Due BEFORE Discussion Section on Sept. 16
This brief assignment is designed to help you prepare for writing Paper One. It can (but does not have
to) serve as a preliminary and partial paper draft. Your completed assignment must be 400-500 words in
Discuss the following question: What is the conventional wisdom in the United States today about why
Europeans were able to conquer and colonize North America?
The term “conventional wisdom” refers to the dominant trend of thought. Understanding the
conventional wisdom on a given subject may seem easy, but it’s not. Public opinions polls cost millions
of dollars and take countless hours of time to try to figure out conventional wisdom on a given topic.
Interview as many people as it takes to get at least TWO different responses to the above question. Make
sure to get a full answer to the question. Don’t settle for one-sentence answers—push your subjects by
asking “why” (e.g. answer: “The West won because of better weapons.” You then ask: “Ok, why did the
West have better weapons.”) Keep asking questions until you can reach the person’s core assumption,
which they may not realize or admit