“If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.”
Your second project in this course is to complete a historical context and introduction project. The work you did on the Topic Exploration Worksheet in Theme 1 will directly support your work on this project as well as your third longer term project—the multimedia presentation—due in Theme 4.
One of the prime benefits of studying history is that it allows us to learn about who we are and where we came from. The people and events of the past can often shed light on the conditions and social norms of the present. Having historical awareness can inform various aspects of your life as well as future aspirations. Learning from past failures and successes can shape ideals and values for years to come.
This is your second longer-term project designed to help you understand the fundamental processes and value of studying history. In the first project, you completed the Topic Exploration Worksheet on one of the topics or themes from the library guide. You investigated the types of research you might need to do to learn more about the topic and developed research questions. In Project 2, you will use your completed Topic Exploration Worksheet to explore the historical context and develop an introduction. You will choose one of your research questions and do some secondary source research, speculate on primary source needs, and use the information to write the introduction and thesis statement for a possible research paper. (You will not write the entire paper— only the introduction.) In the third project, you will create a multimedia presentation that explores both major developments in historical inquiry and the value of examining history.
This research plan and introduction assignment will assess the following course outcome, which you focused on throughout Theme 3:
Determine fundamental approaches to studying history in addressing questions about how events are shaped by their larger historical context
In this project, you will write the introductory paragraph of a history paper based on one of the questions you identified in your topic exploration worksheet. To do this, however, you must first find out a bit more information about your topic and draft a research plan. This will allow you to transform your question about your topic into a thesis statement, as well as give you the background information you will need to craft an interesting introductory paragraph. You will not write the entire paper, just the introduction to the paper that concludes with a thesis statement. The following critical elements will be assessed in a Word document that combines both your research plan (Critical Elements I and II) and your introduction (Critical Element III).
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
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