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HIST 1371: African-American Experience Since 1877: Assignment

In-class Research

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 the usefulness of each source by writing an analytical annotation
  5. Use Chicago Author-Date style when formatting your citations 

What should your annotations look like? Here are a few examples.

Writing an Annotation

An analytical annotation explains the value of a source to your paper. It summarizes your investigation of the source, the aspects that add support to your claims and interpretations. Some components of a typical annotation are given below. It may not be necessary to include them all, but be sure to include the most salient criteria, the ones that best explain your use of the source. At minimum, aim for 1, 2, 3 and 7.

  1. a correctly formatted citation in Chicago Author-Date style 

  2. a brief description or summary of the resource

  3. a brief analysis of its argument or focus

  4. the context in which the document was created

  5. a review of the author's credentials or relevant biographical information 

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

  7. insights derived from the document, which may include an evaluative judgment  

In-Class Exercise

  • Go talk with Prof. Hoelscher!
     
  • Using a library database, find one primary source that you might annotate for your assignment. Still deciding which topic to research? Use this time to explore your ideas and put them to the test.
     
  • Using Google, find an archive with resources about your topic. Locate one primary source that you might annotate. Be prepared to share your finds! Why did you select this item? What about it sparked your interest?