1) Think Piece (20% of your final mark): By the beginning of class on February 14, you will submit through the Moodle a reflective paper in which you will place American, French and Latin American revolutions into a comparative perspective. Specifically, you will have to consider the following questions: What were the most important similarities and differences between these revolutions in terms of their causes, manifestations and outcomes? In what respect did the Latin American revolutions reproduce the Northern American pattern and in what way did they depart from it? How did the American and the French revolutions affect modern politics, society and culture? What were the most important similarities and differences between their impact?
The purpose of this assignment is to help you develop your argumentative writing skills as well as an ability to approach historical phenomena in a comparative perspective. You are not expected to analyze primary sources for this assignment. However, you have to demonstrate an ability to use relevant secondary sources in support of your argument. I expect you above all to cite the textbook and the additional readings that I uploaded to the Moodle. You may also use other relevant scholarly sources (books, book chapters, journal articles, but not websites!). Although historians usually follow the Chicago style of citation, you are free to follow any major citation style as long as you do so consistently. Do not use personal pronouns and adjectives (I,me, we, my). Type your assignment double-spaced, using 12-point font. The think piece should not exceed 1000 words and will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:
1. Engagement with the readings
(I will be looking at how attentively you read the textbook and how well you use it in your think piece.)
2. Coverage of the main aspects of the topic
(Here you will have to make sure that your think piece addresses all the above-mentioned questions and does so in an even manner.)
(Here I will be looking at the number and accuracy of details that you offer in order to illustrate your argument.)
4. Structure and style
(Make sure that your think piece has an introductory and a concluding paragraph and that all your paragraphs have a topic sentence and a number of supporting sentences. I will also be looking at your choice of words and the overall editing of your text.)
A perfect think piece will earn five points under each of these four aspects.