Students are required to complete two types of writing assignments during the term: six reading response papers and three formal papers. See the syllabus for more details.

Reading Response Papers

Guidelines (PDF)

Sample (PDF)

Response Paper Topics

  • Week 2 - Cronon, Changes in the Land
  • Week 3 - Basso, Wisdom Sits in Places
  • Week 5 - Thoreau, Walden
  • Week 7 - Cronon, Nature's Metropolis
  • Week 8 - Solnit, River of Shadows
  • Week 10 - Worster, Dust Bowl

Formal Papers

Paper 1: Mapping your daily life (PDF)

Paper 2: Comparative analytical essay (PDF)
Sample analytical paragraph (PDF)

Final paper: Original historical research (PDF)
Exemplary final paper: "Effects of Pollution in the Hudson River on Commerce" by John Hawkinson (PDF) (Courtesy of John Hawkison. Used with permission.)