COURSE PAPER: This exercise will correspond to the material covered in the course. There are three stages assignments with deadlines:
1) The student will select a topic within the boundary of the theme of this course no later than [PLACE DATE HERE] [submit this 10 point assignment by using the link provided in Module 2].
2) A progress report, worth 30 points, is due [PLACE DATE HERE] consisting of a list of potential sources, tentative outline, and a statement of purpose [link in Module 4].
3) Final version of the paper, worth 200 points, is due on Monday [PLACE DATE HERE]. Upload the course paper through the Assignments link in Module 8.
Overview of the assignment:
o Students are required to write a minimum of full 5 pages; please keep the essay to no more than 6 pages. Format: APA or MLA; doubled-spaced, typed, font in Times New Roman or Arial, size 12. 1-inch margins all around. Written work for this course is to be submitted only in either Microsoft Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf). Cover and sources pages do not constitute numbered pages.
o If having difficulty selecting an appropriate topic, a list of possible subjects for the paper can be found under Course Resources: Research Paper Instructions. These are only suggestions; students are by no means required to choose a topic from this list.
o This project will require fieldwork using the library, the Internet, etc. Sources must be cited.
o Why a paper? Students will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of historical inquiry and writing. Reading is a significant part of any historical project. After selecting a topic, the student must include at least four sources; two must be primary sources (diaries, speeches, autobiographies, royal decrees, etc.) on which they will base the paper. Please do not cite the textbook and online encyclopedias Wikipedia, Britannica, and general information sites (such as ask.com or about.com). It is advisable to avoid using web sites that end in the suffixes .com, .org or .net altogether (conversely those ending in .gov or .edu are more acceptable). It is strongly recommended that students make use of academic history books available in your local public library system and articles, government documents, newspapers, and magazines accessible through Ivy Tech Librarys Discover! (Links to an external site.)
o Consider this project as an important reflection of ones expertise and interest in the topic.
o Ultimately each student is responsible to submit a clear, concise and well-organized essay free of spelling and grammatical errors.
o Guidelines on how to organize the paper are located in Course Resources – Research Paper Instructions.
Survey of U.S. History (HIST101)
Written Assignment Guidelines
Guidelines – Remember:
You are writing about the past, use the proper tense
o Do not, as modeled by CNN and other media, use the present tense to write about the past
Do not use contractions: Cant for can not, wont for will not, etc.
Do not write in the first person (I will write about; We now believe)
Do not hedge, i.e. It seems that or It appears that Be resolute, take a firm stand and support it with facts and details
All essays will have an Introduction, Body and Conclusion
o Use the formula:
Tell what you are going tell
Tell what you told
IMPORTANT: Size does not equate with importance. Do not write: One big thing about the Renaissance was the development of Humanism. Big does not mean important. Use an accurate word to describe what you are writing. For example:
One of the major developments of the Renaissance was Humanism.
One important development of the Renaissance was Humanism.
One central development of the Renaissance was Humanism.
Do not use big, huge, giant, colossal
Instead write: important, central, or major
You will lose points for not complying with any of these (above or below) guidelines. You will be graded on:
The accuracy of your facts
Grammar and spelling
Adherence to assignment instructions
Length of submission
Adherence to the standards of formatting
o Normal font size is 12 pt.
o Normal parameters for margins are the standard margins
o Standard fonts are to used: Palatino, New Times Roman are most preferred
o Do not use boldface anywhere except the title page
You must submit by uploading your work through the link(s) provided by your instructor.
All papers must be double-spaced (for face-to-face sections no handwritten submissions)
Each submission must have a title page that includes
o Assignment title
o Your name
o Your section number (for face-to-face sections add day and time)
o Date of the submission
Begin your essay at the top of the first page
Do not use paragraph headings or number to denote subject changes
Do not skip lines between paragraphs, that is, do not put 4 lines between paragraphs instead of the standard double-spacing
This is a formal academic essay. Write it as such. This is not your typical conversation style English class essay from high school or some social media activity. Everything you set down in writing you must be able to prove. Be specific when describing events or developments. Use all the details that can possibly be included to more accurately describe what you are discussing in your essay.
