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HIST365 Recent America 1945 to the Present
Research Project Thesis or Claim Statement
The research paper assignment makes up a total of 50 percent of the final grade and consists of multiple sections:
1. Topic Selection and Thesis Statement (due this week, 5% of grade)
2. Primary resource analysis (10% of grade due in Week 4)
3. Annotated Bibliography (15% of grade due in Week 6)
4. Final 6 page research paper (20% of grade due in Week 8)
Each section of this assignment builds on the previous ones and will assist you in completing the final paper which is to be submitted by the middle of week 8. 
Research Paper Topic Selection and Thesis Statement
With approval, select a topic from within the historical parameters of this course (the United States during the period of 1945 to 2001) that is relevant to the course outcomes. You will perform preliminary research and create a working thesis statement with the understanding that it may be slightly modified later in the research process.   Your topic/thesis is due by the end of week 2 and must show that you’ve done some preliminary research.     
If you need to brainstorm examples of topics, a good place to look is at our discussion forum questions.  These may spark some level of interest in you.  You can include an American historical event, the effectiveness of a leader, policy, piece of legislation, or Supreme Court decision. 
My suggestion is that your topic should correlate with your major of study.  For instance, if you are a Criminal Justice major look at the Warren Court cases and their impact.  If you are a Business major, look at the impact of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement. If you are an education major, look at the impact of Brown v. Board of Education, or Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg or Title IX. 
If you need a brainstorming session with me.  Feel free to message me within the course.
Once you have selected a topic, submit your proposal and your thesis statement in the folder by Sunday!
HIST365 Recent America 1945 to the Present
Research Project Primary Source Analysis
Primary Source Analysis (10% of final grade)
In this assignment, you will evaluate THREE primary sources in preparation for your final Research Paper, which is due in Week 8.
This means learning to identify good sources and not-so-good sources. In a world abounding in fake-news, one of the most important skills you can learn in order to be a good citizen is how to tell a good source from a bad source. This is not about politics; there are good and bad sources on the right and the left. It is about ensuring that your arguments are based on solid evidence.
The Objective: Demonstrate your mastery of Course Goals 1, 2, and 3 by:
1. Accurately and effectively communicating ideas, information, arguments, and messages to present material in a historical context.
2. Investigating and evaluating historical information from global, social and ethical perspectives to guide decision making.
3. Applying historical precedent to contemporary roles, responsibilities, and relationships in order to advance the goals of a community or organization.
Delivery: Submit your assignment as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file via Source Evaluation in the Assignments Area. No .pdf or other file types are acceptable. You may submit this assignment before that date if you wish. Make sure you include your name on your assignment.
Late submissions will be reduced 10% (10 points) for each week or portion thereof late. ??
Your assignment heading should look like this:
(Your Name)???
HIST 365: Recent America: 1945 to the Present
Prof. (Your Professor’s Name)???
Primary Source Analysis
November 18, 2018 (Today’s Date in Your Preferred Format)
You may either place this at the top of your first page, or you may place this information on a title page. There is no need for a title page, but if you like the tidy flair of a title page, you are most welcome to use one.
Step 1: Briefly state in 2 or 3 sentences what your research paper topic claim is and what you are going to prove.
Step 2: Identify primary sources that relate to your topic of choice.
OK, so what is a primary source? It can be defined as anything created by someone involved in an event, about the event. For example, it could be a diary or a picture. These are the raw bits of history and we use them to understand the people and events under study. Here are resources to help you prepare for this assignment:
What Are Primary Sources?
      Library of Congress: Teaching with Primary Sources (video and transcript) – definition of primary and secondary sources and why use primary sources
      Library of Congress: Why Use Primary Sources
Finding Primary Sources
      Library of Congress: Finding Primary Sources
      National Archives: Finding Primary Sources
How to Cite Primary Sources
      Library of Congress: Citing Primary Sources – Chicago style
How do I Analyze Primary Sources?
      Library of Congress: Analyzing a Primary Source (video and transcript)
National Archives: Primary Source Analysis Worksheets
The National Archives has created analysis worksheets to help you work with primary sources. Copies of these worksheets are provided as attachments in the Primary Source Analysis assignment and also in Course Resources (under Content)  The worksheets consist of a combination of checklists and short-answer questions that will help you focus on the most important elements of many different types of historical documents. You will need the worksheets to complete the Primary Source Analysis assignment,
Step 3:  For each of the three (3) primary sources (any type for which there is an analysis worksheet) on your chosen topic, complete a Primary Source Analysis worksheet from the National Archives. There are a number of web sites such as those of the Library of Congress and the National Archives that contain digitized copies of primary sources that you may use. Please use copies of the primary source – not a transcription – you want to see it as it looked when created/used.
