Four short (two to three pages) essays will be assigned throughout the semester. The purpose of these exercises will be to utilize critical and analytical writing skills in order to discuss the ways in which historical debates surround themes covered in class. Assigned chapters in the Taking Sides reader will provide the foundation for these essays. Roughly half of the assignment will require you to identify and summarize the author’s thesis and argument points. The remainder of the assignment will be to state why you agree or disagree with the author. Papers will be double spaced, have one inch margins, use a twelve font, and contain a title. Use of the first person voice is prohibited. Be sure to state your thesis in your introduction, use specific examples from the author’s argument with sentences like “According to the author…,” defend your thesis in the body of your essay, and restate your thesis in your conclusion. Late papers will not be accepted.