Assignments

Class Participation—Students are expected to contribute at least once to every class discussion in this course to receive a minimum of a “D” for this assignment. Grades will be based on whether a student participated and the substance of his/her comments. 

Reading-Based Blogging—For specific directions on this assignment, click here. Blog posts are due by 8AM on the day of class discussion and will be used in class. No late or incomplete posts will be accepted. Students may miss one response without affecting their grade.

U.S. Immigration Research Project—Students are required to write a 10-page research paper, not including footnotes/endnotes and a bibliography, on some aspect of American immigration history, broadly defined. There will be a series of smaller assignments—project proposal, primary source analysis, annotated bibliography, and presentation—that will lead to the completion of the final paper. Students must have their project proposal approved by the instructor before proceeding with their research. To help with this process, it is suggested, but not required, to make an appointment or email me to discuss possible topics before the first assignment is due.NOTE: all assignments will be marked down a full letter grade for each day they are late, including weekends, and will not be accepted 48 hours after the deadline. For specific deadlines, see the Schedule.

Project Proposal (1-2-pages): Students will write a short essay based on their preliminary research that addresses the following: 

  • The subject that you plan to research.
  • A working argument.
  • The types of primary sources that you plan to use. Give at least 2 examples.
  • The name and summary of 2 book-length secondary sources
  • The significance of your proposed project
  • An additional one-page bibliography with both primary and secondary sources separated under subheadings. Students are required to use Chicago Manual of Style to format their bibliographies.

Primary Source Analysis (2-3 pages): Students will write a close analysis of a primary source that is central to their research project in essay form. The essay must include the following:

  • A description of the primary source.
  • Contextual information related to the source’s periodization.
  • Contextual information related to the source’s author(s).
  • A historical discussion of the meaning of the item.
  • A historical discussion of any inferences that can be made about an event or periodization.
  • Bibliography using Chicago Manual of Style formatting.

Annotated Bibliography (2+ pages): Students will generate a list with supporting information related to secondary sources that students will use in their research. Each annotation requires the following:

  • Include at least six secondary sources.
  • Provide for each source at least one sentence on:
    • The author’s argument
    • The supporting evidence for the argument
    • How the work contributes to, influences, and/or informs the student’s project.
    • Provide a concluding paragraph at the end of the annotated bibliography on how the project will contribute to the scholarly conversation. 

Final Presentation (7 minutes): Students will give formal presentations to the class on their research. It is required that students include multimedia. For more information, see “Oral Presentations” on UMW’s History Department’s website or make an appointment with the Speaking Center. Final presentations will be given during the last weeks of the course.  

  • Accurately lays out project.                                                    
  • Uses appropriate supporting evidence.                     
  • Includes analysis and interpretation.                                     
  • Relates ideas to larger issues.                                    
  • Uses appropriate multimedia.
  • Speaks coherently and loudly.                                                
  • Uses suitable posture and gestures.                          
  • Answers student questions competently.      
  • Meets the 7-minute criteria.             

Student Research Paper (10+ pages): This assignment is a culmination of all your research and writing. It will include analyses of both primary and secondary sources that support your thesis statement. A bibliography, again using Chicago Manual of Style, must be included at the end of your paper. Final papers are required to be handed in on our department’s symposium day (NOTE: we have no class that day). 

  • Includes an introduction, main body, and conclusion.
  • Has a clearly defined thesis.
  • Incorporates appropriate supporting evidence from primary sources.
  • Provides a critical analysis of primary sources.
  • Use appropriate secondary sources to support their argument.
  • Inserts footnotes/endnotes throughout their paper formatting using Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Has a bibliography formatting using Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Is well-organized with few grammar and/or usage errors. 

Exams—There will be a midterm and a final during the scheduled exam period. Both will be used to evaluate your ability to synthesize the major themes of the course and key course content. The final exam will not necessarily be cumulative, but it will build upon material from the first half of the semester. For specific dates, see the Schedule.