Winston Churchill

Select a British history topic. Examples of topics include individuals significant for their political, social, cultural or intellectual contributions to British society (exp. Boudica, Bede, Alfred the Great, Elizabeth I, Robert Owen, Emilia Pankhurst, Winston Churchill); important events (exp. Roman Invasion, Wars of the Roses, English Reformation, Fire of London, Crimean War, Great Exhibition of 1851, General Strike of 1926, The Troubles in Northern Ireland); social and cultural movements and ideologies (exp. Romanization, Celtic Christianity, Rise of the Gentry, Free Trade Movement, Utilitarianism, Imperialism, Swinging Sixties); and significant organizations and policies (exp. Monasteries, Parliament, Irish Home Rule Party, Labour Party, National Health System). An examination of the table of contents and index in the class texts will aid in the selection of a topic.
The text of the paper should be 9-12 numbered pages, typed, double-spaced, with standard margins and a base font (or print size) of 10 or 12 CPI. Papers should be stapled only: no plastic binders, folders, or paper clips will be accepted. Source material should include at least four secondary sources and two primary sources. The class texts are not to be used. Secondary sources are accounts by historians of the topic, providing their interpretations and analysis of the subject. Books and articles from scholarly journals specific to the topic, rather than general European history texts, are appropriate as secondary sources. Primary sources are accounts by people contemporary to the period of the topic (i.e. memoirs, autobiographies, diaries, letters, literary or philosophical works by individuals closely related to the topic, and newspaper accounts) and collections of official documents. Primary material contained in secondary sources will not be considered valid for presentation: students must obtain and research an original, published primary source. Encyclopedias, computer-based information sources like Facts on File and Encarta, videos, and popular magazines like Time and history magazines like History Today are not appropriate for a college-level research paper and should not be used. Internet sites are generally weak sites as secondary sources, but often are an excellent source for primary material. Only two of your secondary sources may be internet sites. Your grade will be evaluated partly on the sources you choose for your paper. Go for quality sources.
The paper should provide a structured presentation of the material. It should begin with an introductory paragraph which provides a general overview of the subject, the specific topics to be explored, and a thesis statement (a general argument being advanced in the paper). The rest of the paper should examine in a thematic and categorical fashion the topics outlined in the introduction and substantiate the thesis presented. Overly detailed biographical and background information should be avoided. Avoid unnecessary first-person constructions (I think, In my opinion, etc.) and write in the simple past tense. Do not use slang or contractions (exp. dont) in this formal presentation. The paper should describe the major activities and accomplishments of individuals and organizations, or summarize events and movements. It should then assess the historical significance of the topic. What influence, impact or consequence did the topic have on national and/or international society? Why are historians interested in the topic?
To avoid plagiarism, citations must be provided in the form of footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical references for all quotes, paraphrases, statistics, discussions of the controversial ideas of an author or group of authors, and any information that is not common knowledge. Either the MLA or Chicago styles of citation should be used. No matter what style of citation chosen, be sure that it provides the reader with both author and page(s) references. At least two citations should be provided from each of the sources used. If parenthetical references are used, an MLA or Chicago style bibliography, of only those sources that are cited, is required at the end of the paper. 3-5 citations per page is standard.
A typed thesis statement, outline and bibliography is due by Apr. 5 of the semester and the paper is due by Apr. 26 for students who want an opportunity to revise their papers by the finals week. Any re-submissions must be accompanied by the original, graded paper or they will not be evaluated. The deadline for all other papers will be May 6.

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