Introduction and Resources

This is a brief reminder that the Final Paper is due on Friday, September  11. Your paper, which will almost certainly require that you do some independent research, is to be 5 pages long, exclusive of citations. Citations must be included on a separate page, and be done using APA style. (See D2L for more information on APA style.) You will submit the paper to me through D2L, as a Word attachment. The Final Paper can be submitted at any time on September 11, but I will not accept late work because I am required to report final course grades to the office of the Registrar by the following Monday at the latest. So unlike other assignments, the due date for the Final Paper has no “wiggle room.” The paper is worth 100 points. 

In order to compose the Final Paper, you will first have to view a documentary called “Triangle Fire” from the American Experience series on PBS. To view the documentary, follow these steps:

1) Go to

2) Enter the words “American Experience triangle shirtwaist fire” into the search field.

3) One of the first hits should be a “dailymotion” version of the documentary, with a duration of 53 minutes, 47 seconds. 

4) Click “play” and watch the documentary.

If you have any difficulties in finding the film, please let me know immediately.

Your Assignment

Here are the instructions for your Final Paper (there is no final exam in the course; this paper takes its place.) Again, the Final Paper is worth 100 points. 

View the “American Experience” documentary (53:47) about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire that occurred in New York City in 1911. This was a seminal event, impacting how the American public perceived the behavior of employers, and changing basic attitudes toward workers, many of whom were voiceless immigrants. Imagine that you were an hourly employee at the factory prior to the fire of 1911. What were conditions like in the factory? Would you have agitated for better workplace conditions? Would supporting small changes in the behavior of your employers have presented any risks to you, personally? How have attitudes toward workers changed since the fire? Do you think workers feel more empowered today than they did a century ago? Are workers more valued and respected by the American people? 

Compose a 5-page paper in which you address these questions. Please compose your paper in your own words ONLY. I am not interested in the thoughts of writers whose work on this topic you may have discovered online, or in a book. I am interested ONLY in your own thoughts, as written by you and no one else. This is not a paper on which you should collaborate with anyone. Your work should be entirely your own. You are free to address other issues, too, but the questions above MUST be answered. Also, please note that for this assignment, you will almost certainly need to conduct some research of your own. If you use that research in your paper, you must cite the sources you consulted. Please do so using APA formatted citations. 

The Final Paper must be typed, double-spaced, and must use a standard, 12 pt. font such as Helvetica, Arial, or Times New Roman. You should also use standard, one-inch margins. It is not necessary to do a title page, though that decision is up to you. Please submit your paper as a Word attachment. That is critically important. It is not always possible for me to open attachments in other formats. 

Your paper is due on Friday, September 11. Since I’m required to report final course grades to the Registrar’s office no later than Noon on the following Monday, I will not accept any work that is submitted late, so please be sure to get this assignment in ON TIME! 

Thanks, and please feel free to ask any questions or to raise any concerns about the Final Paper. You can reach me via e-mail at any time. 

Grading Criteria

You will be graded on how thoroughly you answer the questions posed in the assignment instructions, and by the proper use of citations. Points will also be awarded for unusually felicitous expression.

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