History matters paper

Write a 1,000 word (3-4 page) paper that offers historical context and analysis to a contemporary political or social issue in the United

States.
• Select a published discussion of a current political or social issue – this can be an article from a website, newspaper, magazine, or

blog post, either editorial/opinion or more traditional journalism. You should include a link to your article in your paper. [Recent examples

include cuts in the Food Stamp budget, American policy in Syria, the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and abortion restriction legislation.]
• Write a historical analysis of the article and issue, drawing on material from this course. You should use and cite Foner’s textbook and

at least four assigned primary sources to offer historical context to the issue and the article.
• Select an issue and shape your analysis around the course’s central themes: changing and competing definitions of/nature of American

citizenship, competing definitions of freedom, or national identity and the role of the United States in the world.
Essay Requirements
• Your paper should be a word-processed document in 12 point font, left-justified, and double-spaced with one-inch margins and page

numbers.
• At the top of your paper include the following information: History Matters Paper, and a TITLE that captures the key theme/argument of

your paper.
• Include a web link to your article in your paper.
• Use at least four of the assigned primary sources from the class. Along with content from Eric Foner’s textbook.
• Cite your sources (the Foner textbook and the primary sources) using footnotes. Historians use Chicago Manual of Style. I’ve

demonstrated the proper format for citing Foner’s textbook in this footnote.[1] I have demonstrated the proper format for citing Foner’s

textbook in your second and subsequent citations in this footnote.[2] The primary sources I assigned come from a variety of sourcebooks; to make

your work easier, I am simply asking you to cite the document by author and title. I have demonstrated how to cite two different kinds of

primary sources here.[3] Be sure to use the “references” feature to create your footnotes; this will automatically construct the superscript

number in the text and at the bottom of the page and will renumber footnotes as you edit and move things around.
• Follow standard rules of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. You might have really great insights into these issues

and select effective evidence, but if your paper is riddled with writing problems your insights are lost.
Essay Format
The format can be a little less standardized/formal for this paper, but you should still be sure to include an introduction with some kind of

thesis statement/argument.
[1] Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty! An American History, Seagull Third Edition (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012), 907.
[2] Foner, Give Me Liberty!, 724.
[3] Andrew Seigfried, “The Gulf Between”; R.J. to Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins.

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