To what extent were African Americans active agents or passive participants in early American histor

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To develop your
papers, you will first research the primary and secondary sources
available on this topic. It is strongly
recommended that you take advantage of the resources in the Shapiro
Library
to ensure that your references are
appropriate. Secondary sources may be
found using JSTOR and the “peer-reviewed” articles you can find
in the “America: History and Life” database, which you can access
via the Shapiro Library. When searching “America: History and
Life,” be sure that the checkbox for “peer-reviewed” is
checked, as there are articles in
that database that do not qualify as secondary sources.

As usual, if you have questions about a secondary source, please do
not hesitate to ask your instructor before you use it.

Once you have
read a number of primary and secondary sources, it should cause
something to occur in your mind called “critical mass” (a term
borrowed the “hard sciences”). You reach “critical mass” in
history when you have researched sufficiently in the sources to let
the documents suggest a thesis for your paper. Historians do not
first come up with a thesis and then search for documents to support
their argument. Historians immerse themselves in the sources and let
these suggest the thesis. That is the track that knowledge
takes—accumulating sufficient data to produce information and then
taking that information and transforming it into knowledge.

Prompt: Once
you have researched your topic, you will submit your
thesis and corollaries
(i.e.,
overall claim and claims specific to the cultural, economic,
political, and religious contexts). You will also include a basic
sketch of your supporting evidence and a list of the resources and
scholarly references you plan to use in your paper. Again, it
is strongly recommended that you take advantage of the resources in
the Shapiro Library to
ensure that your references are appropriate. You may use the table
below to structure your submission if you choose, but even if you do
not, your submission should include the basic elements represented
below.

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