Trail of Tears

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HIS 200 Project 2 Guidelines and Rubric
Overview
History is for human self-knowledge . . . the only clue to what man can do is what man has done. The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has
done and thus what man is.
—R. G. Collingwood
Historical awareness informs various aspects of our lives. We live in a time of rapid change, and we often think more about the future than the past. However,
studying history can help us better understand our own lives in the context of the places we live and society in general. In America, specifically, the government is
informed by its citizens. If the ideals of society shift, that shift will eventually move throughout the different levels of government, effecting widespread change.
For the projects in this course, you will select a historical event that has impacted American society in some way. You may select an event that was discussed in
the course, or you may select your own event, with instructor approval. You may consider using the event you chose to work on in your Perspectives in History
class, if that event is something you wish to investigate further through this assessment.
In Project 1, you will develop a plan for an essay on this historical event. The plan will include a brief description of the selected historical event and the resources
you will use in your research. In addition, you will identify an audience for your essay and decide how to communicate your information to this audience. In
Project 2, you will write an essay analyzing the historical event you selected, examining its impact on society as well as its impact on you personally.
Project 2 addresses the following course outcomes:
 Illustrate the impact of historical thinking on personal and professional experiences
 Select appropriate and relevant primary and secondary sources in investigating foundational historic events
 Communicate effectively to specific audiences in examining fundamental aspects of human history
 Utilize historical evidence in drawing conclusions about the impact of historic events on American society
 Apply key approaches to studying history in addressing critical questions related to historical narratives and perspectives
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Prompt
Your historical analysis essay should answer the following prompt: Analyze the historical event you selected, using your writing plan as the basis for your
analysis. The following critical elements will be assessed in a 4- to 6-page word processing document.
I. Introduction: In this section of your essay, you will introduce your readers to the historical event you selected. Specifically, you should:
A. Provide a brief overview of your historical event. For instance, what background information or context does the reader of your essay need?
B. Based on your research question, develop a thesis statement that states your claim about the historical event you selected. Your thesis
statement should be clear, specific, and arguable, as it will give direction to the rest of your essay.
II. Body: You will use this section of your essay to provide further detail about your historical event while supporting the claim you made in your thesis
statement. Make sure to cite your sources. Specifically, you should:
A. Describe the causes of the historical event. In other words, what were the underlying factors that led to the historical event? Were there any
immediate causes that precipitated the event?
B. Illustrate the course of your historical event. In other words, tell the story or narrative of your event. Who were the important participants? What
did they do? Why? How do the perspectives of the key participants differ?
C. Describe the immediate and long-term consequences of the historical event for American society. In other words, how did the event impact
American society?
D. Discuss the historical evidence that supports your conclusions about the impact of the event on American society. Support your response with
specific examples from your sources.
III. Conclusion: In this section of your essay, you will discuss the impact of historical thinking. Specifically, you should:
A. Explain why this historical event is important to you personally. In other words, why did you select this event to research?
B. Illustrate how your research of the historical event impacted the way you thought about the event. In other words, how did thinking like a
historian change the lens through which you viewed the event? Support your response with specific examples.
C. Explain how a historian would pursue further study of your thesis statement. In other words, if a historian were to continue researching your
thesis statement, what would be the future directions or next steps?
IV. Provide a reference list that includes all of the primary and secondary sources you used to investigate your historical event and support your thesis
statement. Ensure that your list is formatted according to current APA guidelines (or another format, with instructor permission).
V. Communicate your message in a way that is tailored to your specific audience. For instance, you could consider your vocabulary, your audience’s
potential current knowledge of historical events, or lack thereof, and what is specifically important to the audience.
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Project 2 Rubric
Guidelines for Submission: Your historical analysis essay should adhere to the following formatting requirements: 4–6 pages, double-spaced, using 12-point
Times New Roman font and one-inch margins. You should use current APA-style guidelines (or another format approved by your instructor) for your citations
and reference list.
