2) So I go to HYPERLINK “http://www.yahoo.com” www.yahoo.com and type in “on this day in history February 19.”
3) Yahoo returns 213,000,000 sites. I look at the first couple of sites and come up with topics including:
1878 Thomas Alva Edison patents the gramophone (phonograph)
1913 1st prize inserted into a Cracker Jack box
1920 Netherlands joins League of Nations
1845: The Congress of the Republic of Texas agrees to join the United States, following the wishes of the republic's leading figure, Sam Houston
1945: United States Marines storm the island of Iwo Jima. Nearly 60,000 marines went ashore the eight-square-mile volcanic island
4) These are only a few, but which could I choose? Well, one is dated 1845, so that is out. I love Cracker Jacks, but I don’t think that I could write three pages on that. The other three are all good. Although you may question the one about the Netherlands joining the League of Nations, I could write about that since the United States was also a part of the League of Nations, and I could build on that. I would probably pick the last one and start my paper with that specific event, but then broaden the body of my paper out to discuss Iwo Jima’s impact on the bigger picture of World War II in American history.
SO I HAVE A TOPIC, NOW WHAT?
Every good paper has three important parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.
Introduction: Your introduction should be a rather short, but concise paragraph that introduces your reader to your topic. The intro and conclusion are good places to make this paper YOUR paper! Start your paper by stating your topic. I would start by stating to the reader your date, and then your topic. Feel free to tell me what you already know or don’t know about your topic. The introduction is your chance to make it your paper! Don’t forget to come up with an interesting title!
Body: Since this is a history paper, the body needs to be your words, but backed up or full of historical facts. Use the body of the paper to dive into the research for your topic. The body is where you bring out your research from your sources and provide your own interpretation (put it in your words). The body of your paper will be comprised of numerous paragraphs that present your findings from your sources. As in any good paper, the body will be your summation of your findings, which will flow and tell a story to the reader.
Conclusion: Sum up your paper and your findings. For the conclusion, personalize your paper once again. Tell the reader why you think that this topic is important to American history, or tell the reader what impact your date in history has had on American society or culture.
As stated in your syllabus under the section titled “Writing Assignments,” your paper needs to be a full three pages of text (minimum), typed, double spaced, 12 point/Times New Roman font (which is the default in Microsoft Word), and needs to have one(1) inch margins on all sides.
You need a minimum of three sources for this paper, and you can definitely use your textbook as well as internet sources.
***You CAN NOT use Wikipedia!!!
Works Cited Page: Your work cited page goes after you last page of text (therefore, your paper should be three pages minimum of text PLUS the work cited page!) Simply list your three sources. You don’t have to use MLA style of anything specific like that since we all come from different majors/backgrounds. If you’re using a book source, give me the author, title, year of publication. When you’re using a website source, give me the ENTIRE url from the webpage that you are looking at so I can go directly to that page. Here are some samples:
Roark, The American Promise, 2007.
HYPERLINK “http://www.mtsu.edu/walkerlibrary/lynchinginamerica” www.mtsu.edu/walkerlibrary/lynchinginamerica
HOW NOT TO PLAGARIZE: First, there is a difference between plagiarizing and paraphrasing. As stated in your syllabus, plagiarism is the copying of words, thoughts, and ideas of another person without using quotation marks or citing the source. Paraphrasing is when you restate, or sum up, a passage from another source in your own words. I recommend that you NEVER cut and paste any information from an internet source into your paper! I’ve had some students that cut and pasted information from websites and then simply change a few words – this is plagiarizing! Or if your paper follows the exact same “flow” as a wikipedia.com page (for example), that’s not good either. It is okay to paraphrase, but you still want to cite your source at the end of the paragraph or section.
Now some things are general knowledge and don’t need to be quoted or cited. For example we all know that America was discovered in 1492; or that President Lincoln served as president during the Civil War.
But do remember to CITE your paraphrases when you include more specific facts or information from your sources into your paper. Not to be confusing, but in the body of your paper, when you are paraphrasing from your sources, be sure to include a short citation at the end of the paragraph or section to let the reader know where you pulled that information. For example:
Ida B. Wells was born in Mississippi in 1862. After attending Shaw University, she moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1883. In 1892, three of Wells’ friends, who happened to also be African American, were murdered by a lynch mob. It was after this incident that Wells became an outspoken advocate to try and end lynching in America. ( HYPERLINK “http://www.IdaBWells.com” www.IdaBWells.com)
In the above example, which is paraphrased in my own words, I have included some very specific information that is not common knowledge – the year and place of birth of Wells; where she went to school, etc. I therefore included the source for the paraphrasing—where I found those facts. .