American Studies Question

For each debate you will write a brief (800 word minimum) position paper in which you summarize the dispute and state your own position on it.

For your source materials, use the readings in the syllabus and assignment guide only. In addition to the two assigned essays, you may also use information from the introductions. Note that these are separate sources. All sources must be cited within the paper and listed in a Works Cited in MLA format.All papers should contain at least one direct quote from each man discussed. Quotes should be brief—preferably no more than one sentence.Use only the sources provided in the book. Again, these are not biographical papers, so do not focus on the men’s lives, but rather what they said on the issues.

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Regardless of which side of the debate you favor, you must read the materials for each subject. For example, for the Booker T/WEB debate, read the book’s selections by both Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. As you read, make note of each man’s arguments, his reasoning, and support.

Structure: First of all, DO NOT include long biographical passages on the men—focus on their ideas. Begin with a statement of just a few sentences that sums up the essence of the debate between the two men—in other words, what is it that they disagree on? Name two or three specific points. In the next paragraph, discuss point 1. Describe one man’s position, providing accurate quotation and/or paraphrase, then describe the other man’s view. In the next one or two paragraphs, do the same for each point you want to cover. Be sure that you show the contrast (and similarities, if there are any) between their positions. In this section of the paper, be as objective as possible—just describe the men’s views without comment. In the final paragraph, state your own position on the debate, along with a brief summation of your reasoning.

Another way to structure the paper would be to simply write a short opening paragraph, then a paragraph on Washington, a paragraph on DuBois, and then your closing paragraph, in which you state your view. If you choose this approach, just be sure you cover the same issues for both men.

Note on length: This is intended to be a short, basic paper. We could easily write 5 or 6 pages on this topic, but I’m not looking for analysis, just a summation. There is no penalty for going long, but you won’t necessarily get extra points, either.

Requirements: 800 Min

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