Your topic MUST be the one that was approved by your instructor in Week 3.
A Short Paper Assignment allows you, early in the course, to demonstrate your research skills to your instructor and to receive feedback that will benefit you when you write research papers for future courses. With this assignment, you will learn how to do proper research and write a short paper.
You are allowed to choose your own topic, as long as it fits the the subject and time period of this course – American history from the colonial period to 1877. This means no papers on Hitler or the Holocaust, or Ronald Reagan, or anything else that is outside either the course time frame or subject area. If you are uncertain whether your chosen subject is appropriate for this paper, please contact your instructor for clarification. This is your opportunity to look a little deeper at a subject that interests you. Note that the subject for this paper must be different than the one from your first paper.
This short paper must be a minimum of three complete double-spaced pages of text [Times New Roman, font size 12], exclusive of the title page, bibliography, and other end matter. You must consult a minimum of two academically credible sources. Please note that Wikipedia, History.com, Biography.com, encyclopedias, and the course textbook are NOT scholarly sources for the purpose of this assignment. A very useful way to find scholarly sources is to use Google Scholar as a search engine. This limits your results to only those from peer reviewed scholarly journals and books. Your bibliography and citations may be in APA, MLA, or Chicago Style format. Students majoring in history must use Chicago Style format.
The short paper needs to be turned in through the assignment section for grading. If you use any of the information from your sources word-for-word, you must cite the source by using endnotes, footnotes, or parenthetical citations. If you read the information and write it in your own words and it is not common knowledge, then you must cite the source because you are paraphrasing someone’s information.
If you are uncertain about the necessary formatting for whichever writing style you are using, be sure to check with the online library, which has copies of the various style manuals you can use.
The short paper must include a cover / title page with your name, course number and course title, instructor’s name, and date. The title page should also include a brief title describing your paper subject, so that the Instructor has an idea what you are writing about. Use “Insert – Page Break” after the title page text to ensure that the main body text begins at the top of a new page. Different programs can interpret line spacing very differently, causing all sorts of formatting issues. It is a good idea to keep your title page text clustered near the center of the title page – text near the bottom can sometimes wander onto the first page of main text, or push the Page Break onto the next page, leaving a blank page.
You must also include a bibliography at the end of your paper. Again, use “Page Break” after your main text to ensure that your bibliography begins at the top of a new page. While composing your paper, use proper English. Bibliographic entries need to follow some important format guidelines. Entries should be single spaced, with a line space between entries, and have any line after the first indented from the left margin. Book and Journal titles should be in italics, while article titles should be in quote marks.
Do not use abbreviations, contractions, informal language, passive voice, or first/ second person [I, you, we, our, etc]. Before submitting your paper, check your grammar and use spell check. Remember, the way you talk is not the way you write a paper. Please label your paper as follows: lastnamefirstnameHIST102ShortPaper.