Brandel Library

HIST 2210: World History Since 1500 (Johnson)


The Assignment

All students in this class are required to produce a research paper of approximately 10- 12 pages in length on a topic of your choice subject to the professor's approval. You may explore any topic under the broad topic of World History, from 1500 to the present. Choose a narrow, focused topic that interests you.

This research paper is beyond the mere telling of a story. Rather you are interpreting, analyzing and explaining a narrow topic. You must think in terms of an objective and critical analysis of your topic. That means that you should strive to create a thoughtful, clear, firm thesis, to form your argument carefully through use of a variety of evidence, and to relate everything to your analytical framework.

Research Sources

Required Sources
1. Primary source documents, available either through the library or online. It is essential that original sources, from the period and personalities are included in your paper. We will discuss the variety of primary sources that may be included. The library session will help to begin the search. Source availability will vary with your topic, but you should use AT LEAST TWO (2) primary sources.
2. Secondary sources, meaning scholarly books and interpretations of the topic and personalities. These sources, by specialist in the field, and will provide you with a good analysis and interpretation of the sources. Again, though availability will vary with the topic, please think in terms of AT LEAST FOUR (4) SCHOLARLY BOOKS.
3. Journal articles are very important, and very often present the most current research. To get started scan J-STOR or other academic databases for your topic. Another good way to find articles is to look at the bibliography in scholarly books. Please think in terms of AT LEAST FIVE (5) SCHOLARLY ARTICLES.

Sources to Avoid 
1. Encyclopedias are a very good place to start your research, but they are only an orienting resource for you and should not appear as a source in your bibliography. In other words, you should use them only to get your bearings, but not so much that you must cite them. Do not write your paper from an encyclopedia.
2. General internet sources are neither reliable nor acceptable If you feel you must use something from the web, it must be cleared with me. Do not write your paper from general internet sources.
3. Documentaries made for television (A & E, History Channel, Discovery Channel, etc.) are meant for entertainment and are not acceptable.

Meet with a Librarian

Make an Appointment to get help from the Library to find academic sources that will help you to locate the three types of sources needed in this paper.

*Consultation with a librarian is required for this assignment. You must show proof of this consultation.