Assignment Instructions

Response Blogs


One of our goals for this semester is experimenting with alternative forms of academic writing. During this semester you will be required to produce three response blogs of approximately 750 words each. You are required to submit at least one blog post before October 8 and the final two before December 10. A good response post will do the following:

  1. Summarize the main arguments, contentions, and or questions of at least two of the assigned readings.
  2. Put these readings in conversation with each other. How do they compare on key issues? What type of methods/sources do they use? Is one more useful than the other?
  3. Raise a question or objection about the readings and their arguments or content.

Please remember that “blogging” is an extremely flexible medium. Feel free to add images, create hyperlinks, and embed videos. This has the potential to be a fun exercise, so let the creativity flow.


You can earn up to 5 points for each response post.

  • A “5” is reserved for especially insightful work that introduces ideas not discussed in class and follows the criteria for a good response above.
  • A “4” is reserved for students who follow the criteria above but do not bring new insights.
  • A “3” is for responses that are complete but fall short in one of the three criteria above.
  • A “2” is for responses that are complete but fall short in two of the three criteria above.
  • A “1” is for responses that are either complete but fall short in each of the criteria, or is drastically short of the desired length (approximately 750 words)

Final Project


The purpose of the Primary Source Blog Project is for students to produce a digital essay of a unique research topic that incorporates at least five secondary sources and three primary sources. Students will use these sources as evidence for a unique argument, intervention, or question. There are a wide range of possible topics, but an acceptable topic is one that is geographically tied to the United States and is related to “drugs.” Your project should also be historical in scope, so a topic like “THC Vaping in Atlanta Public Schools,” is not acceptable whereas “A Survey of Anti-Marijuana Educational Films 1960-1965” is.


  • Length will be (2,500-3,000 words)
  • At least three primary sources
  • At least five secondary sources
  • Citations either in Chicago, APA, or MLA.
  • A clear argument, question, or intervention


Prospectus- The prospectus is the building block of this project and where you will do two things. First provide a description of your potential project topic. Second describe the type of primary and secondary sources you will use. The length of the prospectus should be between 300-500 words. A good prospectus should allow me to get a good idea of how viable and appropriate your topic is. Due: September 27 via email to me

Rough Draft- The rough draft is where I get a glimpse into how your project is developing. It should be at least 1,250 words. Its should include any citations and also a bibliography of your sources. Due: November 8 via blog post

Final Blog Post- The final blog post is your finished product and should total between 2,500- 3,000. Due December 3 before class via blog post


Each component will be graded on a 1-100 scale and break down as follows.

–Prospectus (5%)

–Rough Draft (5%)

–Final Blog Post(2,500-3,000 words) and Presentation (20%)