A study from The Concord Review found that 62% of teachers never assign a paper of 3,000-5,000 words in length, and 81% never assign a paper of over 5,000 words.
Cold War Research Paper
For this project, students combine three of their in-class writing assignments into a five-page (1,250 word) paper that argues: (1) which side was most responsible for the Cold War, (the Soviets, or the West); (2) elaborates on which events defined the Cold War; and (3) describes how the Cold War should be remembered in textbooks. Students will support their positions with evidence from the documents provided and independent research.
Use parenthetical citations, i.e., (Cold War Causes, Handout 1), (Soviet Textbooks DBQ, BGE), or (Containment DBQ, Doc. A), and include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper. For your final grade, you will provide a one-page revision memo, a typed final draft on top of the original drafts, and four www.PaperRater.com reports all stapled together. Save this project in your Google Drive and use it for your senior portfolio.
Which side was most responsible for the Cold War, the Soviets or the West? Include an introductory paragraph that contains background on the Cold War and a thesis statement that takes a position. Explain the three main underlying causes of the Cold War and who was most responsible for the Cold War. Justify this decision by explaining who was least responsible. Include evidence from at least three documents to support your ideas and explain how the evidence proves your point. Lastly, provide a concluding thought that reconnects with your thesis.
How did the United States prevent the Soviet Union from expanding communism? After reading about multiple Cold War events (Long Telegram, Berlin Airlift, Korean War, and Cuban Missile Crisis), define the US Cold War foreign policy and describe three instances where containment was used. Choose which example was the most significant and explain your reasoning.
Describe how the Cold War should be remembered in future textbooks. Which Soviet accomplishments and which US accomplishments should be included in future history textbooks? Explain your reasoning. Conclude the paper with some final thoughts on what lessons the global community should learn from the Cold War between the US and the Soviets.
The one-page revision memo should explicitly report how you addressed the feedback from your PaperRater reports. For example, “PaperRater gave me a 63% on Academic Vocabulary. I went back to the background essay, found five more vocabulary words and defined them in my introductory paragraph and my next PaperRater Academic Vocabulary score was a 71%.”
Next it should highlight significant changes and point out where the final essay improved from the first drafts. The purpose of revision memos is to help you become better at revising your writing. When you write a revision memo, the following points must be included:
- It is addressed to me.
- It points out what your focus was on this draft.
- It lists the strengths and weaknesses in your previous drafts.
- It details the changes you’ve made from one draft to the next.
- It describes your overall impression of the revision (strengths and weakness).
Each of these points must be in the memo. Typically, memos run anywhere from one to three pages in length.
The final paper should include page numbers on the bottom right-hand side of the page, be formatted in Times New Roman 12 point font, double-spaced with one-inch margins. The final document should contain a cover page and be turned in before the end of school on Friday, May 15, 2015. This entire project, which began on March 20th is worth 700 points of your final grade.
CA State Standard: 10.9.2 Students analyze international developments in the post-WWII world. Analyze the causes of the Cold War with the free world and Soviet states on opposing sides. Describe the competition for influence in Germany, Korea, and Vietnam.
Common Core Writing Standards: 1.Students will write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. 5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. 10. Write routinely over extended time frames with time for research, reflection, and revision.
Sample Revision Memo
Effects and Causes of the Cold War Essay: Topic Ideas and Summary
World War II ended in the mid nineteen forties. While it was wonderful that a violent, global conflict had come to an end, the world would be entering a new set of tensions. The cold was began just after the end of the ward, and involved non violent conflict between the Soviet Union (Warsaw Pact) and the United States and their Allies (Nato). A cold war is defined as conflict that does not include any battles or military actions between the feuding nations. While the Soviet Union and the United States never used military force against one another, multiple wars during the time of the cold war happened as a direct result of the cold war conflict. These include both the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Other actions taken during this period that had far reaching effects included trading arms for hostages and the sale of arms to Middle Eastern Forces. Most historians agree that the cold war officially ended in the early nineties. Due to the fact that the cold war lasted so long and had economic, political, social, and cultural impacts world wide, there are many topics on which you can base a cold war essay. It is precisely that large selection that could trip you up. This is why we have come up with a list of essay topic ideas that we are confident are sure winners. Feel free to take any of the suggestions to use as is, or modify any of these in order to come up with a custom topic idea.
Cold War Essay Questions, Prompts, and Topic Ideas
- Write an essay describing the influence of the Cold War on the Vietnam War
- What actions did the United States take that caused the Soviet Union to feel as if their interests were being threatened?
- How are the citizens of North Korea still impacted by the events of the Cold War?
- How did the actions of Russian policy makers cause United States Officials to feel threatened or concerned?
- Write an essay that explains the Domino Theory
- Write an argumentative essay about who started the cold war. Defend your position with solid evidence.
- The reunification of Germany was a major indicator that the cold war was over. Write an essay describing the events around the destruction of the Berlin Wall.
- How did the Cold War play a role in the Korean War?
- Explain what happened during the Cuban Revolution and how it was related to the Cold War
- What was the impact of the cold war on pop culture throughout the decades?
- Does Ronald Reagan deserve the credit he received for engineering the end of the Cold War?
- Explain the Red Scare
- Write a DBQ essay about the three most important events of the Cold War
- What is containment? Write a detailed essay about the topic?
- Why was the Cold War such a driving factor behind the space race?
- How did actions taken during the Cold War impact the current situation in the Middle East?
- Discuss the nuclear arms race and the ways in which the Cold War has caused many volatile nations to have nuclear weapons.
All of our writers agree that these are great topic ideas and that students could pick any one of these questions or ideas and write an excellent essay. However, any student who would like additional help should contact us. There are writers on staff who have backgrounds in Foreign Policy, and World History who have the skills and talents to help with any essay related to the Cold War.
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