Second World War
World War II:
What factors contributed to the outbreak of the Second World War?
Why did appeasement fail to preserve peace in the 1930s? Was it a rational and viable policy?
What impact did the Great Depression have on international relations?
Why was Nazi Germany militarily successful in the first two years of the Second World War?
Compare and contrast the American and Soviet contributions to the allied victory in World War II?
Writing your Research Essay
Bibliography and sources must be obtained from the websites provided in attachments, at least 8 sources
Creating a Thesis Statement:
A thesis is a broad, all-encompassing idea that defines the central argument of your essay. It links all the themes, arguments and issues of your analysis, and provides unity. Your thesis is the answer to the most significant question that you have asked about your topic. It is also one of the most difficult components of an essay so take time to develop it.
You must state your thesis (main argument) concisely in one or two sentences. Try to be specific. Explain concisely what you think your argument will be. Avoid ambiguous terms, vague concepts and circuitous arguments. Make your thesis definite and to the point. It takes a lot of time and effort to refine your thesis to the point where every word counts and there are no unnecessary words or expressions.
It helps to formulate a central question which arises in your mind after examining the main issues. Then, try to answer your question by stating a hypothesis or interpretation – in other words, your thesis.
Developing an Outline:
Create a detailed outline-< /span> a blueprint of the main ideas that you want to use in your essay. Such a step in the writing process is critical especially for longer research papers. An outline will help you create a structure within which you examine the materials you have collected. You have to present information in a clear, linear and logical manner. A detailed outline will certainly help you execute these steps successfully. Remember, the more detailed your outline will be, the easier it will be for you to write the actual essay.
An outline will also help you organize information in a cohesive and comprehensive manner. It can help you deal with what might otherwise feel like an overwhelming amount of information. Consider the following questions: What will you examine first? What will be the main sections of your paper?
You need to have an introduction (in which you introduce the general topic and your specific thesis), a number of central arguments and a strong conclusion (summarizing your main points). Be sure to spend time on a well-written introduction, which captures the reader’s attention (you can always use an interesting quotation to do this) and a conclusion, which will make an impact on the reader. It is also a good idea to outline the structure of your essay in the introduction so that the reader knows exactly where you are heading with your ideas. The easiest way to achieve this is to list all your arguments. This will create guidelines for the reader.
Having this essential structure will enable you to remain focused and on track, preventing unnecessary digressions from your central argument. Think about using subheadings for different themes or time periods as they facilitate the flow of the essay, marking the beginnings and endings of sections.
Although this is often seen as a matter of personal taste, some basics have to be kept in mind. Avoid excessive verbosity and wordiness; keep your sentences short and to the point. You do not need to use highly technical language to impress the reader. Really, your thoughts are more important and you should choose the most effective way of conveying them. At the same time, be careful not to use slang words.
Avoid run-on sentences. A good rule-of-thumb to follow is that if the sentence is too long for you to read aloud and understand its entirety, it is probably too long for your essay.
Inappropriate paragraphing can detract from your ability to express yourself to your reader. Your narrative must be divided into proper paragraphs. Avoid paragraphs that are too long, encompassing several arguments and running across many pages, or that are too short, constituting a sentence or two.
Last but not least, you should proofread your work at least once in order to detect mistakes in grammar, spelling and style. Spelling mistakes, incorrect punctuation, or awkward sentence construction can hinder the flow of even the most brilliant ideas. Once you are finished with a draft, put it aside for a couple of days and then reread it for content and style. Get a friend or a family member to read over your work and give you some constructive feedback.
You are being graded not only on your knowledge of the facts but also your critical interpretation of them. In other words, the information and examples you cite in your essay should be accurate. Moreover, you should be able to interpret this information to formulate a central argument (as opposed to the regurgitation approach). It is not enough for you to simply list events chronologically or to describe them. You need to develop some sort of a central argument or interpretation about those events.
A good way of checking the validity of the points you are making is to consider possible counter-arguments. Another popular method is to compare and contrast the different interpretations that you might have encountered in your research. How do various historians perceive a particular topic? What are the controversial aspects or issues of the topic? Is there agreement among scholars on a particular topic? Keep in mind that a simple chronological narrative will only reveal your ability to summarize.
An original essay will attempt to provide an innovative approach to the topic. There are many different ways of constructing your analysis. For example, you can organize your arguments thematically or by periodizing the events and revealing how they have changed (or stayed the same) over time. There is no formula for putting together a cohesive analysis as it is a matter of personal choice in terms of what you want to include or exclude, what you feel is important or irrelevant.
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