Preciso and Sandoz

Fall, 1997-1998



Report: November 10, 1997 (or earlier at your option)

(Optional) Rough draft on which you request faculty feedback: November 12, 1997

Final paper: December 1, 1997


To provide you an opportunity to engage with the program's guiding questions in a specific context, namely the constructedness of "race." This is also a hands-on chance to apply and demonstrate what you've learned during the quarter about critical academic writing, especially choosing a thesis (main idea), developing and supporting it with information from the readings, coming to a conclusion, and documenting your work. We chose the case study format (in which most of the materials to be used are provided) so you could spend most of your time focusing on using, rather than finding, texts.

Length, etc.:

Report: One page max

Final paper 2,100-2,400 words, or 7-8 pages double-spaced with 1" margins and 12 pt. type


Report Tentative thesis statement and two paragraphs marshaling information/facts you plan to use to support it.

Final Paper Materials

Many of our readings this quarter bear on the constructedness of "race" as a concept. While planning, we identified Uncle Tom's Cabin, the Party of Fear chapters, some of the popular/tract literature, the Walden chapter on Irish workers, ideas from Reynolds, and some of Whitman's poems as particularly relevant; you may find other connections. In addition to the assigned readings, we expect you to find a minimum of two more print sources (primary or secondary sources, not tertiary) to use in the development of your paper. These should be referenced in your bibliography.


The theme of your paper should have something substantial to do with how concepts such as "race" were constructed and communicated within one or more U.S. cultures of the 1850s. We do not have any preconceived notions about what you must or must not say; the position you take and the conclusion/s you draw are entirely up to you. We will be reading your paper to see that the purposes of the assignment are fulfilled, not to check political correctness. The better you support your ideas with textual references and brief quotes, the more successful your argument will be. You may or may not want to take one of the program's guiding questions as a starting point.

Hints for success:

Type your paper and double space it with 1" margins and 12 pt. type.

Cite your sources and include a bibliography in MLA style.

Make you paper long enough. Short papers will be recorded and mentioned in your evaluation as partially completed. Too short, and some of your credit will be in jeopardy.

Avoid lengthy quotations. This is not a test of how well you can copy.

Remember to include at least two elements: your mind, and the texts you are examining. GO BEYOND SUMMARY TO THOUGHT.

We're here to help. Work on your paper early enough to give your seminar faculty a rough draft on or before November 12, we'll return it the next week, and you'll have ten days to rework it before it is due. The early bird gets the worm (and peace of mind)!

casestudy.upfq EVII 9-9-97