Ellen Herman

Department of History, University of Oregon

Department of History
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1288




Your essay should be 5 pages long, double spaced, in a 12-point font.

Please don’t forget to include your name, number your pages, and proofread!

You are an elected official in 1963 and have read the books recently published by Barry Goldwater and Michael Harrington. Argue for the position of either author and write an editorial for the New York Times. Outline the major strengths and weaknesses of the United States in the early 1960s and answer the following question. What should local communities, states, and the federal government do to minimize poverty and maximize social welfare? Be sure to explain why your solutions are superior to those of your opponents on either the left or the right.

Persuasive essays will draw on both books. Direct quotations from the texts should be accompanied by page references.

Here are three questions to keep in mind as you write. We will keep them in mind as we read.
• Are you addressing the comparison completely?
• Are you addressing it persuasively? (Do you formulate an argument and offer concrete evidence to support it? Is your essay organized in a way that is easy for the reader to understand and follow?)
• Are you addressing it clearly and articulately? (Are your grammar, punctuation, and spelling free of errors? Is your word choice as effective as possible? Is your sentence construction smooth?)


A-range papers: We will be able to answer all three of the questions above in the affirmative. These papers will address all the issues raised in the prompt above; they will not leave out any significant elements. They will be persuasive, backing up arguments with evidence. And they will be organized clearly and well written.

B-range papers: We will be able to asnwer two of the questions above in the affirmative. The essay may, in other words, leave out one critical element, but its arguments will be persuasive and the essay will be well written. Or the essay may be complete and persuasive, but the writing may have some problems.

C-range papers: We will be able to answer at least one of the questions above in the affirmative. The essay may address the prompt completely, but lack evidence and clarity. Or the essay may not be complete or well written, but offer concrete examples.

D-range papers and below: We will not be able to answer any of the questions above in the affirmative. Essays will be incomplete, lacking in evidence, and poorly written.