Instructions: Choose one of the following prompts to write Essay 3. Your essay should be 3-4 pages in length, double spaced, and in Times New Roman, size 12 font.
- Alan J. Pakula’s film All the Presiden’ts Men (1976) depicts the groundbreaking investigative journalism of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward during the Watergate fiasco. In the film, Nixon is the corrupt power that needs to be removed while the press or the “fourth estate” emerges as a check on Washington corruption. One scene shows Nixon’s unwilling cameo as he accepts renomination at the Republican convention while Woodward works away at his downfall. The irony conveys the message that ultimately, the American system works. One interpretation of the final scene, which shows newspaper headlines of the indictments of important men involved in criminal activities, suggests that Watergate was an aberration and that once the “bad guys” are in jail, normality—understood as American exceptionalism with its virtuous history, political system and values—will return to Washington. Do you agree that overall, Watergate revealed a system that works or what is your assessment of this event? What was the immediate and long-term impact of the scandal? In your answer, consider American politics, government reform legislation, and culture in the post-Watergate period. Use the film, chapter 30 of your textbook, and Kutler’s article to support your answer.
- Read D. Desser’s and G. Studlar’s article “Never Having to Say You’re Sorry: Rambo’s Rewriting of the Vietnam War” and watch one of the Vietnam films discussed on page 11. Do you agree with the authors’ assessment of the “memory” of Vietnam in American films of the 1980s? Does the war constitute a cultural trauma and suppressed collective guilt that has been rewritten as victimization? Explain why or why not. In your answer, discuss the impact of Vietnam on American politics, society, and culture using the article, your selected film, and chapter 29 of your textbook as sources.
- Be sure to structure your essay with an introduction, body and conclusion.
- The introductory paragraph should include three parts:
- Provide a context or background (2-3 sentences) to the material you will be discussing. In the words of Dr. Darden Pyron, it should “set the scene” by providing the what, the where, the when, or the who of the material. There should be no argument here, just general historical data to set up your historical question and thesis statement.
- State the historical problem (1-2 sentences). This should be the essay question reintroduced as the historical problem you will be addressing in the paper. Try to find a flow between the background information you provide and the statement of the historical problem. Why should we care about the historical facts you just discussed in the preceding background section of the introduction? What is their significance?
- Provide your thesis statement for the paper (1-2 sentences). The thesis statement should have 2 PARTS. The first states your position or answer to the historical problem above, and the second provides a blueprint for the paper (or approximately three elements that will support your position in the body of the paper). The blueprint should directly correlate to the topic sentence or main idea in each body paragraph.
- Body paragraphs and topic sentences: Body paragraphs should have topic sentences describing the main idea of the corresponding paragraph. They should echo one of your thesis elements.
- Sources: You may ONLY use the primary or secondary sources provided on CANVAS or specified in the prompts above. Absolutely no outside internet sources should be used for these assignments. The specific number of sources required for each essay question is provided in the prompts above.
- Quotations: Limit quotations to 1 sentence per page or one longer quotation of 3 to 4 sentences for the whole essay.
- Citations: Cite any quotations or paraphrased content. Use the Chicago Manual of Style. See this link for some examples: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-1.html