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Topic: -Use only the book “A Child of Hitler, Germany in The Days with God wore a swastika” . Describe and analyze the ways in which Alfons Heck’s participation in the Hitler Youth and in the culture of Nazism served to craft his sense of purpose and identity. How are the acts of writing and reflection in his memoir also a means of crafting an identity for himself many decades later?

General Guide to Writing Papers

The following are points to consider when preparing the final draft of your paper. This guideline is a general overview designed to help you through the process of writing your paper. If you have specific questions about content and writing, please consult the professor or your TA.

Read the Prompt: Of course you are going to read the prompt, but do so carefully! Be sure to respond directly and completely to the key issues outlined in the prompt. Essays that veer off topic or fail to address these key issues will receive low grades. If you have any questions about what the prompt is asking, be sure to consult the instructor.

Have a Thesis: Your thesis is the most important element of your paper. A thesis is an argument synthesized through careful analysis of the evidence that directly addresses the issues outlined in the prompt. Your thesis statement should be clear, assertive, and deeply analytical. It should be presented in the first paragraph of the essay and establish the analytical direction your paper will strictly follow. Imagine your thesis as a clothes line, a cord that stretches across the scope of your essay upon which you will attach your evidence. An observation such as, “Heck’s participation in the Hitler Youth formed his identity.” is not a thesis. This is akin to telling me the sky is blue. Your thesis must articulate the significance of the analysis you make and exhibit an integrated assessment of the evidence. A paper without a clear thesis is not a good paper.

Support Your Thesis: After your thesis is stated, you must support it. You do this by providing specific evidence from your sources. Along with providing this evidence, show why these particular details support your overall argument. Does your evidence support your thesis? If not, you may have to modify your thesis. When you use evidence, provide proper citations. However, use direct quotes sparingly. Your paper should center on your analysis rather than being merely a collection of quotations from the readings. Below is an example of a footnote:

1. Runstedtler, Theresa, Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner: Boxing in the Shadow of the Global Color Line. (Berkely, CA: University of California Press, 2013), 67.

Use “Ibid” for subsequent citations of the same text.

Or you may use internal citations: ex. (Runstedtler, 67).



Failure to cite sources is plagiarism, a form of intellectual theft that may result in a failing grade.

When You are Done, Reread Your Essay: Proofreading is a must! Papers with spelling and punctuation errors baldly exhibit the writer’s sloppiness. But proofreading is also important in determining if you are communicating clearly. Read your paper out loud. Have someone unfamiliar with the material read it. Does it make sense? Also, have you supported your thesis? Frequently, writers reach conclusions that differ from their introductions. This is often a sign that you have given your topic thoughtful analysis. Go back and change your thesis to be consistent with your final conclusion. Be sure that your thesis does provide that coherent, analytical line that carries throughout your essay.

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