HIST 371: North America, 1492-1850


For this assignment, you will analyze both primary and secondary sources to present a historical argument. You must present your own interpretation of what you see in the documents. Narrative style book reports are unacceptable and will result in a C or less. Remember to present your thesis at the beginning of your paper, clearly stating point by point what you will be arguing. The paragraphs that follow should support your argument with a strong introductory sentence. At the end of your paper, you will return to your thesis, and bring your argument to a successful conclusion. For more details on how to present an argument and properly write an academic paper, see the lecture, “How to Write.”

Your first paper will be 4-6 pages in length, typed and double spaced in a 12-point font with footnotes and bibliography made according to the Chicago Manual of Style, and presented with standard one-inch margins. For your sources, you must use a minimum of five scholarly sources that are either books or articles. These can be accessed digitally through the university library. With the exception of articles I have linked to Canvas, you may not use any other outside websites. In addition, title pages and the bibliography also do not count towards the minimum page length requirement for the paper. Only in extreme circumstances will late papers be accepted without penalty, and only if I receive notification by email a day before the paper is due. Unexcused late papers will receive a grade reduction for each day that they are late.

For your first paper, you will write an essay on your choice of topic from weeks 1 to 6, ranging from the Native Americans up through the South. When analyzing your choice of subject, think about what makes it unique. What is your argument? How did your topic impact North America?