Assignment: Find a historically significant invention. Identify a few of the innovations or processes that most centrally contributed to that invention’s creation, and establish the invention’s historical significance.
• The invention itself should be something you could touch with your hands; in other words, abstract inventions (equations, theories, techniques, etc.) are unacceptable. You might choose an instrument, piece of machinery, tool, material, or anything of the like.
• “Innovations or processes” might include more abstract developments, such as certain theories or techniques, but they might simply include other inventions that had to precede the one you focus on in your paper. (Please note that these “innovations or processes” should include interesting developments, which is to say developments that are not to a general reader completely obvious, given your topic; for example, were you to take an automobile as your “historically significant invention,” referencing the invention of the wheel as a necessary precursor would only take you so far.)
• A simple tip that will, in general, make this assignment easier to write is to pick a very specific invention rather than a class of inventions. While this specificity of focus is not necessary, it will tend make the topic fresher and the information more manageable.
How this is argumentative:
1. This essay requires you to connect processes or innovations to an invention, convincing me that these processes or innovations contributed significantly to that invention’s creation.
2. The claim that a given invention is historically significant will require some justification. In other words, this essay will require some discussion connecting the invention to its consequences or uses. This discussion should take the form of an argument that the invention is, in fact, historically significant. (Again, obvious claims about the invention’s significance will not carry much weight—I don’t need to be told that planes allowed people to travel quickly across vast distances because everyone already knows that. Tell me something a general reader would not already know.)
Note that the innovations or processes that led to the invention should receive approximately the same amount of attention and emphasis as the historically significant uses or consequences of the invention.

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Steam locomotive – the engine of the world
Steam locomotives as well as their later derivatives such as diesel and electric locomotives have been in use all around the world for almost 200 years. First attempts of making steam locomotives happened in the late 18th and early 19th century, shortly after the development of first steam engines. The purpose of this essay is to analyze the historical development of locomotives, their impact on the world and changes that happened as a direct result of their activity. However, it is also important to examine the root causes and inventions that led to this discovery. This is important because if it were not for people like Pritchard, Jessop, Boulton, Watt and other inventors in the late 18th century, steam locomotive would never have been invented (Hudson, 2014; McGowan, 2013; Mattern, 2012).
Before steam was even considered as a propellent, horse carriages were the main transportation device for both passengers and cargo. In the late 16th century, German engineers...
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