Assignment Goal: A five-page essay that analyzes an important historical primary source document or artifact in order to answer a historical question about a keyword, and utilizes at least one historian’s writing about it. Historians create secondary sources, and the essay gets secondary source credit ONLY if they are quoted for interpretive or evaluative statements. The essay can use facts from secondary sources, but to gain credit in the essay the quote used must be a statement of analysis, a showing of cause (causality), an interpretation, a position on a historical dilemma, or a claim that the keyword was beneficial or harmful to America.
Step One: Moving from Keyword to Primary Source
Choose one of the numbered keywords found in the Keyword list for Chapters 24-30, and locate the passage section in American Yawp that discusses that keyword. This is your topic background, but you need to find a TEXT or other document (audio, video) or artifact (artwork, object) that will serve as the focus of your essay.
Example: A student named Fiona chose the keyword “Great Recession” and reads the American Yawp text about it in Section V of Chapter 30. The textbook says that a major cause of the recession was a government law entitled the “Commodity Futures Modernization Act”. Yawp also says this law “exempted credit-default swaps—perhaps the key financial mechanism behind the crash—from regulation” (30.V.ii). Fiona focuses on the question, “How did such a law cause the hardship of the Recession?” She decides to find out. She decides the main primary source text is the CFM Act itself. Now she needs to find out how this law allowed banks to collapse, people to lose their homes or jobs, and soon after put the burden to repay the lost money on average Americans instead of forcing banks to take the loss.
Step Two: Moving from Primary Source to Secondary Source
Locate an essay or book written by a historical scholar that analyzes the primary source as one of its features. Use the Queens College Library search engine to locate this source. DO NOT USE YOUR WEB BROWSER SEARCH ENGINE. You will not get credit for this essay if you do not use at least one peer-reviewed academic article or book-length study of your topic. You may use multiple secondary sources for this essay, but at least one must be an academic study that, somewhere in its content, interprets and examines your primary source.
Any secondary source used must be over 3000 words in length (approximately ten printed pages).
Example: First Fiona notes the two book sources listed in Yawp for this section: Joseph Stiglitz, Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy (New York: Norton, 2010); and Michael Lewis, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (New York: Norton: 2010). She next uses the Queens College Library “Onesearch” to look up “Commodity Futures Modernization Act” and begins evaluating the results. Since the Act was passed in 2000 and the Recession began in 2007, she needs to find a source published after 2010 at least, and at best in the last five years (after 2017). The fourth result in the list looks promising:
Christiansen, Christian Olaf. “Sailing a Ship through Stormy Waters Requires a Compass.” Comparative Sociology, vol. 16, no. 4, 2017, pp. 471–98, https://doi.org/10.1163/ 15691330-12341434.
A quick review of this source (in PDF) shows Fiona that, as the author states: “This article examines two reforms and justifications of deregulation, examining which arguments that were used to justify and to criticize financial deregulation.” The word “examine” is used twice, and the article is about the CFM Act itself. Fiona decides to use this as her secondary source. Yet Fiona notes that the article is from a sociology journal, not a historical one. She continues to scroll through the QCLibrary search result for a historical book or article. She notices a lot of items from before 2008, so she resets the DATE (on the results menu at the left) to refine her search to 2015-2022. One results looks promising, with the date 2015, but in looking at the book itself “A Financial History of U.S. Corporate Scandals” she discovers it was really from 2006: no Recession there! Continuing her research, Fiona decides to begin by skimming the two books mentioned in Yawp by Stiglitz and Lewis. She also searches QCLibrary using the keywords “Consequences of Great Recession,” and turns up another useful book: The Great Recession, edited by David B. Grusky, et al., Russell Sage Foundation, 2011. After an hour of research, Fiona now has four secondary sources that might be used in her essay. NOTE: All her sources are entire books or articles from academic journals, NONE OF HER SOURCES ARE FROM HISTORY WEB PAGES.
Step Three: Researching, Drafting and Revising
Start drafting by analyzing the primary source, describe its content, date of creation, author’s purpose, and other consequences and important details evident within, or related to, the primary source. Explain why the source is historically important. For secondary sources, take notes, copy out quotations, and review the main idea or argument of the article or book. Since the essay will focus on the primary source, use the secondary source(s) to answer your main essay question, which needs to be a question that refers to the primary source directly. Always cite the secondary source when you use ideas and information from it in your essay. The next part of Step Three is CRUCIAL: revise. Tell the story of your keyword using the facts and information from Yawp and from other basic sources of information, but be sure to cite and create a bibliography entry for any source except for Yawp. Use Chicago or MLA format for entries. Explain the role your keyword plays in American history, and then present your QUESTION and THESIS. Your question should relate to causes, consequences, continuity or change over time, or how the keyword made a positive or negative impact on American society, economy, or politicial well-being. Both the question and answer should include mention of the primary source studied as central to understanding the keyword. Then include your analysis of the primary source. Link the primary source to other important primary sources if needed, and use secondary sources to present ideas about causes, consequences, continuity or change that are similar or different from your own explanation. Discuss in at least one paragraph why historians (including yourself) have debated or agreed on the meaning and importance of the primary source or keyword. This allows you to move beyond plain facts and work on historical thinking and argument. Take a position on the keyword, on the primary source, and on the secondary sources (is this author correct? Why or why not?). Success in this essay depends on making a reasoned and supported claim about your keyword and source.
Step Four: Make sure your essay is coherent, linked throughout by transition sentences that logically connect topics and paragraphs, and that the thesis is clear and repeated for emphasis. Make sure all uses of sources (except Yawp) are given parenthetical citation ([author last name], [page number]: Jones, 35) and that a Works Cited entry that begins with the name Jones is created. Complete this checklist:
____ essay is five pages of text (excluding images and Works Cited entries)
____ essay uses 12-point Times New Roman font, and lines are double-spaced
And there is no 2.5, 3, or any other spacing used anywhere, margins
of the page are one inch on all sides, top and bottom.
____ essay analyzes one primary source (a text or artifact from the time of
keyword) in depth
____ essay presents a quoted idea from a secondary source that interprets the
____ essay has your name, due date (12/12/22), class name, prof. name, and a
descriptive Title preceding the text of your essay
____ essay provides MLA (or Chicago) Bibliography entries for all primary and
secondary sources used (do not create an entry for American Yawp)
American Yawp List of Key Terms
Requirements: 5 pages
which chapter；which topic and what question did you pick
you can check the syllabus chapter 24-30
One of the major causes of the African American Civil rights serration in America was propagated by the Jim Crow Laws, especially in the southern States of America between 1877 and the late 1950s. Jim Crow laws are the laws that were mostly enacted in the period between the beginning of the civil rights movement and the end of reconstruction. The Jim Crows laws were established to segregate Americans regarding their race between 1877 and 1964. The law was utilized by 24 states, especially those in the southern part of America. The laws created “dejure segregation,” or segregation by race in the country. Most of the states, cities, and towns in America had segregated neighborhoods where the black community lived separately from the Whites, and children attended schools that were all black or white. The rule of law imposed punishment and penalties for people who attempted to violate the Jim crow laws and steer integration in the communities. The laws made it illegal for people of one race to marry another person from another race and demanded that business owners separate customers by the color of their skin. Therefore, the Jim crow law irritated African Americans as they the denied equal