GUIDELINES FOR RESEARCH PAPER
Your final paper assignment, a 7-8-page analysis of a primary source of your own choosing, builds on the research and writing skills you developed in the “chase the source” assignment. It asks you to find and interpret a primary source or set of sources, and to analyze the source(s) in relation to the relevant scholarly literature. Your bibliography must include the equivalent of 3 book-length secondary sources in addition to your primary source. At least one of your secondary sources must be a scholarly article. (Count two scholarly articles as a book.)
There are three steps to this assignment, and no paper will be accepted unless all three steps are judged completed by the course director or your TA. Please mark the following dates on your calendar, as lateness without an extension from your tutorial leader will be penalized.
Jan. 24: Paper Topic, Preliminary Bibliography, and 1-2 sentences on Research Question Due
Feb. 28: Paper Outline and Introduction (with Thesis Statement) Due
Mar. 21: Research Paper Due (along with your primary source and process portfolio – see below)
Research papers without a proper bibliography and citations (in the Chicago Manual of Style format), and papers that do not have a process portfolio,will not be accepted under any circumstances. The process portfolio must include your source (or a link to the source), your notes and rough drafts, and an informed consent form (if you do an oral history) Any paper written on a topic not approved in advance by your tutorial leader will receive a zero for the assignment.
This assignment is intended to improve your ability to find appropriate sources using library resources; to distinguish between primary and secondary sources, and between scholarly and non-scholarly works; to critically analyze both primary and secondary sources; todevelop a logical argument supported by concrete examples; andto write a well-argued essay. A list of possible topics is attached.
STEP 1: PAPER TOPIC, RESEARCH QUESTION& PRELIMINARY BIBLIOGRAPHY
Begin your research project by:1) choosing the primary source(s) you want to analyze; (2) finding the most relevant secondary sources (scholarship) for your bibliography; and (3) devising a research question. You are free to change your topic or modify your bibliography later, IF you have the approval of your TA. Your preliminary bibliography and a brief (1-2 sentences) statement describing your primary source and research questionare due in tutorial on January 24.
Your bibliography should consist of yourprimary source(s) andthe equivalent of 3 other book-length secondary sources. At least one of your secondary sources must be a scholarly article. (Count two scholarly articles as a book.) A set of suggested primarysources is attached.If you want to choose your own primary source, please make sure that most or all of it was produced in the U.S. or Canada before 1990 (or, in the case of an interview, involves someone from an older generation who was a child in Canada or the U.S.). Secondary sources should be relatively recent (e.g., published after 1990). Your bibliography (and footnotes) must be in the Chicago Manual of Style. It is a good idea to record the full bibliographic information in proper form when you first read a book or article; this will save time later.
To help you analyze your material, please refer to the handouts, “How to Analyze a Primary Source” and “How to Read a History Book (or Article),” and, if you do an interview, “Notes on Oral History.” As always, ask yourself about the genre of your source, the author's purpose in writing, and the intended audience. Look for the bias (point of view) and remember to “read between the lines.”
HOW TO DEVELOP A GOOD RESEARCH QUESTION: Historians develop their thesis (argument) afterreading and analyzingtheir sources, but a good research question will guide your whole inquiry.
The best research questions are open-ended.“How”is a better question than “did.”You might ask: How does an educational report portray the purpose of school (or the nature of childhood)? What ideas about gender (or race or childhood)are expressed in advice literature or a children’s book? Try to avoid yes-or-no questions (e.g., did the author present immigrant children in a demeaning way?), and avoid questions that cannot be answered from your source (How did teenage girls react to this dating advice book?).
“Compare and contrast” topics are a good option if you analyze two or more sources. For example, you could compare the representation of children/mothers/fathers in two films or TV shows, or examine the changes and continuities in the “ideal teenager” by comparing high school yearbooks from different times.
STEP 2: PAPER OUTLINE &INTRODUCTION (WITH THESIS STATEMENT)
A detailed outline of your paper, along with a draft of your introductory paragraph (including the thesis statement) is due February 28. Meeting this deadline will help you complete your essay in a timely fashion. The more you have done at this stage, the more helpful your TA’s feedback will be.
