Doing History Assignment One: History Straight Out of the Headlines: Comparing Then and
Now Using Reliable Newspaper Sources
Length/Value: 750-1000 Words (Roughly 2-3 Pages) at 150 Points
Due: Upload to Turn It In on Blackboard by 11:59 pm on 3/5/21
Check the Following Before You Turn in Your Assignment
1. Include a cover page with your name, lab section, and if you did Option One or Two.
2. Create an appendix with screen shots or images of your two newspaper sources that also has
their full citations listed as captions.
3. Check that your paper is typed, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins, and 12 font in Times
4. Make sure you have citations in Chicago Style as outlined in our class Citations Guide.
5. Meet the word requirement and edit your written work—shorter and sloppy assignments will
have points docked.
We have spent a lot of time drawing parallels between “then and now” in lecture and discussion.
This “doing history” assignment encourages you to try your hand at this comparative work using
newspaper sources as evidence.
What parallels do you see in the past to these current concerns? Topics pulled straight from the
headlines are: climate change, student loans, the Confederate monuments debate, Big Tech,
#MeToo, the 2020 presidential election, #BlackLivesMatter, executive powers, immigration
reform, unemployment, populism, voting rights, and the global pandemic. You can pick one of
these topics or come up with one of your own.
Select One Option to Complete
Option One: Writing Historical Commentary
Historians are often called on in the media to put current events into historical perspective,
comparing then and now. Imagine you have been asked to write an editorial for the “Made by
History” feature in the Washington Post or one featured on Bunk History. In your historical
editorial, draw a direct comparison to an issue, event, or law/policy today and one that
captivated Americans at some point between 1877 and 1920. Your editorial will briefly touch
on the current moment, but should spend most time illuminating what the historical example you
highlight teaches us as we navigate the present.
• Use two historical newspaper articles and/or political cartoons addressing an issue, event,
or law/policy similar to one today to form a comparative argument.
• The newspapers must be found in a UH Library newspaper database.
• Directly reference these newspaper sources in your editorial, highlighting their content and
aim as well as how they support your historical argument.
• You should also incorporate relevant historical examples from your textbook and relevant
lectures to make your case.
• No other sources should be consulted.