Before you begin, please read the handout A Brief Guide to Analyzing and Writing About Primary Sources Preview the document. Then read these two Primary Source readings:
Olaudah Equiano Excerpt Preview the document
Thomas Phillips Excerpt Preview the document
After reading the primary sources, pick a topic related to Europeans and Africans in the Transatlantic Slave Trade that you would like to analyze in your essay. Potential topics include:
African perceptions of European slave traders or the slave trade.
European perceptions of Africans slaves or African traders.
The role of violence in the slave trade.
“African resistance to the slave trade.”
The relationship and negotiations between European and African traders.
You can also develop your own topic based on your own interests. Email your instructor your potential topic and they can help you refine it as needed. You must develop a topic based on your reading of both primary sources and you must analyze evidence from both sources in your paper.
Your essay should be at least three pages in length. Please use 12-point font and double-spacing. Your essay must have a works cited page and follow MLA style.
Organizing Your Essay
Here is a general guide for organizing your essay.
Introduction: Introduce the topic your essay will address. Next, establish your essay’s main argument or thesis statement.
First Main Paragraph – Historical Context : Explain the historical context in which your primary sources originated.
Second Main Paragraph: Support your thesis by analyzing your primary sources and providing specific supporting evidence.
Third Main Paragraph: Support your thesis by analyzing your primary sources and providing specific supporting evidence. You can develop more supporting paragraphs as needed if you start new sub-topics.
Conclusion: Tie together the points you made in your essay and reiterate your thesis.