STEP 3: RESEARCH PAPER DUE
Historians care a great deal about writing, and your paper will be marked for logic, clarity, and neatness, as well as for content and quality (the quality of your argument and the quality of your primary and secondary sources). Please follow the guidelines on the HIST 1080 style guide. Use quotations wisely, quote mostly from primary – not secondary – sources, and follow the Chicago Manual of Style method of citation. As always, check for spelling and grammatical errors and typos, and don’t forget to number the pages. The paper is due March 21. Good luck!
Plagiarism is when you knowingly or unknowingly use another person’s words or ideas in your own work without giving that person credit. Plagiarism is not limited to copying a passage word for word, or failing to footnote a direct quotation. Please be aware that (1) a paraphrased passage that closely resembles the original is also plagiarism; and (2) you must provide a citation for all information or ideas derived from another source–even if you don't quote it directly.To avoid plagiarism, budget your time so that you are not rushed when writing the paper, and make sure that your footnotes are in proper form.
If you are asked to explain your essay in a meeting with your TA and/or the course director, your assignment is considered unfinished (e.g., a mark of 0) until this meeting is held. If you cannot talk about your paper, you may be asked to write another paper on a different topic. For information on York’s policy on academic honesty, please see http://www.yorku.ca/univsec/policies/document.php?document=69.
Growing Up in North America Prof. Molly Ladd-Taylor
SUGGESTED PRIMARY SOURCES
1) Oral History Interview: Ask a relative or neighbour what it was like to immigrate to Canada, go to school during the Second World War, be a teenager in Canada during the 1960s, etc.
2) High School Yearbooks or Student Newspapers: Ask your old school if you can examine yearbooks from different decades; explore student life or student politics (1968-71) by reading York U’s Excalibur (York University Archives)
3) TV Shows or Films: Study one or two episodes of a TV show, such as Sesame Street, The Brady Bunch, The Cosby Show, or Father Knows Best, or compare The Mickey Mouse Club from 1955 and 1993; or you could analyze a Shirley Temple film, Five of a Kind (1938), one of the films discussed in Schrum’sSome Wore Bobby Sox,or compare the 1961 and 1998 versions of the film The Parent Trap. `
4) Memoirs and diaries (must be produced pre-1990): Claude Brown, Manchild in the Promised Land (1965); Jane Willis Pachano, Geniesh: An Indian Girlhood (1973); Russell Baker, Growing Up (1982). York Library E-Resources also has a number of unpublished diaries and letters written by children. See Julia Heller’s Boy Friend Book (1932) or the Diary (1933) by a young black girl, and others in North American Women’s Diaries and Letters http://solomon.nwld.alexanderstreet.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/ . Or read works by and about Japanese-American schoolchildren interned during World War II:
5) Analyze a fictionalized memoir or revisit a children’s book as a historical primary source: Joy Kogawa, Obasan(1981); Gordon Korman, I Want to Go Home (1981); Barbara Smucker, Underground to Canada (197); any pre-1990 book by Judy Blume.
6) Analyze a treatise or report on education reform, such as Hilda Neatby, So Little for the Mind (1953); the Hall-Dennis Report, Living and Learning: The Report of the Provincial Committee on Aims and Objectives of Education in the Schools of Ontario (1968); or the National Indian Brotherhood’s Indian Control of Indian Education (1972).
7) Study juvenile delinquency, child psychology, or child labour: Henry W. Thurston, Delinquency and Spare Time: A Study of a Few Stories Written into the Court Records of the City of Cleveland (1918); William Blatz, The Five Sisters: A Study of Child Psychology (1938); Frederic Wertham, Seduction of the Innocent (1954), etc.
8) Explore newspaper coverage of an historic event involving children, such as the Little Rock crisis, through the New York Times (or compare the NYT to the black press, e,g. Chicago Defender); or the battle against hippie Yorkville in the summer of 1967 (through the Toronto Star, Telegram or Globe & Mail).
10) Childrearing or Dating Advice: Examine The Canadian Mother’s Book (1921) or The Canadian Mother and Child; compare two editions of the same book (U.S. Children’s Bureau, Your Child from Six to Twelve (1949 & 1966) http://www.mchlibrary.info/history/chbu/parents.html; or study advice to young people, such as Mary Wood-Allen, Almost a Man (1895) or What a Young Woman Ought to Know (1898) .