U.S. History in Film

Prof. McClurken’s HIST 329 — Fall 2008

Further Advice about the Project–FAQs

Research Project Assignment

The research project (1,500-2,000 words, not including citations and bibliography) is due at the start of class on Tuesday, November 11. The Honor Pledge and your name should be clearly viewable. Projects will be graded on content (including originality and the quality and use of evidence), presentation, grammar, and proper formatting for historical writing (including footnotes and bibliography).

1) What should the project attempt to do?
Much as we do in class each week, your project should analyze the portrayal of the past in the film, exploring the perspective (including biases or objectives) of the filmmakers, the historical accuracy of the portrayal (in a detailed and a broad sense), and the relative success and reliability of the film as a primary and secondary source of historical information.

2) What sources should I use?
You should use a broad combination of primary and secondary sources (documents, books, articles, interviews, scholarly reviews, images, and/or film clips) for your evidence.  [Note: The five sources you needed to have in September should not be the only ones you use in your project.]

3) What citation form should I use?
You must cite all images, clips, facts, ideas, paraphrasing, and quotes, in footnotes/endnotes and bibliography, using either Turabian (7th edition) or the Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition), including the movies themselves and any reviews of them that you have used. [For more details on citations, see the history department resource guide at http://www.umw.edu/cas/history/history_department_resourc/quotations_footnotes__endn/default.phpNote that guidelines for citing DVDs and VHS tapes are slightly different.  See here.]

3.5) How do I do footnote/endnote in the blog?
Cutting and pasting footnotes/endnotes into a blog often causes formatting problems (if it works at all), so experiment some now in figuring out how best to enter these essential aspects of your work.  In terms of placement, you can have the footnotes at the bottom of the page, or you may find it easier to have a separate page for endnotes, with links from the note numbers to the notes page or section, if possible.  Along those lines, superscript numbers can mess with formatting, so consider using brackets instead:  e.g., [2] or <2>

4) What structure should I use for the project?
I want you to do more than just dump a paper online.  Think about ways you might be able to take advantage of the online medium in terms of page sections (using blog pages instead of blog posts for your project), use of audiovisual materials, use of links, and creative presentation.

5) Remember that the word count does not include footnotes/endnotes or bibliography

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