Atomic Bomb Short Essay

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					                                                                      McKenna: World History

                    Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb
                               Short Essay Assignment
Name: _________________________________________ Total Points: 30 points

Vice-President Harry S. Truman became president of the United States after President
Franklin D. Roosevelt died in April, 1945. Shortly after becoming president, Truman was
faced with one of the most difficult decisions of his life: whether or not he should use the
newly invented atomic bomb against Japan in an effort to save American lives and end
World War II.

Scientists told President Truman that approximately 20,000 Japanese would die and many
homes and factories would be destroyed if he used the atomic bomb. In reality the first
atomic bomb killed 80,000 - 100,000 people and destroyed five square miles in
Hiroshima. Three days later, the second atomic bomb killed 40,000 people in Nagasaki.
Thousand more died later as a result of injuries and from exposure to radiation.

Was the atomic bomb a necessary evil? Use the chart below to analyze the pros and cons.
Then, in a short essay (3 paragraphs), explain what you would have decided and why.
Specifically, answer this question: If you had been the President of the United States
during WWII, what would you have decided and why?

          Option 1: Use the atomic bomb        Option 2: Don’t use the atomic bomb
Pros      It would probably end the war        Thousands of innocent Japanese civilians
          with Japan and save the lives of     would not be killed.
          hundreds of thousands of
          American soldiers.
Cons      It would mean the death of           The American military would have to
          thousands of innocent civilians.     invade Japan. About 500,000 American
          It would do extensive damage to      soldiers would probably die in this attack.
          the city of Hiroshima.               Even more Japanese civilians and soldiers
                                               would also die.
                                                                  McKenna: World History


Grading       Excellent           Acceptable        Minimal               Unacceptable
Criteria     (8-10 points)        (5-7 points)      (2-4 points)          (0-1 points)
Content      Fully answers the    Answers           Answers question      Does not answer
             question and         questions and     with little to no     question and does
             provides             provides some     supporting details    not provide
             substantial          supporting        for decision          supporting details
             supporting           details for
             details for          decision
Organization Essay is very        Essay is          Organization of       Organization of
             clearly organized    generally         essay is often        essay is mostly
             into paragraphs;     organized into    unclear; transition   unclear; transition
             information          paragraphs;       words are not         words are not
             flows in a logical   appropriate       appropriately         used; introduction
             sequence;            transition        used; introduction    or conclusion is
             transition words     words are used;   and/or conclusion     missing
             are used             appropriate       is minimal or
             effectively;         introduction      inappropriate
             introduction and     and conclusion
             conclusion are       are provided
Mechanics    Flawless             Some minor        Careless spelling,    Significant
             spelling,            spelling,         punctuation, or       spelling,
             punctuation, and     punctuation, or   grammar mistakes      punctuation, or
             grammar              grammar           that somewhat         grammar mistakes
                                  mistakes that     affect the reader’s   that seriously
                                  do not affect     ability to            affect the reader’s
                                  the reader’s      understand the        ability to
                                  ability to        author’s purpose      understand the
                                  understand the                          author’s purpose
                                                                      McKenna: World History


*This is just a sample outline. You can use this template or create your own outline. I
highly recommend you jotting down some notes before you begin writing your essay.

*Don’t forget to see me for extra help if you are having trouble. You can find me in
Trailer 11 during 3rd, 6th, and 7th periods or in A373 during 4th and 5th periods. If you
would like to work after school, please see me to schedule a time/place.

Paragraph #1: Introduction

       The atomic bomb is (in your own words, describe what it is, what it could be used
for, why it is dangerous, etc.)________________________________________________





In 1945, United States President, Harry S. Truman, had to decide whether to use the
newly created atomic bombs against Japan in an effort to end World War II. Had I been
the President of the United States at that time, I would have decided _________________



because _________________________________________________________________

(this should simply be a statement of why you would make that decision).

Paragraph #2: Body (Supporting Details/Evidence)

This paragraph should repeat WHAT decision you would make and WHY, providing
supporting evidence to make your argument. Explain why your decision would be the
best alternative for ending World War II. Be sure to use complete sentences and support
your decision with evidence from class discussions, the class textbook, and the articles.

Paragraph #3: Conclusion

Conclude your essay with summary remarks.

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