Blog Post Assignment

Blog Post #2


**Note that I will only grade blog post 2 AFTER you have completed blog post 1. You must do the blog posts in order, and I will grade them in order. If you have not done blog 1, do it now.

STEP 1: Research Assignment

Locate 1 primary source that was created sometime between 1800-1865 that relates to your plant or animal—YOU MUST CONTINUE RESEARCHING THE PLANT OR ANIMAL YOU SELECTED FOR BLOG POST 1. It does not need to have been created in America, but it should connect in some way with the continent or the Caribbean. For example, you could use a primary source that was created by a European who traveled to America and described what they saw. Because we will be reading about slavery, the Civil War, and the growth of markets over the next several weeks, it would be a good idea to find a primary source that relates your plant/animal to one of these historical topics.

Your primary source must come from one of these databases:

Try specifically, these publications, archived in The Making of America digital collection:

Primary sources from any other database will not be accepted. Primary sources created anytime other than between 1800-1865 will not be accepted. No exceptions.

**Because several students are researching the same topic, I will not accept the same primary source from more than one student. You should look at your classmates’ blogs (especially if you are doing the assignment late) to be sure you are not using the same source. Whoever posts a source first gets credit.

Primary Source Checklist

  • source must have been created between 1800-1865
  • source must comment on America or the Caribbean in some way
  • you must record the citation information
    • who created it?
    • when?
    • where?
    • Pages you consulted
    • what database did you find it in?
    • what is the permanent URL (web address) for the item? [double check that it works by pasting it into a new browser window]

Sample Citation: William Bartram, Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, the Cherokee Country, etc. Philadelphia, James & Johnson, 1791. Sabin Americana Database, Gale Cengage Learning.

  • you should save a copy of the source (at least the relevant pages) and have it ready to upload to your blog [If necessary you can include a link to the primary source rather than the source itself. However, please note that some URL’s are not permanent and thus will not direct me to your source. For example, if the URL is very long and has a lot of ?’s in it, it is unlikely to work. You will lose points if I am not able to easily find the source that you are analyzing. Test your URL in a new browser window to be sure it works.]

STEP 2: Writing Prompt

Your blog post should address all of the following topics:

  1. Describe the primary source that you found. Who made it? When? Why? What was it used for? What does it say or show? What does it say about your plant/animal? What is interesting about it? What does the rest of the text say? Use specifics, details, and quotes. You do not need to mention the database. [8-10 sentences]
  2. Note what is similar or different about this source as compared to the source you wrote about for your last blog post. Is the purpose different? Does the comparison of the two sources reveal any obvious changes in time? Are the two sources about the same place or different places? Does the description of your plant or animal reveal changes in mental frameworks, society, economics, or culture? [5-8 sentences]
  3. Explain how the reading assigned for this week helps you to understand your primary source. Do not attempt to write your blog post before completing the reading assigned for this week. Name the author and describe their ideas. You may refer to other course readings assigned earlier, also. [8-10 sentences]
  4. Ask at least two questions about things that the primary sources makes you curious about. What don’t you understand in the source? What are you curious about? What else do you want to know about the source itself?
  5. Give citation information for primary source. Who, what, when, where created. Preferably using Chicago Humanities citation format. Which database? Provide stable URL.

Sample Citation: William Bartram, Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, the Cherokee Country, etc. Philadelphia, James & Johnson, 1791. Sabin Americana Database, Gale Cengage Learning.

Grading Criteria

Each blog post will be graded using the following criteria:

  • proper completion of research assignment (following instructions; using correct database)
  • correct citation information for primary source
  • uses the course readings in a thoughtful and creative way
  • builds on ideas in previous blog posts
  • meets length requirements specified in instructions
  • follows writing conventions (complete sentences, free of type-o’s, no informal language)
  • replies to my comments (if any)

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