Finding Bias in Your History Textbook

posted Nov 9, 2014, 8:02 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Nov 9, 2014, 8:03 AM ]
As we learned last week, all writing has bias. However, many times it is unintentional bias due only to the narrator's or author's point of view. Intentional bias is where the author or narrator favors one point of view over another, leaving out important facts or even outright lying on purpose to change the reader's (your) mind. This can be especially concerning when this bias appears in genres of writing we normally consider truthful and trustworthy like school textbooks or the news.

This week we will look at bias in history by using the accounts of the Boston Massacre in 1770 as an example. The Boston Massacre was a significant event in the lead up to the American Revolution because the news of the deaths of Boston citizens protesting in the streets at the hands of British soldiers helped to push the American Colonies towards independence from the British Empire. Follow the instructions below to complete this assignment.

For this assignment, we will be completing this worksheet (also posted below). First, read the documents in the attached PDF file. There are six pages that contain the accounts of a Mr. John Tudor, an eyewitness, General Gage, the British office in charge, and the Boston Gazette, a local newspaper. As you read, fill out the Venn Diagram and chart on the worksheet

Once you have identified the important intentional biases in the documents, answer the final questions on the worksheet. You may want to use the MAP it! worksheet we practiced with last week. We will have some time to work on these next week, but it would be a god idea to get the documents read before class on Saturday.

Boston Massacre and Bias Worksheet


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Jason Brunken,
Nov 9, 2014, 8:02 AM