Short Research Paper:  History is about interpretation and debate.  You will have an opportunity to develop your own interpretation about a historical topic using primary evidence and secondary sources (the works of other historians and scholars.)  You are responsible for writing a brief research paper on any topic relating to American history from the colonial era through Reconstruction. You will pose questions, conduct research, develop a thesis, and construct an essay that provides evidence and analysis.  

 

1)  You will select an appropriate topic (American history to 1877) no later than September 14.  You will submit your proposal (worth 20 points) by using the link provided in Session 3.  I will provide feedback and suggestions.   

 

2) You will submit a progress report (worth 20 points) no later than October 5.  Your report will consist of a list of sources and a statement of purpose—discuss your thesis and the questions you are investigating.  Submit your progress report by using the link in Session 6. 

 

3) Your final version of the paper (worth 200 points), is due December 14. Upload the course paper through the SafeAssign link in Session 15I will not accept late papers

 

 

Overview of the assignment:

  • Students are required to write a minimum of full 5 pages; please keep the essay to no more than 7 pages. Format: Doubled-spaced, typed, font in Times New Roman or Arial, size 12. 1-inch margins all around. Written work for this course is to be submitted only in either Microsoft Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf). Cover and sources pages do not constitute numbered pages.
  • If having difficulty selecting an appropriate topic, a list of possible subjects for the paper can be found under “Resources”: Research Paper Instructions folder.  These are only suggestions; students are by no means required to choose a topic from this list.
  • This project will require fieldwork – using the library, the Internet, etc. Sources must be cited.
  • Why a paper? Students will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of historical inquiry and writing. Reading is a significant part of any historical project. Students selecting a topic must include at least four sources; two must be primary sources (diaries, speeches, autobiographies, royal decrees, etc.) on which they will base the essay. Please do not cite the textbook and online encyclopedias Wikipedia, Britannica; make use of journal articles, government documents, newspapers, magazines,  and books available through Virtual Library via Campus Connect.
  • Consider this project as an important reflection of one’s expertise and interest in the topic.
  • Ultimately each student is responsible to submit a clear, concise and compelling essay
  • Guidelines on how to organize the paper are located in the “Research Paper Instructions” folder which can be accessed from the “Resources” menu button.
  • You must work on this paper throughout the course.  DO NOT wait until the last minute to try to research and write this paper.
  • Plagiarism will not be tolerated .  This work must be your own and based on your own research. 

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