Should women have equal political and legal rights in the 1840s? Should slavery be abolished in the Antebellum South?

Should women have equal political and legal rights in the 1840s? Should slavery be abolished in the Antebellum South?

A history position paper is a point of view paper based on analysis and supporting evidence.  It presents one side of an arguable opinion about an issue. The goal of a position paper is to convince the audience that your opinion is valid, defensible, and worth listening to.

For this assignment, you need to select a topic from the list below, develop your argument/thesis, analyze the issue, and cite sources.  The paper should contain at least three comprehensive paragraphs with a minimum of 300 words.

The following are guidelines for your paper:

  • Selecting a Topic
    • To take a side on a subject, you should first select a topic that is controversial, manageable, and contains distinctive opposing views.  Please select from the list below.
  • Developing an Argument
    • Once your topic is selected, you should do some study and research on the subject matter.  You need then develop an argument or a thesis, analyze the issue, making sure that your position is well supported with a list of both pro and con sides of the topic and sufficient evidence for both sides.  You may find supporting evidence in books, articles, and primary sources that can be located in our class and online sources, particularly SCC library catalogue and electric databases.
  • Organizing the Paper
    • In organizing the paper, you need to develop an outline that include a brief introduction, counter argument, your argument, and conclusion.
      • Introduction: The Introduction should introduce the topic and its significance.  It should assert your thesis or your view of the issue.  This paragraph is your thesis statement with both your opinion and your approach to the issue so that the reader is interested in what you have to say.
      • Analysis: This section includes two parts— opposing opinion and your argument. In presenting the opposing opinions, you need to summarize the counter argument, and refuting those claims with supporting evidence.  It is critical to show that your argument is more valid than opposing arguments with analysis and evidence.  It’s recommended that you provide evidence for each opinion using more than one source.
      • Conclusion: The conclusion paragraph is to restate your argument and discusses its implications.
  • Citing Sources
    • Source citations are important for the position paper.  It should include at least two in-text source citations and a selected bibliography using MLA style.  To learn more about MLA Style, check the Sinclair Library site at

Possible Topics:

  1. How do you evaluate the Indian Removal Act of 1830?
  2. Was Manifest Destiny a valid argument and needed reality in the early 1800’s?
  3. In the Nullification Crisis, which position (South Carolina or President Jackson) do you support and why?
  4. Should women have equal political and legal rights in the 1840s?
  5. Should slavery be abolished in the Antebellum South?