National Archives Assignment

For this assignment, you need to visit the National Archives DOCSTeach site. Historians typically use two types of materials, secondary source, and primary source documents. Secondary sources are typically books and articles written on a particular historical event, well after the fact. Primary source documents are usually generated by first-hand participants. Good historians rely heavily on original materials created at the time of the event. For this reason, historians spend a good deal of time at the archives. There are many types of archives, but by far, the largest in the United States, is the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

The National Archives contains more than 10 billion documents, and they have collected thousands of those in the National Archives DOCSTeach site. After you have opened the above link, click on “Menu” on the upper left, and then “Documents.” In the “Keyword” box type in the subject you wish to research. Please remember that your topic should fall within the period of history covered by this course. Typical keywords might be something like Jefferson, American Revolution, Madison, Civil War, Lincoln or any number of topics.

After your images have appeared, you need to select five (5) of them that are relevant to your topic. In the upper right hand corner, just above your image, there is an icon to save that image. You will also note that below each image there is some information about that document as well as full citation.

There are two ways that you can complete this assignment. Once you have collected your documents, you can create a PowerPoint, or use them as evidence for writing a 3-5 page essay. Naturally, you will need some other information, and you can gather that through the internet, or other books and articles. As a precaution, avoid using textbooks.

Why are primary sources so valuable to learning history? Better than the text?

 

Primary sources are contemporary accounts or physical objects (evidence) which were written or created during the time period under study. Written primary sources include manuscripts, diaries, letters, memoirs, journals, speeches, and interviews (including oral interviews). They may also include published pieces such as newspaper or magazine articles (if written soon after the fact and not as historical accounts), photographs, audio or video recordings, research reports in the natural or social sciences, or original literary or theatrical works. Physical objects such as pottery, furniture, clothing, weapons and armor, and architectural structures are also primary sources.

One of the critical skills you should develop in this course is to create an informed reflection of what you are exploring as an historical topic, event, or person. It’s an important college skill!

 

Basic Grading Criteria for Assignment #1 1 2 3 4 Indicate points and explanation of how grade was determined Total points possible
  Unsatisfactory

(D+ or below)

Satisfactory

(C- to C+)

Good

(B- to B+)

Excellent

(A- to A+)

   
Format and Submission

 

Project includes all material needed to gain an understanding of the topic.

Project does not use correct format and guidelines not followed.

 

 

 

(0-6.9 points)

Project formatted with three or more errors.

 

 

 

 

(7.0-7.9 points)

Project formatted correctly with one to two errors.

 

 

 

 

(8.0-8.9 points)

Project formatted correctly and all guidelines followed.

 

 

 

 

(9.0-10.0 points)

  10
Sequencing of Project

 

Information is organized in a clear, logical way. It is easy to anticipate the type of material that might be on the poster or next slide.

 

Project is not logically organized; ideas fail to make sense and the reader cannot identify a theme or line of reasoning; little evidence of coherent organization and use of factual material.

 

(0-13.9 points)

 

Project appears to be logically organized, but ideas fail to make sense; the reader is unclear about what the author intends due to poor organization and major omissions of factual material.

 

 

(14.0-15.9 points)

The organization of the project generally supports the purpose or argument; ideas are usually logically sequenced so that the reader can follow the line of reasoning and use of factual material.

 

 

(16-17.9 points)

The organization of the project logically supports the purpose or argument; ideas are logically sequenced; the reader can easily follow the line of reasoning.

 

 

 

(18.0-20.0 points)

  20
Topic Choice and Originality

 

Presentation shows considerable originality and inventiveness. The content and ideas are presented in a unique and interesting way.

Topic is considerably too large /narrow project and/or marginally related to the course; significant problems with understanding of historical content.

 

(0-6.9 points)

Topic is considerably too large /narrow for project and/ or marginally related to the course; some logical and historical errors

 

 

 

(7.0-7.9 points)

Topic is appropriate but too large /narrow for project; thesis is clear and supported by images and text in project.

 

 

 

 

(8.0-8.9 points)

Topic is appropriate project; thesis is clear and supported by images and text in a creative way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(9.0-10.0 points)

  10
Spelling and Grammar

 

Writing and grammar demonstrates effective use of language, and punctuation and spelling

 

The writing has substantial errors in grammar and style so that the basic ideas are lost; the writing lacks clarity; errors in spelling are frequent enough to be a major distraction to the reader.

 

(0-6.9 points)

The writing has more than three grammatical and stylistic errors; paper requires additional proofreading, as some errors impede the flow of the reading. More than three spelling errors.

 

(7.0-7.9 points)

The writing has one to three grammatical and stylistic errors; sentence structure is generally effective. No more than three spelling errors.

 

 

 

 

 

(8.0-8.9 points)

The writing is free of grammatical and stylistic errors; sentence structure is used effectively. No spelling errors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(9.0-10.0 points)

 

  10
Use of Graphics

 

All graphics are attractive (size and colors) and support the theme/content of the presentation.

Graphics do not support topic and thesis of project. The majority of the graphics are difficult to see.

 

(0-13.9 points)

Graphics support topic and thesis of project with three or more graphics difficult to see.

 

 

(14.0-15.9 points)

Graphics support topic and thesis of project with one to three graphics difficult to see.

 

 

(16.0-17.9 points)

Graphics support topic and thesis of project and are presented in a creative way. All graphics are clear.

 

(18.0-20.0 points)

  20
Organization

 

PowerPoint contains a minimum of 5 slides. All parts of the task are completed fully and support the theme/content of the presentation.

Project does not contain minimum number of components. Posters and/or slides are incomplete.

 

 

 

 

(0-13.9 points)

Project missing one required component.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(14.0-15.9 points)

Project contains all components, but one poster and/or slide is incomplete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(16.0-17.9 points)

Project contains all required components and all components are complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(18.0-20.0 points)

  20
Use of Citation and Bibliography

 

Citations and bibliography credit sources correctly using Chicago/ Turabian or APA or MLA citation rules

In-text citations not used and/or bibliography not included

 

 

 

(0-6.9 points)

Citations and bibliography included with more than three errors

 

 

 

(7.0-7.9 points)

Citations and bibliography are including and follow the correct format with one to three errors.

 

(8.0-8.9 points)

Citations and bibliography follow the correct format with no errors.

 

 

 

(9.0-10.0 points)

  10

 

 

Total = 100 pts.

 

Your project engages the reader with an original approach to the subject. It’s great when you can encompass conflicting ideas and inspire the reader to contemplate the relationship of complex ideas in American history.

Let me know if you have questions.