Name_____________________________________________

Preliminary Social Justice Research Design
History 383

The goals of the Research Project are to practice your skills in historical research and in so doing, to generate excitement and interest in a historical topic relating to social justice in California. This is your research assignment.  You get to pick a topic about California's social justice history that really interests and that we have not discussed in class. This should be interesting research - something you want to learn more about in regard to California.  If you need some ideas, talk with your professor before attempting to complete this assignment.

YOU MUST COMPLETE THIS PRELIMINARY RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT IN TYPEWRITTEN FORM AND TURN IT IN TO GET CREDIT FOR THE FINAL RESEARCH PROJECT.  IF YOU CHANGE TOPICS LATER IN THE SEMESTER, YOU MUST GET APPROVAL FROM THE PROFESSOR! 

To complete this assignment, you will need to visit the Library.   There are five specific parts to this assignment. To receive credit for this assignment, you must answer all questions within each part. Have fun - remember, this is your research topic!

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Part I:  Describe the topic you plan to research.  Below, clearly state the topic you  plan to research (some topic, person, event, issue related to social justice in California history) in at least two specific sentences.  (Example: I want to investigate the myth of Zorro as a hero of the native Californians. I am especially interested in how and why the myth arose and how it has shaped the American understanding of California history during the Mexican Era.)

Part II: State your thesis. You must stake a claim by describing the basis for the argument you will be making in your research. (Example: I will argue that Zorro was a hero to native Californians because he gave them hope for a better future.) Please note that it is entirely possible that you may change your thesis as your research continues. Or you may decide that your thesis was incorrect after you finished your research. No problem - you will explain how your thesis evolved in your conclusion in your final research paper.

Part III:  Read your primary resources and explain how they will help you conduct your research and create your presentation. You are required to consult at least two primary sources during the course of your research. Remember, a primary source is something that records an event, issue, or person's life at the time it occurred.  Primary sources include:

After locating your primary resources, address the following:
  1. Summarize both primary resources.
  2. Explain how you believe each of your primary resources will help you with your research and help you create your final research presentation. I
  3. Provide full citations for both primary documents - author, title, publisher, date and place of publication.

Part IV: Read your secondary resources and explain how they will help you conduct your research create your presentation . You must select at least one book and one scholarly journal article written about your selected topic. (Another option is to select two books.)   Then, do the following:
  1. Summarize both secondary resources.
  2. Explain how you believe each of your secondary resources will help you with your research and create your final research presentation.
  3. Provide full citations for both secondary resources - author, title, publisher, date and place of publication.
     

Part V:  Provide a preliminary design for the presentation.  In the space below, address the following:

  1. How will you introduce your topic in your presentation?
  2. How will you use information in your primary and secondary resources that will support your topic thesis?
  3. How and why is your person or topic related to the struggle for social justice in the state of California?
  4. What gaps remain in your research and what will you do to address them?
  5. What still needs to be done before your can complete your virtual tour?