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American Political and Social History I


750 words minimum.  Due October 9 at 9:20AM on Blackboard.

Based on the readings for this week, argue whether Preston and the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre should have been convicted or acquited.  Read through Day One and Day Two of the trial for evidence to support your position.  In class on Friday you will be asked to argue your position to convict or acquit Preston and the British soldiers.

DO NOT summarize the events of the Boston Massacre.  Assume that your reader knows when and where it happened, and who was involved.  Your task is to answer the question: Did Preston order the British soldiers to open fire on the civilians?  If you can show that he did give the order, then he should be convicted.  If you can show that he did not give the order, then he should be acquitted.

You will be graded on content, argument, organization, grammar/mechanics, citations, and your use of the documents.  Do not use "I" statements ("I believe that the document is about X"); rather, make declarative statements: "Witness Nathaniel Appleton stated that Preston did X and Y but not Z."

Make sure to look at and use the feedback you've gotten on previous papers!  Be especially attentive to feedback regarding your content, argument and organization.  If you're not sure how to improve, email our writing coach Dan, your section instructor, or Dr. Kane

You must cite your documents in Chicago style and quote at least two separate witnesses.  Citations must be in-line footnotes with complete references in the footnotes.  Parenthetical citations with a works cited at the end will result in a zero for the citation portion of the assignment.

  • include at least one citation from The American Yawp to give background or support to your argument.  The American Yawp is cited as: " “Chapter 5. The American Revolution.” The American Yawp. Accessed September 29."

  • include citations and quotes from at least two different witnesses from Day One and Day Two of the trial for evidence to support your position.

  • to cite the testimony, include the name of the witness and use the citation information at the very bottom of the page.  For example, Nathaniel Appleton's testimony in Day Two would be cited as "Nathaniel Appleton, Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015."