Research Project Guidelines
US History II
Walt Whitman referred to the United States as not one nation but a “teeming nation of nations.” With rare exception, everyone in America came from somewhere else, or their family did. Most came by choice; many did not. And while Americans love to celebrate Emma Lazarus's words -- “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” -- new arrivals rarely received a warm welcome. The dynamic and contentious interplay of new peoples engaging those who came before remains one of the mainstays of our history and a process that continues to define our identity as a people. Students will have the opportunity to delve into their own family history as they seek to understand the complex challenges that immigrants over time have faced and still face in the ever changing human landscape that is the United States of America.
The Research Project
To begin, students will choose a Respondent and conduct an Oral History. The Oral History will form the foundation of the research project. Using the information gained from the Respondent, students will determine the ethnic, racial, or religious group they wish to investigate and explain the focus of their research in a Topic Page. Then, students will assemble an Annotated Bibliography of primary and secondary readings for the project where they will describe the utility of each source. Next, students will prepare a detailed Outline of their final research paper that must conform to the specific guidelines on the Outline page. Finally, students will prepare a Final Draft of their research in a paper. All written work submitted for the Research Project must conform to the Format and Documentation Requirements listed below and be submitted by the deadlines listed in the Course Schedule.
The Research Project will require a sustained effort over the entire semester. Be sure to consult regularly with your instructor for details on how to complete the Research Project.
The Research Project is required for those students who
desire a grade of B or better. If you do NOT complete a Final Draft of the Research
Project the highest grade that you can receive is a C.
Additionally, completion of the Final
Draft does NOT automatically guarantee a grade of B
or better. The Research Project is
comprised of a: Respondent
Choice, Topic Page (10 pts), Annotated
Bibliography (15 pts), Outline
(25 pts), and Final Draft
(50 pts). Combined, the Research
Project will equal the value of one exam grade (100
NOTE: You must complete all parts of the Research Project by the deadlines listed
in the Course
Schedule for the assignment to factor in to your
final average and your final grade. You may not earn "partial
credit." The points on the outlines and final drafts are not extra credit.
Instead, like the quizzes and exams, the points on the completed Research Project is calculated in the total course average.
Please see the Course Schedule for the dates by which you must submit your: Respondent, Recorded Interview & Topic Page, Annotated Bibliography, Outline, and Final Draft.
Selecting an Oral History Respondent
The oral history Respondent will be chosen in consultation with the instructor. Respondents can be family members, neighbors, family friends, co-workers, classmates, or someone you have just met. The respondent does NOT have to be a recent immigrant or come from a family that has only recently arrived in the United States. They must, however, have reached 18 years of age by 1965. That is, they must have been born no later than 1948. Students MUST confirm their choice with the instructor via e-mail.
Students will rely on the suggestions contained in the Interview Guide (See below) to direct the conversation with their respondent. Feel free to range beyond the categories and specific questions listed below, but be sure that you do cover each of the categories that you will need to write about in your final draft. To ensure that you can accurately depict the words and experiences of your respondent, students must record the interview. Use a recording device, e.g., tape recorder, smart phone, Skype, fb, chat, Google Voice, email. Students will be expected to turn in their Recorded Interview with their Topic Page. See Turning in the Recorded Interview below.
Use the Sample Questions below as a starting point for your conversation. Be sensitive to your respondent and do not hesitate to explore their experiences that do not appear in these questions. Remember, you will discuss issues and events that are very personal. Let your interviewee tell you their thoughts. DO NOT JUDGE THEM. The purpose here is to gather a slice of life. They lived through very different times. Learn about those times through their experiences.
Turning in the Recorded Interview
A. Biographical SummaryB. The Immigrant Experience
Ask about your interviewee's life. When and where were they born? Where and how did they grow up? Tell me about their family, childhood, hometown, and education. Did they ever marry? Have kids? Tell me about their adult life. What kind of jobs have they held? Why? Spend some time getting to know your respondent.
Be sensitive to your respondent and do not hesitate to explore their experiences that do not appear in these questions. Remember, do not judge your respondent. Instead, respect their opinion and be sure you explore their views as thoroughly as you can.C. Attitudes
Your respondent may be a recent immigrant or come from a family that only recently came to the United States. Or, your respondent may come from a family that has lived for many generations in the United States. Either way is fine! Concentrate on their experiences as an immigrant or their experiences with new arrivals. How did they view life in the US? How did they view newcomers? How did society treat new arrivals? How did they define their identity? How did they keep the old country alive in their new land? Focus on defining moments. What are some of the most memorable moments they recall as an immigrant or encountering immigrants?
