Writing Assignment Instructions
Your Writing Assignment for this week is a Surfer Log
For these papers, I will ask you to strike out on your own and do a little internet surfing. Each of these weekly assignments is an opportunity for you to hone your research and critical analysis skills. When you are assigned a surfer log, I would like you to go to the reading assignment in America: A Concise History and pick a heading from the text (or any topic found in the chapter(s) assigned for the unit in which it appears), for example, "Radical Reconstruction" (on page 467). Then do an internet search to find a website about the topic you have chosen and pick one that looks interesting. If your search does not turn up anything, then select another topic.
You must choose a website chronologically related to the material covered in the unit for which the paper has been assigned. For example, for a unit related to Reconstruction, you must write a paper that discusses a website that covers historical events between 1865-1877. Discussing a website about the Apollo 11 moon landing of 1969 and trying to relate it to Reconstruction is not acceptable—and yes, this is an actual case. Sigh…
Papers that discuss websites about material not chronologically linked to the units for which they are assigned will receive a grade of 0/50.
Formatting and Content Rules
After exploring the website(s), you will write a short paper. Your essays must: (1) be structured as outlined below, (2) consist of at least 6 double spaced paragraphs of 3-4 sentences each, and (3) address the following questions/elements to be eligible for full credit.
- All text should be justified left (this means the right margin should be ragged) except for the title which should be centered. Top, bottom, and left margins should be one-inch. You should also include page numbers either at the bottom or upper right corner of every page. I will take off 5 points for every missing layout element starting with the second paper you submit to me.
- Your name, course/section number, unit number, and the date should appear at the top left corner of the first page only. This information should be single spaced.
- Line 1: Type the name of your topic followed immediately by the page number (in parentheses) from the text where the topic appears. You can include your own title if you wish. If you have an ebook there should be a page number in the lower left corner of the screen.
- Line 2: Type out the name of the website and the site’s URL.
- Both lines of the title should be centered and double spaced.
- Intro (Paragraph 1) Why did you choose this particular site, i.e., pictures, interesting quotes, layout, etc.? How is the site related to the topic we are currently studying?
- (Paragraphs 2, 3, and 4) Briefly describe 3 interesting things about your topic you found on your website. Briefly means one paragraph of at least 3-4 sentences about each interesting item.
- (Paragraph 5) Who is the most interesting person you met during your search and why? Again, describe this in a paragraph or more. If your site does not include a person, add another site that does or find a new site.
- Conclusion: (Paragraph 6) What is the most important thing you learned from the website and why? Describe this in a paragraph or more.
- Citations: Sources must be cited at the end of each paragraph. You may use footnotes/endnotes or in-text parenthetical citations—it is up to you.