Brainstorming for the Formal Paper Topic on Rhetoric of the Cold War Learning Goal/Skill

Brainstorming for the Formal Paper Topic on Rhetoric of the Cold War Learning Goal/Skill:


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• Think critically! Learn to recognize how a writer chooses certain words to try to manipulate the reader (you?) to feel certain emotions, think a certain way, or support a certain policy.


1. Review all of the Formal Paper Instructions, and specifically consider the prompt for the formal paper topic “A” (the full instructions are in the “Formal Paper” folder in “Content” in Blackboard). Topic A reads:

The Cold War was at least partly “fought” in the realm of ideas, expressed in the careful choice of words (and, implicitly, the rejection of other alternative words). How did some people who commented on current events during the Cold War use words in an effort shape their audience’s attitudes and/or responses to those events? Include examples and quotes from at least three distinct primary sources.

SOURCES to USE for this topic

• PDF file of “The Cold War and the Third World,” from Reilly, Worlds of History, Chapter 26, found in the “Readings” folder in Blackboard’s “Content” area.

• Relevant contextual information from the course textbook, Wiesner- Hanks, History of World Societies

2. Imagine you are going to write your Formal Paper on this topic. You

obviously are not required to choose the topic for your paper, but for this assignment, pretend like you will. Write at least one-page (ca. 350 words), but no more than two, of INFORMAL WRITING in which you brainstorm about how you might successfully write such a paper.

3. Indicate at least three primary sources that seem especially useful, and why they would be useful.

i. You don’t necessarily need to mention or use all of the suggested sources for this assignment, or even for your formal paper. There are more than you need, in total, so you should be selective.

ii. Still, you should obviously have read and thought about many of your source options before you start this brainstorming exercise. SO…

4. Provide at least two direct primary source quotes and explain what

purpose they could serve in your paper.

5. Reference using footnotes, as you will do for the Formal Paper. This is part of the score for this exercise.

i. If you don’t use footnote references, it’s -10

ii. If you still don’t know how to make and use footnotes, look at “How to Make and Use Footnotes,” posted in the “Readings” folder in Blackboard.

6. If you would prefer to write out your informal brainstorming in outline form,

that is perfectly fine, as long as the total words add up to at least 350.

7. Please include a WORD COUNT for my convenience. 8. Submit your response by the usual methods (if you don’t know these yet,

look at the directions for the first exercises for this class).

NOTE: For best results—especially if this is the formal paper topic you end up choosing—you should also make sure you have read the assigned textbook chapters that give the Cold War context: Wieser-Hanks, A History or World Societies, Chapters 31 and 32. SCORING CRITERIA (out of 100) 30 points for turning anything in that remotely resembles the assignment 20 points each (60 total) for meaningful/thoughtful references to three relevant primary sources. -10 if you don’t reference with footnotes -10 If you only bring in two primary documents (there should be at least three) -20 if you only bring in one primary document (there should be at least three) -70 if I see no evidence that you read any of the assigned primary documents -1 to -10 for grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. that is so flawed that it interferes with

the reader’s comprehension -1 to -10 if you have fatally misunderstood something important (like a vital fact or a

basic point of a document).

-1 to -50 if the response is not long enough—about 350 words (the deduction is determined mathematically by how big the shortfall is). To check your word count, highlight your text, click on “Review” at the top of your Word program and then select Word Count (or just look at the numbers to the bottom left)

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