Throughout this course, you have completed assignments tasking you with analyzin

Throughout this course, you have completed assignments tasking you with analyzing primary sources, placing them in historical context, and discussing their significance in relation to both the past and the present. For your final assignment, you will bring everything together by choosing a current event or issue dealing with a theme relevant to the class (e.g. race relations, gender, political ideology, foreign relations, social/religious divides, popular culture)You will then deliver a formal argument answering the following prompt question:
What does historical context help us to better understand about this issue or event?
You may deliver your argument EITHER in the traditional, written format of an academic essay (approximately 1000 words) OR as an oral or audiovisual presentation (5 minutes, give or take 30 seconds). You should choose the medium in which you feel you can be the most persuasive. Whatever format you choose, I will be looking to see that you incorporate the following elements:
A clear answer to the prompt question (thesis statement)
Specific reasons/claims supporting your answer
Evidence and explanation supporting your reasons which includes:
At least 1 reliable news/magazine article on your current event or issue (aim for the green zone on the Media Bias 7.0 chart)
Relevant supporting context from class materials, your textbook,  and reliable media sources and websites (again, aim for the green zone and .org/.edu sites)
Note: Where you’re doing the written or oral option, you really shouldn’t think of this as a 5-paragraph essay. College professors, as a general rule, do not like the 5 paragraph essay. We want you to decide what you want to say and then figure out how it breaks down into paragraph form. Maybe you argue 2 main points in 3 substantial paragraphs. Or make 4 points across 6 shorter paragraphs. Or 3 points in 5 paragraphs because that really makes the most sense. The goal is to deliver on the promise you make to the reader in your thesis, not to blindly follow a formula.
The following is by no means an exhaustive list of potential issues to explore. You are welcome to choose your own issue independently of this list. Just make sure that whatever issue you choose you feel confident in your ability to discuss it sensitively and objectively. Remember, this is not an opinion essay. You are making an evidence-based argument about how historical context helps us understand this issue better.
Criticism of school officials over critical race theory/1619 Project
January 6th Capitol Riot
Anti-abortion bills
Impact of COVID-19 on Native American communities
Border relations with Mexico
Partisan gridlock in Congress
Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 Bill
American withdrawal from Afghanistan
Religious freedom and anti-vaccine sentiment
Colin Kaepernick’s Netflix show and comments on slavery
Citations and Formatting
Written Option:
You may use MLA or Chicago-style citations for your essay. See the following Quick Guides for formatting guidelines.
MLA Format Quick Guide
Chicago Format Quick Guide
You must cite all of your references (anything which is not common knowledge) and include a works cited/bibliography at the end of your essay.
Oral/Audiovisual Option:
You should attribute your sources orally by working your reference into your sentence. For example, “A White House briefing from October 29, 2021 discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the Native American community…”
Please upload a typed works cited/bibliography of all sources used alongside your audio/video. You may use MLA or Chicago formatting.
MLA Format Quick Guide
Chicago Format Quick Guide
You can submit your assignment to the Dropbox either by linking to your video/audio or uploading it directly. If you include a link, make sure it is publicly accessible/accessible to me ( If you would like to record over a Google Slides presentation, you can use Zoom or Screencastify.
I strongly recommend writing a script or a detailed outline of what you want to say so that you don’t exceed the 5 minute limit or end up starting and restarting your recording a million times (I speak from experience!).

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