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In your essay analyze how the definition of what it means to be “American” and the rights of “Americans” changed between 1865 and today.

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As a reminder, an analytical essay contains an introduction setting up the context (with a clear rule of three thesis statement as the last sentence), three paragraphs of the body – one for each key point in the thesis statement, and a conclusion.

PROMPT:

From 1865-present, the conception of who is an “American” deserving of the full rights of citizenship has changed over time. In this essay, we want you to review the answers you gave to the reflective questions and think back over what you have learned in this course. Also consider the historical context, causality, and change over time when describing thinking about changes in the definition of who is, and who is not, an American.

In your essay analyze how the definition of what it means to be “American” and the rights of “Americans” changed between 1865 and today.


Hint 1: Think broadly about what it means to be American first, then think on groups pressing their case for inclusion, while considering issues of ethics and civics. You must include social/cultural/socio-economic analysis in this essay. You may include political (but not required). What primary documents have you read that address these issues? Don’t forget the key individuals and events to use as evidence. Successful essays will consider a broad range of evidence in support of arguments.

Hint 2: You may wish to concept map or outline key issues first and then pull out your three strongest arguments to develop more fully in the essay.

Requirements for the Final Essay

  • Must be in Rule of Three format with a introduction and strong thesis statement, 3 paragraphs of the body (each with their own thesis statement – one for each of the three key points of your overall thesis), and conclusion. So a minimum of 5 paragraphs.
  • This is a fact based essay, you must provide specific and detailed evidence for your hypotheses.
  • You must utilize a minimum of three primary sources from the assigned materials (primary sources posted in the Blackboard course module OR found under the primary source section of each chapter in American Yawp only; you may not utilize sources linked to in the reference section of American Yawp) as evidence in your essay
  • You must utilize a minimum of three secondary sources from the assigned materials as evidence in your essay
  • You may only use materials assigned in this course for your essay (we have vetted all the materials utilized in this course, other materials may not be appropriate or accurate). If you use outside sources your grade will be docked.
  • DO NOT QUOTE sources, paraphrase in your own words and cite
  • You must consider ethics/ethical decision making in this essay
  • Don’t forget about historical geography, where something takes place matters and it may be important to your argument.
  • You must use Turabian citation style in this essay; all citations must be footnote style citations (no parenthetical cites allowed, no endnotes/works cited at the end, you need footnotes). Be sure to review how to properly cite a primary source that may be contained in another work and be sure to use page numbers where possible.
  • 12 pt type, 1 inch margins, double-spaced

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