What to do: Research and write a 3000-word essay, as an argument or thesis, on this topic: What led to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, in the west, in the 4th and 5th centuries? Note: do not argue that the Roman Empire declined due to the rise or impact of Christianity because it is not a persuasive argument.
How: The essay must include a bibliography of six scholarly sources; no websites count as sources. Find books and journal articles. The paper should be double-spaced, in a 12-point font, with page numbers, and cited either with footnotes or endnotes in the style of Turabian’s Manual or The Chicago Manual of Style (the latest edition for both). Grammar and spelling count in the grade.
Extra credit points: If done correctly in the format, and is argued persuasively as a history research paper, the student will receive 100 points. The rubric is below, and awards 80 points for an adequate paper, but 100 for an excellent paper.