Research Paper - Scarsdale Union Free School District

AT US History
Research Paper
Research Paper
Assignment: Write a 10-15 page research paper on some aspect of THE POST WORLD
WAR II (1945 to 1960).
Step 1: Indentify a topic
Due: March 3, 2015
This step is more difficult than it seems. First, pick a general area of interest and carry
out some initial reading and inquiry. Then, attempt to narrow your topic to a subject that
you can attempt to tackle in a 8-10 page paper. Finally, generate some potential
questions that you may want to explore. Feel free to meet with me throughout this
process so that I can help you frame your ideas.
Step 2: Research Notes and literature review
Part I - Due - Monday - March 16, 2015
Part II - Final - Due - March 30, 2015
Once you have determined your topic, you will be completing two different kinds of
Research on the “story” of your topic – Before you begin your analysis, you need to
develop a sense of the “story” of you topic. The purpose of this part of your research is
to determine the timeline of your topic and the important players and their ideas. To do
this, consult the following kinds of sources:
 Brinkley
 Discovering Collection
 Gale: US History
 Howard Zinn - A People's History of the United States
 Reference books in the library
 Primary sources
To take notes on this information, we will not be using note cards. Instead, you will be
developing your own system to type and code your notes. I like working with one source
at a time by creating an outline for each source with a bibliography and page numbers. If
this system works for you, use it, if you prefer another system, use that. What is
important is that your notes are typed and that I can read and understand them.
Literature Review - Another component of your research is to complete a formal review
of the literature on your topic. The purpose of a literature review is to learn what
historians have already written about your topic and to see where your question fits into
their conversation. For the purposes of this assignment, this will be primarily limited to
secondary sources. To complete your literature review, follow these steps:
 Locate significant journals that discuss your topic
o JSTOR is a great place to do this kind of research
 Prepare a cover sheet for each journal. This cover sheet should contain a
bibliography, thesis, and supporting evidence and should be approximately one
page per article.
o You should complete this process for 5-8 articles
 Write a 1-2 page paper that summarizes the positions of those articles, giving
credit to each author, and then explains what you want to explore in your research
paper and how that is different from what historians have already said about your
Step 4: Outline
Due: Friday, April 17, 2015
After you have completed your research and literature review, you should have a fairly
clear sense of what you want to write about. It is at this point that you need to prepare an
outline. Your outline needs to include the following:
 Your topic
 Your question
 Thesis statement
 Topic sentences
 Supporting arguments (each with an appropriate citation)
 Bibliography (should have approximately 10 sources)
Step 5: Final Paper
Due: Friday, April 24, 2015
Your final paper should be no longer than 12 pages and will include the following:
 Introduction (approximately 4 pages)
o “Story” of your topic
o Modified literature review
o Thesis
 Your argument (approximately 6 pages)
 Conclusion
 Bibliography