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HIST 1510: Dr. Tammy Proctor: 1989 Project Library Research Stages

Stage 1: Choosing Articles (5 points - due on Canvas by midnight on Feb. 13th)

Each person in the class will need to conduct a search of the New York Times (historical), the Los Angeles Times, or London Times, 1785-1985 (After 1985-) on the library database website. Students will research their own birthdays (month/day) in 1989, and then generate a list of articles from that day that address issues in world history. They will include descriptions and show possible topics for research.

To Find Articles:

--Go to the Library webpage and choose “All Databases”. Type in the newspaper you want to search New York Times – Historical OR Times (London) OR     Los Angeles Times. A search engine should appear (make sure you are on “Advanced Search” option).

--Under search options, change the date range to “on this date”.  Put in your birthday month and day and the year 1989. Also change the “document type” to article or front page article to limit the hits. Then search.

--Scroll through the articles and pick 10 that seem interesting to you.  MAKE SURE they have a world history context.  So, it can be an article about American history, but it must have some sort of global connection to themes we’ve discussed.

To create your article list:

--List your articles using an appropriate citation style (Chicago or MLA). DO NOT just provide a list of long website addresses. See example below for proper style.

--For each article, provide a 1-sentence description of the main points of the article.

--Put a ** next to the article you think is best and for which you’d like to develop your larger project.

Here’s an example of a citation with a short description:

Suro, Roberto.U.S. set to detain refugees in tents beginning today: New Procedure in Texas." New York Times (21 February 1989), 1.**  This article looks at the creation of tent cities in Texas to deal with a flood of Central American migrants to the United States who seek asylum.

Stage 2: Choosing your topic (5 points -- due as Canvas upload by midnight on Feb. 27th)

Using the article that you identified in Stage 1 as the most interesting (and with relevant world historical context), run a new search on the New York Times, London Times, or Los Angeles Times on the library databases. Be sure to change the search criteria to include a date range (the whole year of 1989) and search by keyword using your article’s topic. From this new list, choose at least 5 articles that relate to your original article. Write 1-2 paragraph analyses of EACH article that includes the citation information for each.

Using my example above, I searched all of 1989 using the keywords “Central American” and "asylum". I got 36 hits. When I scrolled through the articles, I found several useful ones, including one article that suggested the new asylum process was off to a rocky start and another suggesting judges might block some of the actions. Look for these kinds of connections – cause/effect, developments in a political situation, etc.

Stage 3: Bibliography (10 points -- due as Canvas upload by midnight on March 20th)

Create a bibliography  for your paper including the peer reviewed secondary sources you plan to use. These are scholarly published books and scholarly journal articles that you will cite using Chicago or MLA style (see the links in Stage 1 above). You will need 5 secondary sources (books and journal articles).

To find secondary sources:

  1. The best place for scholarly journal articles is JSTOR, a database you can search on the library website.  Remember that scholarly articles are not from popular magazines such as Time or Rolling Stone, but instead, they are from historical journals such as the Journal of American History or the Journal of Social History.
  2. Avoid doing a google search and listing websites – this requires using OUR LIBRARY.
  3. The best way to get good scholarly books is to search the library website by keyword.
  4. Examples of titles you could use for general context (which are available from our library) include:
    1. 1989: A Global History of Eastern Europe (2019)
    2. The Global 1980s: People, Power, and Profit (2019)
    3. The Long 1989: Decades of Global Revolution (2019)

**Note – for best results, aim to get both journal articles and books – journal articles are usually more recent and timely, but books provide more depth. See the LIBGUIDE for the class for tips on how to find good books and journal articles in history from our library.

Please do not use Wikipedia or online encyclopedias/dictionaries or random websites for this part of assignment. You want things that have been peer reviewed by other scholars.


Article Linker button

Need the PDF/full-text?

Use Article Linker to search for full-text across all databases. If the article isn't available, choose Request via ILLiad or use interlibrary loan to request a copy from another library.


Need a book we don't own?

Use interlibrary loan to request books, articles, and more from other libraries.

Stage 4: Paper (20 points -- due as Canvas upload by midnight on April 10th)

Your paper for this project should be 750-850 words long, double-spaced, 12-point font, with 1-inch margins.  BE SURE to cite your sources using an approved citation style such as Chicago, MLA or APA.  You must include a bibliography (works cited list) as an additional page (not part of the word count). To craft a good paper, write a strong thesis statement making your main point. Support that point with concrete evidence from your primary sources and strong context/explanation from your scholarly secondary sources. Write a conclusion that ties the event to the broader world history context. Check Canvas for the scoring rubric.

Rules for the draft—

  1. The paper must cite and use at least two of your newspapers articles chosen in Stage 2. Other primary sources would also be helpful such as government documents, photographs (as appendices), memoirs, oral histories, etc.
  2. The paper must cite and use secondary sources to provide context and depth. Aim to have at least 3 secondary sources with a combination of journal articles and books.
  3. The paper must make a clear argument about how and why your event is important in world history.

Stage 5: Research Poster Presentation (10 points -- due in class on April 17th)

Using your paper and instructor comments, create a short poster presentation of your research. Can be a digital slide on your laptop or a physical poster no bigger than 11 x 17.

  1. Must include thesis, short description of sources/findings, and a statement explaining its importance to world history.
  2. Plan to discuss the poster with your classmates in a poster session in class. You must be present to receive points (make arrangements with Dr. P in advance if you have a conflict or are sick).