Synthesis/Argument: Slavery in America due date: Directions



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Synthesis/Argument: Slavery in America DUE DATE: _________________________

Directions: The following prompt is based on the seven sources listed below.
This question requires you to synthesize a variety of sources into a coherent, well-written essay. When you synthesize sources, you refer to them to develop your position and cite them accurately. Your argument should be central; the sources should support this argument. Avoid merely summarizing sources.
Introduction: In 1861-1865, the Civil War was fought between the North and the South. One of the reasons that the two sides fought was because the North wanted to eradicate slave ownership. The North won the war and the 13th Amendment was soon after passed in which slavery was abolished.
Assignment: Review the sources below (including the introductory information). Then, write an essay in which you develop a position counter-arguing Anti-Abolitionist’s pro-slavery argument and expanding on how the ramifications of slavery should be eliminated. You will need to draw from the information you’ve learned in your US History classes about issues of Post-Antebellum that African Americans have faced so to problem-solve for these issues in the “how” part of your answer. Synthesize at least three of the sources for support.
Make sure that your argument is central: use the sources to illustrate and support your reasoning. Avoid merely summarizing your sources. Indicate clearly which sources you are drawing from, whether through direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary. You must cite your sources both in-text and through a works cited.
Remember the Three Steps to Approaching a Synthesis Argument Essay:

  1. Enter the conversation of sources

  • What do people argue about?

  • What is at stake in this argument for people?

  • What do people invest in the argument?

  1. Decide what groups may be facing?

    • Are they privileged or ignored?

    • Are they stereotyped or discriminated?

    • Are they biased or objective?

  2. What are the social aspects of this issue?

    • What are the economical aspects of it?

    • What are the multi-cultural aspects of it?




Source A (Fitzhugh)

Sourrce B (Jacobs)

Source C (Douglass)

Source D (Garrison 1)

Source E (Garrison 2)

Source F (Charts)

Source G (Pictures)


NAME: _______________________________ PER#______________

9 Essays earning a score of 9 meet the criteria for a score of 8 and, in addition, are especially sophisticated in their argument, thorough in development or impressive in their control of language.
8 Effective

Essays earning a score of 8 effectively develop a position that not only reflects the arguments presented in the resources, but they additionally develop and elaborate their own particular argument expanding the points brought forth in the texts provided. They develop their position by effectively synthesizing* at least three of the sources. The evidence and explanations used are appropriate and convincing. Their prose demonstrates a consistent ability to control a wide range of the elements of effective writing but is not necessarily flawless.


7 Essays earning a score of 7 meet the criteria for a score of 6 but provide more complete explanation, more thorough development or a more mature prose style.
6 Adequate

Essays earning a score of 6 adequately develop a position that reflects the arguments presented in the resources. Their expansion of the argument has good ideas but does not elaborate fully. They develop their position by adequately synthesizing at least three of the sources. The evidence and explanations used are appropriate and sufficient. The language may contain lapses in diction or syntax, but generally the prose is clear.


5 Essays earning a score of 5 develop a position that reflects the arguments presented in the resources. They develop their position by synthesizing at least three sources, but how they use and explain sources is somewhat uneven, inconsistent or limited. Their expansion of the argument has good ideas but does not elaborate fully. The argument is generally clear, and the sources generally develop the student’s position, but the links between the sources and the argument may be strained. The writing may contain lapses in diction or syntax, but it usually conveys the student’s ideas adequately.
4 Inadequate

Essays earning a score of 4 inadequately develop a position that reflects the arguments presented in the resources. They develop their position by synthesizing at least two sources, but the evidence or explanations used may be inappropriate, insufficient or less convincing. The sources may dominate the student’s attempts at development; the link between the argument and the sources may be weak; or the student may misunderstand, misrepresent or oversimplify the sources. The prose generally conveys the student’s ideas but may be less consistent in controlling the elements of effective writing.


3 Essays earning a score of 3 meet the criteria for a score of 4 but demonstrate less success in developing a position that reflects the arguments presented in the resources about fast food’s responsibility to American obesity. They are less perceptive in their understanding of the sources, or their explanation or examples may be particularly limited or simplistic. The essays may show less maturity in control of writing.
2 Little Success

Essays earning a score of 2 demonstrate little success in developing a position that reflects the arguments presented in the resources. They may merely allude to knowledge gained from reading the sources rather than citing the sources themselves. These essays may misread the sources, fail to develop a position that evaluates, or substitute a simpler task by merely summarizing or categorizing the sources or by merely responding to the prompt tangentially with unrelated, inaccurate or inappropriate explanation. The prose of these essays often demonstrates consistent weaknesses in writing, such as grammatical problems, a lack of development or organization, or a lack of control.


1 Essays earning a score of 1 meet the criteria for a score of 2 but are undeveloped, especially simplistic in their explanation, weak in their control of writing or do not allude to or cite even one source.
0 Indicates an on-topic response that receives no credit, such as one that merely repeats the prompt.

— Indicates a blank response or one that is completely off topic.


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