Why did the United States fail to establish an effective democratic government in Iraq? Ex

Assignment: This assignment asks you to write a 650- to 900-word essay (approximately 2-3 pages) answering one of the prompt questions below. Since this is essay format, you must have a clear thesis statement (i.e. argument) in your first paragraph. The rest of the paper should defend that argument using specific examples from Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s book. This is not a research assignment and this is not a group assignment. Your work must be your own. Any use of outside sources will be considered plagiarism and result in a failing grade for the course. If two essays are exactly or nearly the same, both students will earn a zero for the assignment.

The Argument: A good thesis statement has several characteristics. First, your thesis is an answer to a question. Many students get confused with thesis and topic. A topic is what your paper is about. A thesis is what your paper plans to demonstrate to the reader. For instance, this is a topic sentence, “This paper analyzes Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran.” In contrast, a thesis will answer a question. For instance, someone might wonder, “Is Imperial Life in the Emerald City worth reading.” Your thesis would answer that question. For example, “In Imperial Life, journalist Chandrasekaran convincingly explains why the United States failed to set up a functioning government in Iraq.” This is an argument. The rest of your paper would provide specific examples that would explain why you were convinced. The second characteristic of a thesis is that it is a conclusion not a statement of fact. That is, a reasonable person might disagree. Take the example above. While one person might not be convinced by Chandrasekaran’s explanation.
Evidence: A thesis statement is not simply an opinion. It is an argument. That is, you will provide evidence to support your interpretation. Your evidence should consist of specific examples from the book. If you simply state your thesis and then proceed to summarize the book, your paper will receive a poor grade. Analysis is more important than summary. Choose three or four specific examples from the book that you can use to defend your argument. That is not to say that your paper should not have a summary, but that the summary should be short (i.e. one paragraph). Your argument and the summary should appear in the first paragraph.

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Citation: Your citation will appear at the top of your essay (copy and paste the full citation below). You should the include page numbers for where you found all your information in parenthesis at the end of each paragraph.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone (New York: Vintage Books, 2006)

Questions: Select ONE of the following prompts to help organize your essay:

1. Why did the United States fail to establish an effective democratic government in Iraq? Explain with specific examples from the book.

2. If you could ask Chandrasekaran one question, what would it be? Explain with specific examples from the book.

3. What are some advantages and disadvantages to using journalism as an historical source? Explain with specific examples from the book.

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