American History “The Alamo.”

Below are the instructions for my research paper. The topic that I have chosen is The Alamo.

-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.

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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:

  1. Choosing an appropriate topic, limiting the topic
  2. Gathering information, summarizing sources
  3. Analyzing and evaluating sources
  4. Defining key terms
  5. Synthesizing information, comparing and contrasting sources
  6. Testing a thesis, making a historical argument, using refutation
  7. Amassing support for a position
  8. 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:

Choose a topic related to U.S. History up to 1877. I chose The Alamo.

For some reason the absolute necessity of in text citing sources used in a research paper (on both directly quoted AND paraphrased material) either isn’t getting taught anymore or (and this one is my personal theory) it just isn’t sinking in anymore.  You MUST both in text cite your sources AND provide an MLA style bibliography at the end. Failing to do either/both is a form of plagiarism, whether you mean it that way or not, and it will be treated as such so please just make sure to take care of business and in text cite those sources as you go while writing the paper, and include that MLA style references/bibliography at the end of the paper. 

Grade Rubric

INTRODUCTION & THESIS: Includes a clear thesis statement, an assertion or position. Topic is original and manageable in a short research paper. /15

FOCUS AND DEVELOPMENT: Body of the essay focuses on this thesis and develops it fully, recognizing the complexity of issues and refuting arguments in opposition to the thesis. /20

SUPPORT AND SYNTHESIS: Uses sufficient and relevant evidence to support the thesis (and primary points), including facts, inferences, and judgments. Quotes, summarizes, and paraphrases accurately and effectively–appropriately introducing and explaining each quote. /25

RESOURCES: Shows a clear understanding of the sources; has evaluated each source and used it appropriately. Uses a wide variety of sources reflecting significant research. /10

CONVENTIONS: Uses MLA format correctly; includes internal citations and a Works Cited list; is free of errors. /15

CORRECTNESS AND STYLE: Introduces the topic in an interesting way; shows critical thinking and depth of understanding; uses appropriate tone; shows sophistication in language usage and sentence structure. /15
TOTAL: 100

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