Quality Research

Mechanics o Citations should either be in MLA or Chicago style. I encourage you to use citation machines like easybib.com (MLA) or citationmachine.net (Chicago) when citing others work. These websites allow you to plug in information on your source and they will generate the correct form of citation for your paper. All you have to do is copy and paste to your Works Cited Page or footnotes. o Your paper should be 4-6 pages long (3 pages and a few sentences on the fourth page is NOT 4 pages) o Garamond or Times New Roman size 12 Font o Double Spaced o One Inch Margins – Paper Topic- Malcolm X – Research o A solid 4-6 page research paper typically will include: ? 1+ Primary Source(s) (these are speeches, newspapers, autobiographies, letters, etc. from the time period of your topic) ? 4+ Secondary Sources (these are books and professional journal articles written by people who did not experience first-hand or participate in the events or conditions you’re researching) o Primary Source(s): ? Try to build your paper around your Primary Sources. Although it is possible to write a quality research paper based on Secondary Sources, papers written based on Primary Sources are almost always easier to narrow down and generally more interesting. o Secondary Sources: ? Although you are required to have more secondary sources than primary, they should be used to build historical context, not your overall paper. – Content o Treat your paper like an oversized essay based on primary source research. In other words, you should develop a strong argument/thesis statement, make it clear early (first paragraph or two), prove that argument using primary sources in the body of the paper, and aptly conclude your findings. o Careful thought and analysis is critically important to a good paper (and a good grade). Do everything in your power NOT to make this an encyclopedic account of your topic. Make a point and draw conclusions. A good historian is not a chronicler, s/he is an interpreter. Almost anyone can find out what happened. It is an historian’s job to not only explain what happened, but why and to what end—even if others might disagree with the conclusions. o Include a Works Cited Page at the end of your paper for all the sources you use in your paper. Failing to cite someone else’s work is plagiarism and will result in a failing grade. A Works Cited Page does NOT count as one of your 4-6 pages. o Use in-text citations so I know exactly where you used your sources within your paper. In-text citations need the author’s last name and page number like this ? (Jackson, 65). – Other Things o Please write this as a formal, scholarly paper. Avoid using first person (I, me, my, etc.) and contractions (ex. use do not instead of don’t). o Consider your audience to be generally informed on the course of modern American history but eager to learn more detailed interpretations about specific pieces of the era. o Finally, endeavor to write something of publishable and/or presentable quality. Although this is only 4-6 pages, it might be the making of a much larger project leading to a journal article, MA thesis, or both.

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