In 10-15 double-spaced pages, evaluate your assigned president’s term in office.
What did your president do, 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 of your paper should be your evaluation of the president’s tenure, and the other half should analyze other scholars’ evaluations.
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. Memoirs or autobiographies are OK, but should be treated with historicism rather than as objectively 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 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!
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.