Choose any of the Roman emperors, and write a biographical sketch explaining what you see as his most notable actions
and character traits that impacted Western civilization.
A biographical sketch is shorter and more specific than a typical biography of a person’s character, life, and
achievements. It should provide readers with your insights into the person’s character and give people what you consider
to be significant information about a historical figure.
Step 1: Choose an appropriate source. At least one source must come from the CSU Online Library. The Academic
OneFile and General OneFile are databases in the CSU Online Library that would be good places to start your search. If
you need additional help with using or locating information in the online library, there are Library Video Tutorials available
on the main page of the online library under the heading Research Guides.
You may use additional resources, but those sources cannot include Wikipedia, biography.com, history.com, or other
encyclopedias. You may research the person on credible sources online or at your local library to read a variety of
biographies about the person.
Step 2: Complete your research. Choose one interesting experience that illustrates the main point that you want to make
about that person’s life. Gather details about that incident. For example, write a timeline of the person’s life that will show
that you know when and where the person was born; where he lived; what he did throughout the course of his life; and
HY 1010, Western Civilization I 3
where, when, and how he died. Make a list of the person’s pursuits and accomplishments. You should know this person
inside and out before you begin writing your sketch.
Step 3: Draw conclusions, and prepare your thesis. Reflect on the life of the historical figure. Once you have done your
research and have gathered enough information about the historical figure, you should sit back to think about what it
means, to see if you notice any trends, and to have a better sense of what you want to convey about the person. Your
thesis statement will offer your reader the overall insight into this person you have perceived.
Use the following guidelines to help decide on your thesis:
? Ask yourself about how the historical figure was shaped by his time period and environment.
? Ask yourself how the historical figure impacted the lives of the people around him, the general public, and
? Figure out which of the figure’s achievements and life experiences you may want to emphasize. Figure out which
quality of the person you would most like to emphasize, and make sure the facts you present support it.
? Find the perfect anecdote to demonstrate the qualities of the person you would most like to show.
Step 4: Write your essay. Your essay should be at least one page in length. You are required to use at least one source
from the CSU Online Library for your response.
Be sure to consider the following guidelines in your essay:
? The introduction should engage the reader and clearly present the essays thesis and a summary of the main
points that clarify the writers point of view.
? Organization should clearly present points arranged to illustrate your opening thesis.
? Writing should be clear and concise with no spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors.
? The number of sources should meet or exceed any expressed assignment requirements and should be peerreviewed
or academic in nature. At least one source must be from the CSU Online Library.
? APA formatting guidelines should be used for reference entries and in-text citations.
If you need assistance with writing or formatting your essay, there are additional tutorials and webinars
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