Unit Essays

For each unit of the course, you will write an essay of 300-500 words that responds to the main questions for each unit. The questions and due dates (by 11:59 p.m.) are:

  • Unit 1 (due Wednesday, September 25): What did the Pilgrims and Puritans want to accomplish in North America? Did they succeed?
  • Unit 2 (due Wednesday, October 16): How did European colonies in the Americas develop an economy with race-based slavery at its core?
  • Unit 3 (due Monday, November 18): Why did the United States declare independence? In what ways did the meaning of independence differ among Americans?
  • Unit 4 (due Wednesday, December 11): Why did Southern states secede to protect slavery after the election of 1860? Why didn’t Northern states let them go?

Submission Link via Dropbox


In your essay, you should offer an answer to the question supported by evidence from the unit. That means:

  • You should include references (and quotations) to course materials, including at least four readings from the unit.
  • You should cite your sources. You may use any format you prefer, but you should be consistent and clear about where you find your evidence. (Note: the word count does not include citations.)
  • You should not use any outside materials. The essay is an opportunity to assess your work during the unit, and does not require any research.
  • The essay should represent your own work. You are welcome (encouraged!) to talk to the instructor and/or to seek assistance through CASA, but you should not work with classmates on the assignment.