Hist156 week 1
The discovery of the Americas and its colonization were spurred by many factors in Europe. What were 2 of those factors that helped push Europeans to explore the world, and ultimately colonize the Americas? How did this impact populations already existent in the “new world’?
Hist156 week 2
How did the economies of the various colonies impact the cultural and societal development? (think Agriculture vs Industry).
Hist156 week 3
How important were acts of civil disobedience and sabotage to the American independence movement? (Think of the Boston Tea Party among others).
Hist156 week 4
Why did the newly independent United States reject a “monarchy” in favor of a Republic? What were the strengths and weaknesses of each?
Hist156 week 5
How did the new American Republic treat Indigenous Americans? Was it fair? How would you have done it different had you been president during this time?
Hist156 week 6
What was the idea of “Manifest Destiny”? How would you define it? How did this idea lead to the U.S. to expand in the 19th century? Are there any elements of this Manifest Destiny at work in US Foreign Policy today?
Hist156 week 7
John Brown is often described as a terrorist. Do you agree with this description? Why or why not? What attributes might make him fit this profile? What were the larger implications of his actions to the Abolitionist movement?
Hist156 week 8
Could the differences between the North and South have been worked out in late 1860 and 1861? Could war have been avoided? Provide evidence to support your answer.
Research Project: Introduction and Topic Approval
Where do historians get the information that they use when they write about events from the past? Primary sources, such as official records, letters (official and personal), diaries, newspaper articles, photos, posters, cartoons and more are created at the time the events took place by people involved in them. Historians also get information from secondary sources—books, articles, and Web sites about topics in history.
Historians love to research – name the topic, just about any topic. It’s all history, in the end, right? So, for this class you’ll have a research project designed to help you learn about sources and resources available to you. Take the time to read through it and then note the due dates for each assignment in the Course Schedule.
NB: There is no paper at the end of this project – your focus is on learning about three types of sources, how to find them, and how to evaluate them.
As this project is one you’ll be living with for the term, you should find a topic that interests you before setting out on the project itself.
You need to have your topic approved by your instructor – post your proposed topic to the assignment folder labeled Research Topic Proposal (see Class & Assignments Schedule in the syllabus for the due date). Your instructor will provide feedback on your topic.
The topic must be of something related to U.S. History from the Colonial Era through the Civil War. It might be a person or event or idea that you want to learn more about. My suggestion is that you think about a topic that is related to your area of study at . You can skim through the Learning Resources section of each week under Content in our LEO class site to get some ideas. Following are some ideas but they are by no means the only ones – just some to get you started with:
- Joint Stock Colonies
- Lewis and Clark Expedition – pay attention to their account books/journals
- Lowell Factory Movement (before the Civil War)
- Native American land use practices v English Colonial methods
- Lewis and Clark Expedition
- Salem Witch Trials
- Indentured Servitude
- Dorothea Dix
- School in the Colonial Era
- Education and the New Nation
- Thomas Jefferson on Education
- Education for Girls
- Horace Mann
- Colonial Militias
- French and Indian War
- Revolutionary War
- War of 1812
- Mexican-American War
- Civil War
- The Revolutionary War and New Nation: Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Constitution, Bill of Rights
- Secession: Virginia/Kentucky Resolves, Hartford Convention, Nullification, Civil War
- Constitutional Interpretation: Strict v Loose
- John Marshall and the Supreme Court: Judicial Review
- Abigail Adams
- Sojourner Truth
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott
- Seneca Falls Convention
- Colonial Era
- Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence
- The Constitution
- Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Lloyd Garrison, David Ruggles, Frederick Douglass
- Abolition and Women’s Rights
There are four graded parts to this assignment:
- Secrets of My Research Success
- Web Site Evaluation
- Scholarly Article Review
- Primary Source Analysis
As you submit each part of the assignment, include a cover sheet that contains the following information:
- Research Project Title/Topic
- Your name
- Your class and section number
Web Site Evaluation Assignment (15% of the final grade)
Prepping to do the assignment
There is a great deal of information available on the web and you can do much of your research from your computer. However, not everything on the web is suitable for academic research. This assignment will help you evaluate web sites that you find on the free web.
Before you start your Web Site Evaluation assignment, , read the Library guidelines for evaluating Web resources, “Is My Source Credible,” to determine whether the contents are of high quality and acceptable for college-level academic research: http://www..edu/library/libhow/webresources.cfm and then view their video “Evaluating Web sites”:
Welcome to this Information and Library Services Tutorial on evaluating Web sites. In this tutorial, you will learn how to determine whether a Web site contains trustworthy information that is appropriate for college level research.
Many Web sites contain trustworthy information that is appropriate to use in college-level research. But because no one regulates information placed on the Web, there are also Web sites that you would not want to use in a research paper: Web sites, for example, with out-of-date, inaccurate or biased information.
