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.
- Documenting sources.
- 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