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Assignment #2: Civilization Comparison. Week 8 (25% of Course Grade)

You will compare and contrast one aspect of two civilizations that we discuss in this course. You will choose any two civilizations. They can be from any chapter that we are discussing. After you choose the civilizations, look at their social, political, scientific, technological, economic, religious, or military characteristics. Choose one of these features, research how each of your civilizations developed the specific topic you are researching further. You will then compare and contrast them. To do this, you will look at the ways they are similar, and then discuss how they differ and why. Remember, for a compare and contrast paper, you must address the same elements and characteristics of each civilization and discuss them from each side.

Your introduction must have a strong thesis statement. I like what the Writing Center at the University of North Carolina has to say on this:

Example Topic:
You could compare the scientific capabilities of the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. To create a successful paper, you would discuss the significance placed on science within each of these cultures, leading practitioners, relevant success and failures, the overall respective contributions of science to each of these nations, and the impact of science on the Cold War itself.

For any topic you choose, think critically about what you are discussing and the role it played in these nations, and choose accordingly.

Technical and Formatting Requirements:
With this assignment, you will learn how to do proper and adequate research and write a short paper with a central thesis statement.

This paper is at least FIVE double-spaced pages of text (Times New Roman, font size 12), not including bibliography or title page, and you must consult a minimum of FIVE sources. These sources breakdown as follows:

a. TWO primary sources which include one for each of the civilizations/nations you are comparing and contrasting. As a reminder, a primary source “is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event.”
b. TWO scholarly secondary sources which include one for each of the civilizations you are comparing and contrasting. This means peer reviewed journals or books from reputable publishers as found in the APUS library. What is a secondary source? “A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources. These sources are one or more steps removed from the event.” This means peer reviewed journals or books from reputable publishers as found in the APUS library. Like the JSTOR database. This DOES NOT mean web sites.
c. Our class readings should be used to supplement these sources, but they should not be the main focus of your work, and they are not counted in the two primary and secondary sources you need to research.

To use our example from above, if you wanted primary sources you might use the article by Don K. Price on “The Deficiencies on the National Science Foundation Bill” as published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in October 1947. This can be found:

Secondary sources would be recent journal articles by historians analyzing science in the Cold War. This means peer reviewed journals or books from reputable publishers as found in the APUS library. One example is Alexander Vucinich’s 2001 book entitled Einstein and Soviet Ideology. Another example is Jessica Wang’s 199 book, American Science in an Age of Anxiety: Scientists, Anticommunism, and the Cold War.

Bibliographies and citations will be in the format followed by your school, such as Chicago Manual of Style, APA, or MLA format.

The short paper needs to be turned in through the Assignment section for grading. If you use any of the information from your sources word-for-word, you must cite the source by using endnotes or footnotes. If you read the information and write it in your own words and it is not common knowledge, then you must cite the source because you are paraphrasing someone’s information. The paper must include a cover page with your name, course number and course title, instructor’s name, and date. You must also include a bibliography at the end of your paper. While composing your paper, use proper English. Do not use abbreviations, contractions, passive voice, or first/ second person (I, you, we, our, etc). Before submitting your paper, check your grammar and use spell check. Remember, the way you talk is not the way you write a paper.