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HIST 1371: African-American Experience Since 1877: Assignment

In-class Research

Primary and secondary sources: what the heck are they? How do I find them? Today, your questions answered!

Your task:

  1. Choose a topic in consultation with Dr. Latimore 
  2. Write a thesis statement to guide your research. Need help writing a thesis? Click here
  3. Assemble a tentative bibliography of 20 citations split evenly between primary and secondary sources
  4. Determine whether a source is useful by writing an analytical annotation
  5. Use Chicago Author-Date style when formatting your citations 

What should your annotations look like? Read the examples on this page.

Writing an Annotation

An analytical annotation allows you to explain the value of a source to your paper. It can help you gain a greater sense of what a given resource can contribute (or not) to your argument. Some components of a typical annotation are given below. You needn't include every one of them! Apply the criteria that best help you to analyze the document under review. 

  1. a citation

  2. a brief description or summary of the resource

  3. a brief analysis of its thesis, argument, or focus

  4. the context in which the document was created

  5. a review of the author's credentials

  6. a prediction or description of the text's intended audience

  7. insights derived from the document 

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