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Massacre or Justified Response

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Paper 1: “Massacre or Justified Response?” (5 pages) You will be given access to a set of documents about the trial of Captain Thomas Preston. Preston and his troops are charged with the murder of five Bostonians in the so-called “Boston Massacre.” In the end, Preston is found innocent. Your job is to sift through the often-contradictory evidence (court testimony, broadsides, other newspaper articles, prints, etc.) and reconstruct what happened on March 5, 1770. The paper assignment is to answer the question:
‘Based on your reading of the primary source evidence provided, was the verdict of innocent in the trial of Thomas Preston justified?’
The primary sources for this paper will be provided to you. You may use secondary works on the subject to answer specific factual questions if you feel the need, but the paper should be based only on your interpretation of the assigned primary documents.
Sources: Your documents can be found online at the following website:
http://famous-trials.com/massacre
This website is from the law school at University of Missouri, Kansas City and is part of a larger project that has gathered documents from numerous famous trials in American History. The Boston Massacre site contains a variety of documents relating to the trial including testimony, depositions, summations, public speeches, etc.
Grading Criteria: I will evaluate all papers on quality of writing as well as the content and persuasiveness of the argument. I suggest that you write and rewrite your papers several times before you submit them. All papers should be double-spaced, typed in 12-point ‘Times New Roman’ font, with 1-inch margins all around, properly documented (footnotes or endnotes), and within the page limits. These guidelines on papers will be discussed in a class session before the first paper is due to make sure that everyone is clear on the requirements. Be sure to re-read these before writing every paper because you will be penalized for failing to meet these requirements.
Citations:
Since most of your cited sources will be from the website the appropriate manner of citing internet sources is as follows. For an example of a footnote, it would be:
15 John Adams, “Summation of John Adams,” Famous American Trials: The Boston Massacre, n.d.
(4 September 2000).
A secondary citation of the same document would be:
17 Adams, “Summation of John Adams.”
Since there is typically going to be only one source of documents, there is no need for a bibliography.

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