Required Essay 2 Version 1 (RE2v1)
You are an analyst for the Congressional Research Service in the early 1940s, and representatives from President Roosevelt have asked you to write a brief report for a select group of senators and representatives. Funding for the Manhattan Project must be kept almost entirely hidden from members of Congress, but the support of these select individuals will help push certain funding measures through and allow the project to proceed without undue pressure or curiosity from the rest of the legislative branch.
These members of Congress require some preliminary scientific background on this project. In your report you should brief these individuals on the following preliminary questions:
Base your essay on the information in the assigned reading "Physics and Technology of Nuclear-Explosive Materials" and the current (Spring 2017) class slides on Nuclear Weapons.
In writing your essay, assume that your reader is a college-educated member of congress who is familiar with the material that has been presented in the lecture-discussions and the material in the readings that have already been assigned, but be sure to define all the terms you are asked to define in the prompt above. You do not need to place these definitions in quotes, but you do need to provide citations for them.
Your essay should be 2 pages, when printed in the format specified in the Student Handbook, including the title, headers, and footers. To check this, you should print the exact version you are going to submit. If your paper is longer than 2 pages when printed, the score it would have received will be marked down heavily.
The Student Handbook provides complete guidance for preparing and submitting writing assignments. Before you turn in your essay, be sure to review the writing assignment submission checklist in the Handbook.
Additional formatting requirements from the Congressional Research Service:
Citation of sources:
You do not need to give citations when the information you use is common knowledge. In deciding what is common knowledge, consider what is known by a typical University of Illinois student who is not a student in Physics 280. If in doubt, include a citation.
As the sources you are to use in preparing this essay are clearly specified, there should be no doubt about what sources are being used for this assignment. Nevertheless, for practice we require explicit citations of all sources used for any definitions in the Required Essays.
To save space in the Required Essays, which are only a few pages long, we recommend referring to Physics 280 class slides using the style [17p280 Nuclear Weapons, slide 15] and to pages in "Physics and Technology of Nuclear-Explosive Materials" using the style [NEM, page 221]. The page numbers for the NEM reading are 221-226, respectively. Please use the slide numbers that apply to the file from the course website, not Top Hat. (More complete citations will be required in the Research Paper for sources other than Physics 280 slides.)
Do not include a bibliography or a list of references.
If you would like to see examples of reports from the Congressional Research Service, consider the following:
These are meant to be examples of formatting, but your report will be much shorter. You also do not need a contents section, subheadings, etc.Further guidance:
Writer's memo. In addition to your RE2v1 essay submit a brief memo that requests feedback from your reviewers. Please formulate four questions to be answered by your TA and your peer reviewer. Questions can be related to writing style, factual content or questions related to the factual content but going beyond the scope of the present writing prompt. Example questions are listed below:
Writer's memo format: