Prompt: Develop an essay that compares any two of the four cases from this module (American Civil War, Russian Revolution) Develop the comparison with close reference to the introductory reading from Week 8 (‘Social Movements and Revolutions’). Thus you’ll be citing a total of three readings (chapters). Your comparison can focus on signal ‘events’ (e.g., the 1979 Iranian Revolution or the 1949 Chinese Revolution), on the broader revolutionary history of the countries in question, or on both.
Structure: Write an outline before you execute your essay. Begin your essay with a 2/3 page introductory paragraph in which you broadly describe the events you’re going to focus on from the two case studies. Close the introductory paragraph with a 1-2 sentence thesis statement in bold. The thesis statement should contain your core argument, centering on a basic comparative claim regarding the two cases. A possible approach is to identify one central similarity and one central difference between the two.
Following the thesis statement, develop 5 to 6 body paragraphs (each about 2/3-3/4 page). Each paragraph should begin with a strong topic sentence containing its core argumentative claim. The topic sentence should be linked to the thesis. Build out a logical sequence of argument as you move from paragraph to paragraph, topic sentence to topic sentence, and utilize transitional language in the topic sentences to generate analyticalflow. End the paper with a brief (3-4 sentence) concluding paragraph that considers the broader implications of the foregoing argument.
Grading criteria: You’ll be graded on the cogency of your comparative argument (how cohesive, convincing, and interesting it is) and on the depth of engagement with course concepts (especially readings).