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2 page executive summary of one broad topic

Executive Summary. Based on independent research students are required to put together an executive summary of one broad topic. This assignment is not a position paper and students should not argue a particular point of view. The purpose of the assignment is to be informative and educational while maintaining a strict format of an executive summary.


The topic is   – Cuban Missile Crisis-


NOTE: Topics can not be altered in any way – no narrowing down of the selected topic! Penalty for altering the topic: 20% off of the mark.


Students should pay close attention to the following issues: treatment of sources; composition of their summaries; clarity of statements; writing style; grammar, and other important technical aspects of the assignment. Since this is a take-home assignment the quality of writing, grammar, style, clarity, and the ability to highlight the most significant aspects of the topic selected are of great importance. Poor writing style and grammar as well as shaky structure and the lack of clarity would result in a lower mark. Remember, this is a summary, and it should be approached as an informative presentation to a poorly informed audience. Your presentation, therefore, should focus on the most significant and striking features of the topic you chose to address.



Summaries must not be longer than 2 typed and double-spaced pages (font: Times New Roman; font size: 11 or 12).


Summaries longer than 2 typed double-spaced pages will be marked down 1% per line. 


Limited number of footnotes/endnotes allowed (1-2 per page). Excessive footnoting would result in a lower mark.


Bibliography (list of references / sources consulted) must be placed on a separate page. Bibliographical units (entries) should be listed alphabetically, starting with the last name of the author.


Required sourcing style: The Chicago Manual of Style…. see Guidelines for Writing Historical Essays (Department of History and Classics web page).


Sources: minimum of 3 secondary sources (books). Lecture notes could be used as basic sources. Students are strongly discouraged from using Internet-based sources and open-source data bases as well as encyclopedias. Use books instead, they are fun to read.


The use of Wikipedia for the completing of the assignment would result in severe lowering of the mark!!!!!!!!!!!!


This assignment tests your ability to summaries broad topics and to select the most important feature/s of a topic / process your chose to write about.






In obtaining material for your essay you should restrain from using web-based material. It should be recognized that the material you get off the Net is most often taken from written sources elsewhere and that, if it is particularly important to your summary (assignment), you should make an attempt to track down the original material (in the library) and use it instead. In short, the WEB is best used as a guide for obtaining some of the basic information for your topics, but you should not rely on it to a great degree. In a way, it is similar to writing your essay entirely from an encyclopedia, something that is also not recommended. Through Google and other search engines it is now relatively easy to track down plagiarism from Internet sources.

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