You will write your paper based on George Percy’s “Discourse of the plantation of the Southern Colony of Virginia by the English, 1606

In 2-3 pages, answer the following questions in cohesive paragraph form (that is, all questions should be answered in the course of writing your paragraphs).

  1. Who is our author and why did they write this?
    • What is the author hoping to achieve in this document?
    • What background, expertise, or evidence did they utilize to write this document?
    • What biases might they have, and how might they affect the information the author is conveying in this document?
  2. What is the author saying?
    1. What are they telling their indented audience?
    2. What tone or emotions are they conveying?
    3. Does the author’s tone help them get their point across? How?
  3. Why is this document significant?
    1. Why does this speech matter to American history?
    2. What does this speech tell us about 17th Century North America?


Your paper should be clearly organized. The following is a recommended organization:

  • Paragraph 1: introduction
    • Broadly introduces the document
    • Offers a thesis which your body paragraphs will support
      • The easiest way to craft a thesis is around question 3: why is this document significant.
    • Offers a brief road map of how the rest of the paper will support your argument.
  • Paragraph 2: contextual evidence
    • Responds to questions about the author and audience
  • Body paragraphs
    • Explain content of the document
    • Talk about examples of evidence from Percy’s account
    • Analyze why those speak to your thesis
  • Conclusion
    • Ties together previous paragraphs
    • Summarizes your point without introducing new evidence
    • Restates how the evidence you’ve presented supports your thesis.

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