This assignment is worth up to 50 points of your overall course grade. In this searching exercise you will search for secondary sources upon which to base your historiographical essay. Your professor will provide detailed directions for this exercise. Basically, you will use UMGC’s library search engines and other sources to find 10 or more secondary sources that have arguments about your topic. You will list those sources in bibliographic format, and provide information about how you located the sources and why you decided they were relevant to your project. You will start this assignment in Week 4 and complete it in Week 5.
Due: Week 5 (September 22)
Please read through the Research Methodology Module (on the left side of the course page click on Course Resources, and then click on Course Modules) and then familiarize yourself with the following instructions concerning your Library Project/Searching Exercise. In the Research Methodology module you will find directions that will guide your use of the University’s library databases, and you will use the exercise given to familiarize yourself with the search procedures.
Your assignment will consist of two parts. For the Library project exercise, search for secondary source materials that relate to your research topic (part one). Use either UMGC’s or other libraries’ search engines and find at least ten (10) secondary sources (books or journal articles) related to the topic of your project (part one). At least three (3) or more of the ten secondary sources must come from your search of the articles from UMGC’s Library search engines; the other secondary sources can come from other search methods. An A is above and beyond what is required, so for a high A, go above and beyond ten (10) secondary sources related to your topic. Then produce an annotated bibliography of these ten secondary sources, and for each source include a one or two sentence annotation about how and where you located these sources (part two). Then turn in your assignment as a Word file via this assignment by the end of Week 5.
Keep very detailed and precise notes about which search terms you used and which databases you explored! Your written assignment (part two) is to prepare and submit a formal annotated bibliography of at least ten secondary sources that your search located. These citations will be in proper bibliographic format as per the Chicago Style forms, and each will have a brief annotation of two or three sentences (use complete sentences) indicating how and where you located these specific resources. Use “Secondary Sources” as the title for your annotated bibliography page.
You can find instructions about proper bibliographic formatting in the Week 2 Chicago Style formatting links. Bibliographic entries can be confusing, long, and full of fussy details. These are, however, fussy details that you need to master, both because they are the accepted norm for history writing and, for this class, you will be graded on them in this assignment as well as your annotated bibliography and final paper. Please pay careful attention to Chicago Style’s instructions on spacing, capitalization, italicization, and so on. You will be penalized for errors (so ask any questions you might have before the assignment is due).
In Weeks 6 and 7, you will use the secondary sources you have found to write a historiographical essay, a survey of secondary literature, for your topic. The point of a historiography is to define what has been argued about your topic by other historians. In a historiographical essay, you summarize what other historians have argued and written about your topic. By doing so, you will know how your arguments relate to those that have already been put forward about your topic. This will help you identify the arguments against which your new and unique interpretation is arguing. Therefore, when you search for secondary sources related to your topic, look for those which put forward an historical argument or interpretation about your topic; or if you are the first to look at a topic, what historians have argued about related topics. Thus, you need to search for secondary sources which provide an argument about your topic. You also need to get ahold of these actual secondary sources so that you can use them in your Historiographical Essay. DO NOT use book reviews.
You have two weeks to accomplish this assignment, and it is due via this assignment instructions by the end of Week 5.
DO NOT INCLUDE PRIMARY SOURCES IN THIS BIBLIOGRAPHY. If in doubt about a source, feel free to send me a bibliographic entry, and I can tell you what I think it is (primary or secondary) as best I can