HIEU 201 Comparison-Contrast Essay
To give students the opportunity to conduct scholarly research on a topic and prepare a comparison/contrast essay evaluating specific historical events or periods.
This assignment combines 3 aspects: choosing a topic, researching and writing a bibliography, and writing a comparison/contrast essay. There are separate instructions for the Historical Bibliography Exercise, the second part of this assignment.
Write a 5-page research paper analyzing 1 of the topics below. The paper must include a strong analysis and must be formatted according to current Turabian guidelines. Note that your instructor may choose to provide an additional topic option through the course announcements during Module/Week 2.
- Compare and contrast the height of Egyptian civilization during the Pyramid Age (2682–2181 BC) with the defining Vedic-Aryan civilization along the Indus River (c. 1500 BC). Each of these left defining legacies for their respective regions. Consider the similarities and differences of these ancient civilizations. Topics for evaluation and analysis could include worldviews and religious teachings, legacies, and influence on the development of Western Civilization.
- Compare and contrast the medieval Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. Because the Eastern Orthodox Church was created in 1054, you may want to focus on the 11th century. You may include details from earlier in medieval history as you see fit, but do not include details from before 476. Topics for evaluation and analysis may include theological differences, differing emphasis placed on doctrine and liturgy, influence in the development of Western Europe, or influence in the East. The Story of Christianity, Vol. 1: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation by Justo Gonzalez is a great resource for this topic.
- Compare the Protestant teaching of Luther regarding women to the medieval Catholic view of women. Consider the similarities and differences. Topics for evaluation and analysis could include Biblical support/analysis for each view, their legacies and influences on the development of Western Civilization, the influence of these teachings on society and gender roles, and the freedoms or lack of freedoms provided by each view. The writings of Luther and Justo Gonzalez’s The Story of Christianity, Vol. 1 and The Story of Christianity, Vol. 2 are excellent places to start your research.
- Consider the rise of the nation-state for France and England during the late Middle Ages, in contrast to the political development of Germany and Italy in the same period. Choose 1 nation from each group (France or England vs. Germany or Italy). Compare and contrast their political development. Consider the implications of 1 group attaining strong, centralized status while the other group remained decentralized. Topics for evaluation and analysis could include the significance of centralization versus decentralization in the countries of your choosing, the legacy for the development of the respective countries and for Western Civilization, and consideration for the legacies of each respective region.
- Compare and contrast early Spanish exploration from 1492–1548 with early English exploration of 1584–1648. Consider similarities and differences. Topics for analysis and evaluation could include driving motivations for Spain and England, methods and motivations of individuals, benefits for Spain and England, legacy for Protestantism and Catholicism in both Europe and the New World. Keep in mind that this is a European, not American, topic so keep the focus on Europe.