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How you will do it
- Explore a variety of sources relating to the Declaration of Independence and investigate one of the following possible topics:
- The significant changes in the text from one draft to the next
- Changes in the text required by Congress
- The ideas adapted by Jefferson from other sources (Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Voltaire)
- Jefferson’s own views
- Develop a thesis to submit to your teacher for approval. The thesis should focus on one of the topics suggested above; the perspective or approach can vary but it should include thoughtful reflections on the meaning and intent of the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.
- Once the thesis statement is approved, gather specific primary and secondary source material to use in your essay. Outlines of the proposed arguments and initial drafts of the essay should be reviewed by your teacher.
- Write an essay that presents specific arguments supported by textual evidence and details gathered in your research. The topics suggested require a close reading of the documents involved and the use of direct quotes from the texts to support arguments. The length of the essay can vary according to your teacher’s expectations, the scope of the project, and available resources.