Assignment: Social Science Essay

Instructor: James Donelan

Due date: Rough draft due November 16, 1999; Final draft due November 17, 1999

Historical or Social Science Essay

Select one of the following assignments and write approximately 1200-1500 words (5-6 pages) fulfilling it:

  1. Consider some of the aspects of the Battle of the Somme that Keegan examines in The Face of Battle, such as the role of technological advances in the character of the battle, the decisions made by political leaders and battlefield commanders, or the experiences of the men in the trenches. Choose one to explore in greater depth by finding more (and newer) information on the topic, investigating its relevance to another event in the Great War, and examining it from another point of view. Narrow down this topic so that you can explore it in some depth in a brief paper. Then write an essay in which you develop your own thesis on this subject and support your thesis, drawing upon at least three sources, only two of which may be in the reader. Summarize, paraphrase, and quote relevant sections of the readings.
  2. Write a critique of the theoretical foundations, the diagnostic criteria, or the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. How has psychologists’ understanding of the disorder changed over time? What has new research revealed about the disorder? Focus on a single aspect of the disorder and take an arguable position with regard to the current state of research.
  3. What was the experience of non-combatants in the Great War? Choose a group of people significantly affected by World War I and construct an arguable thesis about the nature of their experience, then back it up with evidence and logic from your research. What did it mean to a society that so many people were conscripted and that so many people died? What happened to the people they left behind? What impact did the war have on social, economic, and political structures of the countries involved?
  4. Examine the scandal involving recovered memory, multiple personality disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Write a position paper, that is, an essay in which you make a recommendation for a particular policy, intended for a regulatory agency. The paper should be divided into the following subheadings: Abstract, Introduction, Analysis, Recommendation. You can also divide these categories into smaller parts with more subheadings.
  5. Choose another topic having to do with either posttraumatic stress disorder or with the Great War that can be approached from a historical or social science perspective.
Follow these procedures:

In light of our discussion in class today (11/2), here are a few more instructions: