History Changes Essay History Changes Essay – What It Is For? How Can It Help You and Your Grade? What You Read to Prepare for It?


Click on the links to answer these questions:

§         Is it true that I can earn up to 10 points extra credit for this 10-point assignment?

§         How is this essay graded?

§         Can I use my textbook when I write this?

§         What is the maximum length?

§         Will I have to know this content after I finish this assignment?

§         What are the possible questions?

§         When will I know which question I have to answer and do I have to write on that one?

§         Where can I see a table that compares the content so I can see changes over time?

§         Can I print or download that table so I do not have to look at it online? Can I print or download the other things with it?

§         How can I tell what I have to read for each column in the table?

§         I have the 3rd or 4th edition paperback. Can I just see a list of page numbers for each column in the table?

§         When I read, nothing seems to “stick.” Any tips?

What Does the Syllabus Say about the History Changes Essay and Grading?


History Changes Essay, a 10-point assignment: You know the questions ahead and you may use your textbook in class. Maximum length: You receive a ½ sheet of Xerox paper with one question from the list of possible questions. You must write within that page and only on the question you received.


After we discuss how this assignment works and some of its content in class, you can click on the History Changes Essay at the Course Website. You can see not only the list of all possible questions but also aids to help you. You see a table comparing the content to help you see changes over time (also provided as a handout) and you know the specific parts of the textbook for each column in the table.


The History Changes Essay is meant to introduce you to several things:

§         Content that is part of Unit 1 and essential to understanding the remaining Units in the course and our history as a whole

§         Content as a way to examine how and why events change over time—something key to being accurate in writing about history and to noticing how human beings’ actions or lack of action can alter their futures.

§         How grading works in this course and what is frequently expected in courses and jobs that require evidence

§         How you work with evidence, with reading, and with writing
Because some students have an “aha moment” when they do this essay and follow the feedback instructions, this is the assignment where you can receive up to 10 extra points (100% extra credit) for following the instructions with the feedback I provide on your History Changes Essay. This means full credit for this assignment no matter what your initial grade.



For what the syllabus says about grading, see the Overview of Written Assignments which covers the goal, the way your instructor grades, and the Evidence Checklist/Rubric.

Will You Have to Know This Content After the History Changes Essay?

This is essential content for the rest of the course and many courses (and decisions in your personal life) afterward. At a minimum, you will need to know this content for more than this assignment in this course: These same questions are also one of the possible questions for the essay part of Unit 1’s Exam.

What Are the Possible Questions for the History Changes Essay?

You must be prepared to write on any of these using the specific required pages of our textbook as your source:

§         Servitude in English Colonies in South – Early 1600s (What varied things happened to Africans sold in early Virginia)

§         Slavery in English Colonies in South – Late 1600s

§         Indenture – Pre-1676 in South (Before Bacon’s Rebellion) 

More on the term indentured servant


In the textbook, the phrase used for indentured servants in some locations is English servants. What’s the word indentured mean with the word servant?

Merriam Webster Online explains it is “a person who signs and is bound by indentures to work for another for a specified time especially in return for payment of travel expenses and maintenance.”


What’s an indenture? “to divide (a document) so as to produce sections with irregular edges that can be matched for authentication.” Think of it this way: when you tear paper, the ragged edge is unique.


What Are the Forms of Servitude and How Are They Alike or Different? (Shown in a Table So You Can Compare Them)

The table with the answers may display slowly but it is there.  Click here for a printable version (portrait) of it with answers.

Some people succeed better if they first try to fill in the answers on their own—click here if you want a blank version of this table for self-testing. 


Two things about the table may help:

§         The content and the quotations on the column Servitude in Africa are from the 3rd edition, which has a few more details. To see the page, click here.
The term Servitude in Africa means how Africans enslaved Africans IN Africa. It is not the same as how the Portuguese enslaved Africans on islands the Portuguese owned near Africa or how other Europeans enslaved Africans in their areas.

§         The letter C (C1, C2, C3) means the Chapter number. The Chapter is followed by the heading (in “”) within that chapter. If you need more information on how to find the heading or specifically where you should stop and start reading for the last two columns, click here.

What Do You Have to Read for Each Column in the Table With Tips for the Last 2 Columns?

The columns below are the same columns you see above. This time they contain the Chapter # and the name of the heading of the section you read within that chapter




Slavery in Africa   

Slavery in Spanish Colonies

Slavery in Eng. Colonies in South–Early 1600s

Slavery in Eng. Colonies in South–Late 1600s

Indenture–Pre-1676 in South

Indenture–Post-1676 in South  


What You Must Read




For the content for this column, you read this section of Chapter 1:

“The Atlantic Slave Trade Begins.”


For the content for this column, you read this section of Chapter 1:

“Forced Labor Systems.”


For the content for this column, you read this section of Chapter 2:

“Africans in Early Virginia.”


For the content for this column, you read this section of Chapter 3:

“Systems of Slavery in North America.”


For the content for this column, you read this section of Chapter 2:

“Tobacco Boom” (See English servants.)


You also read Chapter 3: “War in the Chesapeake”—but only for content about the years before 1676.


For the content for this column, you read this section of Chapter 3:

“War in the Chesapeake”—but only for content about the years from 1676.

What You Have to Read for Each Column in the Table – If You Prefer to See Page Numbers

This link provides the page numbers where you can find these headings in the 3rd and 4th paperback editions.


If you need help finding the pages in other editions, just ask.

How Can You Download or Print These Resources About the Table on Servitude?

For the table on what happens with different forms of servitude in the South, click here:

§         For a blank version of this table for self-testing

§         For a printable version (portrait) for my answers of the online version above


The content and the quotations on Slavery in Africa are from the 3rd edition. To see that page, click here.

Are There Any Tips for Reading When Things Do Not Seem to “Stick”?

Some students comment that they read but things just do not seem to “stick.” If you want to try a method for reading about reality when you need to be accurate, click this method for reading FOR evidence. If you prefer a face to face meeting or a phone conference, let me know.


I am not an expert, but I may be a person who has a similar problem to yours. These tips worked for me. Some came from one of my community college teachers.


WCJC was kind enough to send me to a program for community college teachers who wanted to help community college students succeed, including at reading. Parts of that program are very similar to what I was told years ago by my community college teacher.




Copyright C. J. Bibus, Ed.D. 2003-2013


WCJC Department:

History – Dr. Bibus

Contact Information:

281.239.1577 or bibusc@wcjc.edu

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