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Posted: December 6th, 2022

RESEARCH PROJECT: RESEARCH PAPER ASSIGNMENT

RESEARCH PROJECT: RESEARCH PAPER ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS
OVERVIEW
This assignment is your chance to put together some of the main themes we covered in this course, from the colonial era to today. It will allow you to dig deeper into one aspect of Virginia history and hone your research and writing habits, thus strengthening your critical thinking and communication skills. It will also offer you the chance to incorporate the concepts taught in the Research Project: Annotated Bibliography Assignment and build on the writing feedback left on your Founding Documents Essay Assignment. Virginia’s history is foundation to its current existence, and this assignment will allow you to demonstrate that connection in your topic.
INSTRUCTIONS
You will select one (1) of the topics below and fully address all the questions it contains in a 5-page research paper.
• Discuss some traditional approaches to government in Virginia throughout the Colonial, Antebellum and Reconstruction eras. How did the political changes of the 20th century (1900s) impact Virginia’s traditional political approaches?
• Explain the differing positions between federalism and anti-federalism in the debates over ratifying the U.S. Constitution during Virginia’s Ratifying Convention in 1788. How did these differing viewpoints concerning the role of the federal government linger through the state during the Antebellum era? What 20th century (1900s) political debates in Virginia also had their roots in that disagreement? Explain how federalism and anti-federalism differed in the debates over ratifying the United States Constitution during Virginia’s Ratifying Convention in 1788. How did these opposing views on the role of the federal government permeate the state during the Antebellum period? What other twentieth-century (1900s) political debates in Virginia arose from that disagreement?
• Trace Virginia’s civil rights struggle from the colonial era through today. What were periods of strides forward and setbacks? Identify a current issue (since 2010) in Virginia that has its roots in that struggle.
The research paper must be written in current Turabian format, double spaced in 12 pt. font, have a minimum of 3 scholarly sources (not counting the textbook or Bible), and be a minimum of 5 full pages in length (not counting a title page or the bibliography).
The research paper must contain a properly formatted bibliography and in-text citations (footnotes) for all direct quotations and paraphrases from your sources. Any paper lacking both will receive an automatic 25% grade reduction.
Only scholarly sources may be used for this paper, as outlined in the course syllabus. This includes the use of books, scholarly articles, and primary sources. Websites that end with .gov, .mil, or .edu are also permitted for use. A scholarly source is one that has been written by a scholar or an expert in a field of study and has been peer-reviewed and/or published. Most websites that show up with a Google search do not fall under this category. A good rule of thumb is if a website ends with .com, .org, or .net, it is a popular history source, and not a scholarly one, even if it is credible.
The Jerry Falwell Library gives you access to many excellent scholarly journals and articles that you can use in this class and throughout your college career. The library also has a good question search engine to help you get started with using them. The library’s homepage allows you to search for specific topics in their online database as well as their books, so even if you do not live close enough to Lynchburg to be able to check out a library book, you can still use the library to access all the wonderful material available online. Please take advantage of that!
If you are more of a visual learner, the library has also posted some helpful videos on how to determine if a source is scholarly and how to use the library’s resources.
In the research process, review your sources, pull the ideas out that you find relevant to your topic, and then draw your own conclusions from them. Incorporate your sources into your own findings to lend credibility to your work and demonstrate you have researched the topic to the point where you understand what others have concluded about it and can reasonably draw your own conclusions and contribute new scholarship to the topic.
In a short paper like this, avoid using too many direct quotes from your source. A good rule of thumb is to paraphrase the information unless you will change the meaning by doing so, or if the quote is pithy and the phrasing contributes to the meaning. Therefore, be sure to mostly paraphrase the information you pull from your sources, putting their idea completely into your own words. Remember, a paraphrase needs a citation in the same way a direct quote does. For any direct quotes you do use, be sure to integrate them correctly and not just include them as standalone sentences.
You are encouraged to look at the instructor’s feedback on the Research Project: Annotated Bibliography Assignment from Module 6 and incorporate it into the final bibliography that is submitted with this paper. There is a grade deduction on the rubric for this assignment for failure to fix formatting things marked on the Research Project: Annotated Bibliography Assignment.
When you write your paper, begin with an introduction. In it, include a brief mention of the main points you will cover in your paper. End it with a thesis statement that those main points are going to prove—the main argument in your paper that you want your reader to walk away convinced is true. Your thesis statement should mention Virginia, since your paper is about Virginia history, and it should also include some sort of phrasing that directly ties to the prompt you are responding to (traditional approaches to government, the federalism/anti-federalism debate, or the struggle over civil rights).
In the body of your paper, move through each of your main points, going more into depth about them and including properly cited examples that support them. Create new paragraphs for each topic you cover in each point, connecting them to your previous topic with analysis. After you finish explaining a main point, use analysis to show your reader how it supports your main thesis, then move on to the next main point and repeat the process.
The concluding paragraph should briefly recount how you used your main points to prove the thesis of the paper. It should not introduce any new points. It is your last chance to reiterate your main ideas—make the most of it!
When you write for academic assignments, be sure to follow the best practices for formal writing. Those include:
• Always write in formal language. Avoid colloquialisms and contractions.
• Always write in the third person (he, she, it…), never first person (I, we, me…).
• Avoid run-on sentences and sentence fragments. Make sure you can identify the subject and verb in every sentence.
• When writing about historical things, stay in the past tense.
• Only use apostrophes to make nouns possessive, never plural.
Review the Research Project: Research Paper Grading Rubric before submitting your research paper and verify it meets the expectations for this assignment.
Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.

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