Research Paper Due 5/5 & Mini Research Paper Due 3/31The Research Paper (2500 words) presents arguments in support of a thesisrelevant to US History up to c. 1880.The Mini Research Paper (800 words) is an outline and partial rough draft of thebig Research Paper. Read the full instructions and grading rubric for each paper in Assignments. Find a “Research Paper Tips & Checklist” page in Lessons > Guides & Reviews.Find samples of a successful HIST-8 Research Paper and Mini Research Paper from previous semesters in Lessons > Guides & Reviews.
Getting started (1)Mini Research Paper Grading Rubric: Points 10 Mechanics: grammar, spelling, word count (at least 800 words total) 10 Bibliography The Bibliography should go at 10 Style: organization, clarity, persuasiveness the end of your paper. It should list full bibliographical 10 Thesis & outline information for the sources you have cited in the paper. 10 Citation of secondary sources 10 Quotation/description from one primary source State the thesis you plan to 70 defend in your big paper. Write an outline of the big Incorporate one quote or paper. It can be as detailed or description from a primary source. simple as you’d like. Utilize the quote efficiently. Cite the source of all information in your paper EXCEPT for: 1. General knowledge within the subject, or 2. Your own findings or ideas. Cited sources must be scholarly and reliable. Use an abbreviated form of the title or author’s name when you cite it in the paper. Full title and publication information should only be listed in the Bibliography.
Getting started (2)Research Paper Grading Rubric: Points 50 Style & persuasiveness: thesis, organization, analysis 50 Content: correct information with (at least 3) sources cited 10 Economic quotation of a primary source 10 Economic quotation of a secondary source 10 Mechanics: spelling, grammar, formatting, word count (approx. 2500) 10 Secondary sources are scholarly 10 Bibliography 150 Your paper is a machine that performs work: it conveys your ideas to the reader. Each word, phrase, piece of information, quote, etc. in the paper should have a purpose as part of that rhetorical machine. Everything in An “economic quotation” is a quote that is the paper should work together to support your argument meaningfully incorporated into your paper. and convey it clearly to the reader. Its significance is explained. You’ve used it to support or enhance your arguments. Everything in the paper – every part of your machine – should work together to actively support and develop the thesis.
Getting started (3)• What to write about? – Choose a topic related to US History through c.1880 • Choose something that’s interesting to you • Choose something that you can research (not something so obscure that no information is available) – Topic Thesis • As you research your topic, develop a thesis for your paper. This should be a specific argument, statement, interpretation. • You can find examples of topics & theses from HIST-8 Research Papers in the “Research Paper Tips & Checklist” page in Lessons > Guides & Reviews. • As you research, take notes so that you can find the information later as you write the paper, and cite its source.
Writing the Paper (1)• Structure – Create an outline for your paper. • You may use sub-headings to organize your paper into 2 or 3 sections, with 2 or 3 paragraphs in each section. This is useful for some theses. • Each section and paragraph should do something to contribute to the paper’s purpose: supporting and explaining your thesis statement. – Fill in each paragraph and section of your outline with information, quotes, and ideas as you research. – Then turn your notes (information, quotes, connections, ideas) into complete sentences. Your paper will be done in no time!
Writing the Paper (2)• Citing sources: why? – When to cite a source: • Cite the source of all information EXCEPT: – 1) general knowledge within the subject » For example: “George Washington became the first president.” You would not need to cite a source for this statement. – 2) your own findings or ideas. – Why cite sources? • To show the reliability of your information • To distinguish your own ideas from those of others
Writing the Paper (3)• Citing sources: how? – Citing a source in the paper: • Use an abbreviated reference (such as the author’s last name and a page number). Do not copy URLs or list full publication info each time you cite a source in the paper. – Listing the source in the Bibliography: • List the full publication info of each source you’ve cited. – Formatting: • You may use any style you’d like for your paper’s scholarly apparatus. Most people at CR like to use MLA. Some people may use APA, Harvard, Chicago, etc. – whatever style you want is fine. Just be clear and consistent. Use short citations in the paper, and then list the full info. of each cited source in the Bibliography.
Writing the Paper (3)• Important tips for writing about history – Past & present tense • When describing past events, use the past tense. – For example: “Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.” • When describing a primary source, use the present tense. – For example: “The Emancipation Proclamation sounds more like a legal brief than a political declaration.” – “The ___th century” • As a noun: two words – For example: “The seventeenth century was a time of chaos and hardship in Europe.” • As an adjective: hyphenated – For example: “Seventeenth-century Europeans faced chaos and hardship.” – Use active sentences instead of passive sentences whenever possible. • Passive sentences use the verb “to be” (is, was, are, were, etc.). Active sentences use a different verb. Active sentences are usually stronger, more efficient, and more concise. • For example: – Passive: “The militia were defeated.” – Active: “The British defeated the militia.” or “The militia suffered defeat.” Active sentences tend to contain more information in the same amount of space. They tend to be more direct and efficient.
Finding Reliable Secondary Sources Use your judgment!• The secondary sources you cite must be written by a respected authority on the subject. – Try to find scholarly sources, peer-reviewed work by academics. This means that the findings have been accepted as reasonably correct by numerous experts. • Find these in scholarly journals at the library. • Search the EBSCO database (at MyCR > Library Resources). – Google Books is a useful way to browse for secondary sources. Click on “preview available.” – The work of reputable journalists is sometimes acceptable. • But be careful: journalists, like the History Chanel or PBS, want to make money. This means that their books are going to emphasize things that sell (sex, violence, aliens), and their interpretations are going to be more interested in appealing to the modern American consumer (our values, desires, tastes) than accurately depicting historical fact. So beware! – You can cite class lectures as secondary sources.• The internet is a bane and a blessing. There is a truly astonishing amount of rubbish online. As a general rule, if you cannot find out who the author of a website is, do not trust it. Know the author, and then decide how reliable it will be. – Never cite websites like Wikipedia or About.com etc.
Good luck!Please send me a Message if you haveany questions or would like me to look at a rough draft.