Writing Assignment 1B

WRITING ASSIGNMENT 1B: The American Frontier-Reality versus Myth.

The history of the American frontier has celebrated the opportunities that the West offered to everyone. Some early historians glorified the American frontier and the role it played in developing the American character. Others have argued that what has been presented is a myth. How much was the truth, and what was a myth?


To prepare you must complete the following readings:

  • Review all sections of Chapter 18. Consider the following questions for your essay. The questions in each section will assist you in understanding the content and to prepare for the essay.
    1. The questions can and should be addressed in the essay, but they should not constitute the only discussion in the essay.
    2. How did this period of westward expansion differ from earlier ones?
    3. How did industry and the late 19th-century American economy influence the transformation of the West?
    4. What role did the federal government play?
  • Read the linked essay titled  DEBATING THE PAST: THE FRONTIER AND THE WEST Click for more options . Consider the following questions for your essay. These questions can and should be addressed in the essay, but it should not constitute the only discussion in the essay.
    1. What is Frederick Turner’s “frontier thesis,” and what are the criticisms of it? The link will direct you to Turner’s Thesis, The Frontier in American History.
  • Examine the information provided on these links, which address “new views on the history of the American West.” They are not full articles but do provide additional sources that you can review.
    1. A Different View of the American West: https://artsci.washington.edu/news/1999-10/different-view-american-west
    2. Rethinking History: American West: https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/rethinking-history-american-west
    3. History American West – Get much-needed rewrite: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/history-american-west-gets-much-needed-rewrite-180960149/
    4. Developing the American West: https://youtu.be/wmuMbOcL-mo
    5. Burden Western History: http://prospect.org/article/burden-western-history
    6. Project MUSE: The American West Reprised, Revised, and Revived – http://muse.jhu.edu/article/29166
  • Are you a movie buff? Consider renting an old Western, and pay close attention to how “Cowboys and Indians” are portrayed, and compare it to a more recent movie that portrays the frontier. If you use one of these programs, make sure you identify it in your in-text citations and your references. Review the Writing Resources Tab for guides.
  • Utilize at least one of the linked sources to support your discussion.
  • Identify and incorporate at least one additional outside source to support your discussion. In addition to the textbook, you may use any material outside of the textbook that is recommended in the Additional Reading section at the end of each chapter. You are also encouraged to do your own research and identify relevant sources. Please keep in mind that WIKIPEDIA is not an acceptable reference.


Write a well-organized essay, a minimum of 700 words (but not limited to), including supporting details from the documents/textbook/other sources in which you analyze and discuss the material that has been assigned by addressing the following question:

  1. Discuss the reality and myths that have been presented when relating the history of the American Frontier and its development.


  • Use Microsoft WORD to write the essays. The acceptable submission file types are .doc, .docx, and .rtf.
  • Prepare the assignment as a Word Document, double-spaced, and using a standard font of 12 points.
  • Paragraphs in an essay are not numbered. Any questions that are associated with an assigned reading are there to serve as a guide for your discussion.
  • Your discussion should incorporate all of the information from the documents and or textbook, and outside sources as one essay.
  • Students are required to research and incorporate into their discussions additional sources that relate to the content. Recommendations can be found at the end of the textbook chapter in Additional Reading.
  • All statements must be supported, and all sources must be identified and cited, and included in your reference list. This also applies to the textbook. Failure to do so constitutes Plagiarism, and the college has strict policies and penalties for failure to comply. Under the Resources,  you will find links to sites that review how to format a paper or essay. I recommend that students use APA or Chicago Style to format their essays. Students should ask their instructor which format style they prefer you to use.
  • Proofread your work. Make sure that you have looked for all of the spelling and grammatical errors and corrected them, and that you have organized your work into coherent paragraphs.
  • Submit via the Dropbox as an ATTACHMENT. Any work that is submitted directly into the box will be graded as a 0.

Point Value: 100

Grading Criteria:

  • Analysis and discussion (60%)
  • Support for discussion (30%)
  • Organization (10%)

Reminder: All written work must comply with standard English rules, such as proper capitalization, grammar, and spelling. The assignment must be submitted by the deadline listed on the calendar.

Note: Even though you will see a statement giving you the option of copy/paste or file attachment, please disregard this statement. You are required to attach the assignment in MS Word format.

Teaching Tip Links have been provided to various sites that offer guidance for essay writing, and APA format. This information is located in the “Student Writing Resources Folder” under the “Course Content” menu option,

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