“What did it mean to be free in the in United States between the 1870s and through the 1930s?”
Learning Goal: I’m working on a history writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
Times New Roman font, size 12. Double-spaced with one-inch margins. 1200-1500 words with page numbers at the bottom of the essay. The Works Cited page is not included in the word count.
According to the Constitution of the United States, one of the reasons that Americans founded the United States was to provide freedom to its people. Thus far, our class has covered or will cover, U.S. history from Industrialization (American Yawp Chapter 16) to the Great Depression (Chapter 23). Use the readings from Modules 1-4 (or any primary source from the American YAWP Reader found in Chapters 16-23, located here (Links to an external site.)) to answer the following question:
“What did it mean to be free in the United States between the 1870s and through the 1930s?”
Your essays will need to include a thesis statement that addresses the question and incorporate a minimum of four pieces of evidence to support your answer. You must use sources from multiple weeks of the course to answer the prompt. For example, you cannot just use the readings from Module One for this essay. Instead, you need to use different sources from different Modules.
You will need to cite your work in Chicago Manual Style and include a bibliography at the end of your essay (Hint: your bibliography will consist only of the textbook and the primary source readings found on Canvas). You will submit your essay to me via Canvas. I will let you know where the link is and how to do that through an announcement.
1-Read the prompt carefully, and take notes about how to address it.
2-Create a thesis (argument) to support your answer to the prompt.
3-Locate evidence from our readings to support your thesis (argument).
4-Write your essay. First, make sure that the thesis is located in the introduction. Next, make sure that you have assigned each piece of evidence its own paragraph, which will be located in the essay’s body. Your evidence paragraphs will also contain your report’s citations. Lastly, write your report’s conclusion. Your report’s introductions and conclusions will each be a single paragraph.
5-Proofread and review your report for mistakes. You can, and should, have others proofread it as well.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Avoid summarizing the historical period in question. If your writing looks like this: The United States did x and then it did y, and finally the U.S. ended at z.” That is narrative writing. This essay calls for you to write and think analytically. For example, “The United States successfully achieved goal x, which shows y” is analytical. When writing your essay, think “How does this piece of evidence support my argument and why did I include it?” Your answers to those questions will guide you to analytical writing.
- Avoid block/long quotations. A long quote can be summarized so that the necessary evidence remains while also saving you space.
- Avoid giving detailed context in the body of the essay. The body of your essay should consist of analysis that explains how/why your evidence supports your argument/thesis statement.
- Avoid editorializing, “This was the most horrible…The greatest period of American history…They were awful,” etc. The essay calls for a more professional style and tone. You do not need to try and write an overly formal essay, but it should be more formal than your discussion posts.
- Avoid turning in a rushed first draft. It is better to submit a complete essay late than a rushed and incomplete essay before the deadline.
- Avoid turning in your first draft as a final draft. You should proofread your work before its final submission. If you do not want to reach out to a tutor or to myself for help, you can read your essay out loud to yourself. Reading your writing out loud can help you catch mistakes, sentence fragments, and other common writing errors.
- Avoid unnecessary “filler” just to meet the word count. On the other hand, length does not equate quality. If you go well past the word count, you