University of Wisconsin–Madison

A SERIES OF 50-WORD WRITING ASSIGNMENTS IN HISTORY 101

PROFESSOR CHARLES L. COHEN, HISTORY

#1 Tracking change over timedue September 13: [Use the “Minor Assignment #1 Materials” on the class website.] Compare the plat map (1834) of the township around “Fourth Lake” with an economic inventory map of the same area drafted a century later (1939), and, in one sentence NOT EXCEEDING 50 words (the 51st word and its successors face a terrible fate), explain to what extent (if any) the land use mapped in 1939 reflects the pattern of parcels laid out in 1834.

#2 Comparing Different Sourcesdue September 20: Compare Theodore De Bry’s plate XVIII (“Their danses which they use …”) with John White’s painting of the same scene (“Indians Dancing,” Lecture 5, slide 4, course website) and, in one sentence NOT EXCEEDING 50 words (or else…), both point out at least one significant way in which De Bry’s rendering changes White’s original and suggest a possible reason for the difference.

#3 Constructing a Literary Analysisdue September 27: In one sentence NOT EXCEEDING 50 words (see above for implied but real threat), determine whether Mary Rowlandson referred to the Old or New Testament more frequently and suggest the possible significance of this pattern.

#4 Synthesizing sourcesdue October 18: Evaluating the evidence presented particularly by the primary sources, explain in one sentence NOT EXCEEDING 50 words (surely you understand the drill by now) to what extent (if any) the War for American Independence was also a civil war among Americans.

#5 Summarizing and critiquing an argumentdue October 25: In two sentences NOT EXCEEDING 75 words (but do not let the liberalized word and sentence limits lure you into verbosity), summarize Lepore’s argument about the Constitution and then critique it.

#6 Analyzing rhetoricdue November 22: Probe Philip Hone’s attitude towards Andrew Jackson and, in one sentence NOT EXCEEDING 50 words (yadda, yadda, yadda), determine the reason(s) for it.