Did Fourth of July observations in the nineteenth-century U.S. spread a common national identity and shared values across boundaries of race, class, gender, and geography, thereby sweeping an astonishing array of people and events into its maelstrom of festivity and celebration?
How is the capstone paper different from previous papers?
-15% of the overall course grade (vs. 10%)
-Paper is longer: 750-1000 words (vs. 500-700 words)
-Like other papers it must be submitted in D2L Dropbox, but the printed out version is optional (though recommended, to your TA’s mailbox in Soc Sci 217, unless you are completely confident that the electronic version uploaded properly!)
-You are expected to integrate different primary source types in order to support your arguments in the paper (vs. using a single source type)
UPDATE: A few students have asked about whether the above statement about integrating different primary source types means you need to look for additional primary sources on your own, beyond those included in the capstone chapter (pp. 307-329) of Going to the Source. This is not required or expected, since the capstone chapter already includes a wide variety of different primary source types, including paintings, speeches, drawings, memoirs/diaries, declarations, cartoons, etc. You could write an excellent essay response to the question prompt above using solely the primary sources included in the capstone chapter. However, you are allowed to find additional sources if you wish, but in that case you bear the burden of making sure: (1) that they are primary sources, not secondary sources; (2) that they are relevant to the question posed, including that they reflect some aspect of U.S. experiences of the Fourth of July during the nineteenth century (not earlier or later). That means roughly 1800 to 1900. It is true that one of the sources in the capstone chapter is from just a few years beyond 1900, but it is close enough that it can plausibly represent the end point of the nineteenth century, roughly speaking. If you find other sources from the very earliest years of the twentieth century, those may also work, but if you find a source from much later, it is not very likely to be relevant to the question posed (unless, as with the capstone chapter’s Source 14, i.e. the memoir of Mamie Garvin Fields–who focused on her own experiences in the 1890s, even though the memoir itself was not published until the 1980s–it is based on the firsthand personal experience of someone who was alive during the nineteenth century!) But, like I said above, it is not expected that you need to go beyond the primary sources included in the capstone chapter in order to do well on the assignment.