Topic- Child labor in the late 1800s/early 1900: What was the impact on society? How were reforms made? The core assignment of this course is a documented research paper (1500-2000 words in length = approx. 6-8 pages double-spaced, 12-point font). The paper should support a thesis statement with information gained from research or investigation. The paper will not be just a report presenting information but will be a paper that carefully examines and presents your own historical interpretation of the topic you have chosen and your interpretation of the information you have gathered. The paper may include consideration of problems and solutions, define key terms, or refute arguments against your thesis statement. It will be important to choose a topic of interest to you. Approach this assignment with an open and skeptical mind, then form an opinion based on what you have discovered. You must suspend belief while you are investigating and let the discoveries shape your opinion. (This is a thesis-finding approach.) Once you have found your thesis, write the paper to support it. You will use some of the following critical thinking skills in this process: Choosing an appropriate topic, limiting the topic Gathering information, summarizing sources Analyzing and evaluating sources Defining key terms Synthesizing information, comparing and contrasting sources Testing a thesis, making a historical argument, using refutation Amassing support for a position Documenting sources Because this may be a longer paper than you have written before and a complex process is involved, it is recommended that you complete this paper using the following steps: There are a lot of primary sources posted online, often in databases or archive collections. One good site is the Yale site Avalon: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy. It can be accessed at http://avalon.law.yale.edu/. Another one is Our Documents at https://www.ourdocuments.gov/. To find a particular official primary source, do a Google search with the title of the source, like “Eisenhower’s Farewell Address,” followed by the words “full text.” Remember too that primary sources are not always right. People who write of events while they occur may misunderstand what they witness, be unaware of the consequences that follow, or be just plain lying, so evaluate them accordingly.
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