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Research Project Instructions & Guidelines
Welcome to the Research Project!
Here’s what to expect from this experience:
You’re going to learn a great deal about a significant aspect of U.S. history (emancipation and the abolition of slavery) by examining a variety of viewpoints presented by prominent historians.
You’re going to exercise your skills analyzing and synthesizing data using secondary sources.
The articles for each topic will be provided for you.
We will be completing the project in three steps to spread out the work and help everyone stay on track.
Because we’re starting on this project early, you’ll complete your required research paper by March 20th, and therefore you won’t have to worry about it adding to your workload at the very end of the term.
Click HERE to view the research topic and prompt (instructions)
Step 1: Bibliography & Author Bios (10 pts.) – Due 9/04
Create bibliography entries for each of the 5 required sources I’ve given you and write short author biographies for each of the five authors.
Click HERE to view detailed Step 1 instructions (including examples)
Step 2: Title, Introductory Paragraph, & Outline (20 pts.) – Due 10/09
To complete this step, you will need to have a good understanding of the paper prompt (points you need to address in your paper); thoroughly read all of your sources and identify the arguments and evidence in each one; and compile detailed notes (relative to the prompt) for each of your sources. Using that information, decide how you’re going to structure your paper, then…
Create a title for your paper
Write a draft of your introductory paragraph
Produce a detailed outline for the paper that demonstrates in-depth reading and analysis of every source.
Click HERE for an example of how detailed your notes should be when reading the sources for this project Download Click HERE for an example of how detailed your notes should be when reading the sources for this project
Step 3: Final Paper (70 pts.) – Due 11/26
To successfully complete this final step, you must produce an original, 4-5 page paper that successfully answers your topic’s prompt; analyzes and synthesizes the arguments and evidence found in each source; and includes the proper formatting…
Paper formatting requirements:
Standard 1″ margins
Size 12 font (Times New Roman preferred)
Students must attempt to address all prompt points and thoroughly analyze all required sources
Bibliography (created in Step 1) attached behind last page (does not count as a page in the 4-5 page requirement)
Quotes should be sparingly used and all quotes must include parenthetical citations (Author last name, Page number) at the end of the sentence.
Summaries of Authors’ Main Points
Step 3 Summary of Authors’ Main Points
“Who Freed the Slaves?”
The slaves deserve credit for their own emancipation because their efforts put pressure on the Union officers, which then put pressure on Washington DC (Congress and Lincoln) to address the issue of refugee slaves, setting in motion a movement toward emancipation that was picked up by Lincoln at a point when “no human being alive could have held back the tide that swept toward freedom.” Fields believes that Lincoln was more of a hindrance that a help to the abolitionist cause.
Slaves deserve to be recognized for their efforts toward self-emancipation, however Lincoln deserves most credit because his antislavery position is what led proslavery states to secede following his 1860 election; then he refused to back down from war with the Confederacy; and, ultimately, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which committed the war to emancipation instead of solely being a war of union. Without secession and without war, emancipation would not have come when it did, and Lincoln was pivotal in both of those factors, even before his Emancipation Proclamation affirmed that abolition was a necessary outcome of the war.
Lincoln deserves credit because his Emancipation Proclamation “marked a dramatic transformation in the nature of the Civil War” in that it “settled the fate of slavery” by shifting the northern cause from gradualism to immediatism, and from colonization to the creation of a biracial, egalitarian society.
Emancipation was a multi-causal event, and as such should be examined as such. Abolitionists and slaves pushed for emancipation long before the Civil War, and when the war came, they viewed it as a war against slavery from the very beginning. In that regard, the Emancipation Proclamation followed on the heels of earlier emancipation efforts. But Sinha does not diminish the Emancipation Proclamation or Lincoln’s role either. She credits the proclamation as an act that “sounded the death knell of slavery” because it “allied black freedom with the powers of the federal government and the Union cause.”
Slaves should be recognized for their efforts toward self-emancipation. Not only did they escape to Union lines and place pressures on the Union officers regarding how to treat the “contraband,” but they proved themselves extremely useful to the war effort in services to support the Union Army on the front lines and as intelligence agents who supplied critical information about Confederate operations. Secondary credit, then, would go to Union officers like Butler, whose response to refugee slaves helped catalyze legislative action in Washington, D.C.