Research/Writing Project: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Research/Writing Proje

Section 3: Researching the Paper
Remember you are going to write a paper that argues in the affirmative for Jacobs’ view. Your reading of the Incidents book and your completion of the template has already provided some material that can be used to argue her contention. You need to find at least two other sources that can provide similar material. Work from the materials listed below to conduct your research. Do not use your textbook as a cited source. Do not use websites unless they are from below.
Step One: Click on “Find Books” on the Library Home Page. Some of the terms below might get you started.
Some Author Searches:
John Hope Franklin
Walter Johnson
John W. Blassingame
Solomon Northop
Frederick Douglass
Mia Bay
Henry Louis Gates
Thavolia Glymph
Elizabeth Fox-Genovese
Stephanie M. H. Camp
Some Key Word Searches:
Slave Narratives
Harriet Jacobs
Slavery-United States-History
Plantation Life
Slave Women
Step Two: Click on “Find Articles” on the Library Home Page. Then click on “Databases listed alphabetically.” Then click on “A” and then click on America: History and Life. Some of the terms above might get you started. You may find full-text articles in this database.
Step Three: Click on “Find Articles” on the Library Home Page. Then click on “Databases listed alphabetically.” Then click on “J” and then click on JSTOR. Narrow your search to “article.” In the Journal Filter section click on “African American Studies,” and “History.” Some of the search terms above may now get you started. JSTOR returns full-text articles.
Step Four: Return the site index of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Click on the “Resources Index.” Then click on “Resources Related to Harriet Jacobs’ Life and Times.”
Step Five: On-line Resources
Slave Narratives

Section 4: Writing the Paper
You will not be summarizing the book in this paper.
Instead, you will be writing an argumentative paper that seeks to prove Jacob’s contention that slavery was more terrible for women than for men. For information on how to write a thesis statement/argument, go here.
In writing this paper, you will be drawing on the Incidents book to provide examples of the points you are making in the paper, as well as the other material you have researched.
Your paper should be about 1000 words in length. Remember, your paper should have a thesis statement, which your paper would then discuss, describe, prove, etc. Use your previous template to provide material to support your thesis.
Cover sheets, folders, etc. are unnecessary and should not be used. In the upper left corner of your paper simply put your name, the course number, and my name. Stapling sheets together is sufficient. All papers must be stapled when turned in.
Standard fonts, type sizes, margins, headers, etc. should be used. For example, do not write your entire paper in italics.
Every effort should be made to write well-constructed, grammatical sentences. Remember, a simple sentence is more effective than an ungrammatical complex one.
A quotation must be followed by a citation (footnote or endnote). For the purposes of this assignment, simply indicate the chapter from which the quotation comes, if taken from the Incidents book. If from one of your other consulted sources, follow standard Chicago citation procedure as indicated here.
Unless you are quoting from the book, always use your own words.
Finally, your paper should contain a bibliography. Again, consult here.
This should be completed November 23 and submitted in the Week Fourteen Activities folder.
Grading Rubric
Preliminary Steps (Section 1 and 2)
10 points
Final Thesis
10 points
Spelling and Grammar
10 points
20 points
Ideas and Content
40 points
10 points
100 points

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Research/Writing Project: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Research/Writing Proje
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Tips on Writing the PaperTips on Writing the Paper
Tips on Writing the Paper

Begin with an introduction that discusses the hardships faced by slaves. Set the context: antebellum America, plantations, type of work, punishments.
At the end of the introduction, insert your thesis statement. This should set up a contrast between what you just discussed and the argument you are going to make. Use a contrast word like “However” or “Although” or “Even though” etc.
Example: Even though slave men and women faced harsh treatment from their masters, the institution was more devastating for slave men than women. In this paper, I will explore four ways slavery created a harsher environment for men.
Now begin your next paragraph with a topic sentence:
Example: First, masters often inflicted harsher punishments on slave men as they regarded women as the “weaker sex.” Harriet Jacobs, a young slave woman, described how she witnessed one such punishment. “The young man,” she said, “was strung up by his arms and whipped with the lash until he almost died. Afterwards, he was cut down and almost left for dead.” [1] Bessie Simpson, another slave, also witnessed a horrific punishment. In this case, a runaway male was captured by dogs and almost torn to pieces.[2]
Now begin your next paragraph with a topic sentence:
Example: Second, slave men also faced psychological tortures as masters often threatened them with the fires of damnation if they resisted slavery. Aubrey St. John, a Louisiana planter, for instance, told one of his slaves that “the angel Gabriel will take you away to hell where you will roast in eternal fire if you refuse to do your work.”[3] Other slaves faced similar tortures. When young Harriet Jacobs tried to save one such slave, her master Dr. Flint….[4]
Finally, write your conclusion. In it, you can restate your thesis.
Example: Even though both slave men and women endured great stress from slavery—everything from whippings to separation from their families– slave men by far faced greater hardships than slave women. In can be truly said, for slave men, slavery was awful.

[1] Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Chapter 15.
[2] Bessie Simpson, The True Narrative of Bessie Simpson, a Slave, ed. John Smith (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), 134.
[3] Aubrey St. John, The Diary of a Virtuous Slave Owner, (Philadelphia: Puritan Publishing, 1852), 67.
[4] Jacobs, Chapter 22.

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