Describe the debate over pulling down statues of Confederate generals and other problematic historical figures, and explain your own position, taking care to clarify which ideas you do and don’t agree with.  

Essay content: Focusing solely on the articles assigned, your paper should 

  • present a clear summary of the debate landscape, based on what you’ve read – the questions people are addressing, and their different answers;
  • explain where you stand; 
  • explain why, with reference to specific evidence and points drawn from our readings;
  • show an understanding of counter-arguments and conflicting viewpoints. 

NOTE: You do not have to “pick a side.” Your take on this may not be the same as anyone else’s; or you might not yet know what you think. It’s perfectly OK for you to argue that this this is a complex case where it’s difficult to say for certain who is right – if that is your thesis, you need to explain why you’re conflicted. 


  • capeheart.pdf – “New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Confederate statues: ‘The monuments were murder.'” Jonathan Capeheart. to an external site.) 
  • signer.pdf  – “I’m a progressive mayor. Here’s why I voted ‘No’ on removing my city’s Confederate statue.” Michael Signer. (Links to an external site.)
  • finney.pdf  – “I’m black. Robert E. Lee is my relative. His statues can’t come down soon enough.” Karen Finney. (Links to an external site.)
  • kiznar.pdf – “I detest our Confederate monuments. But they should remain.” Lawrence A. Kuznar. (Links to an external site.)
  • nelson.pdf – “Don’t take down Confederate monuments. Here’s why.” Sophia A. Nelson.

Applying what you’ve worked on:

Composition skills – 

  • Thesis: The paper should focus on a single, clear thesis that the rest of the paper explains.
  • Organization: The explanation should be presented in the form of clear, separate points, each of which is stated in clear topic sentences that scaffold the body of the paper. 
  • Development: Paragraphs should make one point each, begin with clear topic sentences that sum up the paragraph, and be filled with examples, analysis and direct quotes from the book that support the topic sentence.
  • Summary: The paper should present a summary of the debate, and if relevant, a summary of a specific article. Summaries should be clear, comprehensive without being too detailed, and easy to understand. 
  • Audience: Essay should show awareness of audience. 

Sentence skills –

  • Sentence focus: Sentences should be well-focused. Look out for the specific features outlined in the exercise (“there is,” passives, weak verbs, etc.) 
  • Joining words: Sentences should be intentionally joined, where it makes sense, with coordinators, subordinators and/or transitional expressions, which should be correctly punctuated.
  • Integrating quotes: Sentences should include plenty of direct quotes, trimmed down and integrated into the writer’s sentences.
  • Concession: Sentences should present conflicting views with strategically chosen concessives (although, though, etc.) to show priorities between ideas.  
  • Proofreading: The paper should be carefully proofread. 

Process requirements: Before you submit –

  • Essay 2: Drafting Board – Post a status update, thesis, outline or draft 


  • at least 1000 words

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