Explain what it tells you about the United States at the time it was written or produced. In today’s parlance, think of these documents as receipts, that is, proof of something otherwise unacknowledged or hidden. Your job is to use what you have learned from the lectures, the readings (including textbooks and other documents), and discussions to explain what these receipts are for— that is, what do they reveal about the United States at the time that they were written. Do this in an argumentative 3-page essay (i.e., 900 words).
You should make your answer in the form of a clear thesis statement (that is, your statement of what you think your chosen text says about the U. S. at the time it was produced) and then, in the body paragraphs, develop what you think are the three main reasons that support your thesis statement. You should devote a paragraph to each reason.
To convince the reader of your reasoning, you must provide evidence drawn primarily from the text you chose, but you must also provide supporting evidence from lectures and other readings covered in class. You cannot use material that is not listed on the course syllabus. In each body paragraph, two pieces of evidence should come in the form of direct quotations from the text you chose from the list above. You should not quote more than one sentence in each instance (that is, you are permitted to quote two full sentences in each body paragraph, no more). Never use block quotations. Each body paragraph must also make a specific, footnoted reference to at least one course lecture and either of the relevant textbooks (American Yawp or The Great Depression and the New Deal).
Your essay must present the thesis statement in an introductory paragraph and provide a concluding paragraph that cinches your argument. Each body paragraph should begin with a clear topic sentence. Identify your thesis statement and topic sentences with bold font.
As you make a document choice, you will find it useful to consider the questions posed by the “Where to Begin?” document available on the Blackboard site. Remember, your document will tell you many things, but certainly not everything. Be mindful of its limited perspective. Don’t overstep the bounds of your receipt!
IMPORTANT: you are being asked to use your document as a window onto the wider society at the time. Focus on the year associated with your document. Do not comment on the United States since then, and especially today. This is not an editorial assignment.
Your essay should be typed in 12 point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with 1
inch margins. It should feature your name, a title, and page numbers.
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