Exam Skills (MC, SAQ, LEQ, DBQ)
5 min read•january 2, 2021
You clearly know a lot about this time period, but make sure that you’re saving some of your vocab evidence for your body paragraphs. You need evidence to support your thesis, and if you blow all your evidence within the thesis, it’s hard to support your argument with outside evidence later. Your thesis should thus be a bit broader: talk about emancipation as your counterargument, then mention “violent intimidation, segregations, and second-class economic status” instead of your “KKK, Jim Crow Laws, and the wage gap.” (The wage gap was probably fine since you’d mention Sharecropping in a body paragraph as evidence; I just thought I’d widen it a tad).
Nice work on most of your thesis. Make sure you’re saving your evidence for your body paragraphs, so try to avoid using “sharecropping” and “crop-lien system” and just talk about continued rural poverty. Other than that, your thesis made sense and would earn the point!
Your thesis would earn the point and was well done. Make sure you’re saving your evidence for your body paragraphs–if at all possible–so try to avoid using “black codes” and just talk about continued political discrimination. Other than that, your thesis made sense and would earn the point!
Make sure you’re saving your evidence for your body paragraphs–if at all possible–so try to avoid using “literacy tests, poll taxes, and grandfather clauses” or “Slaughterhouse Cases and the Black Codes” and just talk about continued political discrimination. Other than that, your thesis made sense and would earn the point! You want vocab during the Contextualization part of your introductory paragraph. Where you don’t want vocab is in your actual thesis, which is usually the last sentence or two of your intro paragraph. Your thesis needs to specifically answer the question, but it shouldn’t be so detailed that you cannot prove it later in body paragraphs with vocab, thus why you want to save the vocab for later. In your paragraph, for example, it seemed like you were already answering the question via a thesis–which was the prompt on this thread, so good job!–but your thesis listed a bunch of vocab that you should save for later body paragraphs. You actually did this really well with your counterclaim: you talked about emancipation and voting rights and NOT the 13th and 15th amendments, which you can later use to prove that counterclaim. For the rest of your thesis, I’d suggest talking about categories to argue the same things: African Americans’ lives, especially in the South, changed little, as people found new ways to keep them in debt and stuck doing farm work for white people , and using a variety of political tactics and intimidation to deny them actual suffrage.
That was a great thesis. Nice usage of categories such that you can support them later with specific evidence. Plus, you set yourself up for complexity!
Make sure that you’re not getting too specific during the thesis. Save evidence like “Radical Republicans” and the “Compromise of 1877” for later in your thesis. You want to use categories and then add direction or magnitude: talk about how AA gained and lost economic status on their agricultural farms even as they gained political rights and participation on a national level.
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