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History Research Assigments
History 247-Research Assignments
For your first assignment (due 10/6/16), you must choose a topic that falls within the time frame of 1875-1945 and for the second assignment (due 11/17/16), your topic must fall between 1945-Present.Your assignment is to compile an annotated bibliography of 2 primary sources and 2 secondary sources on your chosen topic, for a total of 4 sources. You will then write a brief (approximately 1-2 pages) analysis, comparing and contrasting your sources. You must use supporting evidence from those sources.
Don’t make this harder than it needs to be!
a. CHOOSE A TOPIC
b. FIND FOUR SOURCES -Make sure you have 2 primary and 2 secondary sources
c. READ AND ANNOTATE YOUR FOUR SOURCES- Reference the In-Class assignments we have done. Use the questions as a guide for annotating your sources.
d. THEN DEVELOP YOUR WORKING THESIS
(Don’t devise a thesis and then try and find sources to fit it- it doesn’t really work that way)
2. In your 1-2 page analysis
a. CONNECT your sources- which means you need to name and cite those sources in your paper.
b. Think of the paper as a proposal- i.e. “This is my thesis ….because I read these four sources… and this is what they said…”
3. Make sure you have:
a. Title Page
b. 1-2 page analysis
c. 2 primary source annotations (in alphabetical order)
d. 2 secondary sources annotations (in alphabetical order)
Chicago Style Citation:
Knightcite is a handy website for helping you format in Chicago Style
Primary sources are easiest to locate on the following web databases:
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ Fordham’s Modern History Sourcebook
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/ History Matters Database @ GMU
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moagrp/ Making of America Database @ Michigan
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html American Memory Database
Secondary Sources are easiest to locate on the following web databases:
Using the Database link choose Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) or JSTOR or Google Scholar
YOU MAY NOT USE: Textbooks, Encyclopedias, Webpages or Timelines
Primary Sources vs. Secondary Works
1. A primary source is a record left by a person (or group) who participated in or witnessed the events you are studying or who provided a contemporary expression of the ideas or values of the period under examination. Letters, autobiographies, diaries, government documents, minutes of meetings, newspapers, or books written about your topic at that time are examples; non-written sources include interviews, films, photos, recordings of music, and clothing, buildings, or tools from the period.
2. Secondary works are accounts written by people who were not themselves involved in the events or in the original expression of the ideas under study. Written after the events/ideas they describe, they are based upon primary sources and/or other secondary works. Thus, an early 20th-century historian could prepare a secondary study of the American Civil War through her reading of documents from that period, interviews with veterans, examination of weapons, and so on…
Annotated Bibliography Description:
An annotated bibliography includes citation information and a brief analysis of each individual source. The analysis helps the researcher evaluate the content and usefulness of each source for her/his research. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they expose the author's point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.
You need to write:
2 paragraphs, between 100 – 150 words; full annotation should be no longer than 300 words, no less than 100 words.
1. 1st paragraph: This paragraph will include the author’s thesis, argument, evidence, and conclusions. You may also note biases and reliability of the author.
2. 2nd paragraph: This paragraph will compare this to knowledge you already have on the topic, note the usefulness of the source and your reactions to the text.
Leave one blank line, then begin next source.
Text should be single-spaced, with 1 inch margins on all sides.
Outline for Successful Historical Writing (using the MEAL plan)
a) Short summary of project/introduction of documents: Describe authors/biases/content
b) Thesis statement
c) Preview/introduce your argument subjects (INTRODUCE YOUR SOURCES BY AUTHOR AND TITLE)
d) Transition to Argument Subject One
Context/Narrative - This section is included for longer paper and oral projects
Argument Subject/Paragraph One (Subject Two, Subject Three, etc.)
M: Main Point
E: Evidence/Examples (from your sources)
A: Analysis of evidence
L: Link back to Thesis
a) Restate thesis (DO NOT repeat it!)
b) Concisely link argument subjects to the thesis statement
c) Connect thesis and analysis to broader class/historical themes
d) Meaning and significance of the documents
e) Individual reflection on documents/assignment /research process
History 247-Research Assignments
For your first assignment (due 10/6/16), you must choose a topic that falls within the time frame of 1875-1945 and for the second assignment (due 11/17/16), your topic must fall between 1945-Present.Your assignment is to compile an annotated bibliography of 2 primary sources and 2 secondary sources on your chosen topic, for a total of 4 sources.