David M. Lauderback, Ph.D.
Professor of History


Country Report Guidelines
US History II
Synchronous

http://www.austincc.edu/dlauderb
 

The Country Report (40 points)

Each student in this honors class must complete a term research project.  In US History II: America and the World, students will complete a Country Report that will include analysis of specific nation's:  history, economy, demographics, religion, education, & political structure.  The Country Report will conclude with a threat assessment of a their chosen country as a source of terrorist activity.  The country will be chosen in consultation with the instructor.  Students will then submit a Country Page (3 points), wherein they must explain the:  current economic, religious, and political climate, and the significance of the country to national security.  Then, students will assemble an Annotated Bibliography (7 Points) of primary and secondary readings for the project where they will describe the utility of each source.  Next, students will prepare a detailed Outline (10 points) of their final Country Report that will conform to the specific guidelines on the Outline page.  Finally, students will prepare a Final Draft (20 points) of their research in a paper. Combined, the Country Report project will be worth a total of 40 points.

All written work submitted for the Country Report must conform to the Format and Documentation Requirements listed below and be submitted by the deadlines listed in the Course Schedule.   Please see the Course Schedule for the dates by which you must:  submit your Country Page, complete your Annotated Bibliography, complete your Outline, and turn in your Final Draft.  The Country Report will require a sustained effort over the entire semester.  Be sure to consult regularly with your instructor for details on how to complete the Country Report.

Selecting a Country

To assist students in preparing the Final Draft of the Country Reportt, students will be required, first, to select a country.  Students will choose from a number of nation's to determine whether that country represents a national security threat to the United States.  The geographic area to concentration for this project will be Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia.  In particular, students will assess the threat of radical Islamic fundamentalism to national, regional, United States, and world security.  The country will be chosen in consultation with the instructor.

Submitting a Country Page (3 points)

Once students have selected a country, they must then justify why that country merits consideration in a one paragraph assignment called the Country Page.  The Country Page will identify the country at the top of the page.  Below the Country, students will provide one paragraph that explains where the country is located, the relative significance of the country to regional and world politics, and concludes with why the country represents a potential or actual threat tot he national security of the United States.  The Country paragraph will have a length of 100-125 words.  The Country Page will conform to the Format and Documentation Requirements specified below.  Students must submit the Country Page in class by the deadline listed in the Course Schedule.

Selecting an Annotated Bibliography

Next, students will assemble an Annotated Bibliography of primary and secondary readings for the project.  A primary source is something written by an individual who lived at the time and took part in the event that he or she is describing.  Primary sources usually take the form of letters, diaries, journals, newspapers, government documents, and autobiographies.  Secondary sources are books and articles written at a later time, usually by historians who were not participants in the event.  Students can use the ACC Library to find scholarly works that investigate some aspect of slavery in the United States.  Encyclopedias and general information web sites, e.g., The History Channel, Wikipedia, History.com, etc., are not considered scholarly works and will not be accepted as secondary sources.   No Country Report will be accepted unless it contains the requisite number of primary and secondary sources.  If you have any questions about a source, ask the instructor.

Submitting an Annotated Bibliography (7 points)

The Country Report must use at least FOUR PRIMARY sources and FOUR SECONDARY sources.  Students will list each of their projected primary and secondary sources in bibliographic form and then annotate each citation.  The purpose of annotating your bibliography is to explain not only the contents of the source but also its value to you in preparing the paper.  Be specific in your description and provide at least three sentences in each description.  Use quotes from the sources to demonstrate the author's ideas.  The Annotated Bibliography must conform to the Format and Documentation Requirements specified below.  Students must submit an Annotated Bibliography by the deadline listed in the Course Schedule.

Useful links:

The ACC Library hascreated a special link just for the country report: &

ACC Library & Terrorism in America and the World Research Guide

List of Resources A-Z

See especially:  Academic Search Complete or Military and Government Collection

Two very good British links are:  The Economist Country Briefings and BBC Country Profiles

For analysis see:  Council on Foreign Relations  Heritage Foundation The Brookings Institution, &  Woodrow Wilson Center

A New Link!!Middle East Media Research Institute

Submitting an Outline (10 points)

The purpose of the Outlineis to give students an opportunity to organize their research in a useful manner and to provide the blueprint for the Final Draft.  See the directions on the Outline page to complete this stage of the Country Report.  The Outline must conform to the Format and Documentation Requirements specified below.  Students must submit an Outline by the deadline listed in the Course Schedule.

Please see the Course Schedule for the dates by which you must:  submit your Country Page (3 points), complete your Annotated Bibliography (7 points), complete your Outline (10 points), and turn in your Final Draft (20 points).

Writing the Country Report Final Draft (20 points).

