We have focused on American literature and history this year. For the next several weeks, you will be reviewing a ten (10) year period of American history between the years 1900-2000. Here are the different components that you must complete:
  • Use at least four (4) print/multi-media resources to research any two of the following. (Make sure to keep formal notes on the resources including a works cited reference following MLA guidelines.)

o Politics (national and international)
o Scientific and Technological Discoveries
o Radio/Television/Film
o Diet/Cuisine
o Fashion (mainly clothing)
o Architecture
o Fine Arts

o Demographics (human geography)
o Philosophical Movements
o Music/Dances
o Fads (do not confuse with fashion)
o Scandals
o Modern Convenience
o Sports

  • Note Sheets need to be filled in for each question addressed in the research. You need a minimum of thirty (30) note sheets (fifteen pages, double-sided). Fill these out completely including page numbers in the MLA citation for each source.
  • Research Paper of no less than five (5) pages, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font must be written documenting all your research and connections. Begin this after you have completed the previous requirements. Make sure that you document all your citations in proper MLA format and include a Works Cited page. Any illustrations you would like to include should be added in an appendix and not counted towards the 5-page minimum requirement. (Remember, a minimum of work equals a minimum passing grade.) You need to focus your thesis of your paper on what characteristic of the American Soul is expressed in your decade. Make sure that you have ample time and supplies to complete a professional copy of this paper. Flash drives, disks, handwritten copies, email attachments will not be accepted.

Writing the Paper:

A research paper is not a webquest or a scavenger hunt. It is the time when you take all the information, facts, and details that you have discovered while researching your subtopics and come up with your own connections and relationships between them and record them in a formal paper.


This should be at least one paragraph but may be longer. You are going to cover the true character and major trends of the ten year period you studied. You should be working from your own thoughts without needing to touch your research notes for this portion. You will not use citations here because it is based on your own impressions. The details you are going to use for support are going to come later.

Sections 1-2

These should be divided by subtopics. Do not label them as "section" anything, but use the subtopic as the title for the section. Each one should be no less than three paragraphs in length. Cover the major trends of the time period highlighting the features that stand out. Do not present a laundry list of items. Make the connections between the trends and explain how the different subtopics relate to one another. Remember – You are interested in showing your teacher how you connect to your research as well as the quality and quantity of information you discovered in your research. Three paragraphs are the minimum; if that's what you present, expect the minimum rating. When you do cite a source, make sure you follow the MLA style for in-text (parenthetical) notation. Your quotes and notes in these sections should be prominent.


This may take one or more paragraphs to present. It is similar to the introduction because you are going to explain what the major trends are again, but you are also going to point out some of the great events, influential people, or pivotal points that really personify or characterize your decade. Again, there should not be many citations here, but if you have an outstanding quote that really expresses your point succinctly, you may use it. (Do not make this section a flurry of quotes.)
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Works Cited:

Your Works Cited Page should come at the end after the last page of your research paper. Alphabetize your entries based on the first piece of information in your citation. In most cases, it would be the last name of the author, but if an author's name is not available, then it would be the first word of a title with the exclusion of "A," "An," or "The." You should leave an additional space between the citations, and each citation should have a hanging indent. (If you are using MS Word and don’t know how to do this, ask for help.) How the information is to be presented breaks down fairly easily into four categories:
  • Who wrote it?
  • What is it called?
  • Where was it published?
  • When was it published?
Online tools available to help you create your works cited page are:
    • easybib.com
    • citationmachine.net
    • noodletools.com
When you are citing a reference in your paper, there are two ways to handle it:
  • If you quote a selection or paraphrase a person's idea, you write the last name of the author (or an abbreviated title) and the page number where the quote or idea was found. (If you are using a website, you do not have a page number to reference, so only the author or title will be in the parentheses.)
  • If you include the author's name (or title of the article when there is no named author) in the paraphrase or quote, you only include the page number in the parentheses.
Some students have asked how many resources they should have for their projects. The more information you have, the better informed you will be when you write your paper. You should have citations for no less than four resources for your two subtopics (Remember: if you have at least three resources per subtopic, it will be easier for you to determine what is considered common knowledge. If you are still having trouble distinguishing what needs to be cited and what doesn't, please ask)
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Due Dates:

· Decade and Topic Selection made: Wednesday, November 18, 2009

· Projects turned in: no later than Friday, December 18, 2009 within the first five minutes of your class.

· Projects will be penalized 20% off the top of the grade if they are submitted on the same date after the first five minutes of your class.

· Projects will automatically receive 50% if turned in after December 18, 2009.

Order of Materials
When you turn in your project, make sure you have your pieces in the proper order:
    1. Research Paper
    2. Works Cited
    3. Note Sheets
    4. Illustrations, Photos, etc. (optional)
You are not required to use a project cover or folder, but if wish to use one, you may.
You will not receive your projects back (note sheets will be returned), so if there is anything in them that you want to keep, make sure you do not submit the originals. Do not use a standard copier to make copies of photographs. The quality will be poor.
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As defined in the William Penn School District Secondary Schools Student Code of Conduct, plagiarism is defined as: any act using, without acknowledgement, the ideas, writings, or inventions of another, either word for word or in substance, and representing them as one's own, i.e., failure to use quotation marks, foot notes, or bibliography [aka: Works Cited page] to indicate material used directly or substantially from other sources in written or oral reports. This would also apply to themes, poems, musical compositions, research reports, reviews, etc., or to any other work done in preparation for school assignments (24).
You need to cite where you got the ideas, facts, or details you presented in the paper that you got from other sources even if you do not directly quote them. That means that even if you paraphrase what you read, you still need to credit the source, or you will suffer the following circumstances as outlined in the handbook:

    • A failing grade will be given for that assignment
    • Notification to parent/guardian
    • Reported to school officials and guidance
This is a serious offense, and you should take any and all necessary steps to ensure you give credit to proper sources.