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Writing Across the Curriculum

History 1                                                                Professor Shackelford

Fall 1998


Due Thursday, October 29

Choose ONE of the following topics for your essay.  Your paper must conform to the formatting requirements set out below.  Read the questions carefully.  They are all based on our readings in McKay, A History of World Societies.

PAPER TOPIC #1:  The year is 250 B.C.  As an official to the royal court of King Ashoka, you have been ordered to report on the state of the world outside India.  Because your budget will allow you to visit only two cities, you decide to focus on Rome and Alexandria.  Write a 5- to 7-page essay describing life in these two cities at this particular point in time.  Your essay should address such areas as political structure, religion, slavery, and family life.  What do these societies have in common?  How do they compare to Indian society in 250 B.C.?  In your opinion, are they more or less advanced than Indian society, and why?  If you wish, you may write your essay in the first-person voice; however, it should still be written in standard essay form (i.e., introduction, description, conclusion).

PAPER TOPIC #2:  Write a 5- to 7-page essay comparing and contrasting life in Athens in 450 B.C. with life in Rome in 100 B.C. from the perspective of ALL of the following people:

Wealthy aristocrats

What political power did wealthy people have in each society and how had that power changed over time?  Did the status of women improve in Rome, and, if so, why?  Would a slave have been better off in Athens or Rome and why?

PAPER TOPIC #3:  The year is 2010 A.D.  You have just volunteered to participate in a scientific experiment that will send you back in time.  You have been given a choice of the following dates and places as your destination:

Athens in 450 B.C.
Pataliputra in 250 B.C.
Xianyang in the year 0

Write a 5- to 7-page essay explaining which destination you would choose and why.  In constructing your answer, you should include a discussion of what would be going on in that particular society at that particular time, and what role you would be likely to have in that society (keeping in mind that your sex [male or female] will be determinative).  To answer this question completely, you MUST also explain why you did NOT choose the other two destinations, using the same criteria.

PLEASE NOTE: NO READINGS OTHER THAN THE TEXTBOOK ARE ALLOWED.  These are analytical questions that ask you not only to provide information from the textbook but also to THINK about what that information means in terms of answering the question you have chosen.

Papers must be written IN YOUR OWN WORDS.  Do not quote from the textbook; instead, SUMMARIZE and PARAPHRASE the information the textbook provides.  Copying text word-for-word from the textbook is plagiarism.  PAPERS THAT CONTAIN PLAGIARISM WILL BE RETURNED TO YOU UNGRADED.

Papers are due IN CLASS on Thursday, October 29.  Late papers will be accepted but will be dropped one full grade for each class meeting they are late.  Like your first paper, these papers may be revised and resubmitted for grading as many times as you wish up to Thursday, December 10.

Formatting Requirements for Papers

Papers must be typewritten, double spaced, with one-inch margins on top, bottom and sides (not including page number).  The type font must be not less than 10 point or more than 12 point (in other words, similar in size to the type font on this page).

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