PROFESSORS GUIDELINES In 10-15 double-spaced pages (not including a references
In 10-15 double-spaced pages (not including a references page), evaluate your assigned president’s term in office.
What did your president do as president, and why did they do it? How have previous scholars evaluated your president? Critically examine their assessments, ratings, and analyses, and explain what those scholars have gotten wrong or right, and why.
Please note: About half (so, around 50%) of your paper should be your evaluation of the president’s tenure, and the other half (around 50%) should analyze other scholars’ evaluations.
Acquire and consume as much objective information about your president’s tenure as you possibly can.
You are required to utilize at least five academic sources, in addition to the textbook. I can’t count more than two documentary films or documentary series toward this total, though. Instead, academic books and peer-reviewed journal articles are paramount. Presidential memoirs and autobiographies are OK, but I recommend using a lens of historicism when reading them, rather than reading them as objective, factual information. In other words, presidents’ own words may be factual, but their claims should be treated skeptically, and as a part of your critical evaluation and analysis.
A good starting point would be to search the academic journal Presidential Studies Quarterly (Links to an external site.) for anything that mentions your president. What’s helpful is that PSQ publishes book reviews of, for example, presidential biographies. So, you could use book reviews to help you find additional sources, too!
I also strongly recommend checking C-SPAN’s video library (Links to an external site.) for lectures from and interviews with historians and other scholars. Simply typing your president’s name into the search box on that page is also very useful! (Chances are high that the lecturer/interviewer talking about your president has an academic book about the president. You should probably try to find that book.)
You can use any citation style you’d like, as long as you’re consistent. I recommend APA (see here (Links to an external site.) for more information).
Title pages and abstracts are not necessary, but I do encourage paper titles and, if they’re appropriate, epigraphs. The historians interviewed in the presidential documentaries are a good source for illustrative quotes.