A Random Collection of Recommendations and Rules Designed to Aid in Producing Polished Academic
(Or, How to Help Professor Hawkins Hold On to What Hair He May Have Left)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*Book titles, film titles, the names of newspapers, journals, and magazines (ex., The New York Times) all go in
italics. The titles of articles (in both academic journals and the mainstream press) go in quotation marks (ex.
“The Great Debate Over Slavery in the Antebellum South”).
*Follow a consistent citation style. Do not mix internal citations and footnotes. Footnotes always go in a
slightly smaller font than the text of your paper. Only provide a Works Cited page if explicitly required.
*Please do not refer to a non-fiction book as a “novel.” There has been a recent epidemic of this in all essays I
read (an observation shared by my colleagues). It truly drives me nuts. Just because a book is long and does not
contain pictures, does not make it a novel. Novels are works of fiction (ex. Harry Potter, The Shining). Most of
the works you read in a history course are non-fiction, historiographic works.
*Avoid contractions (can’t, don’t) in formal academic writing. This will help avoid any missteps regarding “its”
*Know the difference between plural (“the cultural of slaves”) and possessive (“the slaves’ culture”). (See
above regarding “it’s and its”)
*Avoid clichés (ex.“at the end of the day”), slang, and colloquialisms (ex.“the ups and downs of life”) in formal
*Avoid block quotes. Paraphrase a long quote or parse it down. If you absolutely must include a long quote and
insist on block quotes, single-space it and put it in a smaller font than the text.
*Always write out an author’s name and the complete book title at first reference in your paper. After that first
reference it is appropriate to refer to the author by his/her last name only and you may then use a shortened
version (omitting the subtitle) of the book title.
*When referring to the United States as a noun (ex. “the history of the United States” “He traveled to the United
States”) you must write out “United States.” But, when used as a modifier or adjective, you may abbreviate
(exs. U.S. history, U.S. foreign policy, U.S. trade relations).
*Never include “etc.” or ex cetera in a formal paper.
*Never state, “In this paper I will….” This is not a thesis statement but a promise (sometimes later unfulfilled)
of something to come. It serves more as a table of contents than an argument. State your argument in your
introduction. Don’t say what you will do—Do it!
*Contextualize all quotes (ex. Beth Bailey argues, “….”). Never begin a sentence with a quote out of context or
an unattributed quote. Attribute the writer or speaker before using the quote.
*Always proofread your paper before submission.
--Explain how Booker T. Washington’s advice and direction given to African Americans in Up
From Slavery both complements and challenges the ideology and social structure of the United
States in the “Gilded Age” and “Progressive Era” time periods. Through his emphasis on uplift,
education, and accommodation, how is Washington reinforcing the existing social order but also
seeking to enlarge it?
All papers must be 4-6 pages in length, computer-printed, and double-spaced with
one-inch margins. Use an appropriate citation style (either footnotes or internal citations). The
use of citations and further manuscript preparation information will be discussed in lecture and
explained in the Guide to Writing Papers provided.
General Guide to Writing Papers
The following are points to consider when preparing the final draft of your paper. This guideline
is a general overview designed to help you through the process of writing your paper. If you have
specific questions about content and writing, please consult the professor or your TA.
Read the Prompt: Of course you are going to read the prompt, but do so carefully! Be sure to
respond directly and completely to the key issues outlined in the prompt. Essays that veer off
topic or fail to address these key issues will receive low grades. If you have any questions about
what the prompt is asking, be sure to consult the instructor.
Have a Thesis: Your thesis is the most important element of your paper. A thesis is an
argument synthesized through careful analysis of the evidence that directly addresses the issues
outlined in the prompt. Your thesis statement should be clear, assertive, and deeply analytical. It
should be presented in the first paragraph of the essay and establish the analytical direction your
paper will strictly follow. Imagine your thesis as a clothes line, a cord that stretches across the
scope of your essay upon which you will attach your evidence. An observation such as, “The
Wakatsuki family encountered many questions of loyalty.” is not a thesis. This is akin to telling
me the sky is blue. Your thesis must articulate the significance of the analysis you make and
exhibit an integrated assessment of the evidence. A paper without a clear thesis is not a good
Support Your Thesis: After your thesis is stated, you must support it. You do this by providing
specific evidence from your sources. Along with providing this evidence, show why these
particular details support your overall argument. Does your evidence support your thesis? If not,
you may have to modify your thesis. When you use evidence, provide proper citations.
