Project: The student will be responsible for choosing an event in American History approved by the instructor and create an argument on its significance using historical evidence of at least one primary and one secondary source. The student will also analyze and interpret the primary and secondary sources by explaining how the material impacted the chosen event. (Learning Objectives 2 and 3)
The LIFE history project is an opportunity for you to explore a topic, group, event, or time period that interests you the most as found in the LIFE Magazine archive on Google Books. The goal of this history project is two-fold: first, it gives you an opportunity to explore a topic of your choice in more depth. Secondly, this project gives us a chance to dig deeper to truly understand events in American History beyond the textbook as Americans experienced it. Below are the instructions for our project. If you have any questions, please let me know.
1. Explore the LIFE Magazine archive in Google Books. Choose a topic from the magazine to conduct your research on – keep in mind that it needs to be American History focused and must be within the time frame of this course. You can select a topic from anywhere in the magazines – the images, articles, advertisements, etc. You’ll need to specifically reference your LIFE Magazine selection in the beginning of your paper so that I can find it (Be specific about where you’ve found it). The goal here is to pick a topic by reading through a magazine through the eyes of someone in the past. What better way to do so than to read the same magazines that people read almost 80+ years ago!
2. Watch the videos in this YouTube playlist on the types of sources, how to conduct historical research, and how to analyze documents. These videos should guide you through the process of locating academically credible documents and sources.
3. Conduct the research – you need to locate at least one primary and one secondary source directly related to your topic. You must ensure that your sources meet the criteria for primary\secondary sources and that they pass the C.R.A.P. test. Both of these sources are in addition to the LIFE Magazine article you’ve chosen in step one.
4. Analyze your chosen documents using the skills highlighted in the Historical Thinking, Sourcing, and Historical Context videos from the playlist.
5. Write up your project according to the following criteria:
Write a 500 -1000 word (overall) synthesis of your topic and sources.
Your analysis should begin with a brief overview or summarization of your chosen topic (be sure to specifically reference where you found your topic from the LIFE Magazine archive).
Next, you will provide a description and analysis of each of your sources.
Lastly, you’ll need to corroborate all of your chosen sources and discuss how they relate or add information\perspective to your topic. Specifically, I am asking you to evaluate your sources in the context of the topic (i.e. Why is your primary source important to research being conducted on your topic? What do each of these sources do for us in terms of research?)
You will be submitting your project through SafeAssign. As usual, I expect formal, academic writing free from grammatical and spelling errors. You will also need to formally cite the sources you use at the end of your project through a Bibliography\Works Cited.
Note: Keep in mind that this is not a traditional paper. You can’t summarize a topic and get full points. I am looking to see that you can write critically about the sources you have found. I know that this assignment type is a bit unconventional and that knowing what\how to write may be confusing. So, I am sharing a project outline I built with one of my classes last spring that can guide you if you’re struggling. You do not have to use this structure but I do recommend that you at least review it.
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