Here are some questions you can ask that will help you critically evaluate information you find on the Web:
- Who is the author of the Web site?
- Does the Web site present information that is biased, one-sided?
- Does the Web site present accurate information?
- Is the Web site current enough for your research topic?
This tutorial will explore those questions in more detail.
When evaluating a Web site, ask yourself, who has written the Web site content? Are the author’s credentials given? Think about the author’s expertise and credibility. Knowing who wrote the content can help you determine the Web site’s trustworthiness.
You may find an author whose credentials are not given on the Web site. When that happens, use Google or another search engine to see if you can find information on the author elsewhere on the Web.
Frequently, an organization can be considered the author of a Web site. For example, the author of a Web site might be a business, a professional association or a government agency. You can usually find a link on an organization’s Web site that provides information about the organization—its activities, mission, leadership and so on. Learning about the organization can help you judge the credibility of the information on the organization’s Web site.
When evaluating a Web site, also ask yourself, does the Web site present information that is objective and neutral as possible, or is the Web site presenting biased, one-sided information? Depending on your research project, it may be appropriate for you to use biased information.
For example, if you are presenting both sides of an argument in a pro/con essay about the chemical industry and environmental groups, you could cite information from a chemical industry association and from environmental activists. But you need to be aware of possible bias in a Web site and use—or not use—that Web site accordingly.
When evaluating a Web site, you should also ask, is the information on the Web site accurate? Compare the information on the Web site with knowledge you have gained from other sources in the course of your research, to see if the Web site contains errors. For example, you might compare the information in a Web site with scholarly articles you have read in library databases, with reference books and so on. Also, does the Web site give sources for the information it presents, sources you can look up and verify?
Timeliness is another important factor, especially if you are researching a subject in which knowledge can change rapidly, like health and medicine, business or technology. Does the Web site date its information? If so, is the information is current enough for the topic you are researching?
You can find trustworthy, useful information on all types of Web sites: commercial Web sites, organization, government, education Web sites and so on. But no matter what kind of Web site you are using, you must critically evaluate the information it contains.
At our library Web site, you can find more information on evaluating Web resources. And, if you have any questions about your research, please contact us via Ask a Librarian.
Web Site Evaluation Assignment Instructions
Using a search engine of your choice (e.g., Google or Bing), find two (2) Web sites that are acceptable for college-level academic research and contain information related to your research topic. Please note that for this assignment, you may not use any of the following types of sites:
- library databases (may use for other parts of the research project – but not the second graded assignment)
- Wikipedia or any other wiki site (do not use for any part of the research project)
- Sites that require a subscription (do not use for any part of the research project)
For each web site that you present, provide the following:
- A complete bibliographic entry (as you would include it in your bibliography) for the site, including the URL and your date of access. You should note that the required style for this class is Chicago Humanities Style (notthe author/date variant). The Effective Writing Center created a short overview on using Chicago Humanities Style called “Brief Guide to Citing Sources in Chicago Humanities Style.” It includes a list of sources formatted in this style. The examples labeled N=footnote/endnote format and those labeled B=bibliographic entry. A copy of this guide is located n the Writing Resources section of Course Resources under Content of this LEO class site.
- Write several paragraphs in which you include the following:
- Describe the contents/purpose of the web site
- Explain how the site relates to your research topic or what you found on the site that relates to your topic
- Explain in detail how and why you determined the site is acceptable for use in an academic research paper
The following course outcomes apply to this assignment:
- Locate, organize, evaluate, and use primary and secondary sources to describe U.S. historical events
- Bring a logical and informed U.S. historical perspective to discussions of potentially controversial issues related to diversity
|Primary Source Analysis Assignment (15% of final grade)
Prepping to do the Assignment
OK, so what is a primary source? It can be defined as anything created by someone involved in an event, about the event. For example, it could be a diary or a picture. These are the raw bits of history and we use them to understand the people and events under study. Here are resources to help you prepare for this assignment:
What Are Primary Sources?
Finding Primary Sources
How to Cite Primary Sources
How do I Analyze Primary Sources?
National Archives: Primary Source Analysis Worksheets
Primary Source Analysis Instructions
Find two (2) primary sources (any type for which there is an analysis worksheet) on your chosen topic. There are a number of web sites such as those of the Library of Congress and the National Archives that contain digitized copies of primary sources that you may use. Please use copies of the primary source – not a transcription – you want to see it as it looked when created/used.
For each primary source you find, create a separate entry that includes all of the following information:
Submit your work as a Word doc attachment in the assignment folder.
Artifact (1).docx (15.71 KB)
Cartoon (1).docx (15.26 KB)
Map (1).docx (19.88 KB)
Poster (1).docx (15.29 KB)
Written Document (2).docx (18.6 KB)
Photo or Painting (1).docx (14.77 KB)