Touchstone 1: Case Study Close Reading
ASSIGNMENT: For this Touchstone, you will select a case study of a topic in U.S. history source to read like a historian. As you learned, doing a close reading means reading the text multiple times, with a different set of questions in mind each time. You will then write and submit answers to a set of close reading questions:
Origin and context: Who wrote this text? When did they write it? What do I know about the events being discussed?
Meaning: What is the author’s main idea? What is the text generally about?
Argument: What is the author’s point of view? Are they trying to convince the reader of something? What evidence do they use to support their argument?
Skills: Is there evidence in the text of agility or problem solving skills being used? In what way(s)?
This Touchstone provides an opportunity for you to delve more deeply into a topic in U.S. history and practice thinking like a historian. It will also prepare you for later Touchstones, which ask you to research a historical question and create a presentation to help others understand how historical events can be applied to current issues. Lastly, it will develop your problem solving skills, because being a critical reader helps you to obtain and evaluate the information you need to solve problems.
Use the Touchstone template below to write answers to the close reading questions as you read. When you have finished, you will submit this template to move onto the next unit.
Select a case study from the list below:
|Topic||Case Study Article|
|Agriculture and Social Change||Commercialization and Discontent on the American Farm: The Farmer’s Movements of the Late-19th and Early-20th Centuries|
|Civil Rights and WWII||The Double Victory Campaign and the Black Press: A Conservative Approach to ‘Victory’ at Home and Abroad|
|Civil Rights and Women||Title IX and the Gender Binary: Trajectories of Equality|
|Media and Communications||The American Military and the Press: From Vietnam to Iraq|
Read the case study in its entirety. To enhance your understanding, be sure to look up any terms or events in the text that you may be unfamiliar with. Re-read the text as you answer the close reading questions in the Touchstone template.
Refer to the list below throughout the writing process. Do not submit your Touchstone until it meets these guidelines.
- Origin and context
❒ Have you identified who wrote the text and when? Is he or she qualified to speak on the topic?
❒ Have you identified the events being discussed?
❒ Have you identified the author’s main idea?
❒ Have you described what the text is generally about?
❒ Have you identified the author’s point of view? Are they trying to convince the reader of something?
❒ Have you identified the evidence used to support the argument?
❒ Have you explained ways in which agility or problem solving skills are being used?
Case Study Title:
Hist1010 Touchstone 1 Template
Complete the following template, including all parts. Fill out all cells using complete sentences, aiming for at least three to four complete sentences for each cell of the template.
|Origin and Context|
|Who wrote the text and when? Provide a brief description of the author. Are they qualified to speak on the topic?
|What events are being discussed in the text? Provide a brief description of three events.
|What is the author’s main idea?
|What is the text generally about?
|What is the author’s point of view?
|Is the author trying to convince the reader of something?
|What evidence is used to support the argument? Provide two examples.
|How are agility or problem solving skills being used in the text? Use specific details.