However, use direct quotes sparingly. Your paper should center on your analysis rather than
being merely a collection of quotations from the readings. Below is an example of a footnote:
1. Carlos Buloan, America Is In The Heart (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1973), 186.
Use “Ibid” for subsequent citations of the same text.
Or you may use internal citations: ex. (Bulosan, 186).
Failure to cite sources is plagiarism, a form of intellectual theft that may result in a failing grade.
When You are Done, Reread Your Essay: Proofreading is a must! Papers with spelling and
punctuation errors baldly exhibit the writer’s sloppiness. But proofreading is also important in
determining if you are communicating clearly. Read your paper out loud. Have someone
unfamiliar with the material read it. Does it make sense? Also, have you supported your thesis?
Frequently, writers reach conclusions that differ from their introductions. This is often a sign that
you have given your topic thoughtful analysis. Go back and change your thesis to be consistent
with your final conclusion. Be sure that your thesis does provide that coherent, analytical line
that carries throughout your essay.
UP FROM SLAVERY
Booker T. Washington
Washington, Booker T. (1856-1915) - American writer and
educationist.Born a slave in Virginia, he was later educated at the
Hampton Institute and went on to establish and head the Tuskegee
Institute in Alabama. Up From Slavery (1901) - Booker T.
Washington’s autobiography details his rise from slavery to the
leadership of his race. This is a simple yet dramatic record of
Washington’s dedication to the education of black Americans.
Table Of Contents
CHAPTER I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A SLAVE AMONG SLAVES
CHAPTER II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CHAPTER III . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
THE STRUGGLE FOR AN EDUCATION
CHAPTER IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CHAPTER V . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD
CHAPTER VI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BLACK RACE AND RED RACE
CHAPTER VII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
EARLY DAYS AT TUSKEGEE
. . . . . . .
. . .
TEACHING SCHOOL IN A STABLE AND
CHAPTER IX .
. . . . . . . .
ANXIOUS DAYS AND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
CHAPTER X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A HARDER TASK THAN MAKING BRICKS
CHAPTER XI . . . . . . . . . . .
MAKING THEIR BEDS BEFORE THEY COULD
LIE ON THEM
CHAPTER XII . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
TWO THOUSAND MILES FOR A FIVE-MINUTE
CHAPTER XIV . . . . . . . . . . .
THE ATLANTA EXPOSITION ADDRESS
CHAPTER XV . . . . . . . . . . .
THE SECRET OF SUCCESS IN PUBLIC SPEAKING
. . . . . . . . ..
CHAPTER XVII . . . . . . . .
. . .
This volume is the outgrowth of a series of articles, dealing with
incidents in my life, which were published consecutively in the
Outlook. While they were appearing in that magazine I was
constantly surprised at the number of requests which came to me
from all parts of the country, asking that the articles be
permanently preserved in book form. I am most grateful to the
Outlook for permission to gratify these requests.
I have tried to tell a simple, straightforward story, with no attempt
at embellishment. My regret is that what I have attempted to do
has been done so imperfectly. The greater part of my time and
strength is required for the executive work connected with the
Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, and in securing the
money necessary for the support of the institution. Much of what I
have said has been written on board trains, or at hotels or railroad
stations while I have been waiting for trains, or during the
moments that I could spare from my work while at Tuskegee.
