What is the main theme that connects these documents, such as freedom, equality, or democracy?

History 199 Paper Assignment

You will be writing a paper this semester that will test your ability to read historical sources and write about those sources in order to make a historical argument. The theme of this paper is “The American Experience”. I will assign a number of historical documents from various periods of the country’s history. Each of these documents is an example of a historical figure talking/writing about an important event or issue facing the country and how they interpret the American experience. You will read these documents and choose at least two of them to analyze for the paper. The primary questions you will need to answer are the following:

  1. What is the main theme that connects these documents, such as freedom, equality, or democracy?
  2. Who was the person who created this document and why did they create it?
  3. What events, issues, or themes do they talk about in this document?
  4. What is their position or argument about America in connection to these events, issues, or themes?
  5. What do these documents teach us about your chosen theme?

The final draft of your paper should be 3-4 pages, 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins, double-spaced. Any other sources used to write the paper other than the documents which I provide you must be approved by me. You should cite evidence using Chicago-style footnotes. Every word processing program will have an option to insert footnotes (in Word it is under References). We will talk about citations in detail in class.

Your final draft is due on FRIDAY DEC. 8th, the last day of classes. We will be working on it for the entire semester, however, and at different times during the semester, you will turn in evidence of your progress. This will include an early outline of your paper and a rough draft. I will announce the due dates for both well ahead of time.

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