of the five TAs submitted 3-4 of the best papers they received (from about 230 total), and I selected these five as best realizing my goals for the assignment. What are those goals?

  • Goal 1: Use history to better understand current events. Since History 2c ("World History, 1700-present") satisfies the UC Santa Barbara General Education "Culture and Thought" requirement and may thus be one of only two history courses many students will take at UCSB, I think that it is important that students relate what they learn in the course to ongoing events and discussion in the world around us. I think that basing this paper assignment on campus events occurring during the quarter is a good way to ensure this.
  • Goal 2: How to conduct research. At the core of all disciplines is the need to gather information (conduct research), and then analyze and interpret it. Students must thus go beyond merely recapitulating the arguments of the event, and also assess the validity or biases of the evidence presented there. This is a key skill not only for historians, but for all informed citizens.
  • Goal 3: How to present one's results in writing. A core skill to be learned in college is how to present one's research results to others. In this course the first paper assignment (an examination of the arguments in Olaudah Equiano's anti-slavery autobiography) is an examination of someone else's attempt to inform his audience of his analysis and insights. For this second paper students must research and present their own results. The submission of a draft and a final version offers the opportunity to learn from the comments and improve the final product.

The 2006 Assignment (from the 2006 syllabus) (back to top)

  1. Event/book analysis. (At least 1000 words, ca. 4 pages)
    Attend several of the outside events listed on the course web site (or others approved by your TA). Write a paragraph or two summarizing one of them, including what the authorís intention(s) and arguments were. Do some background research on the author or topic, so that you can put it into (a historical) context. Use concepts and arguments from this course to analyze the film or talk, and try to relate the film/talk/performance to one or more of the topics of the course. What insights have you gained by applying what you have learned in this course?
    • Draft: 10%; due Tuesday May 23, 11am.
    • Rewrite: 10%; due June 8 in lecture. In this version you will incorporate suggestions made by your TA on your draft. In order to receive credit, you must attach the draft version to it! You should be able to present and discuss your essay in section.

Paper 1, by S.M.:
Maathai & Green Belt
Paper 2, by J.S.:
Maathai & Green Belt
Paper 3, by J.A.: McKiernan on Kurds
Paper 4, by M.H.:
Film After Innocence
Paper 5, by L.P.:
Film Shape of Water

prepared for web by Harold Marcuse, June 5, 2006, last updated: see header
back to top, Hist 2c Course homepage, 2c Events page