Paper Guidelines

This page is designed to help you develop and write your final paper. You have to write an 8-10 page paper analyzing one of the books from the list provided below. Students must develop their own thesis and either critically analyze the book or incorporate it as primary source evidence into an essay that is analyzing a larger topic, theme, or event that is discussed in the book. Students can incorporate assigned readings from the class in their paper, or outside sources obtained through additional research. However,
any secondary sources not from the class must be peer-reviewed.
● Langston Hughes, The Ways of White Folks (1929)
● Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (1929)
● John Steinbeck, In Dubious Battle (1936)
● George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
● Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man, (1952)
● Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962)
● Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (1963)
● Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, (1965)
● Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi, (1968)
● Michael Herr, Dispatches (1977)
● Mary Crow Dog, Lakota Woman (1990)
All papers need to be be properly cited using Chicago Manual of Style (Links to an
external site.)Links to an external site. with footnotes and a bibliography. For more
information on how to properly cite your sources check out the Foothill Library’s Citation
Help Page (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. . Papers need to be 8-10
pages in length (this does NOT include a title page or bibliography) and must be typed,
double-spaced with 12-point font, page numbers, and 1-inch margins.
Here are some links and excerpts from a couple guides to writing history papers that
may help you. For students that are looking for more in-depth help on writing a research
paper, I highly suggest to purchase Mary Lynn Rampolla’s A Pocket Guide to Writing in
History (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. or Richard Marius and Melvin
Page’s A Short Guide to Writing About History (Links to an external site.)Links to an
external site. , from where these excerpts are from.
● Modes of Historical Writing (Marius & Page)
● Developing a Thesis (Rampolla)
● University of Cambridge Guide to Studying History Sources (Links to an
external site.)Links to an external site.
● A Guide to Analyzing Sources (Links to an external site.)Links to an external
site.
Additional Research
You can include additional resources from outside of class in your paper, but these
resources must be well chosen. A good place to start is a book or a journal article that
has already addressed the topic or one that is similar. In these sources, you will find
helpful information directing you to other secondary sources of information in the
bibliography. Remember, secondary sources need to be peer reviewed and can not just
be something pulled from the internet, like Wikipedia. While sites like Wikipedia might
contain useful links to peer-reviewed works or primary sources that you could include in
your paper, you can not include Wikipedia itself as a source. The bibliography of
secondary sources will also list primary sources that you may be able to find and use.
After reading several secondary sources on your topic of interest and analyzing primary
sources, you should begin to develop some questions about your topic. These will help
guide your paper and your thesis will be the answer to one of these questions.
Here are some links to databases that you can search for secondary and primary
sources:
● Foothill College Library (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
● Academic Search Premier (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
● America: History and Life (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
● JSTOR (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
● Teaching American History (Links to an external site.)Links to an external
site.
● The Gilder Lehrman Collection (Links to an external site.)Links to an external
site.

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