Mr. Barnes’s Summary Comment

—your topic sentence is weak

—more factual detail would improve your essay

—note spelling and grammar corrections


Ms. Kelsey’s Summary Comment

—The greatest strength of this essay is its outstanding effort to grapple thoughtfully with the question, why did the colonists rebel? Keep thinking personally, “What if I were here?” It is a great place to start.

—To make the essay work, however, you need to refine your organization strategies significantly. Remember that your reader is basically ignorant, so you need to express your view as clearly as you can. Try to form your ideas from the beginning to a middle and then an end.

In the beginning, tell what side you’re on: What made the colonists rebel— money, propaganda, conformity?

In the middle, justify your view. What factors support your idea and will convince your reader?

In the end, remind your reader again about your point of view.

Go back and revise and hand this in again!

SOURCE: Wilson and Wineburg (1993:Fig. 1). Reprinted by permission.

area states.” But after 2 months of educating students into a way of thinking about history, Paul began to catch on. By January his responses to questions about the fall of the cotton-based economy in the South were linked to British trade policy and colonial ventures in Asia, as well as to the failure of Southern leaders to read public opinion accurately in Great Britain. Ms. Sterling’s own understanding of history allowed her to create a classroom in which students not only mastered concepts and facts, but also used them in authentic ways to craft historical explanations.

Debating the Evidence

Elizabeth Jensen prepares her group of eleventh graders to debate the following resolution:

Resolved: The British government possesses the legitimate authority to tax the American colonies.

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