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You are then to construct a fully researched, thesis-driven narrative containing both primary and secondary sources. You will use these sources to shed light on
your chosen topic without propagating any historical fallacies. While you should address one of the issues listed above as you select your topic, your task is to
narrow your focus to a manageable question that can be answered in a coherent, thesis-driven fashion (the impact of the Korean War on Cold War politics, or
how nuclear weapons technology affected the nature of Cold War politics, etc.).
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
I. Background: Identify the aspect of Cold War history that will frame your essay. This must be a major event, trend, or development that shaped the
history of American society since WWII. Is the major event political, military-diplomatic, social, economic, or cultural in nature?
II. Historical Argument: Narrow your focus by creating a manageable question. Propose an argument that answers the question you have derived about
the major event. This is your thesis statement and it must also be connected to historicalevidence.
III. Historical Analysis
a. Factors: What are the factors that influenced this event? Include the policies of the time period as well as any key confrontations andclashes.
b. Individuals: Assess the role of the individual(s) involved in the event. This might be involve leaders or other nations. Who is the protagonist? The
antagonist? What significant actions did the central figure(s) take? Why did they do so? What was the response to such actions taken?
c. Trends: What trends did this event influence? Which new policies came about? What effect did these policies have? What themes originated—or
were repeated—as such policies were enacted?
d. Impact: What impact did this event, the individual(s), and resulting policies have on Cold War era history? Who significantly benefited from these
events and moments? How? Who dramatically suffered from these events and moments, and how?
IV. Source Analysis: You must select sources to support your thesis statement. Ideally, you will include a mix of primary and secondary sources. Critically
examine the resources in context with your essay topic. Remember this is not based on opinion, but rather this is your analysis of the historical
content and context. Your source methodology supports your thesis statement.