You are on page 1of 3

Historical Context Paper180 points

Write a 4-6 full paged paper about three events that might have affected someone similar to you, but who lived
generally where you live during a specific year from 1860-1980. Events can be of local, national, or global
significance. This is a final project to incorporate the knowledge and skills that you have learned during the
semester. The idea is that you will take three events from one year and place them into historical context. This
may be written in first person (from the I point of view), similar to the Interpretations that we discuss in the
Historic Sites and Museums section OR it may be written in third person. There will also be points awarded for
various steps we take each session and then for the final paper. You can be creative! It can be a straight narrative,
it can be written as if entries from a diary, etc.as long as sources are cited and as long as the paper is from one
persons point of view.
4-6 pages means at least four full pages of paper, not counting your name information (if you put it on the first
page instead of a title page) nor the bibliography/works cited.
A) Your year may be chosen from 1860 through 1980. If you were actually living during the year you chose, try
not to let your personal experience from that year influence what you choose as your three events. If you are now
35 years old, and you choose 1891, think what would have been important to you if you were 35 years old and in
your current circumstances at that time. So, if I chose 1916, I'd want to examine three events that I think would
have affected or impacted the life of a middle-class, older married woman with a young child with my values.
Well talk more about this as class progresses. You do not have to reflect your own personal characteristics or
values, you can make up a different persona. For example, you could look at a year from the point of an older,
male banker, a just married young working class man or woman, a grandmother, a soldier, etc.their views of a
years events would be different!
B) You cannot use a general event, such as the Great Depression or the Vietnam War, which would have affected
people during many years; however, you can use some aspect of such an event that transpired during your year,
such as the Bank Holiday of 1933 or the Fall of Saigon. Your events do not all have to be news, you could
include a concert, a theatrical event, the release of record album or a movie, a sporting event, etc. How would the
release of Gone With the Wind or Star Wars have affected a person like you? Only one such popular culture
event can be included. (Do not use movies or sports events, for example, for all three of your events--two of the
events must be newsworthy.)
C) You must use at least six (6) sources:
1. Two articles from am STLCC newspaper index from the year of the event. These should both be
published during the year of the event. NOT from a later year. (If you are focusing on 1941, your newspaper
articles should have been published in 1941.) At least one article must be from the Historic Newspapers
Database.
a) Historic Newspapers Database for any year of the assignment period (1860-1980)
b) Historic Post Dispatch if your year is 1874-1922
c) Newsbank Retrospective if your year is 1970 or later
d) You can also use the print version of the Readers Guide to Periodicals rather than a database to find
magazine articles published during your year if your year is after 1900. Please see contact me if you want to
exercise this option
2. One article from any STLCC Library Database. This article can be from your chosen year, or it can be
one published any time after the event. So, if your year is 1979, you could find a magazine or journal article
about the event published at that time OR you could find an article published in 2007 about your event from
1979. This can be a History database, but it cannot be Historical Newspapers or the History Database that you
use for number 3.

3. One article from an STLCC Library History Database, other than a Newspaper database. (The
STLCC Library Web page http://www.stlcc.edu/libraries/db/index.asp?by=2&q=9 provides a listing of
the History Databases; we will also be learning about them in class). For any year, you might try the
America: History and Life or Historical Abstracts (both by EBSCOhost) databases. If your year is 1940 or
after, you might try World News Digest by Facts.com. Look at the history databases and see what best fits
your year and your topic. You are welcome to use a video from the American History Video Database
rather than an article, but please clear it with me first.
4. One article from an STLCC Library Reference Database. (The STLCC Library Web page
http://www.stlcc.edu/libraries/db/index.asp?by=2&q=14 provides a listing of the Reference Databases.) You are
also welcome to substitute an article from a print reference book from the physical libraryhowever, the book
must meet the definition of a Reference Resource (as discussed in class) and be subject specific (not a general
encyclopedia or almanac).
5. One reputable web sitepreferably one from a library, archives, museum, or historic site.
6. You may not use Wikipedia, About.com or any general encyclopedia (such as World Book or
Encyclopedia Americana) as a source.
D) You can of course use more sourcesthis is a minimum amount!
E) How can you find out about events in a year? You might:
1. You could simply google something like "events of 1965." Be sure to evaluate the source!
2. OR/AND You could also use a Reference Bookyou could use an almanac, a Yearbook, or a specific
historical chronology.
3. OR/AND Use the World News Digest Database. Under the search options on the left side (as you face it) of
the screen, under the search options is a section called Top News Stories by the Decade. Open the decade in
which you are interested and scroll down for individual years. This will only work for you if your year is
1940 or later. You might also want to try Historical Newspapers and limit to front page articles for the year.
F) This should be a proper research paper with an introduction and conclusion, citations, page numbers, etc. In
the paper, summarize each event and explain why it MIGHT have been important to your historical persona.
NOTE: I am not an English instructor--I am grading mainly on content and resources used--not for composition
rules and grammar. HOWEVER, the paper should be readable and relatively free from spelling and obvious
grammatical errors.
G) Font should be 10-12 Times New Roman or Arialno

Large funky fonts, please.

H) I) Citations must be in 7th Edition MLA. Please do not just provide cut and pasted weblinks. Although we will
cover citation formats in class with lots of practice, I would highly recommend running your paper by the tutors in
the Campus Writing Centers to ensure that you are correctly citing sources. Citing your sources is an important
aspect of accessibility of informationand the citations are worth a significant portion of your paper!
J) Each page should have a right margin header including your name and the page number.
K) The final paper is due by 11:59 pm CST, Sunday, 05/04. No unexcused late papers will be accepted!!!!!

L) A rough draft and a peer review will also be assigned during the semester. We will work on the sources
incrementally during the semester.