This is a term project that demonstrates a student's ability to write clearly, use good grammar and punctuation, analyze the material in a concise manner, and offer their thoughts on the primary and secondary sources.  The Country Report will require a sustained effort over the entire semester.  Be sure to consult regularly with your instructor for details on how to complete the Country Report.

There are a few important things to consider when you write the Final Draft.  To begin with you must:

NEVER ASSUME.

When you write the Final Draft, DO NOT ASSUME that you can leave out critical information because you know that I am familiar with the subject.

Instead, you must tell me the:

MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION

so that I will clearly understand your analysis of the primary and secondary sources.

DO NOT REWRITE THE SOURCES.

Your task in this assignment is to show that you can digest several different secondary sources, and then distill them down to a their essence, and then apply selected nuggets from a variety of primary sources into a coherent argument.  You simply do not have the space to repeat everything.  So, do not waste time and effort trying to rewrite the sources.

Students are expected to accomplish five (5) tasks in the Country Report:

To assist in developing the Final Draft, students will be required to complete an Outline of their proposed Country Report.  Please see the Outline for the requirements for the outline.

Remember:  ONLY students who submit the Country Page, Annotated Bibliography, and Outline, by the deadline listed in the Course Schedule will be permitted to submit a Final Draft.

A typical Country Report would be organized as follows.

[The specific components to be required in the an individual student's Final Draft will evolve as the semester goes along.
Students will be expected to consult with the instructor regarding the details of their Country Report. ]

Title
By [Your Name]

I. Introduction

Here students will rely on the Country Page to frame the research paper.  The introduction will explain where the country is located and the relative significance of the country to regional and world politics.  Students will revise the Country Page as necessary and conclude with a dynamic thesis statement that states why the country represents a potential or actual threat to the national security of the United States.
II. Threat Assessment
A. Historical Context
Here students will use the secondary sources from the Annotated Bibliography to place the research in historical context.  Students will focus on the themes stated in the introduction and show how the secondary sources treat with the same themes.  The purpose of this paragraph is to give the reader a sense of what was happening and what other historians have said about the topic.
B. Analysis
In the next several paragraphs, students will examine the themes discussed in the introduction by offering evidence drawn from the primary sources.  These paragraphs give the student a chance to show the reader the evidence they have collected and how that evidence supports their contention in the thesis statement.
C. Analysis
    See B. Above
D. Analysis
See B. Above
E. Analysis
See B. Above
F. Analysis
See B. Above
G. Analysis
See B. Above
H. Threat Assessment
See B. Above
III. National Security Action Plan
 
Action Plan Rationale
See B. Above
Economic Action Plan
See B. Above
Political Action Plan
See B. Above
Security Action Plan
See B. Above
III. Conclusion
In this paragraph you must summarize your findings.  Briefly restate your purpose, summarize your main points, and offer some final thoughts.
Some tips on writing

Each paragraph should be at least thirteen (13), but NOT more than twenty (20), lines long -- NOT sentences, but lines on the page.  Each paragraph is a mini-paper.  Make the first sentence of each paragraph an introduction to that paragraph.  Tell your reader what to expect in the paragraph.  This is called the topic sentence.  Summarize your point at the end of the paragraph, like the conclusion of a paper.  In between, give lots of evidence to prove your point.

Make your sentences active.  Fill your Final Draft with verbs that move the reader along from point to point.  Writing that relies on the verb "to be" -- is, was, are, etc. -- quickly becomes repetitious and will NOT convince your reader.  I do not expect you to eliminate the verb "to be" entirely, but come very close.

Quotes help spice up a paper by giving the reader the flavor of the book.  So, include quotations where appropriate to illustrate your points.  Using quotes helps to establish your understanding of the key themes, events, person, etc., in your paper.  Hence, the use of quotes constitutes a substantial portion of your Final Draft grade.

Format Requirements

ALL ASSIGNMENTS -- COUNTRY PAGE, ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, OUTLINE, AND FINAL DRAFT -- MUST CONFORM TO THE FORMAT SPECIFICATIONS BELOW.  ANY COUNTRY PAGE, ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, OUTLINE, OR FINAL DRAFT THAT DOES NOT CONFORM TO THE FORMAT SPECIFICATIONS BELOW WILL LOSE POINTS

NOTE: Documents that fail to conform to three or more of the format and document requirements below will NOT BE ACCEPTED.

The format requirements for the completed Country Page, Annotated Bibliography, Outline, and Final Draft are:

Please:

DO NOT BOLDFACE; or
DO NOT ITALICIZE; or
DO    NOT         JUSTIFY

your text.

The above particulars are designed to ensure that all students complete works of similar length.

Please:

Do NOT use folders or other such binders; and
You do NOT need a cover sheet.

