discussion constitution arguments constitution argument 1 1

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For this discussion, we will use:

Patrick Henry’s Anti-Federalist Argument (1788)

–an excerpt from The Federalist No. 51 by James Madison (1787)

–Chapter 7 of Give Me LIberty!

To address the following question:

What major issues or ideological tensions did the debate over the Constitution reveal?

In order to answer that larger question, our discussion will need to consider:
What were the major arguments against the Constitution put forth by the Anti-Federalists?

What were the major arguments in support of the Constitution put forth by the Federalists?

What were the events and historical circumstances that influenced each argument?


Remember
to use the sources to support your statements. You now know that this is done by quoting the source. Also, quoting the primary sources gives your statements more weight because you’re interpreting the data or the evidence yourself, rather than relying on another historian (Foner) for that interpretation.

How much should I say?
Each student will have to post their own post before they respond to someone else. Your first post can address just one of the many issues relevant to the discussion. It should not be an effort to address ALL of the issues at hand.

You must reply to other students’ posts. Your reply can be as short as a paragraph, but should be enough to refute or elaborate on another student’s point. If a post already has two replies, consider moving on to another thread.

In total, you should strive for somewhere around 250-400 words total for your discussion contributions. In general, each student should post at least 3 times with the understanding that your discussion contributions are worth 50 points total just like your Response Papers.

Finally, remember from the Response Papers and Discussions guidelines:

What to say if you don’t agree with the discussion post?
–“I think I see it differently…”
–“I have a different take on this.”
–“I am not sure I follow the logic of your thinking. The way I see it is…”

Use third-point referencing. That is, refer to the post, not the person who created the post.
–For example: “The argument might be stronger if…”
–“The thesis is clear and well-supported…”, “The sources don’t seem to support the point I think you’re trying to make…”

What to say if you don’t understand parts of the post?
–I am not sure I follow, exactly
–I know what I mean by the word “____” but I’m not sure I know what you mean…
–Could you help me understand your thinking when you said___

Avoid phrases like:
–“You do a terrible job of…”
–“You should have…”
–“Your thesis sucks…”

Suggested Structure
–1st paragraph–restate in your own words the argument that you understand the student is making

–2nd paragraph–extend or refute the point made by the student by including more evidence from the texts

–give a concluding idea

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