U.S. History Research Papers Each student will be required to

U.S. Hi sto ry R e sea rc h Pap er s
Each student will be required to prepare and turn in a formal research paper during second
semester. This paper will be worth one-third of the student's fourth quarter grade. Students
should be aware that an incomplete project (not meeting the requirements for the research
paper) will result in an automatic failure of second semester U.S. History. The research paper
will be prepared on an approved topic and thesis statement, and will contain 5-6 (7 -8 for A.P.)
typed double-spaced pages done in 12 point Times font. Margins no larger than 1 1/2 inches
on the left side of the page and 1 inch the rest of the way around the page must be used. Each
student must choose a topic, which falls historically into the period from exploration to the
present, which is directly and significantly related to U.S. History. A narrow enough topic must
be picked to allow it to be completely covered within the assigned length of the paper.
Therefore, topics like World War I or World War II are not appropriate but the assassination of
John F. Kennedy would be appropriate. No strictly biographical topics, such as Ulysses S. Grant,
will be approved. Once a topic has been selected, a question must be formulated related to the
topic and then a thesis generated based on that question. An example of a question and thesis
on the assassination of JFK topic would be: Question--Who was responsible for the assassination
of JFK? Thesis--The Warren Commission covered up facts indicating the existence of a
conspiracy of multiple assassins in the death of President John F. Kennedy. A paper on this
thesis would focus on the conspiracy theories that have been formulated about the Kennedy
assassination. Students will be required to use a minimum of five cited sources (ei ght c ite d
so urce s fo r A. P.) for the paper. None of those cited sources can be an encyclopedia of any
sort, including any on-line encyclopedia/reference information source like AOL, Prodigy,
Grolier's, Compuserve, etc. At least one of the cited sources must be a periodical and at least
one source must be a published print source. In addition, one internet site must be utilized as a
cited source. The re se a rc h pa pe r wi ll be d ue A pr il 2 0 & 2 1 ( whic heve r day a
stude nt ha s hi s or he r Hi st or y cl a ss) whet her t he stude nt is i n sc hoo l t hat d ay o r
not. It wi ll be acce pte d pr io r t o t hat dat e but und er no cir cum sta nc es a ft er t hat
date .
All of the following assignments leading up to the paper's completion are required. Each must
be completed and turned into the instructor before the next assignment in the sequence is
completed and handed in. Starred assignments(**) will be accepted, with point deduction, up to
five school days after the listed due date. After five school days, no credit will be issued for the
assignment, but it must be completed for no credit before moving on to the next assignment in
the sequence. Under no circumstances may two or more of these assignments be turned on the
same day. Re quir ed a s si gnm ent s for t hi s p a p er m ust be s ubmitte d t o t he te ac he r i n
pri nt fo rm a nd not thr o ugh e- m ail. Students with IEPs or 504 plans requiring
accommodations for this assignment must work out those accommodations in writing with their
U.S. History teacher and LD case manager before February 2. T he fi nal pa p er will not be
acce pte d for gr adi ng by t he hist o ry inst ruc tor unl e ss al l pr eli mi nary a s si gnm e nts
hav e be e n pr evi ousl y c o mp lete d a nd ha nd e d i n in a cco r da nc e wit h t he c rite ri a
cited a bove .
January 15 or 16
Preliminary topics must be signed up in History classes. No two alike
per class. Remember, no biographical topics. Parent Acknowledgement
form also due in order to sign up a topic.
January 20--23
Two class periods in the library for research/topic development.
January 22 or 23
**Preliminary topic, organizational style, listing of general ideas related
to your topic, and your thesis statement are due. (See example )
February 9 or 10
** All bibliography cards (one per source to be cited) and
all note cards from each are due. 50 note cards minimum required.
( 90 notec a rd s for A. P.) Note: All citations in your final paper will
be expected to be on the notecards you turn in. All citations will be
verified against the notecards.
February 24 or 25
**Preliminary outline for paper is due. A topic outline is expected. An
example will be provided.
March 17 or 18
**Completed rough draft due for proofreading. Citations are required in
the text and a Works Cited page is also required. Papers will be returned
to you as soon as possible, with errors marked and suggestions for
improvement made. R ough d ra fts must be ty pe d.
April 20 or 21
Final research papers are due .
These things are required to be turned in: Rough draft and Final copy,
Bibliography and note cards . Notecards must be rubber bande d
to get he r i n p ap er o rd e r. Final copy should be in the following order:
Title page
Outline (Typed in final form)
Body of paper (Typed, double-spaced, in 12 point Times)
Works Cited page (Remember, 5 required/8 for A.P.)
Bibliography page (if you want to impress your teacher with all the
research you did, but then didn't use)
Obtain a pocket folder in which to place the paper and other items due.
If you want to be able to keep your graded final paper, submit an
additional copy of it.
Re me m be r: A ll d ue dat e s a re wort h po i nts that a dd up in fi nal p ap er gr ad e s o be
sur e t o c o mpl ete y our wo r k a cc or di ng t o t he a bove sc hed ul e!!!!
** * ** The a bs ol ut e ma xi m um le ngt h for the pa pe r is 8 pa ges (11 p a ge s for A .P. )!!!
For those who question how many citations there should be in a paper that will vary from paper
to paper. A good general rule, though, is approximately 3 per page so no student should be
turning in a paper with less than 15 citations (24 for A.P.)in the body of his/her paper.
Students should plan to utilize the library computer lab. If a student anticipates
needing after school assistance from his/her teacher in that lab, make arrangements
with the teacher in advance.