HIST 365: American Legal History

Assignment Details

This is a GEP writing intensive course.  The course requires students to examine the development of American legal history and to apply critical thinking to a writing project addressing a current constitutional controversy. Students will select a topic of American substantive law, examine its history, and using historical primary and secondary sources, draft an annotated bibliography and write an essay in Chicago Style Formatting.

You will also be assigned a peer editor. This editor will be responsible for editing and proofreading your bibliography, paying particular attention to the substance of the annotations and the format of the bibliographic entries.

The writing project will be explained as the semester progresses.  Every Friday will consist of a legal history writing lab, which will focus on the process of researching and writing in the discipline.

The breakdown for the research and writing project are as follows:

  • Library Exploration Exercise: 50 points
  • Writing Journal: 100 points (10 separate entries)
  • Research Proposal: 50 points
  • Essay Rough Draft & Annotated Bibliography: 100 points
  • Peer critique and review, the work you do in reviewing your fellow student’s draft: 100 points
  • Final Draft of Essay: 100 points


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Vernon Leighton
Office: 124A Krueger Library

Phone: 507.457.5148