John and Abigail Adams on Power

How accurately do they understand power? In other words, ďThey sayĒ power isÖ, and ďI sayĒ power isÖ

Disagreeing Templates:
Assert an alternative point of view by offering persuasive reasons why you disagree: show factors not taken into account by the original argument, highlight faulty or incomplete evidence, question the assumptions or flawed logic of another point of view.

  1. John/Abigail is mistaken because he/she overlooks _____________.

  2. John/Abigailís claim that _________ rests upon the questionable assumption that __________.

  3. I disagree with John/Abigailís view that ______ because, as recent events have shown, _____.

  4. John/Abigail contradicts him/herself. On the one hand, he/she argues ___; on the other hand, he/she also says_____.


Agreeing Templates:
Support a view taken by someone else by bringing a fresh idea to the discussion: highlight new evidence, synthesize with your corroborating experience, or provide an accessible translation of an esoteric point.

  1. I agree John/Abigail that power  _______________, because my experience with ___________ confirms it.

  2. John/Abigail is surely right about power, because as he/she may not have been aware _____________.

  3. John/Abigailís notion of power is extremely useful because it sheds light on the difficult problem of __________.

  4. Those unfamiliar with the correspondence between John and Abigail Adams and their relationships with power may be interested to know that it basically boils down to ________.

Agree and Disagree:
Show the merits and limitations of different aspects of the original argument, even stress one end of the spectrum over the other.

  1. Though I concede that John/Abigail believes ________, I still insist that _________.

  2. John/Abigail is right that _________, but he/she seems on more dubious ground when he/she claims that ____________.

  3. While John/Abigail is probably wrong when he/she claims that __________, he/she is right that __________.

  4. Whereas John/Abigail provides ample evidence that __________, Abigail/Johnís point on __________ convinces that __________ instead.

  5. I am of two minds about John/Abigailís claim that _________. On the on hand, I agree that __________. On the other hand, Iím not sure if ____________.

  6. My feelings on the nature of power are mixed. I do support John/Abigailís position on power that _______, but I find Abigail/Johnís argument that __________ to be equally persuasive.

Demonstrates mastery of relevant standards and an ability to transfer this skill or understanding to other contexts. Demonstrates proficiency with relevant standards. Approaches proficiency with relevant standards. Insufficient evidence to demonstrate proficiency with relevant standards.

Evaluate an author's premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.


The answers to the question(s) is/are correct, precisely explained, and draw upon multiple sources of evidence.

The work reveals an attempt to answer the question thoroughly: this entails exploring multiple possibilities when appropriate and considering various points of view.

The answers do not merely regurgitate the information contained in the primary source document, text, or class discussion; but instead present original ideas or lines of inquiry as well as sound analysis.

The answers to the question(s) is/are correct, well explained, and draw upon multiple sources of evidence.

The work reveals an attempt to answer the question thoroughly: this entails exploring multiple possibilities when appropriate and considering various points of view.

The work presents sound analysis. All details and facts used to support ideas are analyzed in full.

The answers to each and every question are attempted.

The work reveals an attempt to answer the questions, and ideas are supported with at least one source of evidence.

The analysis is incomplete is consists mostly of summary, rather than an in-depth examination of primary sources and ideas.

Some questions may be addressed, but the assignment is not fully completed.
Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.

Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.

Use questions generated about individuals and groups to assess how the significance of their actions changes over time and is shaped by the historical context.
Analyze complex and interacting factors that influenced the perspectives of people during different historical eras.
Analyze how historical contexts shaped and continue to shape peopleís perspectives.
Analyze how current interpretations of the past are limited by the extent to which available historical sources represent perspectives of people at the time.