How to Do Writing-#1

1.   Options for Your Title

Your title should reveal your “argument”—your “coherent series of statements leading from a premise to a conclusion.” This general title may work for you: Teach the essentials of US decisions on whether owning slavery was protected or banned in territories as revealed by the 3 primaries.

Specific Tip: Be sure you understand the words in the title, including the word territories.

General Tip: The person you are trying to teach is someone who is a 1st year student. In trying to teach another, you will teach yourself. You are not teaching yourself everything but the essentials. Think about what is very important to teach and you have the big part done.

You may also propose another title by email. Unless I am concerned you cannot prove that title, I will be fine with it.

2.   Required Textbook Pages

You do not have to cite each page listed from the American Pageant, but you should read them all.

Primary You Are Using

Page Numbers from the Textbook

a.       Northwest Ordinance (Primary 1)

124   Look at the margin note “forbade the expansion of slavery into the territories” about the Northwest Ordinance (1787).

b.      Reflections on the Missouri Question (1820), John Quincy Adams. (Primary 2)

Page 180 beginning with the heading "Slavery and Sectional Balance" through the end of page 181. Study the map with care. Page 252, the right hand column. Caution about 252: The author is saying accurate but negative things about the South. Do not deceive yourself.

c.       Missouri Compromise (Primary 3)

Same pages as for Adams.

3.   Required Words for Each Footnote

You must use each of the 3 primaries provided below this link. Caution: Do not go to the Internet.

You must use footnotes. Pause and look at how footnotes look. Click here for how footnotes look (and a simple way to write this paper). Link Address: 

Every time you use a page number of a source, you show the reader where it came from. Think of it as telling the reader the location of your brain when you learned this truth so the reader can see it too. In history, you do not get to just say anything. You provide proof. The standard that historians use and Microsoft footnote tool makes it easy. Examples:

·         If 1 page has facts that support 2 of your sentences, you have 1 footnote. It is after the last sentence.

·         If 1 source has facts on page 16 and page 17 and page 19, you have 3 footnotes, each after its fact.

·         If 1 page of 2 sources each support 2 halves of a sentence, you have 2 footnotes, each after its half.

You must use the required words for each footnote. Replace the # with the exact page number that you used. Your reader can tell instantly what source and what page to go to for the meaning or the exact words that you wrote.

What You Want to Cite

Required Citations for Your Footnotes

a.       If the fact is from the textbook The Brief American Pageant, the required textbook.

Kennedy, Cohen, and Piehl, American Pageant, #.

b.      If the fact is the Northwest Ordinance (Primary 1)

Ordinance, #.

c.       If the fact is from the Reflections on the Missouri Question (1820), John Quincy Adams. (Primary 2)

Adams, #.

d.      If the fact is from the 1820, March 6 - Missouri Compromise. (Primary 3)

Compromise, #.

4.   Reminder of Requirements for Using Another’s Words in Your Writing

Reminder: If you use the words of the source, you must use quotation marks (“”) correctly. For tips, see Habits 4 and 5 in the 5 Good Habits for Evidence. Link Address: