After reviewing the Unit VII materials, you should be familiar with some events that shaped Western
Expansion and the Antebellum South. Take a look at the 1793-1857 timeline here. For this
assignment, you will pick one of the events identified on the timeline and discuss how that event
prompted a change in national philosophies or ideals. In addition to discussing a specific event from
the timeline, you will also want to take into consideration how the nation’s views had evolved to the
point of the event you choose. Incorporating ideas and related concepts from previous units may
help you develop your ideas. Below are the steps you will need to take in order to successfully
complete this assignment.
Step 1: Choose an event.
Choose an event from the timeline above that interests you the most. Your research will surround
this event, so it is important to think about what you want to learn more about.
Step 2: Conduct research.
Conduct research around the event you chose. For this assignment, you are required to utilize at
least one source from the CSU Online Library. Your source can either revolve around the event you
chose or it can focus on the philosophies and ideals before/after your event, whichever supports
your writing more. Note that you may not find an article specifically addressing both the event you
chose and the philosophies surrounding it; in most cases, you will need to use your critical thinking
skills to infer the information. You may use more sources if you would like, but those sources cannot
include Wikipedia, biography.com, history.com, or other encyclopedias. Click here to view a valuable
resource that will walk you through tips and tricks on how to use the library for this assignment.
Step 3: Plan and reflect.
Reflect on the change in American life before and after the event you chose. Once you have
completed your research, you should sit back to think about what it means to see if you notice any
trends and to have a better sense of what you want to convey in your writing. Although it is not
required, you may want to develop a short outline to help you organize your thoughts and ideas. Use
some of the following prompts to help guide you:
Ask yourself about how historical figures and groups related to your event were shaped by this time
period and environment.
Ask yourself how the lives of the people around before and after the event were impacted.
Ask yourself what qualities, ideals, and philosophies you would most like to emphasize, and make sure
the facts that you present support it.
Find the perfect anecdote to demonstrate these qualities.
Step 4: Write your assignment.
Your final assignment should include a title page, a minimum of two pages of content, and a
reference page. As you are writing, be sure to keep the following in mind:
The introduction should engage the reader and clearly present a summary of the main points that clarify
your point of view. The introduction should also include a thesis statement.
The quality of your writing should demonstrate critical thinking.
Organization should clearly present points arranged to illustrate your opening points.
Writing should be clear and concise with no spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors.
You must utilize at least one source from the CSU Online Library.
APA formatting guidelines should be used for this assignment.
If you need additional help, feel free to reach out to a librarian (for questions about using the CSU
Online Library) or the CSU Writing Center (for assistance with writing or to request a review of your
Tips for Library Research
When conducting research for your Unit VII assignment, here are some best practices:
For this course, best results may come from the America: History and Life with Full Text database
because it has narrowed down the possible choices to one subject.
Academic Search Complete is also a good database to use for this assignment.
There are other engines you may find useful, but they will pull from a larger and less specific pool
Simplify the search terms:
o On a single line, use either “Eli Whitney” or “Cotton Gin” but not both together. You can
use both on separate lines.
o It can sometimes help to avoid being too specific. With 1846 Wilmot Proviso, the
computer is going to search for “1846” and “Wilmot” and “Proviso” because the name is
somewhat unique. By leaving off the year, this may help to narrow the potential unwanted
choices. Make sure to use quotes around “Wilmot Proviso”; it searches for the words as a
phrase instead of individually “Wilmot” and “Proviso.” In addition, if you change the drop
down from “Date Newest” to “Relevance,” you will find better results.
o Consider alternate terms. With a selection like “1848 National Election,” because the
words are so frequently used, you may want to instead use names of key figures for your
Define what to look for in your search. See the example below for "Compromise of 1850."
By using quotation marks, the engine understands “Compromise of 1850” as a single
By narrowing the field of search to a “SU Subject Terms,” that further specifies your
intended results to only the most likely 26 results.
Use a subject-specific search engine whenever possible.
o How to subject search:
In the drop-down menu to the right of the blank box, change the default to “SU
Subject Terms.” Subject searching can give you more exact results. Below is a
key word search for “compromise of 1850,” which resulted in 651 results.
By changing “Select a Field” to “SU Subject Terms,” you are able to narrow your
results down to articles that just specifically have “compromise of 1850” as a
After you type in your topic and you have a hit search, you can limit your results
further on the left side of the screen by selecting “Refine Results.” The default is
“All Results,” but for this project you want to focus on academic journals,
magazines, newspapers, and government documents. Avoid “Book Reviews”
Dred Scott v.
([Above timeline] U.S. National
Archive, 2016; [Below timeline]
Sheppard, 1869; Burkhardt, 2008;
Currier & Ives, 1848; Rothermel,
1855; Colton, 1855; Adams, 1865)
Adams, R. F. (1865). St. Louis courthouse [Photograph]. Retrieved from
Burkhardt, B. (2008). David Wilmot [Painting]. Retrieved from
Colton, J. H. (1855). Kansas and Nebraska [Map]. Retrieved from
Currier, N., & Ives, J. M. (1848). Grand national Whig banner: Press onward [Lithograph].
Retrieved from https://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3a10198/
Rothermel, P. F. (1855). The United States Senate, A.D. 1850 [Painting]. Retrieved from
Sheppard, W. L. (1869, December 18). The first cotton gin [Illustration]. Harper’s Weekly, 813.
Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cotton_gin_harpers.jpg
U.S. National Archives. (2016). Covered wagon of the great western expansion, 1886
[Photograph]. Retrieved from
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