RESEARCH PAPER THEME: Debunking Misconceptions of African American History
African American History has been suppressed, warped, and purposefully rewritten by
historians for generations. The goal of this paper assignment is to reverse much of this damage
by revealing under represented events and important turning points in African American History.
This paper can take one of two methodologies seen below:
Option 1: For this option, student papers will argue for the inclusion and placement of a new or
underrepresented subject/event in African American History to be included in historical
textbooks. Why has this event been neglected in American/African American History, and why
should it be included in historical textbooks?
Option 2: For this option, student papers will take an already well-known subject/event in African
American History, and argue why this event has been inaccurately represented by historians.
How have historians misrepresented this event, and how can scholars change their
understanding of it in order to reveal the past more accurately?
In either case, the reader will expect an introduction to the subject/event and how it has been
studied or represented in the literature, an explanation of why the subject/event needs further
investigation, and demonstration of the use of both primary and secondary sources.
Nuts and bolts of the paper assignment:
Submission: You will submit your final paper electronically to the SafeAssign link on the class
blackboard website in Microsoft Word .doc/.docx format. No hard copy is required. Please note
the paper policies on the syllabus regarding late papers and plagiarism.
1) Double spaced, times new roman font 12pt, one-inch margins
2) Paper is to be between 8 and 10 full pages in length not including the works cited
3) Indent new paragraphs
1) Be formal – e.g. no contractions, slang, jargon, colloquialisms, etc.
2) Do not use repetitive language (a thesaurus is helpful with this)
3) Watch for typographical errors, tenses, and point of view
4) Use past tense
1) Thesis Statement – Begin your essay with a clear and identifiable argument
2) Structure – The essay should have an introduction and conclusion as well as a clear and
logical sequence of topics discussed in each paragraph
3) Sources – For this assignment please use both primary and secondary sources that are
academic in nature.
4) Make sure to use your own words
• Use quotations to support your argument
• Cite using footnotes after paragraphs and quotations, e.g. “I do not like them Sam-I-am. I do
not like green eggs and ham.”
• Include a works cited page/bibliography
• For the citation page use Chicago Manual of Style
1 Seuss, Dr. Green Eggs and Ham. Random House, New York: 1975.
***My professor is huge on divide and conquer to control a mass of people, and rewriting/changing history to control a mass of people. Please emphasize these points during the writing.