Black Death Plaque
This assignment has four main goals. First, this is an exercise in choosing a topic among a vast amount of options. Second, this is an opportunity to utilize the American Psychological Association (APA) system of citation. Third, it provides you the opportunity to look deeper into a topic of interest that is also relevant to the class. Lastly, in this assignment you must critically evaluate the credibility and usefulness of information pertaining to your selected topic while also exploring how the article or primary source may have informed your thinking.
Requirements: The paper must meet the following general requirements:
Components: To receive full credit, the submission must include a title page and a reference page. The paper needs to conform to APA in terms of title/reference page, in text and bibliographic citation, as well as use of headings. Please do not include an abstract.
Topic Selection: Choosing a topic is a skill, and thus the requirement pertaining to topics is purposefully broad. You may choose any topic relating to world history between the years of 10,000 BC up to 1500. Choose a topic that you are interested in or perhaps one in which you have a background. Beware that choosing a narrow topic is the key. The papers in this class are short; you need to narrow your topic to something that is obtainable. You are highly encouraged to talk to me about your topic and article before committing.
Sources: As stated above, one of the purposes of this assignment is to get you thinking about the information that forms your argument/purpose/point. In this, quality is critical. For this assignment, you must choose one peer reviewed article or primary source. Any source chosen must be at least five (5) pages in length.
Length: While there is no hard and fast minimum, this assignment, if done properly, should be well over a page at minimum.
Article Review Tips:
This assignment has a rather strict format – review>analysis>application – and should closely follow the example.
Review: This should be a paragraph dedicated to summarizing what the article or primary source is about. While you should endeavor to be concise, you need to be sure you reader has a rather complete understanding of the article/source. Some things to address (among others) are: what is the purpose or main point? What are the main ideas? How does the author support the claims? What evidence is used? If there is an experiment (such as a survey, interviews, other methodology etc.) you need to make sure you outline how that was done (methodology is more for articles than primary sources). By the end of this paragraph the reader should understand at minimum the purpose of the article/source, the main point(s), how the author examined those points, and the conclusion. Overall this will likely be the longest section of the paper.
Analysis: This paragraph should be dedicated to thinking critically about the quality of the source. Without using first person, I should be able to hear your voice pondering the some of the following questions (among others): Do the facts/analysis/conclusions of the source seem accurate? Does the author delve deep into a topic or is it rather cursory? Are there issues with the study or the methodology used? Was the data sound? Is there a relevant but ignored perspective? Is the article convincing? Is it bias? Etc.
Application: In this paragraph you should evaluate the source in terms of how influential (or not) it was in forming your thoughts on the topic. Did it change your view on the topic you are exploring? What are some of the things that stuck out for you? How does it compare to other sources? It is a good practice to justify your thoughts and ideas through citation when forming your conclusions