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Civil War: Assignment

Decolonization in the Global South: A Case Study

United States History

Bentley School, Winter 2015

Instructors: Dr. Chen, Mr. Dickens, and Dr. Horwitz 


Civil War Project

 Since 1861, there have been at least 50,000 books written on the Civil War. Clearly, it will be impossible for us to address every aspect of this war in our class. However, it will be your task to research, create, and present a project that enlightens us about one aspect of this war.


For this project, you will produce:

1.  Visual Component (40%): This visual component can take the form of a Powerpoint, Prezi, brief Video, or Informative Poster. No matter the format, it should reflect your research and your own original analysis. You may choose to feature images from your research, create your own visuals based on your findings, or reenact key events on film. This will be assessed mainly for content rather than aesthetics. (Please note: any use of Comic Sans results in an automatic F.)


2.  Written Component (40%): The written component will accompany the visual component and be a minimum of four double-spaced pages (or approximately 1000 words). For example, this could be your video script or notes for your Powerpoint. Please note that this will be assessed on quality as well as quantity, and just meeting the minimum only gives you a minimum number of points. It should feature details and examples to support and clarify major points. This written component should also be carefully edited and proofread.


One part of the written component is a bibliography with a minimum of four sources. One source has to be a book, and two have to be primary sources. The fourth source is up to you. Also, don’t hesitate to use more!


Then on December ___, you will present to the class.

3.  Presentation (20%): You should plan to present for 5 minutes. You should be sure to practice your presentation at home so you are polished and comfortable with what you are going to be doing. Instead of just summarizing your research, you should be thinking about how to present your material in inventive and interesting way (in other words, Powerpoints should not just be read out loud). You will be evaluated on how informative and creative your presentation is.

One last note: Plagiarism – Don’t. Do It.

List of suggested topics (each person must have a unique topic):

  1. Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee
  2. Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis
  3. William Tecumseh Sherman
  4. The Gettysburg Address
  5. Antietam (or Gettysburg, or other major Civil War Battle)
  6. Emancipation Proclamation
  7. Andersonville and Civil War Prison Camps
  8. Modern Warfare and Civil War Weapons
  9. Monitor and Merrimack Ironclad Battle
  10. Contraband slaves
  11. 54th Massachusetts Regiment
  12. Lincoln’s suspension of Habeas Corpus
  13. Personal diaries of soldiers
  14. Women on the homefront
  15. Civil War photography
  16. The Draft
  17. Europe’s role and influence
  18. The War in the West
  19. Frederick Douglass
  20. Abolitionists
  21. Military supplies
  22. Battle hymns and Civil War Songs
  23. The Civil War Diet
  24. Uniforms
  25. Civil War Medicine

Assigned Date: week of 12/7

Due Date: week of 12/14