Editorializing Imperialism

Should the United States have been an imperial nation?

Let’s find out with some editorials – written and drawn! Here is the rubric!

Overall target – I can evaluate American imperialism from multiple perspectives.


I can develop an original editorial claim and support it with sufficient historical evidence.

For your EDITORIAL, you will write a SINGLE PARAGRAPH either supporting or opposing imperialism.  Your opinion should be the opposite of the one you present in your cartoon.  Type your editorial as a google doc using THE FORM AVAILABLE ON GOOGLE CLASSROOM and submit it on Google Classroom.

  • Make sure you have a topic sentence with a CLAIM or THESIS and key idea words in BOLD.  DO NOT simply use “America should have / should not have been an imperial nation for many reasons”.
  • Develop ONE KEY ARGUMENT, and have all of your supporting EVIDENCE relate to the key idea. (If your key idea is “apples”, support it with examples of apples – not bananas, kiwi, or blackberries.)
  • DO NOT USE “for many reasons” AS YOUR CLAIM or THESIS!
  • Make sure your evidence is specific and historically accurate. Use the resources provided and your American imperialism guide to come up with excellent supporting details.
  • Do not simply list the information from your notes.  Come up with an original thought or two.
  • Pay attention to the 6 traits of writing – ideas, voice, organization, word choice, fluency, and conventions
  • DO NOT USE FIRST PERSON!

HINT – Don’t overthink this! Look at your PROS and CONS from your debate notes, and then try to tie a few together.  You cannot use every bit of information about imperialism in one paragraph!


I can create an original and effective editorial cartoon using cartooning techniques.

For your EDITORIAL CARTOON, you will draw a SINGLE CARTOON either supporting or opposing imperialism.  Your opinion should be the opposite (pro/con )of the one you present in your editorial.

  • Make sure you have an ISSUE as the subject of your cartoon.  you can draw your cartoon about imperialism in general or a single specific event involving American imperialism.
  • Think of some of the TECHNIQUES you saw in the debate presentation  – symbolism, analogy, stereotype, exaggeration, caricature, references, sarcasm – but you can’t use them all
  • Have a clear and insightful comment (or thesis) – but not one that is too obvious
  • Pay attention to neatness and detail, and make it more than just a series of scratches on a piece of paper
  • Draw it on a full sheet of unlined printer paper, hand it in WITH YOUR NAME ON THE BACK, and take a picture of it so it can be shared online

HINT – The easiest way to create a cartoon is to think of your comment (thesis) first, then apply one or two of the techniques.  

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