Civil War Paper – A Participant’s Story

Civil War Paper –
A Participant’s Story

Paper Prompt
This paper is 3-5 pages, 100 pts.
12 pt. type, Double spaced

For this paper focus on the experiences of
someone who went through the Civil War. Choose from the list below.

The most important aspect of this paper is identification of the source(s)
for your historical narrative.

Pick from the following people (just write about one):

• A Northern soldier (any rank, from general to foot soldier; could also be a doctor)
• A Southern soldier (any rank, from general to foot soldier; could also be a doctor)
• A free male slave from the north (could be a recruit in the Union army)
• A slave in the south (could be someone who has just been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation)
• A settler in a western state (Kansas or Missouri would be a good choice)
• A female war participant from either side (could be a wife or mother left alone, a spy, a factory worker, a nurse or doctor, someone posing as a man)

Here are some things you could write about:
How does your person feel about the war (for or against it)?
How does he/she survive on a daily basis (marching and fighting, enough to eat, condition of clothing, safety issues)?
Does your person express hopes for the future?
Is your person bitter about the war and its consequences?
Did this person come from a family or community of people who all felt the same way about the war? Or did your person stand apart from the popular thinking of his/her community or family?

Fiction or non-fiction:
In your paper indicate if you have created a fictional person who represents a type and experiences typical things that happened to real people;
Indicate that your paper is about a real person who lived through the Civil War.
Sources and Bibliography
OCC Library: In the library website, click on basic search. Copy this search term

United States–History–Civil War, 1861-1865

and paste it into the search bar. In the pull-down menu select “Subject Browse” so that your search now reads:

Search: United States–History–Civil War, 1861-1865 within Subject Browse.

Now you’ll get a list with subcategories that you can scroll and find something that fits the type of person you’re interested in writing about.

ONLINE sources:
You can paste the same search term above into a Google search and find many good online sources for your paper.

The first result will probably be Wikipedia:
The benefit of this result is the extensive list of links at the end of the article where it says, “See Also.”

For example, I clicked on “Spies in the American Civil War” and from there found an article about a female Confederate spy named Antonia Ford. She would make a good subject for a paper.

How many sources to use?

1. Include at least three citations from your textbook.(textbook is called “American History” – pearson custom library)
2. Include at least one book or printed source.
3. Include at least one online source – TWO if one of them is Wikipedia.
4. Include at least one picture or illustration from the period.

How Do You Cite Sources?
For our class use the citation style you know best OR use MLA. You MUST HAVE citations within your writing (at the end of a quote, at the end of a paraphrase, etc. ) as well as a list of sources at the end of your paper. (Include textbook and all other sources used. In MLA this is the “Works Cited” page.) Here is the MLA style guide from the OCC Library:

Here is the OCC Library handout on plagiarism (copying without giving credit to the originator):

You will be graded by the Grading Criteria and Writing Proficiency Rubric you received at the beginning of the semester. >>
Thesis, Content and Accuracy Organization, Structure, and Logic Words, Mechanics & Grammar Citing Sources
Overall Success
Writer’s Questions – While writing and revising, ask yourself these questions

Did I explain the central question, the background of the issue, my point of view, and thesis clearly and accurately?
Did the ideas build logically, allowing the essay to flow in an unbroken manner? Writer:
Did my grammar, vocabulary and punctuation take the Reader where I intended them to go? Was it simple and clear? Writer:
Did I cite others’ works and ideas? Did I follow standard conventions for citing sources? (MLA) Writer:
Did I succeed in making my ideas and intentions come across clearly to the Reader? Was content accurate?

Reader’s Comments – This is what the reader thinks and feels while reading your work

Level 1:
I understood from the start what the essay was about. The thesis was strong, clear, and original. Level 1:
I followed the logic of the essay from beginning to end. Level 1:
I continuously read the essay from beginning to end without any interruptions from miscues in the mechanics.
Level 1:
Outside sources supported the essay. My reading was not interrupted by the citation convention used. Level 1:
I feel confident I understood the essay. The writer’s tone was consistent with the writer’s topic. I was confident about accuracy.

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