First and foremost the essay is required to be of from five to seven pages (doub

First and foremost the essay is required to be of from five to seven pages (double-spaced) in length.  You are welcome to use any secondary sources out there including the textbooks, but you all most use at least one primary source.  What that means is you can choose any topic(within reason) and write about it.  You can choose something in antiquity including (but not exclusively) the Greeks, the Romans, the Hebrews, the Egyptians and so on, or something more recent such as the Black Plaque (my favorite), the Crusades, the Moors conquest of North Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, the Eastern Mediterranean and southeastern Europe, the Renaissance and so much more.  Whatever topic strikes your individual fancies is fine by me, but above all else, all of you must communicate with me and obtain my permission to run with it.  You of course can go into the European conquest (really) of the Americas and western Africa.  That of course means anew kind of slavery that was built strictly on racism and the subsequent exploitation of those west African inhabitants.
Of course, some students may have an interest in the establishment of the three mono theistic religions culminating with the introduction of Islam in the 7th Century.  I do caution anyone who chooses such a topic that I do not want to see any sort of preaching about any of the religions and your respective adherence to that faith.  Just tell a story as to how they came about and leave the embracing of that faith as a private matter between yourselves and the faith.  By the way, keep in mind that the Jesuits have maintained for centuries that the Bible is a work of didactic fiction.  What one’s  beliefs are private and not open for discussion. 
Students choose their topic from the readings and the time frame of approximately 3500 BCE until about 1600 CE.  The essay’s length is from 5-7 double-spaced pages with the appropriate citations.  You must choose from the “Perspectives” book one original source document as the basis for the subject you need to write about and then use as many legitimate internet sources that you would need to complete the assignment.
The textbook is Perspectives from the Past: Primary Sources in Western Civilizations (Volume 1)