Final Paper Topic and Guidelines

History 100

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R. Hamm, J. Grobe, N. Truax

Fall 2020

Topics: Write on one (1) of the following topics. Be sure to title your paper with the question you are answering.

A. The United States developed a style of government guided by the ideas that the role of government was to promote and protect the liberty of the people (who were sovereign) and that government should be necessarily limited in power while the majority should rule. Write an essay exploring the social and intellectual roots of the American view of government, from the English/colonial tradition and Enlightenment ideas, through the development and implementation of these ideas in the Revolution, and through the modification and persistence of the ideas (including ideas about the virtue of the people and dangers of faction/party) in the decades after the Revolution through the Civil War.

B. Write an essay which describes and explains the rise and fall of slavery in America from around 1600 to its end in the Civil War. Be sure to explain how and why slavery developed in the colonies, why slavery survived the American Revolution, how and why slavery expanded with the new nation, how it interacted with ideas about race, gender, religion, and reform, how it affected the lives of the people in slavery and those touched by it such as masters and free African Americans, and how it died in the Civil War.

C. From the earliest days of colonization, people who came to America defined and tried to attain their version of the American Dream either of succeeding economically or being able to live a religious way of life. Write an essay exploring the economic and religious reasons that brought people to American and what they considered the potential of America. Cover from the beginnings of colonization to the Civil War. Make sure you talk about the various religious experiments of the colonial period, the dreams of people inspired by the religious awakenings, the economic dreams of migrants from the 17th to 19th century, the desires of Native Americans, as well as the Free Labor ideology of mid-19th century.

Sources and Length: Essays should be between 2000 and 2400 words long. Use only evidence from the l PowerPoints in “Lectures,” folder, the textbook, AND ESPECIALLY the primary source reader (and other assigned websites) to support your points. Do not use outside course materials.

When to Cite and Plagiarism: In a paper when you quote something, you must use quotation marks and give a citation. Paraphrased or borrowed ideas from a source are to be identified by proper citations. Plagiarism is taking (which includes purchasing) the words and ideas of another and passing them off as one’s own work. If you quote or take an idea you must cite to avoid that. Otherwise it is plagiarism. Plagiarism will result, at the minimum, in you failing the assignment. If, in the judgment of the instructor, the plagiarism is flagrant you shall be assigned an “E” for the course. In every case, violations of academic dishonesty where a penalty is imposed will also include the filing of a violation of academic integrity report.

Simple parenthetical citations will do just fine for our purposes in this assignment. If you have a quote or a paraphrase follow it up with a source in parenthesis ( )

Cite powerpoints this way: the title of the powerpoint on blackboard in italics, and the title of the slide inside quotation marks. So for example: Old and New Worlds Meet, “The Effects of Continental Drift”

Cite the Yawp text this way: American Yawp Text, Chapter 2, Section 3.

Cite the documents this way: American Yawp, Primary Sources, Chapter 2, Document 3

For the few out sources, simple is best for instance the Federalist selections: “Federalist #10”

Cite discussion posts this way: the author of post by last name, the date of the discussion, and the number of the thread. For example: Demo, September 7, 2020, 13.

Submission guidelines: This essay will be due through the blackboard portal of your discussion section (where this assignment is posted) by 11:59 pm on December 4, 2020. Write in your word processor program and save as docx or pdf and then attach it to the submission. That is what we will grade. But also cut and paste the submission into the box that says write submission for safety’s sake.

Hints: In general, your essays should blend what you have learned with your ideas. The papers should not just summarize the material you have read and heard, but should draw upon your reading and listening to make a point. All good essays have an argument and the materials in the essay should contribute to supporting that argument. You should pay close attention to the structure of your essay. Every paper should have an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction is especially important as it is the first thing the reader encounters. In your introduction, you should state the themes of your essay and summarize your conclusions. The body of your paper carries the burden of proving your point. You must provide evidence on which you base your conclusions, explaining, in your own words, how the evidence supports your conclusions. Copying a series of quotations from your sources fails to convey your meaning. You must explain how these quotations contribute to your point. To deter you from this common failing you are prohibited from using long quotes (over 30 words). No block quotes please. At the end of your paper you should include a conclusion. At the very least it should be a summary paragraph which reviews your conclusions. If you can draw further implications from your ideas, here is a place to put them.


If you are having trouble: If you for any reason won’t be able to make the due date, let your discussion leader know. If you need an extension, ask for one from your discussion leader. These are unusual times and we understand.

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