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Causes & Effects of the Vietnam War: Assignment 1 - President Johnson & Guerilla Warfare

Instructor: Matt McClintock
If you have a Study.com College Accelerator membership and are seeking college credit for this course, you must submit an essay and pass the proctored final exam. You must submit your essay before registering for the final. Below you will find prompts and instructions for submitting your essay.

About this Assignment

The Vietnam War was a watershed moment in United States history. You've learned that the war spanned the terms of three different presidents, divided the nation politically, and tested the adaptability of the U.S. military. For this assignment, please write a 2,000 to 3,000-word essay on one of the two prompts below.

Prompt and Rubric #1

Imagine that President Lyndon B. Johnson decided to run for reelection in 1968. You have recently been hired as a speech writer for his campaign team. Your first assignment is to design a speech that evaluates and defends Johnson's stance on the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. In the speech, integrate persuasive evidence that differentiates Johnson's future plans in Vietnam with those laid out by his opponent, Richard Nixon.

You will be graded according to the following rubric:

CategoryUnacceptable (0-1)Needs Improvement (2-3)Good (4)Excellent (5)Total Possible Points
Main Arguments (x4) Speech fails to cover required topics or arguments fail to support the position of the Johnson administration Speech covers most of the topics required, but arguments lack support and/or relevance Speech covers all of the topics required; main arguments support position of the Johnson administration Speech covers all necessary topics, and delivers arguments in a clear and compelling way that enhance the position of the Johnson administration 20
Structure (x1) Structure is illogical and significantly hinders understanding of main points Arguments and ideas are disjointed and hard to follow Structure supports main points; arguments are easily identifiable; transitions and connections may be lacking Structure enhances main points; arguments and comparisons are well-integrated and ideas flow logically 5
Context (x2) Speech does not consider time period, American public opinion, or Johnson vs. Nixon's position on issues Speech considers some aspects of time period, American public opinion, and Johnson vs. Nixon's position on issues Speech considers time period, American public opinion, and Johnson vs. Nixon's position on issues Speech is persuasive and arguments are relevant to time period, American public opinion, and Johnson vs. Nixon's position on issues 10
Mechanics (x1)Incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and use of standard English grammar hinders understandingSeveral instances of incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and usage of standard English grammarFew instances of incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and usage of standard English grammarNo or very few instances of incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and usage of standard English grammar5
Sources (x2) No outside sources utilized or sources utilized are not reliable; citations do not properly follow APA format At least one reliable outside source utilized; citations do not properly follow APA format Three or more reliable outside sources support the speech; citations generally follow proper APA format Three or more reliable outside sources enhance the quality of the speech; citations follow proper APA format 10

Prompt and Rubric #2

During the Vietnam war, the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong employed guerilla warfare tactics when engaging South Vietnamese and United States forces, and guerilla warfare continues to be a primary tactic used in modern warfare. Compose an essay evaluating the use and evolution of guerilla warfare in the Vietnam War and beyond.

In your essay, consider how American soldiers adapted or failed to adapt to this fighting strategy, and then argue how this influenced the outcome of the Vietnam War as well as military tactics in ongoing wars today.

You will be graded according to the following rubric:

CategoryUnacceptable (0-1)Needs Improvement (2-3)Good (4)Excellent (5)Total Possible Points
Thesis (x2) Essay contains no central cohesive argument; thesis is missing or unclear Main argument is unfocused, or disjointed; thesis lacks depth, specificity, or clarity Main argument is focused and thoughtful; thesis is clear and developed Main argument is original, focused, and well-developed; thesis is concise and compelling 10
Structure (x1) Structure is illogical and disorganized; hinders understanding Essay organization makes it difficult to identify main arguments; ideas are disjointed Structure supports the essay's main points; arguments and comparisons are easily identifiable; transitions and connections may be lacking Structure enhances the essay's main points; arguments and comparisons are well-integrated and ideas flow logically 5
Analysis (x4) No or very few examples are used to support arguments; analysis and comparisons are missing or incorrect Few or weak examples are given to support main points; analysis and comparisons lack depth or relevance Relevant examples are given to support main arguments; analysis and comparisons are thoughtful and well-developed Evidence is of exceptional quality and enhances all main arguments; analysis and comparisons are original and well-developed 20
Mechanics (x1) Incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and use of standard English grammar hinders understanding Several instances of incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and usage of standard English grammar Few instances of incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and usage of standard English grammar No or very few instances of incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and usage of standard English grammar 5
Sources (x2) No outside sources utilized or sources utilized are not scholarly; citations do not properly follow APA format Some scholarly outside sources utilized; citations do not properly follow APA format Five or more scholarly outside sources support the essay; citations generally follow proper APA format Five or more scholarly outside sources enhance the essay; citations follow proper APA format 10

Using Sources

You may refer to the Study.com course material for supporting evidence, but you must also reference at least two primary and three secondary sources in your paper and cite them using APA format. If you do use any Study.com lessons as sources, please include them in your citations (including lesson title and instructor's name).

  • Primary sources are first-hand accounts of historical events, such as speeches, recorded interviews, diary entries, articles from the time period, letters, and documents such as census records.
  • Secondary sources must be from reputable, peer-reviewed sources.
  • At least two of your secondary sources must be articles from peer-reviewed scholarly journals such as the American Historical Association and Journal of American History.
  • Websites must have .edu, .org, .gov in the domain. Wikipedia is not considered a reputable source, although the sources listed in Wikipedia articles may be acceptable.

If you're unsure about how to use APA format to cite your sources, please see the following lessons:

Before You Submit

When you are done writing your essay, we suggest taking some time to check for any errors or to add some final touches. We also suggest that you use online plagiarism checkers such as PlagScan or Solid SEO Tools to make sure that your essay is not too similar to any existing materials. Plagiarized submissions will NOT be graded.

How to Submit Your Paper

When you are ready to submit your written paper, please fill out this submission form and attach your essay as a Microsoft Word or Text document. After turning in your essay, you may go ahead and take the proctored final exam. You do not need to wait for your written response to be graded. You should receive your essay grade within one week.

If you are not satisfied with the score you receive on your paper, you may revise or rewrite your essay and resubmit it for grading using the same submission form above. Keep in mind that the grade you receive on your essay is only a third of your overall grade for the course, and you are free to retake the proctored final exam as well if you choose. Please see the course syllabus for a more detailed breakdown of the grading policy.

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