Describe and analyze the role geography played in dividing the nation in the years before the start of the Civil War
Describe and analyze the role geography played in dividing the nation in the years before the start of
the Civil War (from the 1790s to 1861)
This is an analysis that requires you to consider geography as the tool of analysis in understanding the
history of the period. You may consider roles geography played beyond the political in your analysis.
Note 1: Successful responses will consider a broad range of evidence in support of arguments and use a
minimum of three primary and three secondary sources. Be sure to have a mixture of big/broad ideas
and specific/detailed evidence in your argument. Don’t forget the basics of “what happened where and
why it happened there” as you think about the key roles geography played.
If you are confused about how geography is used as a tool for historical analysis, go back to Unit 0 and
read the information there. If you are still confused about the conceptualization of change over time,
contact your coach.
Note 2: We DO NOT want summaries. Summaries will not earn a high grade. “A papers” utilize rule of
three analysis (including strong rule of three thesis statements in the introduction and each paragraph
of the body), specific and detailed historical facts as evidence, analysis instead of summary, consider
change over time and historical geography (as necessary in response to the prompt), and properly cite
both primary and secondary sources.
Note 3: Required length is 2-3 pages (introduction, 3 paragraphs of the body, conclusion).
Must be in Rule of Three format with an introduction and strong thesis statement, 3 paragraphs of
the body (each with their own thesis statement – one for each of the three key points of your overall
thesis), and conclusion. So, a minimum of 5 paragraphs. (2-3 pages)
This is a fact-based essay; you must provide specific and detailed evidence for your hypotheses.
You must utilize a minimum of three primary sources from the assigned materials (primary sources
posted in the course module OR found under the primary source section of each chapter in
American Yawp only; you may not utilize sources linked to in the reference section of American
Yawp as evidence in your essay
You must utilize a minimum of three secondary sources from the assigned materials as evidence in
You may only use materials assigned in this course for your essay (we have vetted all the materials
utilized in this course, other materials may not be appropriate or accurate). If you use outside
sources your grade will be docked.
You must include analysis based upon historical geography, where something takes place matters
and it is the most important part of your argument in this essay.
You must use Turabian citation style in this essay; all citations must be footnote style citations (no
parenthetical cites allowed, no endnotes/works cited at the end, you need footnotes). Be sure to
review how to properly cite a primary source that may be contained in another work and be sure to
use page numbers where possible.
You must provide a proper citation for your primary sources. If they are from Yawp it would be
name of author of document, title of document, date of document in Ameican Yawp (then citation
12 pt. type, 1-inch margins, double-spaced
REMINDER: Turabian/Chicago footnote citations are required for this essay. You will lose points if you
use parenthetical cites or other citation styles. You must provide a specific page number or other
location (chapter, section, etc.) where possible in your footnotes.
DO NOT QUOTE secondary sources, paraphrase in your own words and cite; do not make long
block quotes of primary sources – this is not analysis.
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