Summary/Analysis Paper Instructions for Twelve Years a Slave


US History up to 1865, Fall 2010


Posting #1 (Up to Chapter 6) Due:  10/29 by 11:00 PM

Posting #2 (Up to Chapter 12) Due:  11/7 by 11:00 PM

Posting #3 (Up to Chapter 18) Due:  11/19 by 11:00 PM

Posting #4 (Up to Chapter 22) Due:  11/28 by 11:00 PM


Quiz Must Be Taken By:  12/3 by 11:00 PM


 Paper Due:  12/10 by 11:00 PM


This paper should include your responses to the book Twelve Years A Slave. The paper should answer ALL of the Questions for Consideration.  Feel free to comment on other information from the book and I encourage you to make links to lecture and discussions, and any appropriate web pages.  Direct quotes must have quotation marks and the page number on which they appear should also be included (see instructions on the back of this page).  These papers must be typed, double-spaced, and well written (correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.).  There is no page requirement, but it will probably take at least 1,000 words. 


The easiest way to organize this paper is to answer each question in its own paragraph or series of paragraphs.  If you would rather write a single essay that incorporates all of the answers to the Questions for Consideration, that is fine.  The layout/organization of this paper is entirely up to you.


Questions for Consideration


1.     What was daily life like for slaves?  (What type of food, living conditions, etc. could they expect?  What were some of their jobs?  How did life compare for slaves picking cotton or cutting sugar cane?  How did life for female slaves compare to life for male slaves?).

2.     What were some examples of the range of reactions that Northup, and other slaves, exhibited to their conditions as slaves? (For example, did some try to escape?  Were some submissive?  Were there examples of subtle resistance?)

3.     Describe the relationship between slaves and slave owners by choosing three slave owners and describing how they treated slaves.  Which owner do you believe was most effective in getting the largest amount of labor from his/her slaves?  Explain.

4.     What skills or knowledge did Solomon have which enabled him to improve his life as a slave as compared to other slaves?  What obstacles was he, and others, unable to overcome?

5.     How did Northup eventually obtain his freedom?  What happened to his captors?

6.     What are the strengths/weaknesses of this book as an historical source about slavery?



Citation Format Style


1.     Italicize the titles of books or ships.


2.     Spell out all numbers between zero and nine.


3.     Watch verb-tense; usually past tense is best to use while writing, but the paper may be written using either past or present tense.  Just make sure to be consistent.


4.     Try to avoid over-use of quotations, but any quotation longer than four lines should be indented five spaces and single-spaced (rather than double-spaced).   If/when this is done there is no need for quotation marks.


5.     A source MUST be cited and/or included in the bibliography when a:


a)     Direct quote is taken from a source.

b)    Series of sentences or a paragraph are paraphrased.  For example, if some words are changed around there must be an in-text citation and an item must be included in the bibliography.

c)     Source is consulted (even if nothing is quoted or paraphrased) it must be included in the bibliography.


6.     When providing a citation within the body of the paper the in-text citation style is used.  Citation examples are below:


a)     Example of how a direct quote or paraphrase taken from the book you are assigned to read should be cited (only the page number is needed): 


“The Geneva Accords of 1954 reflected these influences” (41).


b)    Example of how to cite a direct quote taken from a website (for a website only the author is needed): 


“On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth, an actor, who somehow thought he was helping the South” (White House).


7.     If a source other than the book that is assigned is used, a bibliography is required.  The bibliography page should be the last page of the paper and entries should be organized in alphabetical order according to author (not numbered).  Entries should also be single-spaced within the entry and double-spaced between each entry.  


a)     For websites, include the author (if one is listed), the title, the complete URL address of your website and the date it was accessed.


White House. “Abraham Lincoln.”

     Accessed 20, May 2010.