Research Paper Guidelines and tips:
Requirements: MLA Format
Length: 4-5 pages double spaced (not counting title page and bibliography) Times New Roman,
12 PT font, 1inch margins.
Bibliography: Alphabetical order of works cited and at least 4 sources.
When searching for sources remember to look for primary and secondary documents.
Websites like Wikipedia cannot be used, instead look up primary or secondary documents using
the library and its database. If you go in to the library asking for help, they will be more than
happy to assist you in your research. Another method for finding primary and secondary
documents is by using Google Scholar.
Author last name, first name. Title of book. City where printed: Press where
printed, year printed.
Kennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, Thomas A. Bailey, Mel Piehl. The Brief
American Pageant, Sixth Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.
Lewis, C.S. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. New York: Harper Collins
The American Spirit, Seventh Edition. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath and Company,
When researching and writing your research paper remember you must not only describe past
events; you must try to make sense of them. You must not only chronicle people’s actions, but
you must try to discover the causes behind them.
Why did the subject you are writing about happen when it did? Why did events unfold and take
shape in the way that they did? How did environmental factors and contemporary events interact
with each other to help bring about the historical event you are dissecting?
a.) research paper topics thoroughly
b.) Successfully take up the challenge to think about topics in complex, multi-faceted ways.
c.) Describe narratives and analyses clearly, concisely, and completely. Analyze and reference
your research to support your analysis. For example if you believe in your analysis that
Reconstruction was a failure, prove it by referencing your research and supporting your
argument. There is no right or wrong interpretation of history so long as you have evidence to
help support your answer. Most importantly, don’t turn in a paper that simply states one fact after
another and completely lacks your own interpretation of those facts. I do not want to simply read
facts about a certain event or events; I want to see your interpretations of different events in
history and what conclusion(s) you come to.
Remember: opinion is fine but it must be supported with fact. If quoting a source, which is fine, CITE
IT! You will not be penalized if you cite your source only if you do not!!!!
Final paper topics
1) Some progressives in America believed that the elimination of alcohol would cleanse
society and help eliminate social ills of the 1920s. Discuss the social and political
ramifications of prohibition.
2) Were there any legitimate concerns behind the red-hunting anticommunism of the
late 1940s and early 1950s? How were McCarthy and others able to turn the search for
spies and subversives into an assault on freethinkers, adulterers, homosexuals, and
others deemed different in some way?
3) Examine the impact of the Black Panthers on the Civil Rights movement and whether or
not they were a help or a hindrance.
4) The dropping of the atomic bomb in WWII created the scare of nuclear warfare;
examine the effects of the use of nuclear weapons in WWII. Consider whether or not
alternative methods could have been used, and been successful, or if dropping the
bombs was the best method.
5) The legacy of Reconstruction- to what extent was it a success or failure?
6) What were the causes of the Vietnam War? Give at least three good reasons and make
sure to support opinion with facts