Contemporary Issue Research Project (300 points total) – This project requires you to merge your understanding of contemporary issues (political, social, educational, cultural) and the historical context of those issues. There will be four smaller assignments leading up to one large research project, which, taken together, comprise 300 points (or about 30%) of your final grade. The final product will be a 3-4 page paper (800-1000 words) analyzing the historical context of a contemporary issue (as evidenced by recent newspaper articles from reputable sources). In other words, you will be explaining how one particular component of your topic “came to be,” historically speaking. For example, if you are interested in global food policy, you might trace the evolution of farm policy in the EU, political issues in Northern Ireland, tensions on the Korean peninsula, etc. The topic must be linked to Western Civilization, and must focus on an issue outside of the United States (though the United States can figure in its historical background). The possibilities are endless, and the key is specificity. Once you have chosen your broad topic, you need to narrow it down to something that is manageable in 1000 words.
The project will be broken down into its constituent steps, each due on a different day (as outlined in the course schedule at the end of the syllabus):
- Contemporary Issue Article (25 pts) – Due Monday, Jan 31.
- Bibliography (25 pts) – Due Monday, Feb 14
- Annotated Bibliography with Thesis Statement (50 pts) – Due Monday, Mar 14.
- Paper Outline (50 pts) – Due Monday, Apr 4.
- Research Paper (150 pts) – Due Monday, Apr. 25.
The tabs at the top of this assignment guide will describe each step and provide the research tools to successfully complete each step.
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