Without the painstaking and generous assistance of Mr. Max
Bennett Thrasher, I could not have succeeded in any satisfactory
B. T. W.
A SLAVE AMONG SLAVES
I was born a slave on a plantation in Franklin County, Virginia. I
am not quite sure of the exact place or exact date of my birth, but at
any rate I suspect I must have been born somewhere and at some
time. As nearly as I have been able to learn, I was born near a
cross-roads post-office called Hale’s Ford, and the year was 1858 or
1859. I do not know the month or the day. The earliest impressions
I can now recall are of the plantation and the slave quarters- the
latter being the part of the plantation where the slaves had their
My life had its beginning in the midst of the most miserable,
desolate, and discouraging surroundings. This was so, however,
not because my owners were especially cruel, for they were not, as
compared with many others. I was born in a typical log cabin,
about fourteen by sixteen feet square. In this cabin I lived with my
mother and a brother and sister till after the Civil War, when we
were all declared free.
Of my ancestry I know almost nothing. In the slave quarters, and
even later, I heard whispered conversations among the coloured
people of the tortures which the slaves, including, no doubt, my
ancestors on my mother’s side, suffered in the middle passage of
the slave ship while being conveyed from Africa to America. I have
been unsuccessful in securing any information that would throw
any accurate light upon the history of my family beyond my
mother. She, I remember, had a half-brother and a half-sister. In
the days of slavery not very much attention was given to family
history and family records- that is, black family records. My
mother, I suppose, attracted the attention of a purchaser who was
afterward my owner and hers. Her addition to the slave family
attracted about as much attention as the purchase of a new horse or
cow. Of my father I know even less than of my mother. I do not
even know his name. I have heard reports to the effect that he was
a white man who lived on one of the near-by plantations. Whoever
he was, I never heard of his taking the least interest in me or
providing in any way for my rearing. But I do not find especial
fault with him. He was simply another unfortunate victim of the
institution which the Nation unhappily had engrafted upon it at
The cabin was not only our living-place, but was also used as the
kitchen for the plantation. My mother was the plantation cook. The
cabin was without glass windows; it had only openings in the side
which let in the light, and also the cold, chilly air of winter. There
was a door to the cabin- that is, something that was called a doorbut the uncertain hinges by which it was hung, and the large cracks
in it, to say nothing of the fact that it was too small, made the room
a very uncomfortable one. In addition to these openings there was,
in the lower right-hand corner of the room, the “cat-hole”- a
contrivance which almost every mansion or cabin in Virginia
possessed during the ante-bellum period. The “cat-hole” was a
square opening, about seven by eight inches, provided for the
purpose of letting the cat pass in and out of the house at will
during the night. In the case of our particular cabin I could never
understand the necessity for this convenience, since there were at
least a half-dozen other places in the cabin that would have
accommodated the cats. There was no wooden floor in our cabin,
the naked earth being used as a floor. In the centre of the earthen
floor there was a large, deep opening covered with boards, which
was used as a place in which to store sweet potatoes during the
winter. An impression of this potato-hole is very distinctly
engraved upon my memory, because I recall that during the
process of putting the potatoes in or taking them out I would often
come into possession of one or two, which I roasted and
thoroughly enjoyed. There was no cooking-stove on our plantation,
and all the cooking for the whites and slaves my mother had to do
over an open fireplace, mostly in pots and “skillets.” While the
poorly built cabin caused us to suffer with cold in the winter, the
heat from the open fireplace in summer was equally trying.
The early years of my life, which were spent in the little cabin,
were not very different from those of thousands of other slaves. My
mother, of course, had little time in which to give attention to the
training of her children during the day. She snatched a few
moments for our care in the early morning before her work began,
and at night after the day’s work was done. One of my earliest
recollections is that of my mother cooking a chicken late at night,
and awakening her children for the purpose of feeding them. How
or where she got it I do not know. I presume, however, it was
procured from our owner’s farm. Some people may call this theft.
If such a thing were to happen now, I should condemn it as theft
But taking place at the time it did, and for the reason that it did, no
one could ever make me believe that my mother was guilty of
thieving. She was simply a victim of the system of slavery. I cannot
remember having slept in a bed until after our family was declared
free by the Emancipation Proclamation. Three children- John, my
older brother, Amanda, my sister, and myself- had a pallet on the
dirt floor, or, to be more correct, we slept in and on a bundle of
filthy rags laid upon the dirt floor.
