Civil War Newspaper Project

Civil War Newspaper Assignment

This project is worth 100 points  

Imagine that you are a reporter during the Civil War.  What kind of writer would you be?  What type of things would you like to write about?  In this assignment you will write as if you were a reporter during the War.  First, you have to decide if you will be writing from the perspective of a Southerner or a Northerner.  Then you have to give your newspaper a name such as the “Gettysburg Gazette”.  Your newspaper will contain four articles and you can choose any event that occurred between the years 1860-1865 in American history.  You need to write the articles as if the events you described happened just a few days ago.  Each article should be a minimum of 100 words.

Your grade will be determined by how well you describe the events, how many details you provide in your articles and the thoroughness of your research.   Each article should also have a headline.   Grammar, spelling and punctuation errors will result in a loss of points for each individual article.

There should be no excess white space in your newspaper. You may choose to include pictures with captions, political cartoons, advertisements, etc. to complete your newspaper.  All pictures, political cartoons, advertisements, etc.  must be relevant to the time period. 

The newspaper must be done on the computer.  You may assemble your newspaper using a computer program (such as Microsoft Word, Publisher, etc) or you may create a mock up by cutting and pasting the typed articles and images to your newspaper pages.   At the bottom of the page are sample newspaper templates that you may use.  

You must use 2 resources other than your textbook for the newspaper.  Internet sources are acceptable as long as they come from reputable academic sites and are properly cited.  (Do not cite Wikipedia as a source)  On a separate sheet of paper you need to list your resources in a works cited page.   Failure to attach a works cited page will result in the loss of one letter grade. 


THE ARTICLES MUST BE IN YOUR OWN WORDS.  DO NOT COPY AND PASTE TEXT INTO YOUR WORK WITHOUT GIVING PROPER CREDIT TO THE AUTHOR. 

ARTICLE #1 – A NEWS STORY:   Your first article will describe a major event from the War.  Give specific details from the event and make sure that you include all of the important points about the event.  You need to give information on the background of the event so that the reader will understand what led up to the event. 

ARTICLE #2 – A NEWS STORY:    This article is the same as the first.  Just describe an event that happened around the same time as the first event.  If you want to you can write a story that is related to the first.  For example, the battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg occurred at the same time.  Your first story could be about Gettysburg and the second about Vicksburg.  Or you could write about the Battle of Antietam in your first article and you can write about the Emancipation Proclamation for your second article.

ARTICLE #3 – SPECIAL INTEREST STORY OR A BIOGRAPHY:    This article is about an individual that is directly involved in the War.  You can write about a real person such as Robert E. Lee or U.S. Grant or you can make up a fictional character such as a Union or Confederate soldier.  If you choose to write about a real person you need to include details about their background such as where they were born, where they were educated and how they got involved in the war.  You need to include details about the role they played in the war and the impact they had on the outcome of the war.   If you choose to do a fictional person you also need to give details about the background of the individual and create a plausible reason for that person to be involved in the war.  Although this person is made up, you need to give details about real events that your fictional person might have been involved in.

ARTICLE #4 – EDITORIAL:    This article is an editorial.  That means you need to pick a controversial topic and give your opinion on the topic.  You should write this article in the first person and in such a way as to persuade the reader to see things the way you do.  If you think that the North should let the South secede with fighting, talk about how costly the Civil War is in terms of both money and lives.  Talk about how hard it would be to reconcile with the slave owning states after the war was over.  Like all the other articles you need to include historical facts in your editorial. 

YOU NEED TO HAND IN A NEWSPAPER WITH FOUR ARTICLES AND ON A SEPARATE SHEET OF PAPER A WORKS CITED PAGE WITH AT LEAST TWO RESOURCES OTHER THAN YOUR TEXTBOOK. 


100 Points Total
Article 1:  A News Story    
                      20 points 
Article 2:  A News Story                          20 points 
Article 3:  Special Interest Story                20 points 
Article 4:  Editorial                                    20 points 
Title, Neatness, Creativity, Additional Features  20 points 

Suggested Topics

Below is a list of suggest topics for your newspaper stories.  You do not have to use one of the topic below.  They are merely suggestions.  

Suggested topics for News Story #1 and #2

Any of the battles

Prison camps

Spies

Health care

The draft

Riots

Shortages of food

Draft dodgers

States Rights

Slavery

War Profiteering

Punishment of Southern Soldiers

Black regiments

The assassination of President Lincoln 

Suggested topics for the Editorial

Slavery

Draft

War Profiteering

Bravery of our soldiers

Suffering of our soldiers

Lack of medical care

Conditions of prisoners of war

The tremendous losses of the war

Black soldiers

The morality of the war

Should the north let the south secede?

Quality of Northern Generals

The Leadership of the Confederate Government 

Suggested topics for the Special Interest Story

Jefferson Davis

Frederick Douglass

Clara Barton

Dorothea Dix

Mary Todd Lincoln

Stonewall Jackson

Robert E. Lee

U.S. Grant

William T. Sherman

George McClellan

Abraham Lincoln

John Wilkes Booth

Horace Greeley

Mathew Brady

Wilmer McLean

Common soldier 

You will be using a PAGES document to create your newspaper.  You can use the "Newsletter" template and the design is already done for you!  You just have to input your information and photos.