The WWII Timeline Project is a research-based project that takes the student from the causes of the war, through the events of the war, and to the effects of the war on the world.
When I use this in my classroom, the students create a scrapbook that shows different types of writing pieces that they create that would represent a document from the event that they are describing. For example, a student might write a letter as if they are a Japanese soldier fighting in the Battle of Iwo Jima or a poem as if they are an American soldier during D-Day. In each piece, they must describe what is taking place in the event. This helps to prevent them from plagiarizing, as they have to put the event into a different form of writing.
This is a sophomore project at our school, so I team up with the sophomore English teacher. She grades the writing, while I grade the content, so this is a very easy project to use if you are looking for something cross-curricular.
The project is graded with the first scoring guide, while the essay is graded using the SAT rubric, which is included.
I usually give the students about 2 weeks of research time, with checkpoints at the end of each week before the projects are due.