Writing Assignment Instructions: Changes in U.S Policy Toward Slavery

This is a two part assignment. Part 1 you are to create a thesis and outline and Part 2 you are to write 4 page paper with the thesis and outline from part 1.  Please see attached for course lessons  and further instructions. Part 1 should be on its on document and  the actual paper on a different document.

Part 1

  • Write a thesis statement and create an outline for your essay on :Why did U.S policy towards slavery change between 1861 and 1865
  • For this paper, you will be required to use evidence from course lessons as well as a minimum of four primary sources.

You will be graded according to the following rubric:

·       Content (10 points): Thesis statement clearly answers the question and introduces the content of the essay. Outlined sections connect to the lesson content and readings, with appropriate citations.

·       Organization and completeness (5 points): Clear and understandable arrangement of ideas. Outline covers the entire paper, “Introduction” through “Conclusion,” with sufficient detail to convey the basic ideas of the proposed paper.

·       Proper Outline Formatting (2.5 points): Uses outline hierarchy (major to minor subheadings within each section).

·       Grammar and Mechanics (2.5 points): Free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.

Part 2 (continuation of part 1)

Slavery played a central role in the coming of the Civil War as well as Union policy and strategy during the conflict. For Lesson 9, you will have to write a 4 page paper answering the following question: Why did U.S. policy toward slavery change between 1861 and 1865? For this paper, you will be required to use evidence from course lessons as well as a minimum of four primary sources. This assignment is cumulative. You can use evidence from any of the readings and lessons that you have read so far this semester.


  • Papers should be typed, double-spaced with 1” margins. Use Times New Roman 12 point font (or equivalent) and include an introduction with a thesis statement and a conclusion.
  • Make a clear argument, beginning with a thesis statement in the first paragraph of the paper.  Underline your thesis statement.
  • Each body paragraph should present a coherent idea that develops your argument. Paragraphs should begin with topic sentences that clearly establish the main idea of the paragraph.
  • Use evidence from at least three of the assigned primary sources, as well as from course lessons. No outside research is necessary.
  • Write in the past tense: “Edmund Ruffin argued…”; not “Edmund Ruffin argues…”
  • Use Chicago style citations (see, The Chicago Manual of Style Online: Notes and Bibliography: Sample Citations)
  • Use footnotes for direct quotes, paraphrases, and specific information. Footnotes go after the period at the end of a sentence. For example.[1] For subsequent citations to the same document or the same book, use a shorter form. Like this.[2] Or, this.[3] Citations to information from a lesson can be formatted like this [4]. Footnotes should be single-spaced and use 10-point font.  Papers without citations or with grossly inaccurate footnotes will receive an automatic deduction of 5 points. (For help, see Microsoft Office Support: Insert Footnotes and Endnotes)
  • If you need help with your writing, contact Penn State Learning..

Footnote Examples

[1] “Benjamin Butler Encounters the Contrabands (1892),” in William E. Gienapp, ed., The Civil War and Reconstruction: A Documentary Collection (New York: Norton, 2001), 115.

[2] “Benjamin Butler Encounters the Contrabands,” 116.

[3] Frederick Douglass, “Cast Off the Mill-Stone (1861),” in Gienapp, ed., The Civil War and Reconstruction, 119.

[4] “Pressure from Below,” Lesson 6: The Road to Emancipation, HIS


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