Understanding history can be more difficult than many people imagine. Historians concern themselves not only with what happened but with why it happened. They analyze and assess a variety of sources, including primary sources (ones created during the time period the historian is examining) and secondary sources (ones written by other historians after the period), to create their own interpretations of the past. For the Final Paper, students will not only learn about the past, but also experiment with the interpretive, analytical methodologies of the historian.
Choose from one of the topics below and review its history from 1865 to the present. Select six specific events or developments that span the years covered by this course, based on their impact on the topic and write a thesis. Three of your chosen topics must be from before 1930 and three must be from after 1930. Your thesis should summarize the main conclusions that you drew while researching your topic and that you will support by creating a logical argument based on evidence (sources).
In your paper, make sure to connect each of the events or developments you have chosen back to your main thesis. Ensure you organize your paper effectively to create a flow either along chronologically or thematic lines. For example, a paper about African Americans might choose the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Power Movement as two of its events. In that case, the paper would provide basic information about the two movements. It would explain what each one revealed about the role of African Americans in broader American society in, respectively, the 1920s and the late 1960s, explain how and why the roles of African Americans in the 1920s differed from their roles in the late 1960s, and explain how events in the 1920s may have contributed to developments in the later decade.
Choose one of the following topics:
- Native Americans
- African Americans
- Foreign affairs
- Civil liberties
- The economy
- The role and powers of the presidency
The paper must be eight to ten pages in length (excluding title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. The paper must include an introduction, a thesis and a conclusion that synthesizes and summarizes the findings of the body paragraphs. You must use at least eight scholarly sources other than the textbook to support your claims. Of the eight scholarly sources, at least two must be primary sources and at least four must be from the Ashford University Library. Many great sources have provided for you in the recommended readings section for each week; feel free to use those in your paper. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar, in your online course.
The Ashford Writing Center (AWC) has two kinds of tutoring available to you.
- Live Chat – If you have writing-related questions about a topic before you draft a discussion post or submit a written assignment, you will now be able to chat live with a tutor for a short (up to 20 minute) conversation. Live Chat will be available Monday through Friday from 10:00-11:00 am and 4:00-5:00 pm (PST). AWC Live Chat
- Email Paper Review – If you have a draft, partial draft, or even if you’re having trouble getting started, you can complete a submission form and email your paper to the AWC for review.
- Writing Tutors will do their best to return your paper with their comments within 48 hours, not including Saturdays and Sundays. Please plan accordingly if you would like to receive feedback before an assignment due date. AWC Email Paper Review
Writing the Final Paper
The Final Paper:
- Must be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
- Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
- Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
- Must use at least eight scholarly sources, including a minimum of two primary sources (such as those that are linked throughout the course) and four secondary sources from the Ashford University Library.
- Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.