History 10b: how to write your book section response papers

You are responsible for five responses to the five primary source books. Each of these should be two pages long, double spaced. They should consist of three parts.

1. Exposition. Your first paragraph should describe the book, and briefly explain what you have decided about one or more of questions that I have posed.

2. Development. The middle of your essay should explain your answer. It should offer details  about the main arguments and content of the book to support your claims. It should also offer background from Give Me Liberty!

3. Conclusion. Your last paragraph should recapitulate your argument, and add some final point that you think bolsters your  perspective.

Don’t be reluctant to use phases like “in this essay I argue . . . ” or “I think that . . . ” or “in conclusion, I believe that . . . ”

Quote from the book when you find some passage that illustrates your points. Use your Give Me Liberty!  textbook to provide background, or to add additional quotes. But don’t over-quote from either of the books. Use your own words. And don’t just copy passages from the books or other sources verbatim as if they were your own, that’s plagiarism.

As for your reference style, use end notes in the style of the Modern Language Association. Thus:

1. W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (New York: Publisher, 1908) 17.

Once you have used the reference once, your next reference to the book can look like this:

2. Du Bois, 87.

If you are using an online source like Project Gutenberg, no worries, just cite the url page instead of a page number.

Your teaching assistants will grade your papers from 100 to zero.

High grades (90+) will go to focused papers that pay attention to spelling and grammar. These papers emphasize a strong argument backed by clear references.

Medium grades (80-99) will go to competent papers that touch on the questions, but with less focus, organization, or reference backing.

Lower grades will go to all other submissions.

Please note: All book response papers will now be due on Fridays at noon via Google Classroom. You can hand them in late, but you’ll lose ten points on the paper.

PS: Please format your papers with page numbers, and staple the pages together.


Week 1: Get going on Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backwards.

Week 2: Commence reading W.E.B. Du  Bois’ Souls of Black Folk.

Week 3: Essay for Bellamy due in section.

Week 4: Take up Barton’s Man Nobody Knows; essay for Du Bois due in section.

Week 5: Essay for Barton due in section.

Week 6: Start cracking on Burdick and Lederer’s The Ugly American

Week 7: Essay for Burdick and Lederer due.

Week 8: Get started on Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl.

Week 9: Essay for Brown due. You’re done!

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