History Research Paper Topic Proposal
1. To summarize the core requirements, for your paper you can address any aspect of Early U.S. History which occurs between (1400-1887).
The following assignment description will discuss the three sections of your paper proposal.
I. Paper Topic (1 Sentence)
I will be evaluating your paper topic by determining whether it adheres to the assignment requirements and guidelines.
II. Paper Topic Summary (1 Well-Developed Paragraph)
Provide a concise summary of your larger project in one paragraph. Understandably, the focus and content of
your paper will change. However, this exercise is designed for you to mentally conceptualize your project and to articulate its larger significance. Here are some ideas to address in your summary (you do not have to
address all these ideas or in this order):
·Discuss the historical or contemporary background of your topic
·Describe your topic in further depth and detail-Address the scope or parameters of your project.
·Speculate what you think your research will reveal or illustrate
·Address any other issues that are central to your examination or that you feel are pertinent
·Describe the larger significance of your topic (ie: Why is your topic important?)
III. Current Sources and Research Agenda (1 Well-Developed Paragraph)
The intent of this exercise is for you to analyze the research you currently have and to reflect upon the future research you need to conduct.
First, you will discuss the current sources you have found and analyze how they will contribute to your research paper. If you only have one or two sources that is perfectly fine—all I am looking for is that you provide a complex analysis of your current sources and how they will contribute to your final paper. Second, you will craft a brief research agenda that comprehensively identifies and discusses the sources you need to complete the research phase of your project. In this section, you should identify what specific evidence, sources, or research you need in order to further develop your paper. You will be assessed on the comprehensiveness of your research agenda. Here are some (but not all) questions to think about:
·Do you need more sources that can help support your argument or the development of an argument?
·Do you need more sources that discuss the historical background of your topic?
·Are you lacking scholarly sources, articles from peer-reviewed journals?
·Are there any primary sources you’ve found?
·Are there certain perspectives, experts, or authorities you need to find?
·Do you need to find statistical data that could support your findings?
2. Annotated Bibliographies: A Step-By-Step Guide
Thisassignmentasksyoutodosomeresearchonyourintendedtopic,creatinganannotated bibliographyforTHREEseparate,crediblesources.Thisresearchisintendedtoadd somedepthtoyourknowledge,providepossiblejumping-offpointsfordiscussioninyourfuturepaper,and provideastarttothelongerresearchprocessyou’llembarkupon,onceyounarrowyourtopicandbitmore.
Thisassignmentasksyoutodosomeresearchonyourintendedtopic,creatinganannotated bibliographyforTHREEseparate,crediblesources.Thisresearchisintendedtoadd somedepthtoyourknowledge,providepossiblejumping-offpointsfordiscussioninyourfuturepaper,and provideastarttothelongerresearchprocessyou’llembarkupon,onceyounarrowyourtopicandbitmore
The annotation itself must have three parts:
1) Asummaryofthesourceanditsoverall argument:
•Whatistheauthor’sthesisinthe piece?(Makesureyougivethe source’sactualargument,notjustits topic.)Howdoestheauthorgoabout supportingthismessageormainpoint?Canyouidentifythecritical approachthewritertakes?(meaning, ishe/sherelyingonscientific information,apoliticalargument, personalanecdote,etc). If the source does not contain an argument, make sure you identify and convey the source’s key points and main ideas in your annotation.
2. Somedescriptionofthecriticalsource’scredibility–this section should not be as lengthy as Part 1 or 3)
• Itisareputablesourceorsiteandhowcanyoutell?Whatisthepublisherororganization behinditandmaytheyhaveanykindofbiasorangle?Whoistheintendedaudience?Isthe articlepublishedinajournalornewspaper(ifyouusedGoogleNews,Scholar)oran academicbook?(suchasthroughGoogleBooks)
• Whatdoyouknowaboutthework’sauthor?Isthereabriefbionearthearticleorcanyou doasearchontheauthor’snametoseehis/herbackground?Whatishis/hercredentials (experthow?degrees,experience?). No need to lengthily elaborate upon this in your annotations, but addressing the scholars background is helpful
• Doesanythingaboutthesourceseemlesscredibleorreputable?(isitonasitethat’snot academic,isitsurroundedbyadsorunsavoryphotos?Is itwrittenina stylethatismore casualorwitherrors,ordoesitmerelyrelyonopinion?)
3) Anevaluation/critiqueofthetext:Whatdoyouthinkofthispieceofresearch?Whatareits strengthsandweaknesses?Howdoesitaddtoyourunderstandingofyourtopic?Howusefulisthis sourceoverall?Bespecific.Rememberthat“itisinteresting”or“thisgivesmegoodinformation” withoutelaborationisnotspecificenough.
3. Develop an INTRODUCTION W/ THESIS STATEMENT of your research topic.