Step 4: After completing the worksheet on each of your THREE (3) primary sources, write a paragraph summary on your headed document with your innovation explanation that includes all of the following information:
The type of primary source (e.g. written document, cartoon, photograph, and so on).
A narrative analysis of the primary source, using the information you collected on the worksheet.  Your analysis only needs to be about a paragraph per source.
Create a bibliographic entry (as you would include it in your bibliography) for the primary source – in your chosen format (APA, MLA, or Chicago) 
Step 5: Submit your work as a Word doc attachment in the assignment folder or under Assignments (on the NavBar). Be sure to attach your worksheets as well.
Wikipedia is an excellent starting point, so you could use a Wikipedia page related to your Project Proposal topic, but you should identify it as a good starting point rather than as a highly credible source. Wikipedia is not bad; in fact it is as accurate as encyclopedias like Britannica. However it is crowd sourced rather than edited by professionals in the field, so it is not suitable for citing as a definitive and credible source. Where Wikipedia is useful is in its overview to give you a general idea of a topic and in the footnotes at the bottom of the page. Though not always, these footnotes are usually chock full of solid sources.
K-12 educational sites are not bad starting points but are not generally peer reviewed. University level .edu sources and .gov sources tend to be credible (Think NASA or the Library of Congress.) as do many museum sites, but even the Smithsonian has been known to be wrong on their websites. Likewise government agencies exist for a specific purpose, which will help you determine in which direction bias may fall. This process is an art rather than a science. The more you do it, the more skilled you will become.
A source that has little credibility would be something like This is essentially a Renaissance Festival resource. It is a fun source to be sure. Likewise anything that has the feel of Bob’s History Page is not going to rank high on your credibility scale – unless of course that Bob is the late Bob Scribner of Cambridge University.
HIST365 Recent America 1945 to the Present
Research Project Annotated Bibliography
This assignment requires you to write an annotated bibliography for your Research Paper. It is worth 15% of your total grade.
This will list and describe a minimum of 10 primary and secondary sources that you used for historical evidence on why the innovation that you selected made a world wide impact.
This assignment is partially done.  You have evaluated three primary sources in week 4.  You do not need to reinvent the wheel.  Each assignment is meant to build upon the earlier assignments that were given.  So simply cut and paste your paragraph narrative and the citation into your annotated bibliography.  Then you will add several seven (7) more resources.
The annotated bibliography should involve a variety of primary and secondary sources, including at least three primary sources (already have) and articles from at least two academic journals; it should not include encyclopedias (including Wikipedia), dictionaries, or non-professional websites. Each annotation should include a full, properly formatted Chicago style citation, 1-2 paragraphs detailing the basic argument of the work, the type of evidence used to prove the thesis, and an explanation of the value of the information to your paper.
If you need help with an annotated bibliography, feel free to use OWL from Purdue University. 
Must haves each of the following sources:
3 primary sources (already completed)
2 journals from UMUC library
1 source from within the course
4 additional sources (can be a website, primary source, textbook, journal,, magazine article)
Your annotated bibliography can be done in MLA, APA, or Chicago Style.
HIST365 Recent America 1945 to the Present
Research Project Final Paper
Research Paper Instructions
The final research paper must be 6-7 pages in length, double-spaced, numbered, with one-inch margins and typed in 12 point Times New Roman font. In addition to the 4-6 pages of text, you must include a cover page that identifies who you are, the title of your paper, and the title of the course.
You must also include a Works Cited page listing the 10 references you used for your paper. Your paper must use one of the required readings for the class, a minimum of three primary sources, and you may also use outside sources.
Your paper may be in Chicago Humanities, APA, or MLA.  Just ensure that the formatting that you choose is used throughout the paper and the bibliography.
Submit a finished original paper that includes a title page and bibliography (without annotations). This assignment is worth 20% of your total grade.  It is a REQUIRED component of the course to earn credit. The paper will be submitted to to ensure lack of plagiarism per UMUC Policy.
The final paper will use both primary and secondary sources to increase the plausibility of the clearly stated, analytical thesis. It will be carefully structured, composed, and proofread, with all required components included in the correct order.
You need a minimum of 7 out of 10 sources to be eligible for a grade of C (2 websites, 2 journals, 3 primary sources); 10 sources to be eligible for an A.  Note the specific requirements for primary and secondary sources.
Submitting your paper
Your paper must be submitted through TURNITIN.COM as well as through the course.  Turnitin is plagiarism software that is used by UMUC to ensure that all work submitted is original. The paper must be submitted through Turnitin and the course by the due date of Thursday November 1st.

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