Due Date/Point Value
Due date: Friday, Oct. 28, 2022
Assignment point value: 50 points
File Type: PDF or Word (docx.) Google docs and Apple Pages need to be converted to PDF
Font Type: Times New Roman
Font Size: 12 pt.
Margins: 1 inch on all sides (left, right, top and bottom)
Spacing: Double spacing
In a 1-2 page paper, state which topic you have chosen for your research paper. Briefly explain what you have found in your research so far that led you to pick that particular topic. What did you find interesting? What would you like to learn more about? Finally, (and most importantly), state your working research question and thesis. You do not want to create a research question and thesis out of thin air, and then try to find research materials that fit your question/thesis. To prepare for this assignment, you will need to conduct research on Southwestern College’s library databases. Please read/view the step-by-step instructions, including video, that show you how to search SWC’s databases.
The purpose of the “topic proposal paper” is for you to pick a topic and start developing your argument for the “full length research paper,” which is due towards the end of the semester. It is important to get started early on this project because it does require a lot of time for research, analysis, and writing.
Also, keep in mind that the “full length research paper” is an argumentative research paper. It is not merely about presenting a variety of information about a topic. Instead, the purpose of the “full length research paper” is to make an argument concerning a specific historical topic and support that argument with evidence from your research. I will provide you with further video instructions that will go into specific detail about how to format your “full length research paper.” But for now, we will get started with completing the topic proposal paper (choosing a topic and creating a research question and thesis).
Choose one of the topics from the list below, (or pick your own topic). Before settling on a topic, make sure to conduct several hours of research so that you are somewhat familiar with the sources, (ebooks, academic journals), that are available. Pick a topic that you findinteresting. You also want to pick a topic that has a sufficient number of sources available. If you only find one or two sources on a topic, you would want to choose a different topic that has more sources related to it.
Picking your own topic
Students may choose a topic that is not on the list below, but they must first show that enough sources exist on that particular topic which would allow them to fully complete the assignment (again, if there aren’t enough sources on the topic, you won’t have enough research material to meet the page requirement). If you choose your own topic, it must be related to Mexican American History and be focused within the time period of the course: from Pre-Columbian times to 1850.
List of Topics
The effects of the California mission system
The roles of indigenous women in the pre-Columbian/colonial period (before 1850)
The effects of the casta system in New Spain
The purposes of human sacrifice
Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire
Keep in mind that you will be creating a research question about the topic. Your answer to that question will become your thesis/argument. Your research question should be debatable, meaning that there is more than one way to answer the question. If there is only one answer to the question, that all scholars agree on, then there is nothing to debate; there is no argument to make. For example, if I chose “The causes of the downfall of Middle Kingdom Egypt” as a topic, I would need to first conduct some research so that I know a little more about the topic. Then I would come up with a question based on what I learned from my research.
Sample research question: What events contributed to the downfall of Middle Kingdom Egypt?
There would be multiple ways to answer this (which is what you want). You would find that there are a number of scholars who have different perspectives on what led to the downfall of the Middle Kingdom. When you are doing your research, make sure to look for ebooks and journal articles where the author is making an argument that answers your research question. For example, you may find one book where a scholar argues that Middle Kingdom Egypt fell due to external invasions. Then you may find another book where an author argues that there was religious conflict within the country that led to the fall of Middle Kingdom Egypt. Notice how there are multiple ways that scholars have answered your research question.
After conducting more research, you will answer your question with your thesis.
Sample thesis: While some scholars claim that Middle Kingdom Egypt, which flourished between the years of 2030 to 1650 B.C., fell as a result of foreign invasions, I will argue that several internal weaknesses, in addition to the external invasions, contributed to its downfall, including a struggling economy, class conflict and religious turmoil.
When you create your thesis, I want you to follow a specific formula. The thesis statement formula contains the: Counterargument + Geographical Location + Time Period + Assertion + 3 Supporting Reasons
Let’s break down the formula in the sample thesis above:
COUNTERARGUMENTStart your thesis statement by setting up your counterargument: “While some scholars claim that Middle Kingdom Egypt, which flourished between the years of 2030 to 1650 B.C., fell as a result of foreign invasions,”. The counterargument should be an argument that an actual scholar has made concerning your topic, not something made up.
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATIONSomewhere within your thesis statement, you want to mention the geographic location that you will be examining so that the reader better understands your argument. In the sample thesis, the geographic location was mentioned in the counterargument: “While some scholars claim that Middle Kingdom Egypt”
TIME PERIODYou also want to specify which time period you will be examining. In the sample thesis, the time period was also contained in the counterargument portion of the thesis statement: “which flourished between the years of 2030 to 1650 B.C.”
ASSERTIONFollow your counterargument with your assertion. The assertion tells your reader what your overall argument is going to be. In the sample thesis, the assertion was: “I will argue that several internal weaknesses, in addition to the external invasions, contributed to its downfall.”
3 SUPPORTING REASONS (THESE ARE YOUR MAIN CLAIMS)Follow your assertion with 3 supporting reasons (these are 3 reasons that show how your main point is true). In the sample thesis, the 3 supporting reasons were: “a struggling economy, class conflict and religious turmoil”.
Your main objective will be to convincingly answer your research question by making claims that are supported by evidence you found in your research which ultimately work to prove your overall thesis (your main argument).
Within your paper, you will need to use MLA style in-text citation. You will make an in-text citation any time you use information, or ideas, that you got from the sources, even if you put the information in your own words. If in doubt, always cite it. The only thing you would not cite is your own ideas and concepts.
At the end of each sentence where you used information from the sources, include the author’s last name and the page where you found the information in parentheses (Zinn 24). Notice how I put the citation before the period at the end of the sentence. This is known as in-text citation because the citations are located through out your paragraph, (in the actual text).
For more information on the MLA style in-text citation format for the works cited page, click the following link: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_in_text_citations_the_basics.htmlLinks to an external site.
In addition to the in-text citation, also include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper.
For more information on how to format a Works Cited page, click the following link:https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_page_books.html
Topic Proposal Paper
Topic Proposal Paper
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeDescription of criterion
10 ptsFull Marks
In one or two typed paragraphs, state which topic you have chosen for your research paper. Briefly explain what you have found in your research so far that led you to pick that particular topic. What did you find interesting? What would you like to learn more about?
Topic is stated, but paper does not go into detail about what you have found so far in your research on the topic.
Topic is not stated in the paper
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeResearch Question
20 ptsFull Marks
Research question, (only one), is clearly stated. Question is debatable, meaning there is more than one way to answer the question.
Question is stated, but is not debatable, meaning there is only one way to answer the question.
Question is not stated in the paper
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeThesis
20 ptsFull Marks
Thesis is clearly stated in one, or two, sentences. The thesis includes the following criteria: Assertion + geographical location + time period + 3 reasons
Thesis is clearly stated, but is missing one or two of the required criteria.
Thesis is not stated in the paper.
Total Points: 50