African Civilizations-class

You should engage in writing this essay only and only after having completed Module 1, module 2, and module 3 and covered all of its materials (see the respective module links).  You should submit your essay in one single Word document.  Your entire essay should have 3 to 5 double spaced pages (without including title page and list of cited references).  You must use what you need to answer each question completely.

No research is required to answer these questions.  The course materials should be more than enough to provide you with the information needed to answer the question.  When referring to published documents (including this course’s textbook and additional readings, videotaped lectures, power point presentations, and films), you must cite them properly, following the author-date Chicago manual of Style (see the Welcome page on this website).  No reference to “outside sources” may replace the requirement to engage with the textbook’s contents in this assignment.  You should also engage with the films and other materials put at your disposal on Canvas.  You must use your own words and may NOT quote.  You should paraphrase instead.
Your essay should focus on answering fully one of the following questions.  You should choose the question you feel the most comfortable answering.
1) Describe and briefly discuss the evidence that supports the claim that modern humans originated in Africa.
2) What evidence links the Sahara during the wet period to pharaonic Egypt?
OR
3) Why was there a strong demand for West African gold for many centuries, and what were the consequences of the trade in gold for societies of West Africas Sahel?
This assignment will be graded according to your ability to identify and articulate a central theme, marshal evidence from the course’s materials to support the position outlined above as well as to show your ability to follow directions, present accurate information and cite examples from the text that you paraphrase. Finally, this assignment will be graded on your demonstrated ability to provide adequate explanation of historical context and adhere to the rules of English grammar.  For this assignment, I look for whether you have re-stated the thesis and whether you have developed logical paragraphs that explain how the examples you have chosen support your statement about the question’s focus/target.
Grades and their respective comments for this assignment
A         Excellent
Short Paper shows evidence of original or creative thinking and strong organization including smooth transitions between sentences or paragraphs. Author presents a compelling thesis in the first paragraph, and selects key examples from the sources to illustrate the argument.  Short Paper contains accurate information and explanation of historical context to support the argument.  Author adheres to the rules of English grammar such as correct subject-verb and subject-noun agreement, variety of and appropriate word choice, correct punctuation, knows the difference between proper nouns and common   nouns, correct spelling, and demonstrated ability to discern when to use past tense and when to use present tense (other rules of grammar may apply).  Author follows directions, adheres to instructors instructions regarding rules of citation, and paper is proofread.
A-        Very Good
Short Paper shows evidence of original or creative thinking as well as coherent organization including smooth transitions between sentences and/or paragraphs. Author articulates his/her thesis in the first paragraph, and selects key examples from the sources to illustrate his/her argument.   The author provides accurate historical context and/or supporting information to support thesis. The Short Paper adheres to the rules of grammar with minor inconsistencies or errors (see writing criteria above).   The author follows the instructors rules for citation with minor inaccuracies, and the paper is proofread.
B+       Good
The author presents a coherent thesis statement in the first paragraph and marshals adequate evidence from the sources to illustrate his/her argument. The Short Paper demonstrates coherent organization especially in terms of smooth transitions between sentences and/or paragraphs. The author provides historical context and/or accurate information to support the argument.  The Short Paper adheres to the rules of English grammar (see writing  criteria above) with minor inconsistencies  or errors.  The author follows the directions but does not consistently or correctly follow citation guidelines.  Paper is proofread.
B         Average
The Short Paper articulates a thesis statement in the first paragraph and presents evidence in support of argument.  The  organization of the paper needs improvement in terms of transitions between sentences and/or paragraphs.  The use of historical context and/or supporting information is too general.  The Short Paper adheres to the rules of English grammar (see writing criteria above) with minor errors and/or inconsistencies.  The author mainly follows directions but shows minor inaccuracies in following citation guidelines. Paper is proofread.
B-/C+  Below Average
The  authors  thesis  is general  or not evident  in the first  paragraph.  The  author  does  not provide  adequate  examples  from  the  sources  to  support  his/her  argument.  The  historical content and/or supporting information  presented too general. The organization of the essay needs improvement especially in terms of sentence and/or paragraph transitions. The author shows inconsistency in adherence to the rules of English grammar  (see writing criteria above) or major inaccuracies.  Author does not consistently follow directions, and paper is not proofread.
C         Weak
The thesis is non-discernible or barely discernible. Evidence from the sources is too general and/or contains inaccuracies.  The author does not effectively use historical context or supporting information to make his/her argument.  The author does not adhere to the rules of English grammar (see writing  criteria above) or shows major and consistent grammatical errors. The author does not follow directions, does not correctly use the citation guidelines required and the assignment is not proofread.
C-        Unacceptable
Fails to meet the above criteria or meets one to two the criteria  but  fails to show clear evidence of ability to articulate a thesis and marshal evidence from specified sources to support position.  Author does not follow directions, does not adhere to the rules of English grammar (see writing criteria above), and does not follow specified guidelines for citation. The Short Paper is not proofread.

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