Response Papers about People’s History of the United States

Help me study for my History class. I’m stuck and don’t understand.

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For this RP you will use especially a chapter from A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

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Response Paper Options:
Answer just ONE of the following questions.

1) Zinn and Foner offer differing portrayals of the Columbus story and of colonization/imperialism in general. Discuss these portrayals, keeping in mind that Foner might be a bit more difficult to interpret because his version is presented in a bit more subtle (but no less biased) manner, while Zinn is not keeping any secrets regarding the motives and actions of Columbus, his men and other Europeans.

The questions that historians, and with the Columbus issue, cultural activists and critics, have been considering include the following:

2) Compare Columbus’s log entries with Las Casas’s journal entries.

a. Identify differences and similarities (e.g., how each describes the Arawaks).

b. Identify topics the other did not discuss.

c. What accounts for the differences? the similarities (their goals, their job functions, their status in relation to the other Spaniards)?

3) What sources are the textbook authors using? Pay special attention to Zinn’s sources; they give his history a certain credibility on this topic.

4) If communities share common interests, did Columbus and Las Casas belong to the same community? If so, what are their common interests? (What was Columbus in the Caribbean for? Las Casas?) If not, what interests separate them into different communities? Did Las Casas have more in common with the Arawaks than he did with Columbus?

MAKE sure the grammar, my professor really care on grammar and dont Plagiarism, dont write too deep and dont use complex words cuz im an international student from china

here is the guide to help you write the response paper:

Response Papers and Discussions

After you’ve read the assigned chapters for the week, consider writing a brief response to the material.

Use this as an opportunity to discuss some of the larger issues or themes in the readings. While you will need to re-state some of what is in the textbook as evidence for formulating your answer, you must elaborate on what you’ve read. Create an informed opinion.

Be sure to:

–answer the question

use only the textbooks to write your Response Paper unless otherwise instructed

provide specific examples from the textbooks for your statements

quote your sources (the textbooks)

cite your sources–provide page numbers

Notice in the class Schedule that while you only have to do 6 Module Activities, you have 7 opportunities to contribute to a Module Activity. I suggest that you not wait to do so. You’ll want to give yourself a cushion in case you have to miss an opportunity to turn in an RP or contribute to a discussion or in case one of your RPs is not accepted or you receive a low score on your discussion. If you choose to do 7 Module Activities, the instructor will not grade all 7. The first 6 will be counted toward your grade. The instructor will not count the seven best.

Submission Guidelines for Response Papers:

1. Deadlines for each Response Paper are listed in the schedule. NO LATE PAPERS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

2. You must use the following format for your Response Papers:

–Chapter Number:

–Module Number:

–The Question (copy the question that you are answering):

–Answer: (250-350 word answer).

3. Yes,
your response must be between 250 and 350 words in length. When calculating word count, don’t include the heading or question in your count; count only the words in your actual answer.

4. For each Module, you will either

a) see a link to specific Response Paper prompts


b) see a link to appropriate textbook chapter questions. In this case,
you must choose to write your RP from chapters listed for the current week’s Module. You may not choose a question or prompt from a previous week’s Module or for a Module that we haven’t yet covered.

5. Answer just one question per module.

Not every RP is accepted.

The most common reasons RPs are not accepted:

a) The RP is too short.

b) The RP doesn’t evince that the student has followed the instructor’s advice given in a previous RP (eg.: Regarding your previous RP, the instructor said that in future RPs you need to quote sources and you don’t do so).

c) The RP doesn’t answer the question or address the issue.

d) The student does not do their own work on the RP. See the “Academic Standards” document in the Course Overview.

If your RP is not accepted, you MAY NOT REVISE it. You must move on to the next Module.

7. Acceptable formats:

–Microsoft Word



–Don’t use .Pages

You may not work ahead. Each Module will be open for only the time designated in the schedule.

Discussion Guidelines:

A colleague of mine says that “nothing is more obvious than a mentally limp post.” “So,” he says, “without your head in a classroom staring at me, how would I/others ever know if you’re conscious?” Answer: because, by what you’ve written, you’ve demonstrated that you’ve read the material and have a working knowledge of it. It becomes painfully (and I mean that literally) obvious when someone is feeding off of the ideas of others only.

For each discussion, you will be required to create your own post and post a response to at least one other student’s post.

Your posts should utilize
Give Me Liberty! and the primary sources from
Voices of Freedom.
Students should quote and/or paraphrase from these sources (see the Quoting and Paraphrasing document in the Course Overview).


Historians employ an etiquette of polite discourse to solve problems and work through ideas. By and large, historians are interested in discourse that promotes democracy, which means that we are interested in behaving responsibly and generatively. We are interested in how to rise to the better angels of our communicative natures.

That said, I would like to suggest that your discussion are polite and clear. This doesn’t mean that you can’t disagree; it means that you must do so respectfully.

Some suggestions:

What to say if you don’t agree with the
discussion post

–“I think I see it differently…”

–“I have a different take on this.”

–“I am not sure I follow the logic of your thinking. The way I see it is…”

Use third-point referencing. That is, refer to the post, not the person who created the post.

–For example: “The argument might be stronger if…”

–“The thesis is clear and well-supported…”, “The sources don’t seem to support the point I think you’re trying to make…”

What to say if you don’t understand parts of the post?

–I am not sure I follow, exactly

–I know what I mean by the word “____” but I’m not sure I know what you mean…

–Could you help me understand your thinking when you said___

Avoid phrases like:

–“You do a terrible job of…”

–“You should have…”

–“Your thesis sucks…”

Suggested Structure

–1st paragraph–restate in your own words the argument that you understand the student is making

–2nd paragraph–extend or refute the point made by the student by including more evidence from the texts

–give a concluding idea

Examples of fairly good discussion replies:

I would like to comment on the “genocide” post and respectfully disagree with a couple of your points. In no way does this lessen my respect for you or your work.

First, I agree that the genocide of the Native Americans was indeed terrible, but I would argue that it IS unusual. Columbus and the Spanish conquest killed five times more people than Hitler and his Nazis did. While it is very true that every culture, on every continent, in every era has conquered with blood, Columbus did it with a fervor and disdain for human life.

While I do not disagree that the Native people’s of America were not a Utopian society or societies, they were definitely more egalitarian, tolerant, and self sufficient than those from western Europe. The Native people did fight, have enemies, and commit atrocities in the name of religion, culture, and/or power but the romanticizing in Zinn’s book mostly came from Columbus’ or Bartolomé de las Casas journals, and the biggest culprit was Samuel Morison who buried the “genocide” in a heap of heroification and praise for Columbus.

My point, again with all due respect, is we should hold Columbus and the conquistadors accountable for their actions. Yes it was 500 years ago, but they knew what they were doing was wrong, and we must teach our people that it was as wrong then as it is now, we should not accept that “they didn’t know better” just like the warlords and hate mongers of todays world know it’s wrong, so did the Spanish, English, Dutch, and French. I would hope that heinous acts like these would and will always be viewed as a shock and appall us.


Yes, i definitely have to agree with you on this. Neither man understood or respected slaves in any way. They both failed to understand that slaves are just people and that their skin color has no affect on their intelligence.

I feel that Hammonds and Fitzhugh’s commments just reveal the ignorance of their time.

And i feel that your points are valid and warranted.


I think you picked out the main benefits that were important during the revolution because after all where would we be without the start of the railroad system and telegraphs? I think this was a very important time in history because of these developments and it is important for us to know about them.

I too, cannot imagine walking up to my bank and seeing that it was closed indefinitely… i don’t think this could have gone over very well


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