This paper must be original and argumentive.
Just remember that this paper is a historical argument. You want to avoid a recounting of events like you might read in your textbook. Instead “Harriet
Tubman was important to United States history because (1), (2), and (3).”
You will use the link above to submit your Research Paper.
Note: Before beginning this assignment, read through information contained in the Scholastic Honesty link on the course menu to the left.
The core assignment of this course is a documented research paper (1500-2000 words in length, approx. 6-8 pages double-spaced, 12-point font).
The paper should support a thesis statement with information gained from research or investigation.
The paper will not be just a report presenting information but will be a paper that carefully examines and presents your own historical interpretation of the
topic you have chosen and your interpretation of the information you have gathered.
The paper may include consideration of problems and solutions, definition of key terms, or may refute arguments against your thesis statement.
It will be important to choose a topic of interest to you.
Approach this assignment with an open and skeptical mind, then form an opinion based on what you have discovered.
You must suspend beliefs while you are investigating and let the discoveries shape your opinion. (This is a thesis-finding approach.)
Once you have found your thesis, write the paper to support it.
You must approve your topic with me before you begin writing the paper.
You will use some of the following critical thinking skills in this process:
Choosing an appropriate topic, limiting the topic.
Gathering information, summarizing sources.
Analyzing and evaluating sources.
Defining key terms.
Synthesizing information, comparing and contrasting sources.
Testing a thesis, making a historical argument, using refutation.
Amassing support for a position.
Because this may be a longer paper than you have written before and a complex process is involved, it is recommended that you complete this paper using
the following steps:
Choose a topic related to chapters covered in The American Yawp, (Chapters 1-15) that you would truly like to explore and that you are willing to spend some
time on. Your chosen topic should be focused. Pose a question that you really want to answer. You may want to begin with more than one topic in mind.
Do some preliminary reading on the topic(s). You may begin with the textbook, then further explore the information available. Refine your topic. Summarize
your topic, your interest in the topic, the questions you want to answer, and a hypothesis you want to test.
Gather information from a variety of sources. Use a minimum of four sources for your paper, and at least one must be a primary source.
Primary sources are contemporary to the times under investigation.
An example of a secondary source is our textbook, though the textbook also contains excerpts of primary sources, which you may use as a source in your
Outline the results of your research and the plan for your paper (you are not required to submit the outline).
Write the final draft and be sure to include a Works Cited List, and use the correct MLA documentation style.
History Majors Only: Your paper must be written in Chicago/Turabian Manual of Style.
INTRODUCTION & THESIS: Includes a clear thesis statement, an assertion or position. Topic is original and manageable in a short research paper. /30
FOCUS AND DEVELOPMENT: Body of the essay focuses on this thesis and develops it fully, recognizing the complexity of issues and refuting arguments in
opposition to the thesis. /40
SUPPORT AND SYNTHESIS: Uses sufficient and relevant evidence to support the thesis (and primary points), including facts, inferences, and judgments.
Quotes, summarizes, and paraphrases accurately and effectively–appropriately introducing and explaining each quote. /50
RESOURCES: Shows a clear understanding of the sources; has evaluated each source and used it appropriately. Uses a wide variety of sources reflecting
significant research. /20
CONVENTIONS: Uses MLA format correctly; includes internal citations and a Works Cited list; is free of errors. /30
CORRECTNESS AND STYLE: Introduces the topic in an interesting way; shows critical thinking and depth of understanding; uses appropriate tone; shows
sophistication in language usage and sentence structure. /30