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Where do historians get the information they use when writing about events from the past? There are two types of sources: primary and secondary. Primary sources, such as official records, letters (official and personal), diaries, newspaper articles, photos, posters, and cartoons are created at the time the events took place by people involved in them. Historians also get information from secondary sources—books, articles, and websites about topics in history.
One of the major assignments in this course is to write a research paper that uses both primary and secondary sources. The paper will be on a Cornell Annotated Bibliography topic of your choice from the materials we cover in class, but must be pre-approved by me.
In unvarnished terms, this is a research paper on the topic of your choice that will take the place of a final examination.  The topic MUST fall within the time period we are studying and MUST be approved by me beforehand.  It is to be 8-10 double spaced pages in length, font size 12, not counting title page, bibliography, end notes, etc.  It is preferred that you use Word and Times New Roman font.
This assignment is designed to allow students to demonstrate their mastery of both recent American history and the historical research and writing process.
 The end of the paper should indicate what conclusion you have come to after having researched and written about the subject. It should also demonstrate how or why you have arrived at a particular conclusion.
The final paper for this course is designed to address the following subset of course objectives:
Critically read and research using traditional sources and information technology
identify, evaluate, and present, through effective writing, evidence found in primary and secondary sources
Begin this process by referring to the documents in Course Content titled “History Program Requirements” and “Writing Resources”. The latter will advise you as to the various forms of assistance provided by UMUC to facilitate your research and writing activity. In addition to this information, the Effective Writing Center (EWC) offers free writing assistance for all students, faculty, and staff. The staff will review your essay and offer suggestions for improvement. You’ll need to provide a copy of your paper and the instructions for this exercise so the staff knows what you are expected to do. There is a link provided under Course Content, in the Webliography, and also on the library homepage —and here:
This final research paper project is divided into four stages, each of which is graded separately.

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