I was asked not long ago to tell something about the sports and
pastimes that I engaged in during my youth. Until that question
was asked it had never occurred to me that there was no period of
my life that was devoted to play. From the time that I can
remember anything, almost every day of my life has been occupied
in some kind of labour; though I think I would now be a more
useful man if I had had time for sports. During the period that I
spent in slavery I was not large enough to be of much service, still I
was occupied most of the time in cleaning the yards, carrying
water to the men in the fields, or going to the mill, to which I used
to take the corn, once a week, to be ground. The mill was about
three miles from the plantation. This work I always dreaded. The
heavy bag of corn would be thrown across the back of the horse,
and the corn divided about evenly on each side; but in some way,
almost without exception, on these trips, the corn would so shift as
to become unbalanced and would fall off the horse, and often I
would fall with it. As I was not strong enough to reload the corn
upon the horse, I would have to wait, sometimes for many hours,
till a chance passer-by came along who would help me out of my
trouble. The hours while waiting for some one were usually spent
in crying. The time consumed in this way made me late in reaching
the mill, and by the time I got my corn ground and reached home it
would be far into the night. The road was a lonely one, and often
led through dense forests. I was always frightened. The woods
were said to be full of soldiers who had deserted from the army,
and I had been told that the first thing a deserter did to a Negro
boy when he found him alone was to cut off his ears. Besides,
when I was late in getting home I knew I would always get a
severe scolding or a flogging.
I had no schooling whatever while I was a slave, though I
remember on several occasions I went as far as the schoolhouse
door with one of my young mistresses to carry her books. The
picture of several dozen boys and girls in a schoolroom engaged in
study made a deep impression upon me, and I had the feeling that
to get into a schoolhouse and study in this way would be about the
same as getting into paradise.
So far as I can now recall, the first knowledge that I got of the fact
that we were slaves, and that freedom of the slaves was being
discussed, was early one morning before day, when I was
awakened by my mother kneeling over her children and fervently
praying that Lincoln and his armies might be successful, and that
one day she and her children might be free. In this connection I
have never been able to understand how the slaves throughout the
South, completely ignorant as were the masses so far as books or
newspapers were concerned, were able to keep themselves so
accurately and completely informed about the great National
questions that were agitating the country. From the time that
Garrison, Lovejoy, and others began to agitate for freedom, the
slaves throughout the South kept in close touch with the progress
of the movement. Though I was a mere child during the
preparation for the Civil War and during the war itself, I now
recall the many late-at-night whispered discussions that I heard my
mother and the other slaves on the plantation indulge in. These
discussions showed that they understood the situation, and that
they kept themselves informed of events by what was termed the
“grape-vine telegraph.” During the campaign when Lincoln was
first a candidate for the Presidency, the slaves on our far-off
plantation, miles from any railroad or large city or daily
newspaper, knew what the issues involved were. When war was
begun between the North and the South, every slave on our
plantation felt and knew that, though other issues were discussed,
the primal one was that of slavery. Even the most ignorant
members of my race on the remote plantations felt in their hearts,
with a certainty that admitted of no doubt, that the freedom of the
slaves would be the one great result of the war, if the Northern
armies conquered. Every success of the Federal armies and every
defeat of the Confederate forces was watched with the keenest and
most intense interest. Often the slaves got knowledge of the results
of great battles before the white people received it. This news was
usually gotten from the coloured man who was sent to the postoffice for the mail. In our case the post-office was about three miles
from the plantation and the mail came once or twice a week. The
man who was sent to the office would linger about the place long
enough to get the drift of the conversation from the group of white
people who naturally congregated there, after receiving their mail,
to discuss the latest news. The mail-carrier on his way back to our
master’s house would as naturally retail the news that he had
secured among the ...
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