Us history after 1877 (chapters 16-28)

  

NOTE: Before beginning this assignment, read through information contained in the Scholastic Dishonesty link in the course menu to the left.

The core assignment of this course is a documented research paper (6  pages double spaced, 12-point font).

  • The essay should support a      thesis statement with information gained from research or investigation.
  • The paper will not be just a      report presenting information, but will be an essay that carefully      examines and presents your own historical interpretation of the topic you      have chosen and your interpretation of the information you have gathered.
  • The paper may include      consideration of problems and solutions, define key terms, or refute      arguments against your thesis statement.

It will be important to choose a topic of interest to you.

  • Approach this assignment with      an open and skeptical mind, then form an opinion based on what you have      discovered.
  • You must suspend belief while      you are investigating and let the discoveries shape your opinion. (This is      a thesis-finding approach.)
  • Once you have found your      thesis, write the paper to support it.

You will use some of the following critical thinking skills in this process:

  1. Choosing an appropriate topic,      limiting the topic
  2. Gathering information,      summarizing sources
  3. Analyzing and evaluating      sources
  4. Defining key terms
  5. Synthesizing information,      comparing and contrasting sources
  6. Testing a thesis, making an      historical argument, using refutation
  7. Amassing support for a position
  8. Documenting sources

Because this may be a longer essay than you have written before and a complex process is involved, it is recommended that you complete this paper using the following steps:

  1. Choose a topic related to U.S.      History after 1877 (Chapters 16-28) that you would truly like to      explore and that you are willing to spend some time on. Your chosen topic      should be focused. Pose a question that you really want to answer. You may      want to begin with more than one topic in mind.
  2. Do some preliminary reading on      the topic(s). You may begin with the textbook, then further explore the      information available. Refine your topic. Summarize your topic, your      interest in the topic, the questions you want to answer, and a hypothesis      you want to test.
  3. Gather information from a      variety of sources. Use a minimum of four sources for your paper,      and at least one must be a primary source.
  • Examples of primary sources       are ones that are used in our discussion forums 2 – 8.
  • They are sources that are       contemporary to the times under investigation.
  • An example of a secondary       source is our textbook, though the textbook also contains excerpts of       primary sources, which you may use as a source in your essay.
  1. Outline the results of your      research and then plan for your essay (note you are not required to submit      the outline).
  2. Write the final draft and be      sure to include a Works Cited List; be sure to use the correct MLA documentation style.

Grade Rubric

INTRODUCTION & THESIS: The essay makes a clear and effective statement (the thesis) about the chosen topic. /15

FOCUS AND DEVELOPMENT: Body of the essay focuses on this thesis and develops it fully, recognizing the complexity of issues. /30

SUPPORT AND SYNTHESIS: Uses sufficient and relevant evidence to support the thesis (and primary points), including facts, inferences, and judgments.  Quotes, summarizes, and paraphrases accurately and effectively–appropriately introducing and explaining each quote. /30

CONVENTIONS: Uses MLA format correctly; includes a Works Cited list; is free of errors. /10

CORRECTNESS AND STYLE: Shows critical thinking and depth of understanding; uses appropriate tone; shows sophistication in language usage and sentence structure. /15

TOTAL: 100

   

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