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3. Was Napoleon a champion of the French Revolution or its gravedigger? Did Napoleon follow the principles of the French Revolution and help bring them to fruition? Or did he undermine and destroy those principles? The easy answer to this question is that he did both, but your task in answering this question is to take one side or the other and support it with good, detailed evidence. Use your research and understanding of his regime to make a strong case on either side of this issue. This is primarily a question about Napoleon’s policies and not a question about his military exploits, so avoid talking about this aspect of his rule.
This assignment is asking you to write an essay, which requires an argument of some sort on your part. So, for example, rather than simply listing details about the French Revolution or the Protestant Reformation you should start with some sort assessment of these things that you then support through your writing and research. Your goal is to convince the reader of your knowledge of the topic and the strength of your argument.
There are three essential parts to a good essay: the introduction (introduce the topic and establish your thesis), body (support for your argument), and conclusion where you try to demonstrate the validity of your argument. Your introduction should conclude with your thesis statement in which you outline your point of view on the topic you are about to write about. An example of a thesis statement might read something like, “I will argue that the French Revolution was started because…,” or “Hitler rose to power because…” These are, of course, just examples of the introductory wording of a thesis statement.
You should then start with the body of your essay where you will reinforce your earlier thesis statement using examples from your research to illustrate your point – specificity will make your argument stronger. You should use separate paragraphs to talk about each part of the topic and your argument. Try to use examples and provide a detailed account of them to give the reader a sense of why he/she should be convinced by your argument.
Finally, conclude with a short paragraph that summarizes your argument from the first paragraph and reiterates your reasons for making your argument.