The overall nature of America's world role from the end of the second world war to the end of the cold war?
Actual question of the essay is "Summarise the key features and assess the overall nature of America's world role from the end of the second world war to the end of the cold war?" ’Coverage of content’ - includes issues and sources. Is the content relevant to the question and does it have sufficient scope (do you drag in irrelevant material, are you covering enough of the key themes and facts)? On coverage of sources: Have you engaged with the necessary reading material? Is your range of sources broad and deep enough, and are they of adequate quality? (An essay referring to none of the course materials, and using just a few web pages from a cursory google search is not acceptable). ’Writing’ - includes clarity, economy and accuracy of the language, and also the overall essay structure. Accurate vocabulary and grammar are not extraneous or petty issues, they determine whether you communicate accurately and clearly or whether the writing is messy, vague and obscure. They also don’t merely indicate linguistic ability but how well you understand the content and whether or not your thinking is clear. Dont strive for ’style’, but for transparency. Too much colour, polemic or rhetoric, or a weird tone (for example one that is pompous, overly informal or childish), will obscure meaning and annoy readers. Form must be clear and transparent enough to serve the content, and it is the content (not overwrought ’style’ and rhetoric) which must be powerful and rich enough to persuade the reader. Structure is crucial for the unfolding of content and development of your analysis. It should provide the reader an easy passage through the content. So pay attention to the work being done by each sentence, section and paragraph, and ensure they clearly convey the underlying logic. ‘Quality of Analysis’, refers to how logical and powerful your essay is. This includes whether you have properly understood the issues and the source materials, whether you are able to analyse (break down into meaningful logical elements), explain, or advance a particular point of view. Both explaining and arguing require that each point you make is supported by factual evidence and arguments. Advancing a particular position is not merely some ‘personal expression’ but must ‘make a case’ powerful enough to win unconvinced readers and defeat the strongest opposing views. Such good analysis is like war, chess, or a legal battle, not poetic expression or making music. On the specific essay questions: Have you clearly stated your particular interpretation? Which interpretation or model of ’Grand Strategy’ best captures the facts of American foreign policy in the given period? You may dispute whether there is an adequate framework for analysis of the whole period (because policy is incoherent, or radically different between different presidential administrations and regions, or different phases), but you will have to argue that. In either case, you must provide arguments and factual evidence to support your claims—using the historical and factual knowledge in the course materials and other sources. Your account must be good enough to account for both the variety and the continuity of American foreign policy chronologically and geographically in the given period. You must also show awareness and understanding of key concepts, and also of other possible interpretations, and give good reasons to prefer your own. Sources: For Essay 1, the required reading, lecture notes and class content for topics 2, 3, 4 and 5 are all essential. You will need have a good knowledge of the key facts and patterns and ideas about US policy in various regions and periods of the cold war. This is the core material on which your analysis will be based. Your interpretation will have to fit this factual material and you will have to cite it when arguing for and against various points of view. The further readings and other relevant sources will also be necessary. (See further reading guides per topic). Use this (and any other material you may find in the Hult digital library) as you find necessary. There is plenty of stuff on the web, but also much that is shallow and flaky. There are of course many good things too, but many key books and journal articles are not available for free online. It is simply not true that ‘everything is available on the web’ (especially not for free). The sources on the course reading list have been chosen for their specific qualities—do not think you can substitute a quick google search for reading this material.