Historical fiction Research Paper
The Goals of this Paper:
a. Identify primary source documents appropriate to your research.
b. Interpret the application of laws, court cases, and customs.
c. Create an argument and use primary sources to support your claim.
Understand the critical connection of the historical past and how it shapes today’s experiences.
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1. 5-6 pages
2. Citations in MLA, APA, or Chicago Style with works cited page and in text citations.
3. Use primary and secondary sources (at least 3) and uses the Zinn PDF
4. Contains an argument
The introductory paragraph must contain an argument (thesis). Although this seems to be an informative paper, it still must have a point. For instance, “The life of a typical Mexican woman during the colonial period in America was exceptionally challenging. Through the scrutiny of the concept of the cult of domesticity, Manifest Destiny, and the Greaser Law it becomes apparent that Mexican women faced a multitude of oppression much like her African American counterpart that still intimately defines her position in society today.”
Next, you would begin to construct your “colonial identity” in first person. You would introduce yourself, how you came to the colonies (this is what we call “historical fiction,” of course I am not expecting you to know that you came on the Mayflower and landed on Plymouth, but rather, based on your racial/ethnic identity, what would have your point of entry have been?) I understand that some groups will have a challenge finding a point of entry, for instance, in my case, very few Vietnamese would have been in colonial America. I would use as a reference point the entry of the Chinese. In my research I found that in 1834 the first Chinese woman Julia Foochee ching-chang king (Afong Moy) came to the United States. I would then use the Chinese experience to inform how a person like myself would experience life in the US. It might help to write your paper as a series of letters or journal entries.
What do you do for a living? What challenges do you face in the colonies? What advantages if any? How are you treated?
Third, I want you to then befriend another person that differs from your racial identity and explain their situation and life in the colonies. You would then research 3-5 laws, court cases, customs, and social practices that apply to your friend. They cannot be the same laws that you have used for yourself. Fourth, I want you to situate yourself in a major historical event and explain your perspective or role. For instance, if you are Native, how would you have reacted to the Indian Removal Act of 1830?
Last, I want you to reflect on your current identity and your life in the United States? How has the legacy of the experience of a person like yourself in colonial America impact your experiences today? What have you learned from your research?
Remember, I want you to be creative, but I need to see that you have done your research. You need to identify and explain laws, court cases, and social customs. Your historical event should also explain the significance and impact it had in history. Although you are making up the story, the facts are real. I need you to include at least 3 sources and a works cited or bibliography. Please use academic sources, Wikipedia, info please, and similar sites or blogs are not academic. You can use your text book, but they will not be counted towards the three sources. You need to cite within the body of your paper whenever you mention information that the average person does not commonly known. A good rule of thumb is whenever you cite a law, court cases, or custom, there should be a citation that follows. This also applies to details of your historical event. Be mindful: a paper without in-text citation will be given a zero with no opportunity to rewrite for a higher grade. When in doubt, ask.
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