Be sensitive to your respondent and do not hesitate to explore their experiences that do not appear in these questions. Remember, do not judge your respondent. Instead, respect their opinion and be sure you explore their views as thoroughly as you can.
Here you need to explore your respondent's ideals and values through their personal experiences and opinions. How did issues of family, ideology, patriotism, anti-Communism, and racism shape their thinking about privacy and their own lives? Did certain events help define their views on citizenship? Do they have the same feelings now? How have they changed? If so, when and why?
Be sensitive to your respondent and do not hesitate to explore their experiences that do not appear in these questions. Remember, do not judge your respondent. Instead, respect their opinion and be sure you explore their views as thoroughly as you can.
This is the most important part of your interview. Find out how the immigrant experience shaped your respondent's life. What were their dreams/hopes/ambitions? How did the events during their lives change their plans? How has their view of the America changed of the years? How has life in American changed?
You must turn in the Recorded Interview when you submit the Topic Page. The Interview can be either on tape or you can submit the recording on a disc/CD or via e-mail as a file that can played on Windows Media Player or on an interactive weblink or webpage like Google or Audacity. Students and are strongly encouraged to make sure that the instructor can retrieve any and all electronic files prior to any and all deadlines. It is the student's responsibility -- and not the instructor's -- to ensure the accurate and timely submission of all course materials. Do it early!
Students will conduct the Oral History in search of a Topic for the Final Draft. For the purposes of the Research Project the Topic must be very specific so that students can investigate and usefully explain their findings in one semester. Focus on the interview: what did you learn? What intrigued you the most? What was the most significant event/fact/theme/subject etc. about immigration in your respondent's life? To help disinter the evidence from the primary sources, students will then examine that aspect of immigrant history. Students will determine their Topic in consultation with the instructor.
Submitting a Topic Page (10 pts)
The Topic Page will start with a title, centered at the top, that tells the reader the focus of the Research Project. Below the Topic students will provide one paragraph that explains what they learned from the Respondent and explains why they want to pursue the subject they have chosen. Tell me a bit about your respondent, hit some key moments in their life, and provide examples -- quotes -- that illustrate the theme or issue or event that you feel matters most. Then, use the very last sentence of the paragraph to tell yrou reader your purpose and why you feel your subject matters. The Topic paragraph will have a length of 13-17 lines. The Topic Page will conform to the Format and Documentation Requirements specified below. Students must submit the Topic Page in class by the deadline listed in the Course Schedule.
Students are expected to provide appropriate historical context for the themes they explore in the Final Draft. To help the reader understand the time and place of the respondent's life, the Final Draft must use at least FOUR PRIMARY sources and FOUR SECONDARY sources. [The Oral History is a primary source and counts as one of the FOUR primary sources that must be used in the Final Draft; the textbook Experience History: Interpreting America's Past may count as one of the FOUR secondary sources.]
Generally, 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. For this assignment, students are encouraged to explore alternative sources of information in popular culture, such as: oral history; music; television programming; movies; literature; poetry; and advertising -- radio, print, and/or TV. Use memorabila from your respondent if they oblige and take digital images of photos and documents and keepskes and the like. See what you can learn from their keepsakes.
Secondary sources are books and articles written at a later time, usually by historians who were not participants in the event. Students must use scholarly works that investigate the immigrant group they have selected and/or some aspect of the issues and events surrounding their group, its antecedents, experiences, and the consequences of the choice to live 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.
Students can find secondary literature through the following web sites:
Start with Electronic Resources Database to look for journal articles.No Final Draft 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.
And, of course, the search engine at the ACC Library
Submitting an Annotated Bibliography (15 pts)
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 and provide at least three sentences in each description. Use quotes from the sources in each annotation 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.
The purpose of the Outline is 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 Research Project. 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.
Writing the Final Draft (50 pts)
The Final Draft must be seven paragraphs in seven pages, no more and no less. Do not include a title page; just put the title and your name at the top of the first page, with appropriate spacing. The endnotes and bibliography do not count in the length.
Use the completed Outline as the template
for your Final Draft.
