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For this course, our primary assignment will be to write a research paper. We wi

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For this course, our primary assignment will be to write a research paper. We will be doing the paper with scaffolds — one stage at a time. For stage 1, we will start with Assignment 2 that will focus on writing a proposal.
Our focus for the proposal will be on human migrations and how primary source research for studying those migrations can be conducted on the Internet. The focus is on experiences of people in homelands from which they originated and in diasporas that they formed. In particular we will be looking at forced migration and the slave trade in the Atlantic world. While you can choose any topic on migration, we will encourage you to pick a topic associated with the course focus on the Atlantic slave trade.
We have been teaching courses like this for many years, and we find that the primary problem for students is to find a topic that can be handled in 15 weeks. Often they struggle to find a suitable topic, or they choose a topic that is too difficult to research. In the summer, the problem is intensified since we have only 7 weeks (really only 5 weeks to do the first publish).
Of course, this is no reason to panic. The focus of the course is doing primary source research and writing a history research project. So to make things manageable, Dr. Hawthorne has developed a list of possible research topics that can be done in 5 weeks. We encourage you to choose one of these so you can focus on the process of analyzing primary sources and writing the project (although you can lobby us to select other topics on migration).
Once you propose a topic, the next stage (Assignment 3) will be to build a bibliography and develop a thesis. Of course, this will be a provisional thesis and bibliography. As you outline and write, a thesis can shift and take new forms and focus, and you may find you need new sources.
After you develop a bibliography and thesis, you will then do a key stage — the outline for the paper (Assignment 4). This will be followed by a rough publish (Assignment 5). As you can see, for this course, we really have only one assignment — the research project, but each assignment is a step toward the finished product. The key to all of these assignments is to get them done. Don’t wait to be perfect but turn in what you have done.
After you do your rough publish, you will be sharing your work with a group of students in the class as well as your instructors. You will receive critiques and feedback from all of group members and an instructor (Assignment 6). Then you will revise your final project and turn in at the end of the course.
Of course, this is all a bit strange. At this point when you get to assignment 7 you are near the end of the course, but the assignment explains the whole sequence of the course assignments.
However, as you know, you will read this assignment the first week of class and return to it the last week of class. Be sure to read the Rubric carefully and check out the possible project topics.
The topic I have chosen to study for this course, in relation to the Atlantic slave trade, is the establishment of the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was a network of individuals, both free and enslaved, who collaborated to assist slaves in escaping from their slave owners in the southern region of America by offering shelter and aid in numerous ways. The exact dates of its existence are unknown, but it was thought to have been operated throughout the late 18th century all the way until the Civil War. The railroad was not a physical landscape, but rather a coalition of people passionately working to allow enslaved individuals a chance of freedom in a different environment than their own. Particularly, I want to focus on the Underground Railroad’s operation in the state of Kentucky.
This paper is relatively open ended, we must just connect research on The Underground Railroad to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade– particularly, the migration of people. I will attach the rubric below.
Final Project Rubric
Demonstrates the objectives of historical thinking:
• Analyzes historical sources and evidence
o Shows understanding and interpreting of primary sources
o Shows understanding and interpreting of secondary sources
• Makes historical connections
o Makes sense of multiple perspectives
o Contextualizes argument in broader historical era
o Syntheses evidence and sources for a coherent argument
• Chronological Reasoning
o Recognizes historical patterns and/and within historical periods
o Interrogates causation and connections
• Creates and supports an historical argument
o Develops a thesis and argument
o Uses supporting evidence well
o Identifies the relationships between parts of an argument and evidence
Well organized and structured argument:
o Depth of discussion: In-depth discussion and elaboration in all sections of the paper.
o Cohesiveness: Ties together information from all sources. Paper flows from one issue to the next without the need for headings. Author’s writing demonstrates an understanding of the relationship among material obtained from all sources.
o Sources: 5 to 10 primary sources and 3 to 10 secondary sources. The sources should be well integrated into the analysis, cogently explained, and correctly cited (follow the Chicago Manual of Style or preferred citation guide — must clarify with instructor if you do not use Chicago)
o Spelling, Grammar, Citations: Minimal errors in grammar and style. Follow Chicago Manual of Style citation guide.
o Format: A 13-20 page paper using Chicago Manual of Style formatting.

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