African Colonialism and Change

For this class, your final exam will be a take-home writing assignment. The exam will be due via Blackboard on Friday, December 4, by 11:59 PM. You will respond to three of the following four questions with a 2.5-to-3-page essay. Only question #1 is required. For each essay, you should use examples of specific countries, people, events, and processes whenever possible:

REQUIRED QUESTION: The late 19th century was a period of significant change for African societies. What were the most significant changes facing Africa in the late 19th century? What roles did both Africans and Europeans play in making these changes?
The colonial period affected Africans and Africa in many ways. In what major ways did life change? Were those changes different or similar across space and time? How different was the colonial period in terms of particular colonizers, time periods, or parts of the continent?
Decolonization was a challenging but hopeful period of time. How was decolonization won and how did states attempt to decolonize (economically, politically, socially, culturally, etc.) following formal independence?
In recent weeks, we have discussed the challenges facing African states were independence. What were three of the most significant challenges of the postcolonial era? Why did these challenges occur, and African governments and societies respond to those challenges?

OverviewDrawing on the course readings and lectures, you will make an argument for what you believe is most important in explaining different periods in Africa history. You will not be able to explain every significant change, or discuss every location across the continent. It is best to choose a few points that you can then give specific examples for, and analyze those examples. In discussing these questions, you will exclusively draw on and cite the course materials. You must use both the readings and the lectures to do so.

For each question, you should use concrete examples and information in support of your point. Any specific examples or statistics you can give will only help justify your argument. However, you must explain and analyze that data, as it may not be self-evident. Case studies of particular locations that we discussed in class may also be helpful in making your points clearer. In some cases, we discussed the same areas on several occasions. Tracing longer histories of those particular places may also be helpful in making your points clearer.

ExpectationsEach essay will be, at minimum, 2.5 pages long, with size 12 font and no extra spaces before the paper or between paragraphs. Please start a new essay on a new page. The only thing at the top of your exam will be your name and “Africa and the Modern World Final Exam,” followed by the question #. You will submit the exam as a Microsoft Word document.

Each essay should consist of:

A clear, brief introduction that states your argument, and gives an overview of the issues you will be discussing. Roughly 1/4 to 1/2 page.
At least three body paragraphs that delve into the different points that you make in your introduction. Each paragraph should be a part of your larger argument, as stated in your thesis statement/introduction. Each paragraph, you should have a clear argument that lays out the key points for that section, stating the relevant sub-points you will be discussing. For most—if not all—of these sub-points, you will need specific information and examples—from both the lectures and the readings—to help back up your argument for its significance. That information should be clearly analyzed so that its relevance is apparent. About two pages.
A conclusion that re-states these major arguments, and some concluding thoughts that tie these points together in explaining your larger conclusions. Roughly 1/4 to 1/2 page.

When citing the lectures, please simply put at the end of the sentence (Lecture #). For the readings, the author’s last name, and a page number—when applicable—is sufficient.

Grading Criteria

Each essay will be graded on the following criteria:

Does the paper meet the requirements for the assignment? A minimum of 2.5 pages per assignment, citing both the lectures and readings.
Are your arguments well-made/chosen? Do you have a clear thesis that explains what you will be discussing over the course of the essay?
Is the essay well organized? Is your argument broken up into a series of parts/case studies that connect together?
Do you use good evidence in support of your argument, and analyze that evidence?
Is the writing clear, well written, and free of spelling/grammar mistakes?

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