Documentation

ALL ASSIGNMENTS -- COUNTRY PAGE, ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, OUTLINE, AND FINAL DRAFT -- MUST CONFORM TO THE DOCUMENTATION SPECIFICATIONS BELOW.  ANY COUNTRY PAGE, ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, OUTLINE, OR FINAL DRAFT THAT DOES NOT CONFORM TO THE DOCUMENTATION SPECIFICATIONS BELOW WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

The documentation requirements for the completed Country Page, Annotated Bibliography, Outline, and Final Draft are:

To ensure that you give credit where credit is due, please refer to the source from which you extracted information with an endnote and a bibliography.  Start with the The Chicago Manual of Style Online. Please use end notes to document your sources using the appropriate formatting (see above).  For the correct style, you can also see Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). The ACC Library has a link to Turabian, but the guide is currently under renovation and has several inaccuracies. Use the The Chicago Manual of Style Onlineg Both the Chicago Manual of Style and the Turabian guides can be found at the ACC Library

And here is a new link specifically for Government Documents.  The ACC Library link to Turabian has a method at the very bottom of the page that gives a formula for citing government sources.  The new Government Documents link has more specific examples.

Please do NOT use reference style where you put the author's name and page number at the end of the sentence. (Lauderback 2013, 1) Instead, be sure to insert an endnote in your text to tell your reader you have details that come from a source that is not you. Go to Microsoft Word Help and enter 'endnote' for how to insert notes. See the The Chicago Manual of Style Online for:

The ACC Librarians have put together a remarkable page with all kinds of details and examples for you to follow. And, a link for asking questions! Check out Turabian. Please use the appropriate formatting -- including margins, font size and type, and spacing (see above).

Include a Bibliography on a separate page (with no page number), at the end of your Topic Page,Outline and Final Draft.  Here you provide a complete citation for each work cited. A bibliography is NOT the same as a Works Cited. And, a bibliography is NOT the same as the endnotes. And while a bibliography includes most of the same information as the notes, there are important differences, e.g., the order of the author's names, the use of commas, periods, parentheses, and page numbers. Please use the appropriate formatting -- including margins, font size and type, and spacing (see above). 

And, please, do NOT ask if you can use MLA.  Use Turabian.

Grading Policy

The Country Page will receive a maximum of 3 points.  Recognize that a Country Page rife with misspellings and grammatical errors will NOT be considered acceptable.  Any Country Page that does NOT conform to the Format and Documentation specifications above will NOT be accepted.  If you submit your Country Page before the deadline date in the Course Schedule and it is graded "NOT ACCEPTED" you may revise it and resubmit it prior to the deadline date.  Any Country Page that is NOT submitted by the deadline listed in the Course Schedule will NOT be accepted.

The Annotated Bibliography will receive a maximum of 7 points Recognize that an Annotated Bibliography rife with misspellings and grammatical errors will NOT be considered acceptable.  Any Annotated Bibliography that does NOT conform to the Format and Documentation specifications above will NOT be accepted.  If you submit your Annotated Bibliography before the deadline date in the Course Schedule and it is graded "NOT ACCEPTED" you may revise it and resubmit it prior to the deadline date.  Any Annotated Bibliography that is NOT submitted by the deadline listed in the Course Schedule will NOT be accepted. The Outline will receive a maximum of 10 points Recognize that an Outline rife with misspellings and grammatical errors will NOT be considered acceptable.  Any Outline that does NOT conform to the Format and Documentation specifications above will NOT be accepted.  If you submit your Outline before the deadline date in the Course Schedule and it is graded "NOT ACCEPTED" you may revise it and resubmit it prior to the deadline date.  Any Outline that is NOT submitted by the deadline listed in the Course Schedule will NOT be accepted. The Final Draft of the Country Report will receive a maximum of 20 points. Recognize that a Final Draft rife with misspellings and grammatical errors will NOT be considered acceptable.  Any Final Draft that does NOT conform to the Format and Documentation specifications above will NOT be accepted.  If you submit your Final Draft before the deadline date in the syllabus and it is graded "NOT ACCEPTED" you may revise it and resubmit it prior to the date listed in the Course Schedule.  Any Final Draft that is NOT submitted by the deadline listed in the Course Schedule will NOT be accepted.

Deadlines

STUDENTS WHO DO NOT SUBMIT A COUNTRY PAGE BY THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO SUBMIT A FINAL DRAFT;

and

STUDENTS WHO DO NOT SUBMIT AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY BY THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO SUBMIT A FINAL DRAFT;

and

STUDENTS WHO DO NOT SUBMIT AN OUTLINE BY THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO SUBMIT A FINAL DRAFT;

and

ANY FINAL DRAFT THAT IS NOT SUBMITTED AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS ON THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

The Country Report has several components.   Please see the Course Schedule for the dates by which you must:  select your Book, submit your Topic Page, complete your Annotated Bibliography, complete your Outline, and turn in your Final Draft.

David Marcus Lauderback, 2022 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED