This assignment is meant to develop and sharpen your critical thinking (originality, creativity, and independent thinking) and allow you an opportunity to raise points that weren’t raised in the classroom discussion or expand upon points already made. Reaction papers are also called response papers, position papers, or even analysis papers. I want to hear your own voice, not something you have heard or read. These reaction essays will be based on the topics we discuss in class.
As we conclude our discussion on the march towards the Civil War, you will be writing about your position and answer the following:
A: How does the abolition of the international slave trade by Congress impact domestic slavery in the United States?
B: Describe the necessity of the acts committed by Nat Turner and John Brown. Explain each man’s act. Explain what happened for each. Explain the aftermath of each. Do you believe that their actions were necessary in pursuit of freedom? Explain.
C: Explain the Missouri Compromise. Explain the Kansas Nebraska Act. What did they do? Explain the consequences of both.
D: Why was the Civil War fought? Explain.
E: Any other thoughts/comments on anything we discussed on this topic.
Your reaction paper should contain these elements:
Define the Issue: How do you see the issue? Perhaps some aspects are more important than others, choose those aspects on which you will be able to state a clear and concise opinion.
Formulate and clarify your position: This should be a little more than a simple statement of your opinion. Prove a controversial point, critique a flawed assumption, and demonstrate that you have an accurate understanding of the competing or opposing views. I want you to Convince me, persuade me to buy into your argument.
Defend your position: Identify the most important argument needed to support your position. Provide the facts and information which helps make your case. New and creative arguments rather than traditional ones will be appreciated. Be clear, logical, and consistent.
Lastly, conclude: Sum up your argument in a clear and precise manner. While reading your paper, I should not have any doubt as to where you stand. If you are on the fence on a particular issue/discussion, speak to that in your paper and explain why you are in the middle.
The paper should be long enough to accomplish an analysis without padding. Usually this means 2-3 typed, double-spaced pages. (500-750 if you are counting).
It should not be your first draft. Have someone read it and critique it, and then revise and submit it. Proofread, proofread, proofread.
It should be headed by a title page that should include the following:
Your own title for the paper followed by a “reaction to” the topic assigned
By: your name
HIS 201, Union County College, Spring 2022
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