American Modernization

Paper 3Write a short paper (1200-1300 words, approx. 4 pages, double spaced) with a thesis statement and argument in response to the prompt below. Due Monday, December 11, 11:59pm. This paper requires that you interpret primary source evidence in historical context, drawing from assigned course readings. In this case, you will be generating your own primary source evidence, by conducting an interview, and then you will put the results of the interview in dialogue with secondary sources. Your paper must: closely analyze and describe interview material using specifics and detailsuse secondary source texts for evidence about the historical contextselect evidence to prove a thesisdraw conclusions beyond those that are immediately obvious from the evidencewrite a paper that has a clear thesis, evidence organized into logical paragraphs, and a conclusionuse correctly formatted footnote citations as described in the Footnote FAQ handout Topic: Assessing the Rise of President Trump Materials / Topics The secondary sources you are required to use for this option have been assigned as course materials in Week 15. To generate your primary source, conduct and record a 20 min. interview with a parent, family member, elder, friend, or community contact regarding his/her interpretations of Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency. What factors in his or her view contributed most to his election? What impression did Trump’s campaign promises, leadership style, public statements, or his policy positions make on your interviewee? How does he or she assess the legacy of the campaign on economics, foreign policy, migration, social issues, or other matters of interest? And does your interviewee see President Trump’s election as stemming from particular trends, patterns, or unresolved dilemmas in American history (if so, which ones?) or as something unexpected and new? Before conducting the interview, read the secondary sources assigned first and use them to help you generate a list of questions you plan to ask beforehand. Once the interview begins, feel free to let the conversation wander if productive. Primary sources: [Interviewee Full Name], interview with author, [Date], [City, State]. Secondary sources: [available on Blackboard, under Week 15.] Use at least two. Michael Kazin, “Trump and American Populism,” Foreign Affairs, October 6, 2016, Alex MacGillis, “The Despair of Poor White Americans,” Atlantic Monthly, September 2016, Ta-Nehesi Coates, “The First White President,” Atlantic Monthly, October 2017,… Prompt A: President Donald Trump was elected in 2016 as an unlikely candidate pledging to put “America First” and disrupt politics as usual. But if this populist, anti-establishment message resonated with one portion of the electorate, others (including in the Republican Party) saw Trump as deeply polarizing, unfit for office, not prepared for the job, and/or willing to openly or tacitly embrace bigotry in pursuit of votes. While some voters celebrated him for purportedly “telling it like it is” (political correctness be damned), others disparaged Trump’s loose relationship to the truth. And if for some voters Trump’s off-the-cuff remarks bolstered his “anti-establishment” credentials, others saw him as the most establishment character of all: a real estate mogul disconnected from the experiences of everyday Americans who bended the tax code to his own benefit. Drawing on the assigned magazine articles from Week 15 and the results of the interview you conduct, write a paper that provides your initial assessment of Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency. In what ways did his campaign succeed in capturing the imagination of American voters? In what ways might it have failed? What role did factors such as race, class, economic dislocation, gender, and/or style play in Trump’s election? And how do the assessments of the secondary readings on this score map onto the assessments offered by your interviewee? Where do they differ? Finally, should we interpret Trump’s rise as a break from American historical traditions? Or did his campaign bring to the fore ideas, impulses, or patterns that are as “American” as apple pie? Important Notes The argument of your paper should be a detailed and specific response to the above prompt, rooted in a close analysis of the interview you conduct and a clear explanation of the context drawn from the assigned secondary source readings. In analyzing the results of your interview, be sure to consider pertinent facts about the individual that would help the reader understand his or her views. These might include details about economic status, employment, immigration experience, etc. This is not an Editorial or Opinion Piece. All historical writing involves interpretation. But you must base your interpretations on the evidence you collect and with which you are provided. Though your interviewee will be known to you, treat him/her in your writing as you would a formal interview subject. In other words, avoid writing in the first person. [For example, “Ms. Dorothy Jones recalls the Trump campaign as inspiring …” rather than “My mom told me that she hated Trump from the get-go.” The instruction to record your interview means to do more than take notes. It means to record it. Most smart phones and tablets have a recording ability. (The Voice Memos option on Iphones, for example.) Or, there are tons of free Voice Recorder aps you can download. Record the interview so you can listen back to it and quote from it directly, just as you would quote from a written source. If you prefer to conduct your interview in a language other than English, you are welcome to do so. However, when writing the paper, translate any quotes from the interview you wish to cite into English. Formatting Requirements for Both Options Typed, double-spaced, 12 pt-font, 1″ margins1200-1300 words; or about 4 double-spaced pages NOT including footnotesInclude a header (single-spaced) that lists your name, your Panther ID, the course number, and the dateUse footnote citations, including page numbers where possible (see Footnote FAQ handout for step-by-step instructions). You do NOT need to include a bibliography or works cited page!Review for errors of spelling and grammar—this is a formal written report! I recommend using the advanced spelling and grammar check functions in MS Word.Submit the paper online using the appropriate turnitin link on Blackboard; turnitin is plagiarism detection software.Use quote marks and correct footnote citations with page numbers (where possible) to protect yourself from being accused of plagiarism Paper Organization Your paper must include an introduction, several distinct body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Your introduction should not begin with broad, overly general statements, but instead should introduce the specific time, place, and topic you are writing about. Do not assume that your reader knows anything about the history you are describing. Your introduction should also include a) a thesis statement that interprets your primary source within the historical context, and b) an overview of how the remainder of your paper will be organized (a “roadmap” for your reader). Your body paragraphs should each be organized around a main idea, and should offer evidence to support that main idea. Be sure that your paragraphs each have a topic sentence. Check to be sure that all of the evidence you offer in the paragraph relates to and supports that topic sentence. Your conclusion should summarize your ideas and suggest connections to course themes. Getting Help on the Assignment Unless you happen to live with a history professor or graduate student, you probably won’t be able to get good help at home. Your cousin, uncle, mom, or best friend might be able to tell you whether you have spelling and typographical errors. They may be able to help you pinpoint places where your organization could be improved. But in all likelihood they will not know what makes a good history paper. For that reason, your first stop should be the Teaching Assistsant, Student Assistant, or Professor of this course. Remember that a good history paper does not necessarily look like a good paper for an English, Criminology, Philosophy, or Psychology class. Every discipline has its own conventions. To succeed on this paper, you should re-familiarize yourself with what history papers are like. For descriptions of how to approach assignments like this, revisit Mary Lynn Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History, excerpts from Chapter 4 (posted on Blackboard under Writing Resources). The History Department offers free tutoring for students working on history papers. This is available 5 days per week. Call 305-348-2328 or email You may also visit the professor and/or Teaching Assistants during drop-in office hours.

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