Research Project – Possible Paper Topics & Historical Debates they address
MEXICAN AMERICAN HISTORY RESEARCH PAPER
The purpose of this assignment is to explore one of the course topics in more depth. Your purpose is to write an argumentative essay on this topic. This means writing an essay where you have a clear, specific, debatable statement at the end of your introduction that explains to readers what you will prove in your essay. The rest of the assignment should focus on giving readers the necessary historical background and explanation of your arguments and supportive evidence for your arguments. After explaining your stance, you should include counterarguments and supportive evidence so readers can appreciate what the other side of the debate has to say. However, you, of course, want to end the paper by driving home your points in the conclusion
Begin by choosing a topic with different interpretations (e.g. Chicano Civil Rights Movement and Mexican American Studies (MAS) courses- Were these courses relevant then, and are they relevant now? If so, why? If not, why not?). Come up with a research question, or use the ones I provided. You can adjust the question as you research and read on your topic.
Start researching this topic on Google Books or Google Scholar. Also, go to the SAC MLC to look for books on your topic. If you don’t find the books at SAC, get a TexShare card from SAC’s MLC, 3rd Floor-Circulation Desk. (Bring your student ID to get the card). Use the TexShare card to check out books from UTSA-Downtown, Trinity, or other university libraries that have a larger library book selection.
Once you’ve got the books, start reading those sections that relate to your research question. Write down relevant quotes, statements, and facts. Start outlining, so you know what arguments you want to make and what evidence (scholarly quotes, statistics, personal anecdotes if appropriate, etc.) you will use. Generally, a combination of evidence make for the strongest papers.
We will have time to draft part of your essay in class, so please be diligent and start researching early. This phase takes time, and don’t be surprised at how many books/articles/websites you will sift through before narrowing your sources down to the most useful for defending your points.