The purpose of this assignment is to provide you with the opportunity to make valid judgments about primary and secondary sources – in other words, to introduce you to the process of thinking like a historian. For this essay, you may choose one of the suggested topics below. For each topic I have provided some r You will then be required to find and utilize at least five additional primary or secondary sources on your own in order to complete your research. In general, I strongly recommend that your secondary sources be no earlier in date than 1990 (always check with me about a source you may not be sure of).
If none of these topics appeals to you, you are free to choose one of your own. You must discuss with me any topic of your own choosing before you begin working on it (so, do not wait too long!).
Your paper must be about 3,000-3,500 words long (ca. 10-12 pages), typed and double-spaced with numbered pages and one-inch margins. References made to specific works should be cited in parentheses within the text according to the author-date system, with page number(s) included (Plass 1995, 30). Please include a word count at the end of your essay.
In the coming weeks we will be discussing in greater detail issues related to source evaluation, research methods, and proper writing style. In the meantime, please get started with your research, as the best essays are invariably those that reflect careful reading, thinking, and writing.
Finally, I do not want simple summaries of source materials. Instead, always keep in mind the question to be answered and ask yourself as you are writing your paper if you are meeting this objective. Remember, interpretation and analysis are your goals!
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