Welcome to the Research Assignment for HIST 105: Roots of Contemporary Issues.

Paper Format: Number of pages: Type of work: Type of paper: Sources needed Chicago/Turabian 1 Double spaced Writing from scratch Essay No specific sources required Subject History

Topic globalization
Academic Level: Bachelor
Paper details

Welcome to the Research Assignment for HIST 105: Roots of Contemporary Issues. This set of assignments includes 4 research/analysis components completed over the course of the semester that will culminate in a research essay in which you examine the historical roots of a contemporary issue of interest to you. Your instructor will designate specific deadlines and grade percentages and may adjust the schedule as s/he sees fit. In these four library research assignments, you will use WSU Libraries’ resources to:
Identify an issue of contemporary global significance of which you intend to explore the historical roots and global dimensions.
Gather appropriate sources for your chosen topic and learn how to differentiate kinds of sources.
Develop an initial thesis statement for your research essay: a hypothesis about the potential historical roots of your contemporary issue – and revise it in light of new sources.
Critically analyze the sources that you gather and identify useful passages and information within.
Connect newly found sources to those you previously located.
Learn how to cite sources correctly according to historical disciplinary standards.
In Part I you will explore current newspaper and encyclopedia sources in order to identify a contemporary issue and its historical roots for study throughout the semester. Your contemporary issue should be of interest and importance to you, centrally international (global) in scope, have historical dimensions you can analyze, and should also connect to one or more of the broader themes of this course (humans and the environment, globalization, inequality, diverse ways of thinking, and/or the roots of contemporary conflicts). You will conclude part one by developing two preliminary research questions based on the initial sources that you gather. After you’ve completed part one, your instructor and/or your teaching assistant will assess your choice of topic, your selection of sources, and your research questions. They will make comments and suggestions as necessary.

Part I – Contemporary Newspapers and Wikipedia Articles
Question 1 = State Your Topic and How it Connects to Course Themes
In a Word document you will upload to this assignment space, state your research topic. Be sure to clearly label each part of this assignment “Question 1,” “Question 2,” etc. Think through your ideas carefully before writing, and remember you must be able to explore the historical roots of this topic at least before 1920. Also, your project cannot be narrowly focused on the United States, but may seek to understand the role of the United States in the world.
Don’t be vague and say that you want to write about the “history of inequality.” That’s an impossible task. Rather, you might propose to make an argument about a very specific historical example of inequality, like the role of the 1960 Sharpeville massacre in creating an South African movement against racial apartheid and inequality.
This course employs five broad themes common to all who live in contemporary global society and those who have lived in centuries past. They are: humans and the environment, globalization, inequality, diverse ways of thinking, and conflict. Below your stated research topic, explain how at least 2 of these themes can help you frame and contextualize your chosen topic.
Clearly distinguish the two parts of this question by specifying “1A- Research Topic:” and “1B- Connection to Course Themes:” and be sure to provide around ten sentences total to illustrate full reflection upon the “course themes” part of the question.

Question 2 = Locate a Contemporary Documentary Source (Newspaper Article)
Since this course uses contemporary examples as starting points for understanding historical origins, you will also do this for your research paper. Contemporary newspapers are one gateway into a wide variety of contemporary issues. WSU Libraries provide access to a wide range of newspapers from around the world, both current and historical. Newspapers are a type of primary source and part of a larger category of sources called documentary sources that also includes popular magazines. Whether they are historical or contemporary, they are written at the time of an event or process and, when critically assessed, can provide insight into the goals or views of the author, the publication, or its readership. Many of these resources are available in electronic format, and much of the historical collection is in microfilm.
Newspapers LibGuide = Scan the tabs to see how information about newspapers is divided in this guide, look at the Newspaper Databases box in the middle of the screen, click on ProQuest Newsstream. As a secondary choice, you could try Nexis Uni. [see Part I:Database Specific Video Tutorials]
All researchers must cite their sources so that their readership has the opportunity to check their analysis if desired. Using Chicago Style, type the bibliographic (not footnotes) citation of one newspaper article (must be less than three months old) under a Question 2 heading. Bookmark this RCI Chicago-style page for quick reference. Unless otherwise directed, use only this page and the Purdue OWL site (introduced later) for this series of research assignments. If you go elsewhere, you may get information that is not from the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual or in other ways is inaccurate.
Since you’re accessing your newspaper article online (and not in print), the citation should include a URL and “date accessed” (see the Chicago-style reference page). Note that you CANNOT simply cut and paste the URL from the browser’s address bar. From the record for the article, click on the Copy Document icon in the upper right (looks like a clipboard with a chain). Follow the instructions to get your URL.

Question 3 = Finding Key Words / Terms (Wikipedia Articles)
Now that you’ve identified a global topic of contemporary relevance, it is time to begin uncovering the historical roots of your issue. There are many ways to begin a research project, but if you know little or nothing about the history of an issue, often the best place to begin is with an overview article of the topic. Wikipedia, although not a scholarly source of information and not a source you will cite in your final paper, is a good place to start learning about your historical topic. It is a great tool for locating some potentially useful keywords for future searches.
Before you begin searching in Wikipedia, take another look at your contemporary newspaper article. What part of the world is the news story covering? Being able to identify a specific geographic region (as it relates to the issue(s) you articulated in Question 1) is a good way to enter into historical research. Imagine the news story you found is about the Rohingya people of Myanmar who are at the center of a humanitarian crisis that some are calling genocide. To understand the historical roots of this contemporary topic, you do not want to look for a Wikipedia article that gives you an overview of genocides throughout world history. Rather, you would want to find a Wikipedia article that tells you about the history of that people in that place. An article like this would be more likely to give you some hints as to the longer and deeper political, economic, social and/or cultural conflicts in that region that might be contributing to the violence we see today. In other words, knowing about the holocaust of World War II or the Rwandan genocide of the 1990s wouldn’t help you understand anything about what the Rohingya people are experiencing.
This video describes how Wikipedia can be used properly in an academic setting http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=Cql_yVUYj6A
After you’ve found a suitable Wikipedia article or two that relates to the history of the region/people your news story is about, read it and locate at least 5 key terms that you might use as jumping off points for further research (which you will conduct in the next library research assignments). The key terms you identify should be specific, such as people, laws, acts, events, etc. The more specific your terms are, the more likely you will be able to find evidence of the longer history of those things in later research.
Under a Question 3 heading, write your key terms, and in a sentence for each one explain what the term is and why you chose it.

Question 4 = Write Two Preliminary Research Questions
Typically, once researchers have read and analyzed several sources (like you’ve just done), they formulate a set of preliminary research questions that they hope to answer by the end of their research. Often research questions change, and almost always new questions arise. As the last part of your Word document for LRA1, formulate two clear and concise research questions (label them as QA and QB) based on your analysis of your contemporary newspaper article, your Wikipedia article(s), and the theme(s) of the course that you identified earlier. Do not be vague by saying something like: “What are the historical roots of my contemporary issue?” But, be sure your questions address the historical roots of your topic.
Read the Part I: Writing Research Questions and Part I: Roots Research Question Example research guides to aid you in the process of writing your research questions.