Refine your purpose in the thesis, topic, and concluding
sentences you wrote for the Outline. Because the Final Draft must be seven
paragraphs in seven pages, you likely will not have room to use
all of the words in the quotes that you have from the Outline.
And students will be expected to keep the same number of
sentences with quotes in the Final
Draft that they presented in the Outline
documented by endnotes. So students will often have to trim the
quotes presented in the outline before including them in
sentences in the Final Draft.
Extract the key information from the quotes you collated for the
Outline. Then, weave in selected portions of the quotes
into sentences you create. Use the sentences with quotes to
serve as the body of your evidence paragraphs. Again, be sure
that you keep the same number of sentences with quotes and
endnotes from the Outline in the Final Draft. Please see use the
ACC Library link below to Turabian
for details on:
Remember: ONLY students who submit the Respondent, Recorded Interview and Topic Page, Annotated Bibliography, and Outline, by the deadlines listed in the Course Schedule will be permitted to submit a Final Draft.Some tips on writing
There are a few important things to consider when you write the Final Draft. To begin with you must:
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.Some directions on content
Each paragraph in the Final Draft should
be at least thirteen (13), but NOT more than seventeen (17),
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.
Begin each paragraph in the Final Draft with
a dynamic topic sentence that tells the reader who did what and
why it matters. History is first and foremost about people, so
your review will evaluate a life history that recounts some
aspect of life in America. When you tell your reader what you
are going to talk about, you describe the 'what.' When you tell
your reader who did what and then explain 'why' it matters, now
you analyze. So be sure to start your paragraph with a topic
sentence that explains who did what and why.
Make your sentences active. Fill your review
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. If you cannot eliminate the verb "to be"
entirely, come very close. Again, explain who did what and
why they did it. Make sure that each sentence has an
historical actor performing some action for some reason; tell me
who did what
Students will be expected to keep the same number of sentences with quotes in the Final Draft that they presented in the Outline documented by endnotes.
Quotes help spice up a paper by giving the reader the flavor of the interview. 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 interview. Hence, the use of quotes constitutes a substantial portion of your Final Draft grade. Use the quotes from the outline as the basis for your evidence, argument, and overall purpose. Use your words to present the selected portions of quotes in order to bring your respondent's experiences to life. And students will be expected to keep the same number of sentences with quotes in the Final Draft that they presented in the Outline documented by endnotes.
ALL ASSIGNMENTS -- TOPIC PAGE, ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, OUTLINE, AND FINAL DRAFT -- MUST CONFORM TO THE FORMAT SPECIFICATIONS BELOW.
If you do not follow the format requirements for the
completed Topic Page, Annotated Bibliography, Outline,
and Final Draft listed below,
then you will lose Points:
- Submit as e-mail attachment as a Word or PDF file NO LATER THAN 11:59 PM on the deadline listed in the Course Schedule.;
- Submit via your ACC e-mail as a Word or PDF attachment;
NOTE: Do NOT submit as a link and do NOT submit as a Google.Doc.
Google.docs is limited and makes it very difficult to complete the format reqs or insert endnotes.
- TOPIC PAGE, ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, OUTLINE, AND FINAL DRAFT submitted as links, Google.doc and/or Pages files will will NOT be accepted;
- Page numbers -- top right; 1 Point
- Title -- Top, center, page 1; 1 Point
- Name -- Center; below title with appropriate spacing (see below); 1 Point
- Text -- Begins right below the name on page 1, with appropriate spacing (see below): 1 Point
- Spacing -- TRIPLE spaced, typed; 1 Point
- Margins -- one (1) inch from the edge of the page on the: top, left, right, and bottom; 1 Point
- Font Size -- 12; 1 Point
- Font Type -- Times New Roman ; 1 Point
- Length --
- TOPIC PAGE 1 page; 2.5 pts or 70%
- There is no length requirement for the ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY or Outline;
- FINAL DRAFT must be seven (7) paragraphs in seven (7) pages, no more and no less; 15 Points or 70%
Keep paragraphs to thirteen (13) - seventeen (17), lines long -- not sentences, but lines on a page
- End notes -- place at the end of your document; [Not counted in the length. See below.] 2 Points
- Bibliography -- on a separate page. [Not counted in the length. See Documentation below.] 2 Points
- If you include bibliography but do not use the correct font size and type and spacing – see above –
or the correct Turabian or The Chicago Manual of Style Online indent and format – see Documentation below. 1 point
- DEADLINE: See the Course Schedule for the date the TOPIC PAGE, ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, OUTLINE and/or FINAL DRAFT are due.
