Thomas Edison and Modern America
Research papers on Thomas Edison and Modern America can be organized like you see below. Our history or science writers can write on any historical figure you need. Use what you see here as a guide in organizing your research.
Paper Masters suggests that you use A Brief History with Documents by Theresa M. Collins and Lisa Gitelman as a basis for your research on Thomas Edison. The paper must adhere specifically to the instructions stated below, especially the General Requirements. The documentation must be Turabian documentation with 6 cited areas (2 for each feat). The paper should be attempted as an "A" standing. Everything stated below should be looked over such as grading and FAQs just to get a sense of how the paper pertains to a science class. Be sure not to give more opinion than actual research information.
The research paper on Thomas Edison in Modern America should be based on the reading of a biography whose life corresponds with the appropriate American History section listed above. Choose someone from America (born here).
- Can you read a piece of professional history?
- Can you pull from reading the material that you need to write a paper?
- Can you organize that material and present it in an organized and logical fashion?
- Can you present it with good grammar and style?
- Can you follow these instructions?
Paper Masters suggests you look at the possibility of organizing the paper in paragraph form. The first paragraph would include the following:
- Your thesis (what are you trying to provestate it clearly).
- Name the book and author the project is based on.
- What was the book discussing?
- What do you believe was the purpose of this book?
- What message was the author sending its reader?
- In the second paragraph what was your general evaluation of the book? This is your evaluation, not that of a professional reviewer.
- What positive or negative influences did you feel about the subject of this biography?
- Did the author bolster or diminish this person's standing and historical significance?
- In the third paragraph, what did the subject accomplish that impressed you?
- Explain in detail why you were impressed.
- Give the rationale for this impressed feat.
- What, for example, was the historical ramification of this feat?
- Was what the person did historically important?
- Did you approve or disapprove of this person's action?
Use clear examples from the book (this most likely would be where you should have footnotes). Remember to select a feat or accomplishment, rather than a personal trait. For example, did this person invent something or found an organization? Avoid a character trait like ambition or perseverance. Now, on the fourth paragraph, repeat what you did in the previous paragraph only choosing a different impressive feat. For the fifth paragraph, pick again a different feat and repeat the process. In the sixth paragraph, tell me how the author was true to his/her intent. Did you agree with the author's assessment of this subject's importance in historical terms? Explain why or why not. Perhaps, you viewed the author's evidence with skepticism and interpreted the material differently. In the final paragraph, you have reached the conclusion stage. Make your observations here. Did you, in fact, arguably convince me that the thesis you presented earlier made sense? Give me your honest assessment of the person. Summarize this evaluation.
Is this a book report? No, this is an opinion or thought paper. If you write, "He was born in a log cabin and walked to school 3 miles every day in the snow," that is a fact. It offers no reflective opinion by you. Hence, the statement is written in book report style. Avoid "he or she" and instead write "I." Thusly, I believe, I surmise, I think, I propose, I infer, I imagine, I suggest, I recommend, I advocate, I conclude are better examples of expressing opinion.
Do I need footnotes and what method must be used?:
Absolutely, a minimum of three because three impressive feats are used. Six is about the right number usually. Use TURABIAN documentation. Footnotes (also called endnotes) must be listed on a separate page. An instruction sheet may be obtained from ACC libraries.
What book should I select?:
Any biography in the correct time frame of this course would most likely be acceptable. Avoid autobiographies since that would be a bias account of one's life. Also, avoid a biography written by a family member of the subject. Remember, this is American History so choose an American. In other words, pick someone who is born in America (colonial, Native American Indian or citizen). If you are not sure the book is acceptable, bring it in and let me see it. Do not concern yourself if someone else in the class has picked the same book or same person. This is an opinion paper assignment so no opinions will be alike. Finally, get a real paper bound book, not an internet version. The internet is still fraught with problems such as abridged versions, authenticity, printouts, footnoting and fact checking, so at this time I will not accept electronic books.
What person should I choose?:
Do you have any hero or person in history you admire? That is a good starting place. Your field of choices is endless. Consider the following areas: military, politics, civil rights, science, Native Americans, inventors, feminists, diplomats, etc. etc. etc. Get the idea?
May I find help in putting together my paper?:
ACC has on all main campuses instructional and computer associates whose job it is to provide assistance. Bring this instruction sheet with you so the associate will understand the gist of the assignment. Use this service. It is free and confidential.
May I get an "A" by using additional sources to supplement the book?:
If your written communication skills are lacking, no amount of additional sources and materials will improve the paper. If you wish to use other sources such as journals and magazines to support your opinions, please feel free to do so (however, our textbook is off limits). Again, it is not required to use other materials. Be careful not to pad your paper when using this approach.
What sort of things have previous students done to mess up this assignment?:
By not reading this instruction sheet, you are fairly assured to mess up. For example:
- You read and wrote a thought paper on President Kennedy and you are in History 1301 (wrong course).
- You chose your grandfather and there is not even a book on him.
- You picked King George the 3rd (he is not American).
- You submitted a paper on the country of Vietnam.
- You wrote on the entire life story of this person. That is a book report. Focus on 3 impressive feats only.
- You wrote about 17 impressive feats because you claim this person did more than 3 (Excuse me; you do not pick 17 people to marry, do you?)
- You chose a second grade reader book with lots of pictures. You can do better than that.
- You picked an autobiography. That is when the author and the subject are the same person. There could not be an objective analysis of the book under those circumstances.
- You write a 5 page paper, despite the fact it must be at least 7 pages.