The Civil War is a vast topic that couldn’t be fully covered even if we had years to study it. I want the students to see as much of it as possible, therefore, we are going to use this opportunity to practice our research, writing, and speaking skills. I have given each of the students a narrow topic about the Civil War, and they will write a short analytical essay and prepare a short speech about it. Here are the guidelines and rubric for the assignment:
In summary, the analytical essay should be a minimum of half a page in length, double spaced. That is the minimum and will earn you a C. If you want an A, then I recommend writing at least a page, double spaced. You will find sources based upon Miss Hagansee’s Road Map and begin writing your essay immediately (no outline or note cards for this). I am giving you 2.5 class periods to work on this since Wednesday is a half day. The essay is not a re-telling of history; you should be asking yourself the questions “How does this topic impact the Civil War/USA?” and “Why is this topic important to study today?” to help you write your essay.
After you have finished your essay, you should prepare a short speech (1-3 minutes in length) about your topic to talk about with the class. The speech should reflect the same content as your essay but is not simply a reading of your essay. No technology of any kind will be allowed for the speech. If you want a visual aid, that is fine, but it cannot dominate your speech. You may use note cards but that is it.
Don’t stress about this assignment; all you are doing is researching a topic, writing about it, then telling us about it. It is not long and most of it will be done in class. If you have any questions, then leave a comment. Good luck!