African history

Learning Goal: I’m working on a history writing question and need a sample draft to help me learn.

Pleas read the articles and follow the instructions below

You have


as primary sourses. And as secondry you have


The who cares essay:

The main reaction students have had to HIST 106 is: “Why have I been lied to about African history?” This question comes, I think, from the numerous sources the course has that challenge stereotypes of Africa’s past—stereotypes that continue to inform a lot of our national educational landscape in spite of, well, the ease with which we can take those down in an introductory course. Implicitly, students asking this question have hoped we can do better.

Many have also linked this to the popular idea that history repeats itself. I’m not sure about that (at least in the way that most explain it), but I know when I’m overruled, and I’ve seen some students do some excellent work through this idea, and this has quickly become one of my favorite assignments.

So here’s the task:

Write a 500 word evidence-based essay about why you—or someone else (society, students, policy makers, etc.)—care or should care about a specific unit of our class. Students may choose any unit except Unit 1.

Here are the specifics:

Students must use at least two least two primary sources and at least one secondary source. They should support their argument with specifics, much as they would in any formal essay. The argument should also build—as all good arguments do. And they must cite because credibility and complexity (should) matter outside the classroom, too.

With that said, students are also free to make links between personal and community life more prominently—indeed, a central part of their argument— than is normally part of academic analysis.

Can 106 students pick sources from different units (say 2 and 4)? Sure. I used the language of a single unit simply to keep things simple. But if you want to move across units, go for it. Just make sure you are doing so correctly. Sometimes pulling things out of their context can lead to mistakes.

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