For this project, you will be learning how to access, assess, store, and use information for a variety of purposes, such as researching to learn more about the activities of writing and participating in academic discourse communities. Of course, you will also be learning more about American history!
Since LC E's focus is on United States history before reconstruction, your research focus must fit this time period and location. A word to the wise: since this project will coincide with Exams 2 & 3, you'd be wise to consider a topic post-American Revolution. If you do so, your area of research will likely be included in one of the last two history exams.
Select one of the broad 5 key ideas listed above, and then narrow this topic to a specific research focus. Conversely, you may wish to identify a topic you're interested in and see how it "fits" into one of the above key ideas.
For example, if I chose "Power & Oppression," I might choose to research the removal of the Cherokee. If I chose the XYZ Affair, I would determine that this issue fits under the theme of "Equality, Liberty & Order." Your research topic must be approved by your LC E instructors.
Make sure you peruse Prof. Marquez's WP 2 Topics List! Many of these research ideas ask you to examine often marginalized voices in American History. Their stories are fascinating!
Explore several topics before you decide to commit. You're going to be researching and writing about this historical issue for the rest of the semester!
Use the LC E Library Guide. Keep track of all the articles you consider by maintaining a Research Log. How you keep track of your sources is up to you, but you'll need to provide evidence of this in your final Research Journal. You will also be asked to submit your research log periodically in order to receive feedback. As you conduct research, it is imperative that you locate sources that represent differing perspectives on your topic.
Identify multiple critical perspectives on your topic, then choose articles that you think best represent each perspective. Additionally, you'll be required to locate primary source documents and research ways in which your historical topic connects to current events or issues. You'll be required to demonstrate an important piece of writing that "went out into the world and made something happen" as it relates to your topic.
Next, you'll write three Source Reviews in which your thoroughly analyze three specific sources. The three sources you review must include:
You will submit some Source Reviews for feedback from your instructors. All of the revised & polished Source Reviews will be due with your final Research Journal.
Write a reflection in which you discuss your research process and evolution. Questions to consider as you compose this reflection:
Follow MLA conventions in formatting your essay.
Print out the following components and put them in a folder to submit your Researching to Learn Project
Your group will present your research to the LC E community, and also during the First Year Symposium on December 1. In order to do this, as a group, you will collate your various research interests and collaborate to write a Group Research Proposal that will outline a multi-modal research presentation on some aspect of your topics. You should be clear about how each of your topics connects to the broad theme you've identified (Equality, Liberty & Order, War, etc.), and to modern day issues. You will also use this research to compose Writing Project 3: The Genre Project in which you will relate your historical research to a modern day issue or problem.