American History Semester Project

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American History Semester Project

This semester project will be based on research and using that research as outside information to write a document based question essay.

Your project will be 3 different parts.

Part one will be a take-home research project, in which you will answer 6 questions based on the essay question “Were the Colonists justified to declare independence?”.

Part two will be an in-class DBQ essay in which you answer the essay question “Were the Colonists justified to declare independence?” A DBQ essay is an essay based on documents given to you and outside information (information not in the documents).

You will use the answers to part one to help you write your in-class DBQ. You will not be able to get a good grade on the DBQ unless part one is complete, because then you will have no outside information.

Part three will be a re-write based on the DBQ rubric and teacher comments.
Part one: to be completed at home: Due Friday 9/28

Answer each of these questions and their sub-parts:

****You will use the following answers as your outside information in the in-class DBQ****

  1. Declaration of Independence

  1. Who wrote the declaration of independence? When was it written?

  2. Why was it written? (3-4 sentences)

  3. In the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence, identify its views of natural rights – what natural rights does the Preamble say the colonists have? How do these natural rights relate to government? (3-4 sentences)

  4. Identify three (3) grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence

  5. For each grievance you chose, explain how they are seen in the events leading to the revolutionary war. (3-4 sentences)

  1. Identify 3 early forms of colonial self-government and/or representative democracy. How do these early colonial governments help lead the colonists to declare independence? (3-4 sentences)

  2. Why did the Proclamation of 1763 anger the Colonists? (3-4 sentences)

  3. Why did the British change the policy of salutary neglect after the French and Indian War? (3-4 sentences)

  4. Why did the British changing their policy of salutary neglect anger the colonists? (3-4 sentences)

  5. Choose two of the four and for each, explain the cause and effect (what caused each event and what were the events’ effects) Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, Battle of Lexington and Concord. (3-4 sentences)

****You must properly cite where you found the information from for each answer. Use or for proper citation form. You must use at least TWO different sources. No Wikipedia.
Part Two: To be completed in class:

There will be an in-class DBQ based on the question: “Were the Colonists justified to declare independence from Great Britain?”

To properly complete the DBQ you must:

  • Answer all of the scaffolding questions for each document

  • Write a DBQ essay using at least Four (4) of the documents

  • You must use a minimum of Five( 5) facts from the research component (part 1) in your essay. Next to each fact write down “(o.i.)” (outside information) so I know it was from the research project.

If you do not use outside information (part one) in your essay, you will not be able to get higher than a 3 out of 5 on your DBQ.
Part 3: Re-write: Based on the recommendations you receive back from the essay, you will rewrite your essay, and your re-write will help to improve your essay grade, which will improve your project grade.

Grading: You will receive an individual grade for part one and part two, which will be averaged together. The rubric for part one is on the back of this sheet. Part 3 will help to boost your project grade, but will lower it if not completed.

Research-DBQ Cycle Project Rubric


Excellent 100%

Good 85%

Satisfactory 75%

Unsatisfactory 60%


- Facts are put in their own words

- Facts demonstrate a thorough understanding of each topic

-Facts are mostly put in their own words

-Facts demonstrate good understanding of each topic

-Several facts are just copied and/or do not demonstrate understanding of the topic.

-Most facts do not demonstrate understanding and/or are not put in their own words.


-All parts of the project are complete.

-All parts of the project are the required length.

- All parts of the project are complete.

- Most parts the required length.

-large parts of the project are incomplete/not the required length.

Usage in Essay

-Required amount of facts are used in essay.

-Facts are used in a way that demonstrates thorough understanding of the topic.

- Required amount of facts are used in the essay.

-Facts demonstrate a good understanding of the topic.

- Less than required amount of facts are used in the essay.

- Facts do not demonstrate a good understanding of topic.

- No facts are used in the essay.

- Unclear use of facts in essay.


Project is handed in on time.

Project is not handed in on time.


- Facts are properly cited.

- Facts are cited but not properly

- Facts are not cited.



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