Annotated Bibliography with Research Paper
Was the Underground Railroad effective in assisting slaves in escaping?
Annotated Bibliography
For the Annotated Bibliography assignment, you are expected to find at least 3 scholarly sources (from the CTC library or other scholarly databases and not casual web
searches with at least 1 source being a primary source).
These should include journal articles from such journals as:
-The Journal of American History
-The William and Mary Quarterly
-Journal of Women���s History
-Journal of Early American History, etc.
The annotated bibliography must include the following elements
An identification of your thesis (what do you intend to prove?)
A properly formatted citation in either APA or Turabian style for each source
A BRIEF summary of the source (what does it argue?)
An explanation on how you specifically will use the source to support your thesis (what information contained within will help you prove your point?)
Sources selected should ALL contain some information to prove the thesis. Sources that provide “background” information should *not* be included.
The goal of the annotated bibliography is to develop, prior to the drafting of the research paper, the foundation necessary to draft a proper thesis-driven essay.
Research Paper
The core assignment of this course is a documented research paper (1500-2000 words in length = approx. 3 – 4 pages double spaced, 12-point font).
The paper should support a thesis statement with information gained from research or investigation.
The paper will not be just a report presenting information, but will be a paper that carefully examines and presents your own historical interpretation of the topic
you have chosen and your interpretation of the information you have gathered.
The paper may include consideration of problems and solutions, define key terms, or refute arguments against your thesis statement.
It will be IMPORTANT to choose a topic of interest to you.
Approach this assignment with an open and skeptical mind, then form an opinion based on what you have discovered.
You must suspend belief while you are investigating and let the discoveries shape your opinion. (This is a thesis-finding approach.)
Once you have found your thesis, write the paper to support it.
You will use some of the following critical thinking skills in this process:
Choosing an appropriate topic, limiting the topic
Gathering information, summarizing sources
Analyzing and evaluating sources
Defining key terms
Synthesizing information, comparing and contrasting sources
Testing a thesis, making a historical argument, using refutation
Amassing support for a position
Documenting sources
Because this may be a longer paper than you have written before and a complex process is involved, it is recommended that you complete this paper using the following
Choose a topic from the list of preselected topics related to U.S. History up to 1877 (Chapters 1-15) that you would truly like to explore and that you are willing to
spend some time on. Your chosen topic should be focused. Choose a question that you really want to answer. You may want to begin with more than one topic in mind.
Do some preliminary reading on the topic(s). You may begin with the textbook, then further explore the information available. Refine your topic. Summarize your topic,
your interest in the topic, the questions you want to answer, and a hypothesis you want to test.
Gather information from a variety of sources. Use a minimum of three sources for your paper, and at least one must be a primary source.
Examples of primary sources are ones that are used in our discussion forums 2 – 8.
They are sources that are contemporary to the times under investigation.
An example of a secondary source is our textbook, though the textbook also contains excerpts of primary sources, which you may use as a source in your paper.
Outline the results of your research and the plan for your paper (you are not required to submit the outline).
Write the final draft and be sure to cite your work in either APA or Turabian (Chicago Manual of Style). Footnotes are preferred.
The essay must include the following elements:
1. An introduction with a clear and concise thesis statement that identifies exactly what the essay will prove (not a question)
2. At least 3 support paragraphs that utilize sources and provide evidence that supports the thesis
3. Proper source paraphrasing (sources are used for evidence without direct quotes)
4. Citations (APA or Turabian/Chicago Manual of Style)
5. No misspellings or major grammatical issues with a professional tone (there should not be a casual tone and no personal references)


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