Choose one of the following topics, and write a five-paragraph essay about it, quoting at least once from the final-exam reading or from Gary Nash, and following MLA format.
1. Do you think that George Bryan’s 1780 Pennsylvania Abolition Act had more to do with the idea of natural rights, or with what Gary Nash calls “paternalism”?
2. Do you agree or disagree with Gary Nash (pp. 60-65) that the activities of Quakers, the Pennsylvania Abolition Society and individual slaveowners and abolitionists were more important than the Abolition Act in ending slavery in Pennsylvania?
- Introduction (1st paragraph, 3-10 sentences)
— Give some background about your subject (just a sentence or two about what you are discussing, to help orient the reader).
— State your thesis: a thesis can be more than one sentence, but it should:
answer the topic question;
be specific (try to say exactly what you mean, without giving examples or quoting);
be unified (do not just list points; try to indicate how they are related).
- Body (middle 3 paragraphs, 3-10 sentences each)
— Each body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence which shows what the paragraph is about, and how it relates to the thesis.
— You should consider the order of body paragraphs: there isn’t a set order and you don’t have to follow the order another author follows, but your paragraphs should be logically organized, so the reader can follow them.
- Conclusion (last paragraph, 3-10 sentences)
— does not have to begin “In conclusion, …”
— should sum up your essay, by referring back to (but not restating) the thesis;
— should suggest the larger meaning or “bigger picture” of what you are discussing: what is its historical importance, or relevance to today, etc.? Try not to introduce completely new ideas, though.
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