1918-1919 influenza pandemic

Paper instructions

Term Paper Questions:

How did the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 begin? What factors caused it to spread and become a global pandemic? What was influenza like for those who contradicted it? Why did medical personnel have a difficult time treating those who were ill with influenza? In the United States, from the influenzaarchive.org website, read the case studies of the cities of Atlanta, Philadelphia and St. Louis. Compare and contrast these cities. How did the city governments in these cities react to the influenza pandemic? What were the results in each city? Finally, what lessons does the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic have for our world today in combating pandemics, especially lessons for balancing public health concerns with issues such as civil liberties and economic activity?

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The ONLY Sources to consult:
BBC Documentary on Films on Demand, The Flu That Killed 50 Million (2018), 48 minutes

The University of Michigan’s online Influenza Encyclopedia

To access the Influenza Encyclopedia, please go to the website below:


For case studies of American cities, including Atlanta, Philadelphia and St. Louis, click on the 50 U.S. Cities and their stories links on the right side of the website.

You do not need to do any outside research for this paper. Please only use the two sources above for your paper. The use of any other sources is prohibited.

Instructions for the Term Paper:

When you watch the BBC film The Flu That Killed 50 Million and read the city case studies on the online Influenza Encyclopedia, pay attention to details, but do not get lost in them. Always try and keep in mind the main purpose of the source and the big historical events related to it.

When you write your paper, make sure you completely answer the questions. The best papers fully answer the questions and do not significantly veer off the subject.

Please keep in mind that this is a term paper and not a book report. Book reports simply sum up a book while term papers seek to answer more substantive questions. Although your term paper will to some degree sum up information in the assigned sources (e.g. the BBC film and the city case studies in the online Influenza Encyclopedia), you should only do so in ways that help answer the questions.

You should have a clear thesis statement. The thesis statement is a sentence or two in the introductory paragraph that gives the paper’s main argument. It will tie the paper together from the beginning to the end. You should refer back to it again in your conclusion. For example, you could argue in your thesis that the influenza epidemic shows the importance of sanitation to prevent pandemics. Alternatively, you could argue in your thesis statement that aggressive government actions such as quarantines are the best way to reduce deaths during a pandemic. Certainly, you could make other arguments as well. In the end, your thesis statement should reflect your views, although whatever they are, you should have a clear thesis statement and evidence to support it.

You need to have evidence for your argument to be convincing. This includes giving specific examples and citing sources. Papers that do not cite and quote from the sources are almost always weaker than those that do. You may sum up information from a source or directly quote from it. As a rough rule of thumb, you should have at least one or two source citation per paragraph. For quotations that are several sentences long, use block quotations. However, please avoid using excessive citations, and especially numerous lengthy or block quotations as this will clutter your paper and drown out your voice, causing you to lose significant points.

You should cite the page numbers where you found specific information or quotes. Please use the Turabian Style of citation (otherwise known as the Chicago Manual of Style) as it is the standard citation style for the discipline of History. Do not use MLA. More information on this citation style is given below under the heading “Citation Style.”

You will find it useful on occasion to directly quote from a source to illustrate a point. Please do not simply quote to fill space, but instead give specific relevant and credible information to address the term paper questions. When you include direct quotes, use the ICE method of Introduce, Cite and Explain. First, do not simply drop quotes into your paper. Rather, introduce each quote with an introductory or stock phrase. Examples of introductory phrases to use just before a quote are as follows:

According to the online Influenza Encyclopedia, “begin quotation here”
The film The Flu That Killed 50 Million suggests that “begin quotation here”
The online Influenza Encyclopedia argues that “begin quotation here”
As the film The Flu That Killed 50 Million notes “begin quotation here”
Scholarly research featured in the online Influenza Encyclopedia shows that “begin quotation here”
As detailed in the film The Flu That Killed 50 Million “begin quotation here”

Next, at the end of the quotation, cite your source using the Turabian style of citation.
Finally, after using a quote, briefly explain or expound upon it in your own words. This
helps the reader understand the quote as well as why you have included it. Moreover, it
ensures that your writing “flows” well. In the end, the ICE method gives you a chance to
analysis the material a bit and hopefully tie back to your thesis statement.

Solid papers are well-organized and well-written. Your paper should have an introduction, main body, and conclusion. The main body should be organized in a logical fashion and the paper should be generally free of spelling, grammatical, and stylistic errors. Papers should use complete sentences and paragraphs. Papers should indent at the beginning of each paragraph.

Papers should be 4-6 pages, typed, 12 point font and double-spaced. Please do not add extra space between paragraphs in attempt to fill space. Short papers will invariably not fully address the questions. The instructor will not count off for papers that run a little over six pages. However, students should strive not to ramble with their papers and thereby go well beyond six pages.

You should also have a Bibliography at the end. A Bibliography is simply a separate listing of sources in alphabetical order at the end of your paper.

Avoid using first person, i.e. “I” “me” or “my” in your paper. This paper is not based on your own personal experiences. The only exception to this is if you choose to discuss the coronavirus when you discuss lessons of the influenza pandemic at the end of your paper. Since you have personal experience from the coronavirus pandemic, you are allowed to use first person to discuss lessons from pandemics and to compare and contrast the influenza pandemic to the coronavirus pandemic.

While you may use your lecture notes or the Video Textbook for background material, by far the main focus of your paper should be the sources assigned to you, namely the BBC film The Flu That Killed 50 Million and the online Influenza Encyclopedia.

The use of any other sources, especially internet sources, is strictly forbidden for this assignment.


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