In your opinion, what were the main reasons US President Harry Truman decided to use atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945? Do you agree or disagree with his decision?

Carrying out this task requires skills that no one is born with but that everyone can master. It involves synthesizing broad amounts of material, deciding which is the most important, using it to develop your own interpretation, and presenting that point of view in a clearly written form. In the opening paragraph, tell us the topic you will be discussing and spell out your point of view on that issue in a clear thesis statement. Think of this crucial part of your essay as the answer to the question being asked. For the first assignment, a thesis statement might read: “In this essay, I will discuss the main factors behind President Truman’s decision to bomb Japan and show (a) that this was the right decision to make (or) (b) that it was unnecessary and thus the wrong decision.” These are very different approaches to the same question, and neither is right or wrong, but both thesis statements show how the author intends to approach the question and what argument he or she will make in the essay. Each point you raise in the body of the essay should support your thesis statement. This is a key part of being a historian: choosing from the evidence at hand to support your interpretation of an issue. Also, keep the counter arguments in mind, responding when appropriate to strengthen your assertions.
The conclusion should briefly summarize the argument made in the essay, but should also go one step further and consider the implications of what your essay shows. This may not be entirely clear, so again take the first assignment as an example. The decision to use atomic weapons began the nuclear arms race and the issue of nuclear proliferation that remains a problem to this day. The bomb also ushered in a new scientific era with peaceful uses of nuclear technology, and many have argued that the use of the bomb assured a period of relative peace between the superpowers because neither side was likely to unleash such a destructive force again. On an entirely different note, you could address the broader debate of whether the bomb was the first shot of the Cold War. You might also approach the issue of the bomb from a moral point of view, considering, as have many, whether its use against Japan was racially motivated. There are, in short, a number of broader implications one could touch on in a conclusion, depending upon which way the argument in the essay develops.Writing: an important skill is the ability to concisely develop a logical argument. Consider the difference between these sentences:1). The Japanese, weary and exhausted as a nation after four years of brutal fighting with the Western allies, were on the brink of complete and total collapse by August 1945.2). By August 1945 the Japanese were ready for surrender.Though well written, the first sentence is wordy. Avoid such constructions in your essays because you need the space. Every word of the paper should contribute to the argument being developed. The best way to weed out wordy phrases is to do multiple drafts, tightening up the writing each time. Have someone read the second draft and point out anything unclear. Read a subsequent draft aloud to catch awkward sentences. Plan ahead so you can do several drafts, setting the essay aside for a while between readings.Grading: Essays will be graded on the basis of the following criteria:1). Level of analysis/argumentation. Present a thoughtful argument and interpretation,not a mere summary of facts. (Note: it does not matter which side of the issue oneargues, only how well or how poorly one makes the argument).2). Use of evidence. The material you select to support your thesis must be relevant andmust clearly back up your argument.3). Clarity of communication. You must present the evidence and express your argumentin a clear, comprehensible manner.A = excellent performance on all three points.B = above average on all three, or excellenton some tempered by flaws in others.C = average across the board, or aboveaverage in part but with significant flaws.D = below average overall performance.
To summarize: give some thought to the question and answer it in an argumentative, interpretive, analytical thesis statement. Choose 2-3 pieces of evidence from the source material to support your argument, citing all sources, and develop each in separate, concisely written paragraphs that refer back to your thesis. Conclude with a brief summary and the broader implications of your argument. Your grade will depend on how well you accomplish these tasks. Refer back to these guidelines.
Sample Outlines (for 1st paper assignment):I. Introductory paragraph. Thesis Statements: In this essay, I will discuss the main factors behind President Truman’s decision to drop the bombs and show that this was …(a) the right decision to make. (b) unnecessary and wrong.II. Japan was unlikely II. Japan was on theto surrender brink of surrenderIII. Truman’s decision III. The goal was to keepsaved lives (Fussell) the USSR out of Japan (Zinn)IV. Conclusion: it was IV. Conclusion: Trumanthe only moral choice made a racist decision