During the 1960s, different visions about the role of public education in American life often sparked sharp racial divisions. Some of those controversies involved matters related to integration (such as where, how much, who decides, and/or whether integration was a good idea or even possible). Other controversies, however, involved matters related to school curriculum and the behavior of students, teachers, and administrators. In 1968, these and other questions embroiled the Ocean Hill-Brownsville district in New York City in a series of conflicts. Jerald Podair’s book seeks to explain the causes and consequences of those conflicts.

Historians make arguments. This assignment will require you to discern those arguments, consider how Podair makes his case (use of sources), and evaluate the book overall.

1. Your paper will be seven pages, double spaced, using 12-point font, with one inch margins on each side as well as the top and bottom.

Any text over seven pages will not be read. Going over the limit will negatively impact your grade.

2. Your paper will consist of three parts:

Part One: This section is about reading comprehension. It should be about four pages in your paper. For each chapter (one through nine), you will write a five or six sentence long paragraph that conveys Podair’s argument in that chapter. You must aim for efficiency—convey the scope of the argument rather than focusing on a narrow slice of the chapter. Avoid getting bogged down in details; focus on the big picture. Choose your words carefully. Avoid superficial, inaccurate, or incomplete summaries. This is not the place for direct quotations—use your own words.

You also need to read and write about the introduction; read it first! Generally, an author will use the introduction to discuss the purpose of the book and provide a broad overview of his/her main arguments. Your task is explain, in five or six sentences, Podair’s arguments about the core issues in the dispute and the consequences that resulted from it.

Use the following format, for the introduction through the final chapter:

Introduction: Podair….
Chapter One: Podair….
Chapter Three: Podair. . .
This format will help you organize your paper. Follow the five-six sentence rule; less than, or more than, that amount will hurt your grade.

Before you start reading each chapter, pay close attention to the title. The words/dates in the title provide some important clues about the scope of the chapter (what it’s about) and possibly part of the argument. A title doesn’t reveal everything, of course, but it can say a lot.

Part Two: This section is about how Podair uses sources/evidence in chapter five. It should be about one page long.

You need to:
–identify three pieces of specific evidence Podair uses to support his argument. These are found in the chapter itself. Summarize those examples in three sentences, such as “One piece of evidence Podair uses is….”, or “ Another piece of evidence is…..” Evidence is not the same as argument; evidence is used to support an argument. (one paragraph)
–identify three different sources Podair uses to construct this chapter. You should identify two primary sources (material from the time being written about) and one secondary source (something that uses primary sources to analyze or report about something; Podair’s book is a secondary source). This information is found in the “Notes” section at the back of the book. Note: some of the secondary sources listed here are only partially cited because Podair cited the source earlier in the book; use the bibliography to find the full information about the source (author, title, etc.). (one paragraph)
–analyze citation 32. Carefully read the section of the chapter that contains citation 32; then read the New York Times article cited there (available on Blackboard). Think about what he used from the article, and what he did not. Would you have made the same choices? Why or why not? Remember that writing history involves making choices; authors cannot, and would not wish to, use everything contained in a source. Choices are, in other words, inevitable. (one paragraph)
Part Three: This section is about considering the book as a whole. It should be about two pages long. Address the following questions:
–What do you regard as the book’s greatest strength, and why? What do you consider to be its chief weakness, and why? Choose one strength and one weakness. Focus on the book’s substance, not its style.
–What implications does the Ocean Hill-Brownsville controversy have for how we see the history of white/black relations during the 1960s?
3. Grades will be on the following scale: A (95 points), B (85 points), C (75 points), D (65 points), F (55 points). If a paper is exceptionally good, it will receive 100 points. For example, a C paper with citation problems will receive 70 points.

4. Your paper (a printed copy) is due in class April 00. I will not accept electronic submissions. Do not turn in your paper to my mailbox or slide it under my office door—I won’t accept those either. It is your job to get your paper in on time. Papers are due when I collect them in class; if you turn it in during class after I collect them, it is considered late and will be penalized ten points. Papers turned in April 00 will be penalized twenty points. I won’t accept a paper after April 00—you will receive a 0 for the assignment.

I will not accept any excuses for late papers. None whatsoever. That means if you get sick, grandma dies, your hard drive fails, you oversleep because your alarm didn’t go off, traffic or an accident on the roads keeps you from getting to class on time, or anything else happens to prevent you from turning in your paper on April 00 , you will receive the penalty noted above. If you want to eliminate the chance of something beyond your control harming your paper grade, turn in the paper before April 00 .

5. Include a cover sheet with your name and a title. You do not need a bibliography. The cover sheet does not count toward the seven-page limit.

6. As with all assignments in this course, the Honor Code is in effect. If I suspect you have violated the Code, I will file charges with the Honor Court. Ignorance of the Code is not a defense. Please review the Honor Code if you have any doubts about what might be a violation.
NO cheating or plagerism.
Regarding the paper, two things to clarify:

1. You do NOT need citations. I have modified the assignment online by removing the statement that read that a paper with citation problems would be penalized five points. Focus your summaries on using your own words (as instructed), and your analysis on using your own words to evaluate how Podair uses sources and the strengths/weaknesses/implications of his book.

2. Start each of the summaries with “Podair,” and then summarize. It’s harder to write a short paragraph (one that is accurate) than a longer one. You really have to think about the heart of the chapter, and you need to economize in using words. No wordy phrases such as “In this chapter, Podair…” Simply saying “Podar argues…” or “Podair contends….” is a better way to summarize.

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