History 1493-Fall 2018-Professor Brosnan

This research paper will be approximately 2000 words (about 6-7 pages) and requires you to integrate primary and secondary sources. Please note that there are two options for the primary source research. This assignment is worth 200 total points, divided between an annotated bibliography (25 points) and the final paper (175 points).

Primary Sources – OPTION A

You will identify evidentiary sources for your research paper by using one of the following online primary source collections found at http://explorehistory.ou.edu/1493-primary-source-collections/. Please note that other links are provided at the website but we require you to use one of the ones listed below. The listed collections offer you greater context for the sources you will examine:

  • Immigration to America
  • Mosquito Brigades
  • Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire
  • American Eugenics Movement
  • World War I on the Home Front
  • Women’s Suffrage
  • Margaret Sanger Papers Project
  • KKK in Washington State
  • Letters from the Scottsboro Boys Trial
  • Valley of the Dams: Impact of the TVA
  • Medicine and Madison Avenue
  • World War II: Navajo Code Talkers
  • Navajo Code Talkers
  • World War II: America on the Home Front
  • Harry Truman and the Atomic Bomb
  • Nevada Test Site Oral History Project
  • Civil Rights Movement: The President and Brown v. Board of Education
  • Civil Rights: Not Just a Southern Thing
  • Seattle Black Panther Party History and Memory Project
  • Environmentalism: Save Our Surf
  • Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Viet Nam Veterans Oral History Project
  • Gay Liberation Movement: The Gay People’s Union
  • Tin Soldiers and Nixon’s Coming: Kent State Shootings
  • The Nixon Pardon

If you wish to use a different online primary source collection, please confer with your Discussion Leader for approval. As a rule of thumb, use 7-10 primary sources as a target figure. Depending on the kind of sources you use, you may need to go over (or under) this range. Check with your Discussion Leader for approval if you are over or under the suggested range.

Primary Sources – OPTION B

You will identify evidentiary sources for your research paper by using one of the collections at the Western History Collections (WHC). (See https://libraries.ou.edu/content/western-history-collections-0). A distinctive part of the OU Libraries, the WHC is an archive with materials related to the American West, Oklahoma, and Native Americans.

Students who choose Option B have the potential to earn up to 30 additional points for this assignment because Option B constitutes a more challenging research project, although also a potentially more rewarding experience. It will involve independent research in the archives and a greater time commitment.

To qualify for Option B and potentially receive up to 30 additional points, students must complete these mandatory steps:

  1. Attend one of the two orientation sessions at the WHC where Jackie Reese, the WHC librarian, will introduce some collections and explain the basics of archival research. The dates of these orientation session are dictated by Ms. Reese’s schedule and thus we cannot offer alternative times.
  2. Monday, October 1, 5-6 p.m., WHC, Monnet Hall
  3. Tuesday, October 2, 5-6 p.m., WHC, Monnet Hall
  4. You must meet with your discussion leader twice. At the first meeting, you will receive personalized guidance on using collections and outline a research plan. At the second meeting, you will discuss your research progress.
  5. You must submit a final paper of meritorious quality that demonstrates a good faith effort within the archives.

The WHC collections we have identified for your use are:

  • George Lynn Cross Papers (University Archives-Record Group 3)
    • Boxes 2, 9, 14, 22, 32, 45, 54, 63, 77, 88, 94, 101, 135 (Rush Manuals), 152, 180, 193, 206, 220-222, 238-239, 241, 253-254, 276, 317, 335-336, 353-354, 369, 372-372, 381, 389 – Fraternities and Sororities at the University of Oklahoma
      • [Emeritus Boxes]-Boxes 3, 6, 21
    • Boxes 41, 61, 74 – Investigations of Communism at the University of Oklahoma
      • [Emeritus Boxes]-Boxes 3, 8
    • Boxes 16, 25, 34, 50, 64, 66, 78, 80, 91, 321, 392-393-Desegregation at the University of Oklahoma
  • Kali-Inla Coal Company Collection
    • Boxes 53, 59-62, 77-79, 130-146, 388-390, 416 – Strike, Riots, and Union Negotiations
    • Box 94-Rural Child Labor
  • John C. Walton Collection
    • Boxes 9-14 Ku Klux Klan
    • Box 15-16 Governor’s Impeachment
  • S. District Court: Western District of Oklahoma Collection, Box 273A-Chinese Deportation from Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma Indians for Opportunity Collection, Oversized Boxes 1-4-Scrapbooks
  • Phillips Pamphlet Manuscript Collection, 2755.14, 7223, 7324- Indigenous People
  • Edward Everett Dale Collection
    • Box 101-Indian Children
    • Box 265 Scrapbooks

If you wish to use a different collection at the WHC, please confer with your Discussion Leader for approval. As a rule of thumb, use 7-10 primary sources as a target figure. Depending on the kind of sources you use, you may need to go over (or under) this range. Check with your Discussion Leader for approval if you are over or under the suggested range.

