HIST 202 Fall 2022 Instructor: K. Jones Final Essay Instructions

Final Essay – The Fight for Voting Rights

QUESTION: From the mid-1800s to the present, there was a gradual push to expand voting rights in the United States to more groups of citizens. Often, the push to expand voting rights was met with attempts to limit and restrict the right to vote. Analyze the reasons and methods utilized for denying the right to vote to certain groups of people. Were the voting requirements and restrictions that were enacted justified and necessary? Or were there ulterior motives behind some of them?


 Textbook (cite as OpenStax): Ch. 16.3-4; Ch. 21.2-2; Ch. 23.3; Ch. 24.3; Ch. 29.1-3; Ch. 30.2 2.

 Website: “Voting Rights: A Short History” Carnegie Corporation of New York at

 Required Primary Source Documents (must use specific examples from 4 of the 6 documents): 1) Online Document – “Reading the Fine Print: the Grandfather Clause in Louisiana”

(1898) at 2) Online Document – Robert Smalls, “A Word of Warning: a Former Slave Urges

Constitutional Caution” (1895) at 3) Document 13 in Workbook (p. 42-44) – Rose Schneiderman, New York Senators vs.

Working Women (1912) 4) Online Document – W.E.B. DuBois, “W.E.B. DuBois Critiques Booker T. Washington”

(1903) at 5) Online Document – Lyndon B. Johnson “And We Shall Overcome”: President Lyndon

B. Johnson’s Special Message to Congress (1965) at

6) Online Document: Vernon Jordan, “Vernon Jordan Argues Against the Nixon Administration’s Voting Rights Proposal” (1969) at


I. Format (30 points) – 1) Papers should be typed. Papers should be no less than 2-3 full pages long and

should be double-spaced. Students should use 12 pt font and 1-inch margins. 2) A header is required and should include the following information: student’s name,

date, class (HIST 202), and instructor’s name (Jones). There should be only one or two spaces at most between the header and the beginning of the paper.

3) Students may include a title for their papers. If they choose to include this, it should be no more than one space underneath the header in the center of the paper. The body of the paper should begin no more than one space underneath the title. Titles are optional.

HIST 202 Fall 2022 Instructor: K. Jones Final Essay Instructions

4) Papers should have an introduction, body, and conclusion. The body of the paper should be divided up into separate paragraphs, one for each main topic or point made. The first sentence of each paragraph should be indented.

5) Papers should have a clear and specific thesis statement that does not just restate the main question being asked. Thesis statements can be more than one sentence long but should also be concise. The thesis statement needs to be in the introduction of the essay.

6) Sources should be cited within the text of the essay using MLA format when appropriate. This means that students should use parenthetical documentation when directly quoting something or when paraphrasing another author’s idea or argument. Sentences that convey a student’s own thoughts or arguments, or state factual information, do not need to be cited. Citations should include the author’s last name and the page number.

7) A Works Cited page is not required. You should only use the sources assigned in these instructions. No other outside sources are allowed.

8) Please use past tense throughout the essay. All of these events happened in the past, not the present.

II. Spelling/Grammar and Style (20 points) – Papers should have minimal spelling and

grammatical errors. Please use spell check while writing your paper. Spell check does not catch every misspelled word, so please also proofread your papers carefully for any spelling errors. Incomplete sentences, run-on sentences, misuse of words, and inappropriate use of punctuation are all considered serious grammatical errors and will negatively affect your grade. Sentences and paragraphs should be coherent, clear, and well organized. If you feel you need assistance with spelling, grammar, or style, please either turn in a rough draft to me or go to the Write to Excellence Center in KAUF 115 or use the WTE Virtual Writing Center at

III. Content (50 points) –

1) The main focus of the paper should be to analyze the reasons and methods that were used to prevent groups like African Americans, women, Native Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans from voting. The thesis statement should focus on whether or not the voting restrictions and requirements were really necessary and justified and why.

2) In addition to the background information from the lectures and textbook, students must use specific examples from at least four of the six assigned primary source documents to back up their arguments.

3) Papers should discuss the specific arguments and points made by each author in the primary sources. Students should also consider each author’s point of view (biases, background, reasons why they might have held the viewpoint they did).

4) Students should demonstrate in their paper that they have completed the required textbook readings by incorporating relevant background information into their papers. Papers should not just be a summary of the primary source documents.

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