HIS 4324 Sub-Saharan Africa


Final Essay Exam:


You will write an essay of approximately 6-8 pages in length (double spaced, 1 inch margins all-around, no extra spacing between paragraphs, 12-point Times New Roman font).  No paper should be longer than 8 pages.


You should use information which was used for the class (the Gilbert and Reynolds textbook is still on reserve in the library under “HIS 4324,” anything distributed/used in class, the Achebe and Mandela texts).  When you use any of these sources, you should cite correctly using either a parenthetical reference (MLA) or Chicago (Turabian) style.  (You can use information other than the above, but keep it to a minimum.)


Your essays will be marked based on argument/logic, evidence used, and grammar/syntax.  As this is a senior-level course, I assume your knowledge of the critical essay form as well as your ability to cite correctly.


You’ll find the PowerPoint presentations used in class (containing some of the sources cited in class) here https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kbavo6ndo98iizm/AADwXKq76_DOR1oBWYu__8qba?dl=0


The essay is due not later than 6 pm on Thursday, 4 May.  Please email a soft copy by that time to cohan@txwes.edu.    


Things to keep in mind:

1.      Arguments differ from opinion in that you must provide specific pieces of evidence to support what you’re writing.

2.      For this assignment, your opinion is not important; I am not asking for it and I don’t want it.

3.      Whatever your own personal convictions or values, you must assess the material critically and objectively. Do not use first person in your essay.


Essay Question:  Since the late 1950s, much of sub-Saharan Africa has followed a similar pattern:  1) of hopeful independence, a period of democracy and economic success ended by 2) the 1973 oil embargo crisis, which pushed most African states toward authoritarian regimes.  The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 signaled 3) a second democratization and renewed hope for Africa.


Write an essay giving at least two examples for each of these three periods, concluding that progress has and is being made (that is, I want your argument to be positive rather than negative).