Critical Elements Exemplary Proficient Needs Improvement Not Evident Value
Introduction:
Overview
Meets “Proficient” criteria, and
response expertly balances
necessary detail with brevity
(100%)
Provides brief overview of
historical event (85%)
Provides brief overview of
historical event, but with gaps
in detail or clarity (55%)
Does not provide brief
overview of historical event
(0%)
8.6
Introduction: Thesis
Statement
Meets “Proficient” criteria, and
response demonstrates keen
insight into historical event
(100%)
Develops clear, specific, and
arguable thesis statement that
states claim about historical
event based on research
question (85%)
Develops thesis statement that
states claim about historical
event, but thesis statement is
not based on research question
or lacks clarity or specificity or
is not arguable (55%)
Does not develop thesis
statement that states claim
about historical event (0%)
8.6
Body: Causes Meets “Proficient” criteria, and
response demonstrates insight
into key approaches to studying
history (100%)
Describes the causes of
historical event, citing source(s)
(85%)
Describes the causes of
historical event, but with gaps
in detail, accuracy, clarity, or
citation (55%)
Does not describe the causes of
historical event (0%)
8.6
Body: Course Meets “Proficient” criteria, and
response demonstrates insight
into key approaches to studying
history (100%)
Illustrates course of historical
event, citing source(s) (85%)
Illustrates course of historical
event, but with gaps in detail,
accuracy, clarity, or citation
(55%)
Does not illustrate course of
historical event (0%)
8.6
Body: Consequences Meets “Proficient” criteria, and
response demonstrates insight
into relationship between
historical event and American
society (100%)
Describes immediate and longterm consequences of historical
event for American society,
citing source(s) (85%)
Describes immediate and longterm consequences of historical
event for American society, but
with gaps in detail, accuracy,
clarity, or citation (55%)
Does not describe immediate
and long-term consequences of
historical event for American
society (0%)
8.6
Bod y: Evidence Meets “Proficient” criteria, and
response demonstrates strong
understanding of how to use
historical evidence in drawing
conclusions about the impact of
historic events on American
society (100%)
Discusses historical evidence
that supports conclusions
about impact of event on
American society, citing
source(s) and providing specific
examples (85%)
Discusses historical evidence
that supports conclusions
about impact of event on
American society, but with gaps
in detail, support, or citation
(55%)
Does not discuss historical
evidence that supports
conclusions about impact of
event on American society (0%)
8.6
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Conclusion:
Personally
Meets “Proficient” criteria, and
explanation demonstrates keen
insight into impact of history on
personal experiences (100%)
Explains why historical event is
important personally (85%)
Explains why historical event is
important personally, but with
gaps in clarity or detail (55%)
Does not explain why historical
event is important personally
(0%)
8.6
Conclusion: Research Meets “Proficient” criteria, and
response demonstrates insight
into relationship between event
and historical thinking (100%)
Illustrates how research of
historical event impacted
thinking about event,
supporting response with
specific examples (85%)
Illustrates how research of
historical event impacted
thinking about event, but
response has gaps in clarity,
detail, or support (55%)
Does not illustrate how
research of historical event
impacted thinking about event
(0%)
8.6
Conclusion: Historian Meets “Proficient” criteria, and
response demonstrates
understanding of historical
thinking (100%)
Explains how a historian would
pursue further study of thesis
statement (85%)
Explains how a historian would
pursue further study of thesis
statement but with gaps in
clarity, detail, or logic (55%)
Does not explain how a
historian would pursue further
study of thesis statement (0%)
8.6
Reference List Provides reference list that
includes all primary and
secondary sources used to
investigate historical event and
support thesis statement,
formatting list according to
current APA guidelines (100%)
Provides reference list that
includes all primary and
secondary sources used to
investigate historical event and
support thesis statement, but
list has gaps in adherence to
current APA formatting
guidelines (55%)
Does not provide reference list
that includes all primary and
secondary sources used to
investigate historical event and
support thesis statement (0%)
8.6
Message Meets “Proficient” criteria, and
presentation demonstrates
understanding of effectively
communicating with specific
audiences (100%)
Communicates message
effectively in a way that is
tailored to specific audience
(85%)
Communicates message to
audience, but communication is
not effective or is not tailored
to specific audience (55%)
Does not communicate
message to audience (0%)
8.6
Articulation of
Response
Submission is free of errors
related to citations, grammar,
spelling, syntax, and
organization and is presented in
a professional and easy-to-read
format (100%)
Submission has no major errors
related to citations, grammar,
spelling, syntax, or organization
(85%)
Submission has major errors
related to citations, grammar,
spelling, syntax, or organization
that negatively impact
readability and articulation of
main ideas (55%)
Submission has critical errors
related to citations, grammar,
spelling, syntax, or organization
that prevent understanding of
ideas (0%)
5.4
Total 100%

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