History Research Essay Paper

  1. Select one of the essay topics below in the Essay Options section.  There are a total of four possible research options, please read each one to decide which you feel you would like to pursue.

  1. Create your specific historical question within the broader essay topic you select.

  1. The examples under each essay option are by no means the only topics that you can write about, they are merely provided to help you think about how you might approach this topic.  You should select your own topic, however you can choose one of the examples.

  1. Begin researching primary and secondary sources to gather information that support your discussion of your historical question.

  1. Review the paper requirements for both the research portion and the writing portion of your assignment.

Research Option #4: History Yesterday & Today

General Overview: This research project will start with you examining a recent news story (reported within the last year) that reveals new information about the historical past, OR a recent news story that contributes to the longer dialogue/history of the relationship between Africa, the Americas, and Europe.The goal of this essay should be to emphasize the idea that history is a continually developing story that evolves with new information, discoveries, and/or changes in political, social, and or economic conditions.  Important note: the news story should be directly tied to an event that this course covers (Reconstruction until today).

Examples: The question/concern about unequal treatment under the law; a discovery of a new artifact that tells us something previously unknown about the historical past; the nature of protest in a modern democratic America.

  • What is the topic of the news story, and what does the reporter highlight as the current historical significance?

  • What is the historical context of the news story? What does it specifically relate to?

  • How does the news story either add new information, expand, and/or change what we know about the historical past?

  • In your assessment, should this story/discovery/research fundamentally change the way in which we teach history of this event/period?

  • Overall, using your news story as an example, how do recent events and discoveries illustrate that history is a dynamic and evolving study?

Research Requirements:

  1. You will need to use at least two (2) primary sources for your research topic.  (See below for definitions of a primary source)

  1. You will need to use at least three (3) secondary sources for your research topic.  (See below for definitions of a secondary source).   Preference is for academic articles found in scholarly journals.  Online sources must be pre-approved by your instructor before use within your paper.

  1. Your textbook cannot be used as a source, as it is a tertiary source.

  1. You will also need to find at least one image that is relevant to your research topic.  This image can be either a primary or secondary source, although a primary source image is preferred.

  1. If you are using a secondary source image, it should be an image that is created for academic purposes to help support your research (a modern map, etc).

Writing Requirements:

  1. Your essay should be a minimum of 1000 words.  This word count does not include any cover sheet wording, your footnotes/endnotes, or your works cited/bibliography page.

  1. Your essay must be formatted using 1” margins for all margins (top, bottom, left and right).

  1. Your essay should be typed using 12pt. Times New Roman font.

  1. Your essay needs to be double-spaced.

  1. Please do not include any headers (your name, course, date, paper title) on any written pages of your essay.

  1. Your research essay should be accompanied by a cover sheet that states your paper title, your name, your course, and date.

  1. All of your sources should be cited using the Chicago/Turabian method.  MLA will not be accepted!

  1. You must cite your sources using either footnotes or endnotes formatted in the Chicago/Turabian citation method.  Please select either footnotes or endnotes based upon personal preference, just remember to be consistent throughout your essay with your citation method. Parenthetical reference is not permitted.

  1. If possible, you will want to try to incorporate your image into your essay by embedding it into the text.  Otherwise, placing the image at the end of your document is acceptable (after the conclusion and before your Works Cited/Bibliography page).

  1. Your image should include a caption that describes the image and its relevance to your topic, this caption to your image should be at least 150 words.  This word count does not count toward the overall word count of your essay.

  1. You must include a Works Cited/Bibliography page at the end of the document.  Be sure you are documenting all sources used for your research paper, including your image source in this section.  There should be agreement between the sources you document in this section and the sources you cite in your footnotes/endnotes.

  1. Review the grading rubric to ensure that you have met all of the paper requirements before making your submission.

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