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HIS 109: History of the U.S. since 1865

Assignment Details

Topic: The topic of this research paper will be determined by your interests. It can be anything connected to American history from Reconstruction to Present day. It has to be a relatively narrow topic with an argument. 

Structure: The structure of this paper will be typical of an essay:

  • Introduction with a specific and argumentative thesis (3-4 points)
  • Body paragraphs (supporting the thesis)
  • Conclusion

Style and Format: This paper should be about 5-7 pages long, typed, double spaced and must follow the format and style requirements listed below.

  • Margins 1”, font size 12, font must be Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman ONLY
  • Must contain your name, the title and the assignment name
  • No first person (I, my, we) or second person (you) unless otherwise instructed
  • Numbers (unless they are dates) must be spelled out
  • Citations-There must be footnotes and a bibliography in Chicago style (there is a handout on Blackboard on Chicago style).

Sources:

For this paper you are required to incorporate both primary and secondary sources:

Minimum of 5 sources, including:

  • Minimum of 2 primary sources
  • Minimum of 3 scholarly secondary sources

*****You may only use scholarly sources such as books and journal articles

(no Wikipedia, no websites).

If you do not use the appropriate sources you will be penalized. Sources must be cited in footnotes according to Chicago Style (see handout on Blackboard for examples of Chicago Style). You must also include a bibliography. You cannot use your textbook as a source.

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Library Tutorials

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Citation and Style Guides

Here you will find information on how to properly utilize the two citation styles used within Gateway classes, as well as example papers and other related resources.

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Research databases
 
***Adapted from Ashford University***

State your topic

Your topic is the essential idea of your paper. It is usually a few words or a phrase that summarizes the subject of your paper. For your thesis statement, try to make your topic as specific as possible.

State your main idea about this topic

What are you trying to state or prove about your topic? What are you trying to persuade the reader to believe? When stating your opinion, be sure to:

  • express one major ideal
  • name the topic and assert something specific about it
  • take a stance on an issue that you can support with facts and reasons.
  • state your position on or opinion about the issue.

Give a reason that supports your main idea

Write your reason as a clear statement. Be sure that you can support this reason with logical facts and evidence.

Give another reason that supports your main idea

Write your reason as a clear statement. Be sure that you can support this reason with logical facts and evidence.

Give one more reason that supports your main idea

Tell us one reason that supports your opinion. Write your reason as a clear statement. Be sure that you can support this reason with logical facts and evidence.

Include an opposing viewpoint to your main idea, if applicable

A good thesis statement acknowledges that there is always another side to the argument. So, include an opposing viewpoint (a counterargument) to your opinion. Basically, write down what a person who disagrees with your position might say about your topic.



 

Click the button to generate your thesis statement!

 

 

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library
San José State University

Reading, writing and researching history