Final Paper on American History

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Final Paper

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:

  1. Native Americans
  2. African Americans
  3. Immigrants
  4. Women
  5. Foreign affairs
  6. Civil liberties
  7. The economy
  8. 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.

Writing the Final Paper
The Final Paper:

  1. Must be eight to ten double-spaced pages in
    length, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford
    Writing Center.
  2. Must include a title page with the following:
    1. Title of paper
    2. Student’s name
    3. Course name and number
    4. Instructor’s name
    5. Date submitted
  3. Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
  4. Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
  5. Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
  6. 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. 
  7. Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  8. Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

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