Secondary Sources

You must locate and use two secondary sources in your paper. For the purposes of a historical research project, secondary sources are generally scholarly books and articles. You may find some secondary sources among the pairings at http://explorehistory.ou.edu/sources-for-hist-1493-paper-two/. Additionally, you may use the library guide to find databases that will allow you to identify other secondary sources; see http://guides.ou.edu/post/secondary.

If you have trouble identifying appropriate secondary sources, please speak with your Discussion Leader or Dr. Brosnan. Alternatively, you might contact the University librarian for history, Laurie Scrivener, at lscrivener@ou.edu.

Requirements and Deadlines

  • You must submit an annotated bibliography to Canvas for your discussion section by 8 a.m. on Friday, October 26. An annotated bibliography is a list of primary and secondary sources you will use in the second essay. You will provide 100-150 words, briefly summarizing each source and explaining how it supports your thesis. Please see the handout on Canvas for additional information on the annotated bibliography. (You may earn up to 25 points for the bibliography.)
  • You must submit the final paper to Canvas for your discussion section no later than 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15. No late papers will be accepted. (The essay is worth 175 points.)
  • The paper should be submitted as a Word document
  • All papers must include footnotes formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style. See the Citation Guide at http://explorehistory.ou.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/CitationGuide2014.pdf. A pdf of the citation guide also appears on Canvas.
  • Do not include a bibliography or “works cited” page with the final paper.


Your grade for your second paper centers around these four categories:

  1. Thesis: Is there a thesis? Is it an intelligent thesis informed by your critical examination of primary sources? Does it contain a challenging claim and specific support? Your paper title should be succinct, but also convey the subject matter of the paper and something of this thesis. We reward students who attempt to craft a thesis based on our discussions and the “Crafting a Thesis Statement” model (see http://explorehistory.ou.edu/thesis/).
  2. Quality and Analysis of the Evidence: How effective were you in choosing specific examples and connecting them to your thesis? You should bring historical documents into conversation with each other. Do you situate evidence in historic context? Have you integrated quotations effectively as discussed at http://explorehistory.ou.edu/integrating-quotations-chop-blend-digest/).
  3. Integration of Secondary Sources: How well have you used your secondary sources to contextualize and enhance your argument? Do you understand the authors’ arguments? The best papers also will engage the arguments offered by the authors of the secondary sources.
  4. Structure and Style: The best argument can be undermined by poor writing—weak topic sentences, disjointed paragraph structure, awkward phrasing, excessive or inadequate quotations, a feeble vocabulary, or typos. Do you unify each paragraph with a strong topic sentence and arrange them in a sequence that builds toward your strongest claims? We will not mark every error while grading. Rather, we mark representative examples of often repeated mistakes. Improper citations result in an automatic grade reduction.


Excellent (A: 157-175)—The paper is well organized, clear, and precise in regard to thesis, evidence, and writing. It contains a thesis that follows the model we have discussed. Analysis of the documents involves insights that go beyond basic facts. The student is also creative in and integrates quotations effectively. The student identifies and integrates arguments from secondary sources. Judgments are subtle and reflect an awareness of the complexities of the subject. The paper is well organized with clear topic sentences. The paper contains no writing errors and makes expert use of citations.

Good (B: 140-156)The paper is well organized, coherent, technically sound, but provides little additional insight. There might be a weakness in the argument or the student could have done a better job connecting evidence to his or her thesis. Perhaps he or she could have done a better job connecting his or her analysis to the bigger question of what these documents can tell us about the era. The student uses secondary source for context but fails to address their arguments. The student uses topic sentences inconsistently. Paper also includes some writing, grammatical, or citation errors.

Fair (C: 122-139)The paper reflects a basic understanding of the subject, but it displays an obvious thesis. Alternatively, the thesis does not conform to the model we discussed. Although the paper summarizes the documents, it fails to incorporate specific examples, which makes the paper read more like a simple review of the documents rather than a critical analysis of them. The student might have integrated quotations in parts of the paper but not in others. The student cites secondary sources but fails to ingrate them in a meaningful way. Finally, the paper may include several common writing/grammatical mistakes.

Poor (D: 105-121)The paper displays some relevant material, but it is generally characterized by weak organization, a vague thesis, numerous writing/factual errors, or confusion. Although the paper discusses some documents, it lacks sufficient evidence for a paper of this scope. There is no engagement with the exercises for thesis or quotations. The student barely cites secondary sources. The paper may also include numerous writing or grammatical mistakes and display poor use of citations.

Unsatisfactory (F: 0 – 104)The paper displays little to no engagement with the subject and is in many ways incomplete. The student displays little interaction with the documents and provides a poor argument (or none whatsoever). The paper may include factual errors or value judgments/opinions, further revealing limited interaction with the documents. There are no secondary sources. The paper may include numerous writing/grammatical mistakes. You fail to include proper citations. Finally, any paper that contains plagiarized material will receive 0 points; we will report the student to the Office of Academic Integrity.