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Historical Figure

A common assignment on Historical Figure is as follows:

As the written component for this course, you are required to complete a Biographical Essay focusing on a historical figure from US history. A successful Biographical Essay on Historical Figure Research Paper will meet the following criteria:

  1. Pick a historical figure
  2. Pick ONE PERSON from US History. Historical Figure
  3. Your historical figure must have lived during the time period covered in this course (roughly from the early 1600s to 1877). Do not pick anyone whose major contributions to US history happened after 1880.
  4. Your historical figure must have played an important role in US history. While countless people around the world have influenced US history in some way, DO NOT pick a historical figure whose main identity is associated with another country (Napoleon Bonaparte , Bismarck, Genghis Kahn, etc.). The idea is to focus on contributions to US history.
  5. What counts as an "important role in US history?" That's up to you. Part of the essay will be explaining why you think your person's contributions to history should be considered important.
  6. Do I have to pick someone very famous - like a president? No, you can pick anyone who in your judgment has made a significant contribution to US history - as long as there is enough material available to complete your research.
  7. Can I pick my ancestor who fought in the Civil War? Probably not. You need to make sure there is adequate material available to complete your research.

Writing the Essay Historical Figure Research Paper, Your essay should be in three parts:

  1. Part 1 will be a short biography of your historical figure. Where were they born? Where did they go? What did they do? Tell the life story of your person. You should title this section "Biography of (insert name of your person here)"
  2. Part 2 will contain your analysis. This section of the paper will discuss why your person is important and what impact they have had on US history. What role did they play in our national story and why should we care today? You should title this section "Analysis of the Historical Contributions of (insert name of your person here)"
  3. Part 3 will contain your list of sources and should be titled "Bibliography."

Format and Style:

  1. Use Courier New 12 point font.
    Grammar and punctuation are important in Historical Figure Research Paper!! Your essay should not be done in a "conversational" style -- use your best formal essay style.
    Include a short bibliography at the end of your essay to cite your sources. Pick an accepted format and stick with it (Chicago Manual of Style, Turabian, MLA, etc.). You must have at least 3 sources.
  2. Your essay must be at least 800 words in length.
  3. Biography of your essay should be approximately 400-500 words.
  4. Analysis must be at least 300 words in length.
  5. Bibliography does not have a word requirement.

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