The Instructor reserves the right to make changes to these parameters if necessary
The Instructor reserves the right to use the resources of the College to check student work for plagiarism
Students shall adhere to the laws governing the use of copyrighted materials. They must ensure that their activities comply with fair use and in no way infringe on the copyright or other proprietary rights of others and that the materials used and developed at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana contain nothing unlawful, unethical or libelous, and do not constitute and violations of any right of privacy
Writing an Essay
An essay is not simply a list of facts. You must organize the facts into themes which support a central argument or thesis. This thesis should be introduced in the beginning of the paper and developed throughout the paper one step at a time. The stronger your thesis, the easier it will be for you to develop a strong argument. Use an outline to organize your thoughts in a clear, coherent and logical manner and to guide you in writing the essay. Organizationally, the essay has three main parts:
1. Introduction. Use the introduction to state your thesis, outline the main points you will make in the essay/paper, and describe the conclusions which you will draw in the essay. Essays are not mystery papers; the reader should know from the beginning what your conclusions are. Use the introduction to draw the reader into the essay. Often it is easier to write your introduction last, after you clearly know what arguments you develop in the essay.
2. Body. The body is the bulk of your paper, the place where you present your facts and develop your thoughts and arguments. The body can be developed chronologically, thematically, geographically, or in any number of ways, but you must make it clear how you are approaching and organizing the material. While you write the essay, keep in mind the following points:
o Write in paragraphs. Each paragraph is a unit of thought limited to one major idea. Each paragraph should relate to and support your thesis or central argument. Use specific and concrete examples to support your general statements. Be sure your facts are correct and that they support your argument.
o Use good grammar. This includes writing in complete sentences, using past tense instead of present tense when appropriate, using active verbs instead of passive ones, varying your vocabulary, and avoiding sexist language (i.e.–don’t use the generic “he” or talk about the history of man when you mean the history of humans or people). If you have taken an English composition class, bring those skills into your essay.
o Write analytically, not descriptively. Do not just explain what happened, but also try to explain why it happened and why it is significant. Facts are important, but without interpretation they become meaningless.
o I am not looking for any “correct” answers. Rather, it is more important that you are able to use the material to develop an argument supporting your viewpoint.
o You will be rewarded for independent and original thought. Don’t be afraid to give your opinions and interpretations of the material (this is your thesis!). Be critical of your readings and the lectures. Look for new ways of approaching the material. When you disagree with an author’s views, say so.
o Be creative. Make your essay interesting to read. Don’t assume that your instructor will know everything there is to know on your topic. Write as if you are teaching someone something that is new and interesting. This will automatically make your paper a better one.
3. Conclusion. The conclusion can be as simple as a restatement of your introduction. It should emphasize your thesis, and briefly summarize how you have proven it in the body of the paper. In this way, your paper is cyclical–you end up where you started. You can also use the conclusion to state your own interpretations, to assess and argue with the material you have read, and to point to gaps in our historical knowledge.
If your assignment is to write a five-six page paper, you may find it most useful to follow the nine-paragraph model where the first two paragraphs constitute the introduction, the next six form the body, and the final two paragraphs as the conclusion. The introduction and conclusion frame your essay, and the body presents the information necessary to support your thesis. Each of the six paragraphs should concern one specific issue which supports your main argument. For example, if your assignment is to write a paper on the consequences of the American War for Independence, these six paragraphs might touch on social, economic, and political aspects which demonstrate that Independence resulted in either profound or minimal changes (your thesis). This format, of course, can be modified as necessary to meet the specific needs of your topic. If you are writing a 20-page research paper, the introduction might be several paragraphs long. If your assignment is to write a three-page paper, follow the five-paragraph model where the first paragraph is the introduction, the next three form the body, and the final paragraph is the conclusion.
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