Answer the following prompt in a thesis-based essay:
Trace the conditions that combined in Florence to produce the Italian Renaissance. As the movement gradually spread to neighboring countries, how and why did the quality of life for the average European improve? Then, shift focus to a different continent between 500-1491 and detail a similar monumental societal transformation grounded in art, architecture, and/or science. For both regions, why did these changes take place?
Based on the prompt, develop your own thesis as the central argument to guide your work. Merely rephrasing the questions in lieu of an actual statement will not satisfy the requirement. Focus the topic through a compare-and-contrast lens between these distant places while analyzing the similarities and differences of the outcomes. A successful essay sets a historical foundation that underpins the thesis and then weaves different sources together, forming a cohesive narrative.
Because I want to gauge how well you have learned the topic, working from the textbook alone (or any single source for that matter) will only hinder your success. As this is an integrative essay, you will use a variety of sources to create a robust defense. To accomplish this goal, along with demonstrating your ability to think like an historian, you will critically analyze two artifacts (one from one museum and one from another) and choose two firsthand accounts from the Internet History Sourcebooks Project at Fordham University to lend textual support to your paper. With all four selections, offer an educated interpretation of these primary sources in support of your thesis. In order to avoid redundancy, none of the artifacts or eyewitness accounts already covered in the course can be used.
For your research on artifacts, consider exploring some of these websites of leading art museums and cultural institutions (or the holdings of two other institutions of your choosing), as they contain not only some of the foremost objects in this area of study, but also have many informative articles and educational resources:
J. Paul Getty Museum
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo
National Archaeological Museum, Naples
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
When examining primary sources, we cannot fully appreciate these items without also understanding the world that created them. To achieve this and establish the proper historical context, you will locate and utilize five additional secondary sources from outside the course as follows: two scholarly articles and three additional academic resources.
There is, however, one stipulation: Because I will be reviewing your sources, all information must be digital and either publicly available online or accessible through the National University Library website; therefore, physical books or materials only in print are impermissible. Be sure to include the URL (exact location address) for the title of each source as hypertext. For example, if I cited Eyewitness Knight, I would enter the book as a reference in the works cited with a hyperlinked title following this format:
Gravett, Christopher, and Geoff Dann. Eyewitness Knight. New York: DK Publishing, 2007.
To summarize the use of sources, a complete submission will consult and list in the works cited ten total: a textbook, two artifacts, two firsthand accounts/primary documents, two scholarly articles as secondary sources, and three additional academic resources. An exemplar paper will synthesize all these materials into a robust explanation of the prompt directed by a clear thesis.
Present your essay in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins on all sides. A complete document will be at least 2,400 words of original writing: Quotations, in-text citations, and references will push the total word count higher. Formatting and citations need to follow either The Chicago Manual of Style or APA. Use footnotes when inserting in-text citations; remember to provide not only the source but also the page number for a paginated document: Simply placing the author’s name and date of publication is not sufficient. Your work will be evaluated using the rubric in the syllabus.
Throughout the drafting process, be precise in your writing and careful to avoid plagiarism. Unless placed inside quotation marks and followed by a full citation, all ideas and words need to be your own. Do not forget that paraphrased passages must also be properly cited. Concerning academic integrity, you cannot resubmit work from a previous assignment or course, as this is self-plagiarism. For further guidance in the syllabus, review the sections on plagiarism and paraphrasing as well as the rubric.
On a new, but related academic integrity note, please understand that any use of artificial intelligence software such as ChatGPT or similar computer program to write or assist in the production of your essay is considered plagiarism and will result in failing both the assignment and course.
Late work is not accepted, so check after submission that your file loaded correctly and that the essay displays as you expected. On occasion, a student has uploaded the wrong file or saved it in a format that the system does not recognize. Save your document as a PDF, as that is the only format the system is set to accept. If you experience any difficulties, email your work to me.
Bentley, Jerry H. Traditions and Encounters, Volume 1: From the Beginning to 1500: A Global Perspective on the Past. 1. Sixth ed. Vol. 1. New York, NY, New York : McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
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