Writing assignment

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As we have seen in this unit, the origins of the American Revolution were complicated and the outcome was more complicated than simply forming a new, sovereign national government.

In this essay, you will be analyzing and evaluating the outcome of the American Revolution using both primary and secondary sources.

In the process, you will be practicing one of the key skills in the historical thinking: evidence-based argumentation. Learning to make a clear argument that is supported by specific evidence is essential to the kind of critical thinking that your time in college should help you develop.


Ensure you have read
Colonial Society (Chapter 4) and
The American Revolution (Chapter 5) in the American Yawp textbook and all of the following primary sources:

Boston trader Sarah Knight on her travels in Connecticut, 1704

Eliza Lucas Letters, 1740-1741

Jonathan Edwards Revives Enfield, Connecticut, 1741

Samson Occom describes his conversion and ministry, 1768

Extracts from Gibson Clough’s War Journal, 1759

Pontiac Calls for War, 1763

Alibamo Mingo, Choctaw leader, Reflects on the British and French, 1765

Blueprint and Photograph of Christ Church

Royall Family

George R. T. Hewes, A Retrospect of the Boston Tea-party, 1834

Thomas Paine Calls for American independence, 1776

Declaration of Independence, 1776

Women in South Carolina Experience Occupation, 1780

Oneida Declaration of Neutrality, 1775

Boston King recalls fighting for the British and for his freedom, 1798

Abigail and John Adams Converse on Women’s Rights, 1776

American Revolution Cartoon

Drawing of Uniforms of the American Revolution

Then, in an essay of at least 5 paragraphs and 1000 words, address the following prompt:

What did the Revolution mean to different groups of Americans?


Your essay should be a minimum of:

1. 5 paragraphs and 1000 words (approximately 4 pages)

2. Formatted with a 12-point, clean font such as Times New Roman or Arial (or similar font)

3. Double spaced text

4. 1” margins all around

5. Formatted according to the “Five Paragraph Essay” format

a. Introductory paragraph, with a defined thesis statement

b. 3 body or proof paragraphs

c. A conclusion

6. Evidence should support your paper with proper citations. Include

at least 3
of the assigned primary sources in your Works Cited Page. Each reference should include a proper in-text citation. These citations do not count toward the 1000 word minimum of the paper.

7. You should base your discussion with the information in the course content;
outside research is not allowed. As always, be sure to keep track of where you find your information so that you can provide citations in your final essay. Citations must be formatted according to the MLA guidelines, including both in-text and a final source page. Guidelines for MLA can be found using the
Purdue Owl or you can reference the
Citation Help PDF from the Start Here Module of the course.

Five Paragraph Essay Format:

Paragraph 1
Introduction – This should include a clear statement of what you will argue in the essay. Thesis statements are never questions.

Paragraphs 2, 3 & 4
Body of the Essay – Three paragraphs is the minimum you should include. This should be the bulk of your work on this essay.

Paragraph 5
Conclusion – Conclude your paper by discussion the key conclusion you reached and why. Remember not to use first person references in formal academic essays.

Be sure to revise and edit carefully.

Please remember you should submit documents as JPG, PDF, RTF, PNG, DOC and DOCX only. Other formats will not be accepted. Also, please ensure documents are submitted vertically and not horizontally. Incorrect submission formats could impact your grade.

This activity may use a different grading rubric than what was used in past activities. Be sure to check the grading
rubric before starting.


Superior (A)

20 points

Good (B)

17 points

Acceptable (C)

15 points

Needs Improvement (D)

13 points

Failing (F)

11 points

Not Submitted

0 points

Criterion Score

Introduction: Explanation and contextualization of issues; thesis

Issue and context are described clearly with all relevant information for full understanding; thesis is creative, taking into account the complexities of the issue, and makes a strong contestable claim

Description of issue and historical context is explained but need more depth; thesis is accurate, with some effort to account of the complexities of the issue but doesn’t make a strong contestable claim

Issue and contextual background are stated but left some terms undefined, ambiguities unexplored, boundaries undetermined, and/or contextual background unknown; thesis is original but void of complexities and doesn’t make a contestable claim

Issue and context are stated without clarification or description; thesis re-states what is provided in the instructions or is posed as a question

-No introduction present; or issue and context are unclear and student shows little to no understanding of the issue or the assignment; or no defined thesis statement is present

Not submitted

Score of Introduction: Explanation and contextualization of issues; thesis,

/ 20

Body: Use of Evidence & Documentation

Narratives are well-supported with evidence from appropriate primary & secondary sources; direct quotes are used properly and in-text citations contain all necessary information; bibliographical entries on Works Cited page are formatted correctly and listed in correct order

Narratives are supported with evidence from appropriate primary & secondary sources; but direct quotes either aren’t used formatted correctly or in-text citations don’t contain all necessary information; or bibliographical entries on Works Cited page either are not formatted correctly or listed in correct order

Narratives make vague references to sources only; problems with quotation format (length, punctuation); formatting errors on in-text citations or Works Cited page are cause for concern

Narratives are vague with little support by evidence; essay lacks either in-text citations or Works Cited page

Narratives don’t address the issue; no evidence is present, and no understanding of the assignment; in-text citations and Works Cited page are missing

Not submitted

Score of Body: Use of Evidence & Documentation,

/ 20

Body: Analysis, Context & Assumptions

Narratives show original thought and analysis of sources that connects back to contestable claim from thesis statement; relevance of contexts is evaluated; assumptions (own and others’) are systematically and methodically analyzed

Narratives contain some original thought; analysis doesn’t connect back to contestable claim; assumptions (own and others’) are identified and some relevant contexts are evaluated

Evidence is summarized but not analyzed; some assumptions and relevant contexts are identified and seem to be understood

Explanation/analysis of evidence reveals confusion; acknowledgement of some assumptions or context without an understanding

No analysis; no regard for assumptions or contexts

Not submitted

Score of Body: Analysis, Context & Assumptions,

/ 20

Conclusions & Related Outcomes (implications & consequences)

Conclusions are logical, reflect student’s informed evaluation, and are consistent throughout

Conclusions are identified, are tied somewhat to evidence, and are mostly consistent throughout

Conclusions are present, logical, and consistent, but no connection to evidence is made

Conclusions are overly simple with no tied to evidence; consistency wavers

No conclusions are made

Not submitted

Score of Conclusions & Related Outcomes (implications & consequences),

/ 20

Control of Syntax & Mechanics

Uses graceful language that skillfully communicates meaning with clarity and fluency and is virtually error-free

Uses straightforward language that vernally conveys meaning to readers; some errors are present

Uses language that generally conveys meaning with clarity, but writing contains significant major and minor errors

Uses language that sometimes impairs meaning because of errors in usage

Uses language that is inaccurate, poorly chosen, and which consistently impairs meaning due to errors in usage

Not submitted

Score of Control of Syntax & Mechanics,

/ 20


Score of Essay Rubric,

/ 100

Overall Score


90 points minimum


80 points minimum


70 points minimum


60 points minimum


1 point minimum

Not Submitted

0 points minimum


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