World History

For your paper, please select two of the following time periods/political units from the first list, and compare and contrast them using ONE main theme from the second list.
Time Period/Political Units:
Han China
Achaemenid Empire
Mayan city-states OR Teotihuacán
Roman Republic OR Roman Empire
Umayyad Dynasty
Maurya Empire
Main Themes:

Roles of women
Art, architecture, and literature
Your paper structure should be the following:
A description (3-5 pages, approximately 900 to 1200 words) of the two political units you have selected. At the very least, this should include information about both time periods or political units that explain:
o Who were the major ethnic, linguistic, or religious groups in the time period or political unit
o Where the major cities or peoples of the time period were located, or where the capital and general bounds of the political unit were located
o When the time period or political units began or were founded, when they are generally considered to have peaked, and when the time period or political unit ended
o Why the time period or political unit is generally believed to have been of import
An analysis (5-7 pages, approximately 1500-2100 words) of how the two time periods or political units compare and contrast with respect to the main theme you have chosen. You might want to consider:
o The role that religion played in society and the political structure of your political units
o How significant a role did slavery play in your time periods or political units? Was it an essential part of the economic and political structure, or more peripheral?
o Were there any major changes over time of your main theme throughout the time periods or political units chosen? Did the religion, roles of women, art, architecture, etc, evolve throughout the existence of your political unit?
o In what ways did your main theme contribute (or not) to the decline and ending of your time periods or political units chosen?
o In what way has this main theme in your political units remained relevant to the present day? Is there some significant impact on later world history from what you are analyzing?
Obviously, these are just some possible things one wants to consider when choosing your political units and main themes, and when writing your paper. I am limiting you to one main theme to force you to go into depth, rather than merely superficially inspecting a larger number of main themes. This will also make it much easier to come up with a coherent argument.
If you feel that you have a good idea for your term paper that does not quite fit these guidelines, feel free to speak to me personally. I am willing to grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis
Paper Requirements
1) Papers should be 2500-3200 words in length, double spaced, in 12 point Times New Roman or Calibri font, and with 1” margins all around. The word count does not include a title page, pictures, captions, graphs, or your bibliography.
2) You MUST use at least two academically appropriate sources other than the textbook. This includes scholarly books and articles in peer-reviewed journals. Encyclopedia articles are useful for greater background information, but do not count toward your two additional sources. Wikipedia DOES NOT COUNT AS AN ENCYCLOPEDIA. is one of your best resources. I HIGHLY recommend the use of at least one primary source for each of your political units or time periods as well.
Papers without at least two academically appropriate sources will receive a grade no higher than D.
3) In general, most websites are NOT appropriate sources for an academic research paper. If you think you have found an exception, please contact me personally and we will discuss whether you should use information from the website while writing your paper.
Papers with a significant amount of information pulled from non-academically appropriate sources will receive a grade no higher than D.
4) PLAGIARISM IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work as your own. Please paraphrase, quote, and cite responsibly. Cadets will be given a grade of 0 (ZERO) for any assignment that they have found to have plagiarized all or part of, as well as likely suffer other consequences. For a useful resource on avoiding plagiarism, see
5) Your paper will be due 23 October. You will be turning in various stages of your paper as well, such as an annotated bibliography, preliminary notes, outlines, and a rough draft. Late work, from any stage of the writing process, will only be accepted under extreme circumstances.
6) All sources MUST be cited. MLA or Chicago-style notes and bibliography are acceptable.
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