TOPIC: SLAVERY AND THE MAKING OF RACE
TEXTBOOK: http://www.americanyawp.com (CHAPTER 3)
The core assignment of this course is a documented research paper (3 full pages double-spaced, 12-point font).
The paper should support a thesis statement with information gained from research or investigation.
The paper will not be just a report presenting information but will be a paper that carefully examines and presents your own historical interpretation of the topic you have chosen and your interpretation of the information you have gathered.
The paper may include consideration of problems and solutions, definition of key terms, or may refute arguments against your thesis statement.
It will be important to choose a topic of interest to you.
Approach this assignment with an open and skeptical mind, then form an opinion based on what you have discovered.
You must suspend beliefs while you are investigating and let the discoveries shape your opinion. (This is a thesis-finding approach.)
Once you have found your thesis, write the paper to support it.
You will use some of the following critical thinking skills in this process:
Choosing an appropriate topic, limiting the topic.
Gathering information, summarizing sources.
Analyzing and evaluating sources.
Defining key terms.
Synthesizing information, comparing and contrasting sources.
Testing a thesis, making a historical argument, using refutation.
Amassing support for a position.
Choose a topic related to chapters covered in The American Yawp, (Chapters 1-15) that you would truly like to explore and that you are willing to spend some time on. Your chosen topic should be focused. Pose a question that you really want to answer. You may want to begin with more than one topic in mind.
Refine your topic. Summarize your topic, your interest in the topic, the questions you want to answer, and a hypothesis you want to test.
Use a minimum of four sources for your paper, and at least one must be a primary source.
Primary sources are contemporary to the times under investigation.
An example of a secondary source is our textbook, though the textbook also contains excerpts of primary sources, which you may use as a source in your paper.
Write the final draft and be sure to include a Works Cited List (this will be page 4), and use the correct MLA documentation style.
INTRODUCTION & THESIS: Includes a clear thesis statement, an assertion or position. Topic is original and manageable in a short research paper. /15
FOCUS AND DEVELOPMENT: Body of the essay focuses on this thesis and develops it fully, recognizing the complexity of issues and refuting arguments in opposition to the thesis. /20
SUPPORT AND SYNTHESIS: Uses sufficient and relevant evidence to support the thesis (and primary points), including facts, inferences, and judgments. Quotes, summarizes, and paraphrases accurately and effectively–appropriately introducing and explaining each quote. /25
RESOURCES: Shows a clear understanding of the sources; has evaluated each source and used it appropriately. Uses a wide variety of sources reflecting significant research. /10
CONVENTIONS: Uses MLA format correctly; includes internal citations and a Works Cited list; is free of errors. /15
CORRECTNESS AND STYLE: Introduces the topic in an interesting way; shows critical thinking and depth of understanding; uses appropriate tone; shows sophistication in language usage and sentence structure. /15