This paper should be typewritten (12-point font), double-spaced, and have one-inch margins. Please include your name, the professor’s name, and the name of your section leader on the top of the first page of the paper. (An extra title page is unnecessary.) The paper, which is worth 20% of the course grade, should be 2 pages long. Choose ONE of the following primary sources from chapter one in Major Problems in American History #2 (A Southern Songwriter), #3 (Louisiana Black Codes), or #8 (Lucy McMillan Testimony) and write your essay with the following guidelines in mind.
After reading the source (a few times would be a good idea), you should place the source in historical context and assess its significance. Consider how the document sheds light on relevant aspects of life in the post-Civil War South. In addition to saying something about the time period in which the document was written the era of Reconstruction you should then analyze the document itself. You might say something (in general terms) about the author, about the documents purpose, and about the message it conveys. If possible, you might note the documents intended audience. In analyzing the document and explaining its historical significance, you can certainly quote directly from the source (use quotation marks to indicate a direct quotation). In two pages, you will not be able to consider every part of the document. Thus, you should write about those sections of the source that you find most interesting, important, or illuminating. The aim of your essay is to use the document to shed light on an important element of the historical period in which it was written. In short, by looking carefully at the document and discussing its language, you should explain to your reader how this particular source helps us to understand some aspect of life in the American South after the Civil War.
Note: In writing the paper, you should base your understanding of the period and the document on the two essays in chapter one of Major Problems; on the material covered in the relevant lectures; and on the discussions you have had in your sections. You do not need to do any outside reading to complete this assignment.
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