Research Project Instructions
The purpose of this research project is to enhance
your abilities as a researcher, writer, editor, student and future
professional. You will be required to choose a historical topic and demonstrate
what you have learned in your tenure as a student.
1. Create an argument through the use of
2. Analyze and interpret primary and
3. Analyze the effects of historical,
social, political, economic, cultural, and global forces on this period of
United States history.
This research project divided into a series of tasks,
each with its own set of instructions.
1. Select your Topic
2. Compile a Research Journal
3. Outline your Ideas
4. Write your Research Paper
5. Make Corrections
Minimum Requirements for the Paper
Your paper must meet or exceed the minimum
requirements listed below:
1. Minimum of approximately 1,500 words.
(I will be checking.) You will lose ten points for every 100 words below the
2. Your work needs to be cited in
Chicago format with footnotes. There will be no excuse for not having proper
citations. There are plenty of materials on my website and the internet on how
to do this. No Citations = No Grade
3. Your paper must contain at least
three primary and four secondary sources. The secondary sources must come from
4. Using Direct Quotes – You are limited
to two direct quotes. Five points will
be deducted for each direct quote in excess of two.
5. The paper needs to be submitted in Adobe
(.pdf) or MSWORD.
Below you will find a
step-by-step guide to assist you in developing your research project.
Step 1 – Select your Topic
Selecting a topic for your paper is an important part
of the research process. Select a topic that is both interesting to you and
that there are enough available resources available. First, the topic must be
interesting to you because you will find the paper more difficult to complete
if you quickly lose interest. Secondly, you want to choose a topic that has enough
available information; for example, writing about pre-Columbian Native American
societies, you may run into the problem of a lack of primary sources.
If you wish to discuss a topic with me, you need to
visit me during tutoring, office hours or by appointment. We can also discuss your topic through email.
There are a few topics that are off-limits. You cannot write papers over topics
covered in other assignments in this course.
I also ban the Salem Witch Trials, out of redundancy.
Requirements for Topic Selection
1. The topic must be between the years
1607 and 1865.
2. The topic should not be a biography
or a summary of an event.
3. The topic should be about United
4. Do not choose topics that are too
broad, this is a short paper, trying to discuss the Civil War
Please submit your topics to the corresponding area in
the Canvas Modules.
Step 2 - Compiling a Research Journal
A research journal will help you organize and track
your sources throughout the research project. There is a Research Journal
Worksheet in the Major Paper Module in Canvas. This worksheet will assist you
in completing your paper’s bibliography.
Step 3 – Developing an Outline
At some point, before you begin to write your paper,
you will need to organize your thoughts and information you have collected. A
poorly organized paper is confusing and will leave the reader wondering what
the purpose of the paper is.
Organize the information you have collected into major
themes you wish to discuss. You will need to distinguish between your main
arguments, secondary arguments, and supporting evidence. A sample outline is
available at the end of this document (click here).