Guidelines for writing your short research paper:
The purpose of this paper is to give you a chance
to evaluate a set of primary source documents and tell your
audience (me) what you think these documents tell you about
history. These are your own findings based on your own
interpretation of the documents. Make sure that you quote the documents
throughout the paper to support your findings.
Paper Proposal (this is due on 9/21 - no exceptions):
Remember that in your proposal you identified
questions that you thought the documents might help you answer.
It might be helpful for you to identify some of these questions in the
introduction of your paper. Your thesis can then be discussed as
an answer to your research questions.
You are welcome to organize your paper as you see fit. But if you would like some guidance as to organization – here’s a format you can follow:
5-7 pages, typed, double spaced, one inch margins, size 12 Times or Times New Roman
Please cite all of your documents using footnotes (Click here for a quick guide to creating footnotes)
Good online starting points for primary source documents:
Library of Congress & National Archives This is simply
largest collection of American history related documents on the web.
Internet Modern History Sourcebook Lots of documents - some of the links are dead but it's a great listing to get you started thinking of topics.
The Avalon Project at Yale Great starting point for any topic relating to constitutional or legal history.
Making of America Project at Cornell University A great collection of documents related to American life prior to Reconstruction.
Please remember that a primary source
can be an eyewitness account, journal entry, legal document, contract,
newspaper article, political cartoon, and so forth. The most
thing to do once you've found your topic is to run searches that are
"women suffrage cartoon"
"john brown editorial"
"american revolution pamphlet"
"civil war soldier diary"
Examples of Good Primary Source Collections:
in Military Service
American Oral History Collection
War II Documents at the University of Washington
American Veterans Collection at the University of Hawaii
and Documents from the Civil War
Click Here for an example of a research paper I wrote based on primary source documents. It's longer than yours needs to be, but maybe it will give the idea.