The goal of course assignments is to encourage you to explore the topic more deeply, to develop historical thinking and analysis skills, and assess your progress through course material.
Reading Journal (10%)
During the semester each student will keep a journal of reflections related to course readings. Students should make an entry for each date on which reading is assigned. You can find instructions and questions on the course website.
Unit 1: Autobiographies as Historical Sources (10%)
Students will complete two brief responses (about 500 words each) during the first unit. Due dates are listed on the course schedule.
Unit 2: The First American? (15%)
Students will respond to an essay prompt based on their reading of Franklin’s Autobiography in an essay of at least 1,200 words, due on Wednesday, March 31.
Unit 3: Experiencing the Civil Rights Movement (15%)
Students will respond to an essay prompt based on their reading of Beals’s Warriors Don’t Cry in an essay of at least 1,200 words, due on Wednesday, April 28.
Honors Project (20%)
As part of the honors designation for the course, each student is required to complete an independent research project. This will involve creating a poster on an autobiography of the student’s choice, which will be presented as a class on Wednesday, May 5. Full details for the assignment will be distributed during the second week of classes.
Final Essay (25%)
The final essay will be due during the exam period assigned to the course by the Registrar on Monday, May 10. It will be a take-home essay in which you will discuss the two major autobiographies and other readings and class discussions on the strengths and weaknesses of autobiographies as historical sources.
Melba Pattillo Beals, Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock Central High School, reprint ed. (New York: Washington Square Press, 1995). ISBN: 978-0671866396
Joyce E. Chaplin, ed., Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography, Norton Critical Editions (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2012).