This writing assignment requires the research of a topic of your choice dealing with American history in the post-Reconstruction period (i.e., 1877-present). There are two stages in writing this paper as enumerated below:


What to Submit: Research Proposal (NOT the Research Essay which is due later). 1. Due: Sat., Feb. 18, by 11:59 pm (CDT) 2. Length: 1-2 double-spaced, typed pages 3. Conventional Font: 12-points, Times New Roman) 4. Conventional Margins: 1-inch (top, bottom, right, and left). 5. Preparation Mode: Microsoft Word (no other format is acceptable). 6. Submission Mode: Electronically via e-learn dropbox only. E-mail submission is not

acceptable. This first stage is a short essay where you will propose a research topic, time frame, theme, rationale for the topic, and sources for the research. The proposal is a prerequisite for completing the full Research Paper (discussed on page 3). The proposal is graded first, and if your topic is approved, you will proceed to the research paper. Note: You cannot write the final research paper without approval of your proposed topic. The approval of your proposal will be in writing on your elearn submission. Essay Layout To write the proposal, use the format below: On top of page 1, type: Research Essay Proposal John Doe or Jane Doe (that is, your full name) HIST 2020: American History II The current semester Start your paper on the next line (No cover page is required for the proposal). Arrange your paper in a logical form by dividing it into 5 headings outlined below (in bold). Note the information expected in each section.

Title of Paper (5 points) Provide the title of your research paper in bold letters. This title must be clear, concise, and not unnecessarily wordy or ambiguous. It must clearly express what the paper is all about.


Theme and Period (10 points) Write on each of the following in at least one complete sentence: (a) The central theme of the research paper. This is the subject matter, or what the

paper is all about. Examples of acceptable themes include Jim Crow, the Progressive movement, the Civil Rights movement, the Cold War, etc. See the textbook content for topic ideas.

(b) The historical period addressed by the topic. Remember that the period must be post-1877, (i.e., late 19th century to the early 21st century). Thus, topics like Slavery, Civil War, Reconstruction, Frederick Douglass, etc., are inappropriate for this paper.

Key Points (10 points)

Provide three (3) key points in complete sentences which your paper will discuss. List them (a), (b), (c), and they must be related to your topic and theme.

Rationale for Topic (5 points) State in complete sentences your reason(s) for choosing your topic.

List of References (10 points) List at least two relevant references which you will use as sources for your research paper. The references should include at least one book, and the others may be journal articles. Write the source in APA format as shown below: Follow this format for Book citation: author’s last name, followed by initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of book: (in italics). Location (i.e., city & state): Publisher. Example: Walton A. (1995). America and new immigration. New York, NY: Greenwood Publishers.

Follow this format for Journal Article citation: author’s last name, followed by initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of journal (in italics), volume number(issue number), pages. Example: Anderson, R. (1996). Industrial workers and labor unionism in the late 19th century. Journal of American History, 15(3), 5-21. Other Points: Organization (5 points) Organize your proposal by following the specified format. Grammar and Mechanics (5 points) The paper requires the use of correct grammar, spelling, sentence structure, proper diction, and punctuation.



1. What to Submit: Research Essay 2. Due: Sat., April 22, by 11:59 pm (CDT) 3. Length: No more than 5 double-spaced typed pages. This is

inclusive of the cover page and the references. (i.e., page 1 is your cover page).

4. Format: APA style. 5. Conventional Font: 12-points, Times New Roman) 6. Conventional Margins: 1-inch (top, bottom, right, and left). 7. Preparation Mode: Microsoft Word (no other format is acceptable). 8. Submission Mode: Electronically via e-learn dropbox only. E-mail submission is not


Your proposal must be approved before you can start the research paper! If your proposal has not been approved, consult the instructor immediately! A paper on an unapproved topic may result in a zero! Essay Layout Cover Page On your cover page, first insert a running head using the Microsoft Word tool which allows it to appear on every other page of the paper. Next, provide the information below:

Title of your paper Your full name

HIST 2020: American History II Tennessee State University

The current semester Continue the paper on the next page. Arrange it in a logical form by dividing it into 4 headings outlined below in bold. Note the information expected in each section.

Introduction (20 points) Clearly identify your topic and provide a thesis statement offering the reader the main argument of the paper. Then analyze the thesis of the paper at some length. Finally, state the significance of the paper (why you think the paper is important), and the impact it will have on the literature of the subject.


Analysis and Argument (40 points) At some length, develop your ideas and arguments, demonstrating the application of theoretical concepts such as periodization, comparison/contrast, classification, cause/effect, definition, historical context, and/or historiography.

Conclusion (20 points) Provide a conclusion for your paper, summing up the key points of your topic and thesis. Do not introduce new information or analysis here.

References (10 points) Demonstrate familiarity with existing scholarly literature using secondary sources (books and journal articles) and citing them appropriately in APA format in the essay and in the “References” section. The use of your sources must show that you are able to manage and coordinate basic information gathered from multiple sources. Do not cite, Wikipedia, and the like. Other Points Organization (5 points) Organize your paper by following the specified format. Running head must appear on every page. Use headings for each section. The essay requires proper paragraphing, pagination, spacing, and correct font type and size. It should not exceed the page limit. Grammar and Mechanics (5 points) The paper requires the use of correct grammar, spelling, sentence structure, proper diction, and punctuation. Write your essay in past tense. Note: The paper must be your own research and analysis. Thus, you should not insert too many quotes. Limit quotes to two, and they should not be more than two lines. All quotes must be put under quotation marks and must be cited in the reference page. Penalties 1. Submissions after the due date will receive a 10% deduction for each day late. Late

submission ends 3 days after the paper is due. 2. Plagiarized papers will be penalized will a zero (0) in accordance with TSU policy [See

Academic and Classroom Conduct]. Note that e-learn utilizes plagiarism detection software, Turnitin, which detects all forms of plagiarism. Make sure that your paper is your original work.


Evaluation Evaluation (grading) is in accordance with the quality of the paper in terms of content, factual accuracy, clear logical presentation, analysis free of errors in grammar, spelling, and sentence structure, and the use and citing of appropriate references. For more information on grading, consult the grading rubric. Research Essay Format (Dummy) Provided on elearn for your reference is the format of the essay (a dummy copy of what your essay will look like in terms of structure). It guides you on technical matters like organization of the paper, length of each section, proper referencing style, etc. Look for the file, “Research Essay Dummy” on eLearn.

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