Block / Clifton / Pai Name: To Socialize or To Capitalize?

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Block / Clifton / Pai Name: ______________________________
To Socialize or To Capitalize? That is the Question!
Introduction: After World War II, European colonies in Africa and Asia gradually began to gain independence and establish themselves as new nations. Several factors fueled this wave of decolonization. First, the principal of imperialism outright contradicted the Allies’ goal of defeating authoritarian and repressive regimes. Second, independence movements were gaining momentum in many colonies, whose natives pointed to the western ideal of self-determination as a justification for liberation. Finally, the Second World War economically and politically exhausted European nations to such an extent they lacked the energy to actively maintain their empires. Meanwhile, across the ocean, Latin American nations whose economies were rocked by the Great Depression were experiencing growing social unrest due to the inability of governments to find real solutions to their problems. As nations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America pursued both independence and stability, they did so in the context of a newly divided world. The Cold War cast a shadow over emerging nations who found themselves having to choose between the clashing ideologies of the United States and the Soviet Union: capitalism and socialism. For your research paper, you will be doing a case study on one country in order to understand how this global tug of war influenced the course of your nation between the years 1945 and 1991. Your paper should make a clear and analytical argument that answers the research question below and supports it using varied and detailed evidence:
Research Question:

How did the Cold War affect the development of your nation?

Soviet Union United States

Requirements: One of the goals of this assignment is for you to learn the research process, from start to finish, as a historian. Therefore, you will be assessed on each of the following steps:

  • Research Notes – 30 points

  • Thesis Statement – 10 points

  • Outline – 30 points

  • Rough Draft – 40 points

  • Final Paper – 100 points

Your final paper must be 5-7 pages and formatted according to MLA style. You are required to use at least 6 sources, one of which must be a primary document and one of which must be a book. The task list on the back more clearly specifies how you will be graded.

Countries of Study: Below is a list of possible countries to research. You will be choosing which continent you are most interested in and will then be assigned a country based on your preference.




DR of Congo









Latin America




El Salvador

Getting Started: Ultimately your paper must argue how, specifically, the Cold War affected the development of your nation. What does this mean? What clues should you look for as you research? Use the guiding questions below to get started.


Points Earned

Point Value

Thesis Statement



  • All body paragraphs support the author’s thesis

  • Author provides a substantial amount of evidence to effectively support her/his thesis

  • Evidence is historically accurate and comes from multiple, reliable sources



  • Author avoids narrating historical information and instead uses historical evidence to prove her/his argument

  • Author makes connections for the reader and shows how the evidence (s)he presents supports the thesis

  • Author explains the significance of the evidence (s)he presents and/or the connections(s)he makes


Academic Structure

  • Introduction paragraph introduces the paper topic in a broad way, includes a road map, and ends with the thesis statement

  • Body paragraphs begin with clear topic sentences (that are arguable and connect to thesis statement)

  • Ideas are organized throughout the paper

  • Transitions connect body paragraphs

  • Conclusion revisits the paper’s major arguments and reinforces why the thesis statement is correct / discusses implications for the future



  • Author cites necessary information throughout in the body of the paper with parenthetical citations

  • Parenthetical citations are properly formatted according to MLA

  • Works Cited page is formatted properly according to MLA

  • At least 6 sources were used, one of which is a primary source


Writing Conventions/Format

  • Paper is 5-7 pages

  • Paper is formatted correctly according to MLA style (double –spaced, one inch margins)

  • Author uses proper spelling, grammar, punctuation




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