11th Grade History Research Project

In 11th grade U.S. history, students will be expected to write an historical thesis research paper on a topic in American history of their choosing. Through these project students should be able to use the research process by finding and evaluating valid primary and secondary sources, quoting and paraphrasing from original sources, and using note cards to collect and organize information. In this research project students should be able to develop a cohesive argument, organize ideas, and include analysis of specific examples and evidence, citing all sources. Students should be able identify the biases inherent in their sources and determine which sources are most reliable. Students should be able to establish the relationship between the larger context of the region and time period and their specific topic. In addition to meeting standards on this paper, students will be expected to present their finding to a panel of teachers, peers, and outside evaluators.

Readings: 
Analysis and application of "historical lenses"
Interpreting/analyzing documentary film
Understanding character and motivation of individuals and world figures and leaders as historical agents
Significant Assignments: 

--Bill of Rights & Current Event Project
--Civil War Essay
--Outline & Rough Draft of Historical Research Paper
--Final Draft of Historical Thesis Research Paper & Panel Presentation

Significant Activities or Projects: 

Writing:
• Expressing your thoughts clearly, concisely, and accurately through writing in multiple projects
• Connecting current events to history
• Evaluating bias and point of view in primary and secondary sources
• Evaluating competing historical perspectives
• Drawing conclusions and making connections from trends/patterns based on class discussion, homework, and/or independent research
• Creating outlines and using them to organize ideas

Research: 

• Evaluating sources, using note cards to collect information, quoting and paraphrasing, analysis and synthesis of research, organization of information, citing sources
• Conducting research on a topic chosen by students
• Documenting sources

Sample PBATs: 
Historical Thesis--Students must complete a 12-15 page historical thesis research paper on a 20th Century American History topic of their choice. Students are also expected to defend their paper before a panel of their peers, and external evaluators.