- If the the TOPIC PAGE, ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, OUTLINE and/or FINAL DRAFT are received after the 11:59 pm deadline on the date listed on the Course Schedule, the highest grade you can receive on the assignment will be 70%;
- TOPIC PAGE, ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, OUTLINE and/or FINAL DRAFT submitted more than one day after the deadline listed in the Course Schedule will NOT be accepted.
- TOPIC PAGE, ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, OUTLINE and/or Final Drafts submitted after the last day of the semester will NOT be accepted
DO NOT BOLDFACE; oryour text.
DO NOT ITALICIZE; or
DO NOT JUSTIFY
The above particulars are designed to ensure that all students complete works of similar length.
Do NOT use folders or other such binders; and
You do NOT need a cover sheet.
ALL ASSIGNMENTS -- TOPIC PAGE, ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, OUTLINE, AND FINAL DRAFT -- MUST CONFORM TO THE DOCUMENTATION SPECIFICATIONS BELOW. ANY TOPIC 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 Topic Page, Annotated Bibliography, Outline, and Final Draft are:
Please use endnotes and a bibliography to refer to the source from which you extracted information. To ensure that you give credit where credit is due, use Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013). Please use the ACC Library link to Turabian. Save yourself considerable time confusion and do NOT use any other Turabian web page. Seriously. Most are incorrect. For the correct style, you can also see John Grossman, ed., The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010). Both guides can be found at the ACC Library. .......................................................................................................
NOTE: How to cite an Interview.
If you have a recording of the interview, then be sure to include
the timestamp, the time on the recording where the quote
begins and ends.
Note Entry: [with
First name Last name, Tape recording, Date, Location, 01:34-01:45.
When you have the interview in consecutive notes with a different timestamp, then do:
Note Entry: [no timestamp]
First name Last name, Email Communication, Date, Location.
When you have the interview with no timestamp in consecutive notes, then do:
Last name, First name. Tape recording. Date.
A few things.
First, if you recorded the interview with a phone, or Skype, or chat, or fb, then change Tape recording to:
personal fb conversation
And so on.
Next, punctuate the interview in the notes and the biblio. like any other note or biblio. citation, i.e., commas to separate elements in the notes; periods to separate elements in the bibliography.Finally, use a first-line indent in the notes and a hanging indent in the bibliography.
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 ACC Library link to Turabian 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 source. 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. Thank you!
The Topic Page will receive a maximum of 10 points. Recognize that a Topic Page rife with misspellings and grammatical errors will NOT be considered acceptable. Any Topic Page that does NOT conform to the Format and Documentation specifications above will NOT be accepted. If you submit your Topic 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 Topic Page that is NOT submitted by the deadline listed in the Course Schedule will NOT be accepted.
ALL ASSIGNMENTS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN THE BEGINNING OF CLASS ON THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE;
STUDENTS WHO DO NOT SELECT A RESPONDENT BY THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO SUBMIT A FINAL DRAFT;
STUDENTS WHO DO NOT SUBMIT A TOPIC PAGE BY THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO SUBMIT A FINAL DRAFT;
STUDENTS WHO DO NOT SUBMIT A RECORDED INTERVIEW WITH THE TOPIC PAGE BY THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO SUBMIT A FINAL DRAFT;
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;
STUDENTS WHO DO NOT SUBMIT AN OUTLINE BY THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO SUBMIT A FINAL DRAFT;
ANY FINAL DRAFT THAT IS NOT SUBMITTED BY THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
REMEMBER: ALL ASSIGNMENTS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN 11:59 PM ON THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE.
YOU MAY SUBMIT ANY OR ALL OF THE PARTS OF THE RESEARCH PROJECT ELECTRONICALLY VIA EMAIL AS A WORD DOCX OR PDF FILE.
ALL ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS MUST MEET THE FORMAT REQUIREMENTS.
IF THE ATTACHED FILE CANNOT BE VIEWED BY THE INSTRUCTOR THEN THE ASSIGNMENT WILL BE MARKED “NOT ACCEPTED.”
The Research Project has several components. Please see the Course Schedule for the dates by which you must submit your: Respondent, Recorded Interview, Topic Page, Annotated Bibliography, Outline, and Final Draft.
© David Marcus Lauderback, 2023 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED