AMH 2020Research Paper Instructions
Please read this guide all the way through. It is your roadmap to successfully completing this assignment. Don’t just “wing it” and hope for the best. Please contact your professor if you have questions.
What is a Research Paper? This is a Research Paper. The final paper is worth 300 points and is the largest grade in the course. It is not an opinion paper, nor a book report, nor a biography, nor a list of historical events. A research paper begins with a thesis statement that forms the backbone of your paper. Your thesis is your essential argument, and there should be nothing in your paper that does not relate in some way to your thesis.
You are making an argument that you will defend with research based on historical sources from the library databases. You will figure out your own Topic and Thesis Statement. Your Research Paper must use that thesis statement, or basic argument for the essay, that you will support with 2 primary and 4 secondary sources, based upon your own research. Your thesis may evolve as your research develops. The content of the paper must address your thesis, and your sources must be relevant to your argument. In addition to content and argument, the Research Paper will be graded for grammar, format, proper citations, and punctuation. To receive an A, you must have a strongly written and fully sourced paper with very few grammatical and formatting errors.
As this is a Gordon Rule course, failure to complete this assignment will result in a grade of 0 for the class.
Paper Overview:Your assignment is to write a 1500-word research paper on a historical topic related to one of the following broad themes in U.S. history: Industrialization, Immigration, or International Relations.
You may choose what in particular to research. For instance, you might look at international relations in terms of economics, or one of these topics in a particular area or time frame, or examine the personal experience of factory workers or owners, or the political impact of industrialization, or the impact of any of these issues on American religious life, etc. These are just examples to get your mind working on possibilities. You must choose a topic that is broad enough to provide you with enough material, yet also choose a topic that is not too broad and unfocused. All topics must be submitted to the professor and approved.
If you can’t find this document, you will always have access to all of the Research Paper materials by going to the Course Documents folder.
Assignment and Due Dates: There are 3 portions to this assignment, due in different weeks.
1) Research Paper Introduction and Library Tour:The goal here is to familiarize yourself with this project.You must read the Research Paper Instructions (which you are currently doing) and view the videos in the Library Tour. You will submit a statement that you have completed these two tasks. This assignment will be worth 10 points.
2) Topic/Thesis/Citation Assignment:The Topic, Thesis and Citation Assignment will be submitted in Week 6. You must receive approval from me on your Topic and Thesis Statement before proceeding with the Research Paper.You may be asked to resubmit this assignment if your thesis will not work, but you will not be penalized for lateness in this circumstance. Again, your thesis may continue to evolve as you explore the materials available to you for research. This assignment will be worth 15 points.
3) Research Paper:The actual Research Paper will be submitted as an assignment in Week 12. I do not want or require a hard copy of the paper. I will grade your online Word document submissions on Canvas. This assignment will be worth 300 points. This is the largest single project in this course.
Research Paper Intro and Library Tour: 10 pts.
Topic/Thesis/Citation Assignment: 15 pts.
ResearchPaper: 300 pts.
Thesis statement: A thesis statement is a basic one to two sentence statement of the main argument/point you are making in your paper. Your thesis statement is the backbone of your paper. It should be placed at the end of your introductory paragraph. Your thesis should be the guide to writing the rest of your paper. There should be nothing in your paper that does not apply to furthering the argument in your thesis. Your thesis should always be worded as a statement, and not as a question. Here are some examples of a good thesis statement:
The early industrialization of the American economy was the single most important factor in making the United States the dominant global economy of the 20th century.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise on Dec. 7, 1941, but it was also the result of years of degrading diplomatic relations between the Japanese Empire and the United States.
These are just a couple of examples to give you a template to start from as you craft your own thesis statement.
Grading Rubric: The rubric by which the Research Paper will be graded is available on the last page of this document. Check this out to understand how your grade will be weighed and calculated. Insufficient word count, not having 6 sources, not citing the listed sources, and sloppy grammar are the most common issues with grading. I highly recommend that you refer to the rubric to help you craft your paper.
Late work: As stated in the syllabus, I will accept your work until 11:59 PM on the due date. Late papers will be subject to a penalty of one letter grade per day (30 points). Essays more than one week late will not be accepted and will receive a grade of zero. No exceptions. As this is a Gordon Rule course, failure to complete this assignment will result in a grade of 0 for the class.
Format:Your paper must be written in MLA format, and MUST include proper in-text citation of sources AND a “Works Cited” page at the end of the paper. The library is a great source for help with MLA formatting, in case you don’t remember your English classes or still have the Little-Brown handbook. I have placed a PowerPoint on MLA formatting and a sample MLA formatted paper in the Research Paper module. You should use these to compare your paper and check to see that you are following the correct format. See the library website for links to library help:http://www.lssc.edu/library
Sources: Your Research Paperwill be supported by arguments based upon a minimum of 2 primary sources and 4 secondary sources.
Primary sources are original documents (letters, diaries, church/government records, census data, etc.) written during the era you are studying. The Voices of Freedom documents that you will use in your discussions are excellent examples of primary source documents.
Secondary sources are documents about the topic (history books, textbooks, journal articles, etc.) written after the events happened.In short, primary sources are raw data, while secondary sources are interpretation.
ALL sources that you use must be cited in MLA format your paper, or they are irrelevant and you will not receive credit for them.
Finding acceptable academic sources:
The LSSC library has an enormous amount of resourcesavailable, ranging from databases to journals, magazines, and books, to help you research your topic. Be sure to view the Library Tour videos on Blackboard to help you find enough sources. If you need further help finding sources, visit or contact an LSSC librarian – that’s what they are there for.
Wikipedia, Ask.com, about.com, yahoo.com, or any “answers” website areNOT acceptable academic sources, nor are encyclopedias, your textbooks, and other general reference materials.
Be wary of websites – make sure they know what they’re talking about! One way to check this is to see if the website has any historical references, like the ones you’re using in this paper. If there are no references, you should not use that website.
Writing help: The LSSC Learning Center, located in Building 1, is an excellent resource for writing help. Questions about writing should be pursued there. Questions about content for your paper should be brought to Professor Rogers.
Avoiding Plagiarism: Plagiarism means presenting someone else’s ideas, writing, or other work as your own, without crediting the original source.Plagiarism is unacceptable and will result in failing the assignment.It is important that you avoid plagiarism, whether inadvertent or intentional. The LSSC library has some great advice and guidance on avoiding plagiarism. http://www.lssc.edu/library/plagiarism.htm
Here are some basic tips to help you avoid plagiarism:
I highly recommend that you download and use Grammarly to assist you in avoiding plagiarism and checking your grammar. I use it myself, as do many professionals. You can find it at http://libguides.lssc.edu/c.php?g=576246. If you sign up through LSSC, you should have full access to all of the features of Grammarly, including the plagiarism checker. If you have inadvertently plagiarized parts of your paper, Grammarly will note those instances and suggest citations you can use. You can also rework those parts of your paper so that they are not plagiarized.
Research Papers that are plagiarized and are not the students’ own work will be subject to the LSSC plagiarism policy as outlined in the LSSC Student Handbook. Possible plagiarism penalties range from a zero on the paper to an F for the course to expulsion from LSSC, so please avoid plagiarism!
Grading rubric for AMH 2020 Research Paper:
Total possible points: 300/300
Meets the specified 1500 word count.
|Thesis and Content
The paper includes and follows thesis statement, and content of the paper is related to the paper topic and the thesis statement.
Refers to spelling, word usage, grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and ability to proofread.
Refers to using all 6 of the required academic historical sources that are appropriate to the audience and purpose; use of appropriate and formatted MLA citations; sources used support thesis statement; paper includes properly formatted Works Cited page.
Format and Structure
Refers to choosing words for deliberate effect; proper introduction and conclusion; logical organization of material; accurate MLA paper format.
|Total Points: 300.0|
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