Paper Two Directions

Dr. Griswold, History 1493

One of the goals of this course is to teach you how to assess historical documents critically and to write a sophisticated research paper.  On, we provide you with a wealth of information, including on-line tutorials, to help you become a proficient researcher and writer.  I cannot emphasize enough how useful you will find what you learn in this class for all your future paper assignments at OU.  Good writing is the most fungible of all the skills you will learn at OU.  No matter what field of study you choose, no matter what career you ultimately select, the ability to write well will serve you extraordinarily well.

Your second paper is roughly double the length of your first, i.e. about 2000 words.  This paper is worth 200 points. You are required to submit an electronic copy.  Some discussion leaders may want both a hard copy and an electronic copy; some may want only an electronic copy.  (All papers will be examined by a plagiarism detection system.)  We have provided you with what we call “research kits” that you may use in order to find primary documents for your research.  These kits are available at and include primary sources on the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, Green Books Guides, Japanese-American internment, Vietnam Veterans’ Oral Histories, and the Gay Liberation Movement.  Use one of these “kits” and only one of these kits to find primary sources.  Your paper should have somewhere in the vicinity of 20-30 footnotes in which you directly cite evidence from the source (“kit”) with which you choose to work.  A grading rubric is available on my Canvas website and at to help you understand how your paper will be graded.

As noted above, the paper should be roughly 2000 words in length.  It should be well-written, closely argued, and tightly organized.  It should avoid jargon, it should be lucid, and it should be free of grammatical and typographical errors.  So that the papers will follow some kind of consistent format, please type and double space your paper and use a 12 point font, preferably “Times New Roman.”  Allow one inch margins all around, except on the first page which should have your name in the upper right hand corner, then drop two inches to the title of your essay, then double space to the beginning of the text.  Indent all paragraphs five spaces, but do not add extra spaces between paragraphs.  You do not need a title page replete with fancy graphics nor a dedication page to your parents.  Number the pages of your essay.  You will be using footnotes, not endnotes, and the style we will be using is a modified version of the Chicago Style call the Turabian Style of citation.

I also encourage you to make use of the Writing Center in Wagner Hall.  As you begin drafting your research paper, you will want to seek feedback from many different readers.   The writing consultants at the Writing Center are able to talk with you about your writing at any stage in the process.  You can make an appointment (online or by phone), and you can drop in whenever the Center is open.  For more information, contact

Late penalties for first and final draft of paperI believe in treating students fairly; thus, grading policies must penalize those students who turn in late work.  My policy is simple.  All paper assignments are due at the beginning of class, not midway through the class or at its end.  If the paper is not turned in at the beginning of class, we will assess a one grade penalty.  If it is not turned in by 5:00 p.m. that afternoon, another one grade penalty will be assessed.  If it is not turned in by 5:00 p.m. the next day, off goes another grade.  And if it is not turned in by 5:00 p.m. the next afternoon, still another grade gets whacked.  In short, turn your papers in on time or suffer dire consequences.