Historical Newspaper Assignment:

Overview:

For this assignment you will need to write a 4-5 page paper based, in part, on

primary source materials you collect by using the database Chronicling America: Historic

American Newspapers (it’s listed as Historic American Newspapers on the MTC Library

web site). Either look up a particular event or issue, or start by searching for your

birthday during any year from 1860 to 1963 and then select a topic by reading about the

events during that period. In addition to using at least one newspaper article, you will also

need to incorporate at least two additional scholarly books or academic journal articles

(not including your textbook) as sources in your paper.

Annotated Bibliography/Citation Practice:

In preparation for the newspaper project,

you will be required to submit an annotated bibliography including a brief description (at

least 3 sentences) and full citation of each of your sources (your news article(s) plus the

two secondary sources). For each source, you should include its bibliographical citation

as well as a footnote citation.

Your sources should be second line indented and listed in

alphabetical order (see the sample bibliography on D2L).

Citations:

Use Chicago style for your notes and bibliography. Please refer to this quick

guide (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/1/) for examples of how to format

citations for books and articles. Feel free to use either footnotes or endnotes, but in

general they should look like this for a book with one author:

1.

Robert Gilmer,

Awesome Book About History

(Columbia, SC: Midlands Tech

Press, 2013), 23.

Or this for a journal article:

2. Robert Gilmer, “Awesome Article About History,”

History Journal

82, no. 3

(2013): 782-782.

Bibliographical citations are also listed on the quick guide and are slightly different, so

careful to follow the correct method for each.

Format:

Your paper should be

4-5 full pages of double-spaced text

(3.5 pages is not 4

pages) in

size twelve font, Times New Roman

. Your margins should be 1” at the top and

bottom, and 1” on the left and right (these are the defaults in Microsoft Word, as long as

you don’t mess with them yours should be fine).

The heading for your paper should be aligned to the upper left hand corner of your paper

and be formatted like:

{Title}

{First & Last Name}

HIS 202

{Date}

For example: Historical Newspaper Project

Rob Gilmer

HIS 202

7/10/12

It should be in the same font and size as the rest of your text, and should not include any

unnecessary spaces or more than one space between the end of your heading and the

beginning of your paper.

What your paper should do:

You should start off with a clear introductory paragraph

that briefly explains the topic of your paper. You need to use the newspapers to help you

identify a topic, but your paper itself should focus on making an argument about that

topic (rather than about the day itself—so pick one thing and run with it, rather than

writing about everything that happened that day). You should end your

first paragraph

with an underlined thesis statement

that lays out your argument for the rest of your paper.

In the main body of your paper you should lay out an argument about how your

topic can be used to tell us about what life was like during the times discussed in the

news articles. As much as possible, you should center this on tying your topic to major

themes we’ve discussed: race, class issues, gender relations, working conditions,

environmental changes, etc. Keep this in mind when selecting articles and a topic, you

want one that will give you enough to write at least a few of pages, so be sure to pick a

good one!

This is also where you’ll want to bring in your secondary sources. Does the

evidence you’ve found conform to or conflict with what you’re reading in your secondary

sources? What can those sources tell you about the “big picture” that your newspaper

articles fit into? What can you learn from them about the event or issue in question that

isn’t apparent in the newspaper article itself (or that might be there, but that’s better

explained by the secondary sources)?

Finally, you should end your paper with a clear conclusion that summarizes your

argument (without repeating it verbatim) and suggests why your topic, and your

arguments about it, are important to understanding this period in history.

You will need to submit both an electronic copy (in the dropbox on D2L) and a

hard copy of your paper.

What I’ll be looking for in terms of grading:

#1. Following directions!

#2. A clear argument

#3. Creatively using evidence to support your argument

#4. Logical organization

#5. Spelling, grammar, and sty

 
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