Underground Railroad Essay Requirements
Writing Prompt: Explain the Anti-Slavery Movement in the United States before the Civil War. Your answer must include discussion of the Underground Railroad and individual abolitionists.
Part A: Content
Introduction including thesis statement: one sentence that sums up what your paper will discuss
Body Paragraph 1: Explanation of the Underground Railroad.
Body Paragraph 2: Discuss one of the 3 abolitionists covered in class. Tubman, Douglass, or Still
Body Paragraph 3 Choose a second of the 3 abolitionists covered in class
Body Paragraph 4 Discuss your assigned abolitionist
Conclusion – wrap up your points.
Part B: Composition, Length, and Grammar
Third person voice. Do not use I, me, we, you, us.
Use a formal tone
No contractions. Example Instead of don’t write do not
Use keywords in topic sentences and multiple times per paragraph. List keywords:
Avoid sentence fragments.
Avoid run-on sentences
Make sure all of your verb tenses match. Because these events happened in the past, you should be writing in the past tense.
Step by Step what you need to do is:
Introduction: You need to write five sentences
Decide what your keywords should be. Anti-slavery, abolition, the Underground Railroad, “the fight against slavery”, escaping slavery, abolishing slavery, helping escaped slaves, helping fugitive slaves. These types of phrases should appear over and over in your essay to tie your facts to your theme.
Remember: you are not in the paper. Do not use the words I, me, your, or we. Be formal and write in third person as if you were writing for a newspaper.
1. Write an opening sentence discussing the anti-slavery movement and how it came to be.
2. Introduce the Underground Railroad.
3. Decide which 2 of 3 abolitionists we covered in class. Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, or William Still. Introduce the two you pick in a sentence and tie them into your theme. Example: Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass were important to the anti-slavery movement because… (finish the sentence)
4. Write one sentence about the importance of your assigned abolitionist to the anti-slavery movement.
5. Write your thesis. Your thesis is ONE sentence that sums up what your paper will discuss.
Body Paragraph 1: Explain why slaves were running north and how the Underground Railroad came to exist. What were the helpers called? What were the risks? Who was after the escaped slaves? Why would they chase them? What bad things could happen to people who helped? What was the impact of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850?
Body Paragraph 2: Introduce one of the three abolitionists we talked about in class. Choose Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, or William Still. Make sure you connect this person to your theme in your first sentence/topic sentence. You should connect this person to anti-slavery, or abolishing slavery, and if relevant, the Underground Railroad. Then add details about this person’s contributions to the anti-slavery movement. Use Keywords!
Body Paragraph 3: Introduce one of the three abolitionists we talked about in class. Choose Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, or William Still. Make sure you connect this person to your theme in your first sentence/topic sentence. Then add details about this person’s contributions to the anti-slavery movement. Use keywords!
Body Paragraph 4: Introduce your assigned abolitionist. Make sure you connect this person to your theme in your first sentence/topic sentence. Then add details about this person’s contributions to the anti-slavery movement. Use keywords!
Write a conclusion statement about how the success of the anti-slavery movement. Example: Through the brave actions of many former slaves and people in the north, slavery was eventually abolished in the United States.
Then Write one sentence to wrap up each of the ideas in your body paragraphs. One sentence for the Underground Railroad. One sentence for each abolitionist that you discussed
Back away at the end with a final thought about how much better the United States is without slavery