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HIST 3072 (special collections): Assignment Description and Details

Paper Assignment Description and Details


For this assignment you will write a 12-page paper based on original research into primary sources.  The aim of the paper is simple: to tell the reader, in detail and with examples, what Georgia’s citizens were thinking about some important issue, event, trend or person in our nation’s history 1875-1945.  Precisely which issue, event, trend, or person is up to you. Your goal is to “recover the voices” of Georgians from that period.

For the purposes of this paper, you can find and develop a topic using several sources and approaches. In our first class session on February 7th  you will have a chance to explore a range of materials that touch on issues, events, or people  from the time frame of this class. You may also explore messages and speeches of  Georgia's governors (available  online in the Digital Library of Georgia or in Special Collections) to get a chronological sense of issues of interest in the state  from 1875-1945. Finally, you should definitely plan to do some secondary reading of the time period.   

Once you have a topic idea, explore how it was discussed in newspapers.  The Atlanta Constitution has been digitized and is available for the entire time frame for this paper assignment. For issues from before 1923, you can also explore the issue in other Georgia newspapers via the Georgia historical newspapers resources on the Digital Library of Georgia. To learn more about accessing pre-1923 digitized newspapers and the Atlanta Constitution Historical database, see the Georgia Newspapers tab on this resource. 

Finally, you should look for more primary sources related to your topic/issue in the Digital Library of Georgia and/or the Digital Public Library of America.  Both of these sources contain material created in Georgia or by GeorgiaThe Digital Public Library of America also contains resources created by people all over the country and beyond.  You may wish to bring in these perspectives as comparison to voices from Georgia on your issue, but it is not required.  The number of primary sources you use in your paper will vary based on the nature of your topic, but should include at least 10 distinct sources from the sources outlined above.  If you have trouble locating evidence, contact Jill or Chuck for assistance. Instructions for contacting them  are located on the home page of this guide.

Placing the evidence you harvest from your primary sources in context is essential.  Figuring out how the ideas/perspectives expressed fit or don't fit into broader attitudes gives meaning and depth to your paper's point of view.  Reading what other historians have written about the issues or events you are exploring in the letters will also give you a framework to consider your specific primary evidence.  You might find you disagree with historians' takes on your topic, or you may find that their work doesn't apply. No worries, as this disagreement and reassessing is part of the critical dialogue that historians and other scholars have with each other over time.  

For this project, please utilize at least two academic (2) “outside secondary” readings (e.g. readings not on the 3072 syllabus) – academic articles, books, etc. related to the topic which you choose to write on - which will serve as supporting literature.  The UGA library has many books available in full text as PDFs and they will also copy chapters out of print books and print journals and email them to you.Online databases like JSTOR and America: History and Life are your best sources for scholarly articles. These will go in your bibliography.  Please visit the secondary sources tab on this guide for full details and assistance.


Paper Requirements and Deadlines

Length of paper and format:

  • 12 pages of main text 
  • double-spaced
  • 12pt font 
  • 1" margins  

Required Components:

  • @12 pages of main text that incorporate at least 10 primary sources and at least 2 secondary source articles 
  • Footnotes
  • Bibliography (Does not  count as a part of the 12-page requirement) 

Citation Style Guidelines

Follow Chicago/Turabian-style generally and use Russell Library Citation Guide for citing primary sources from Russell Library collections specifically. 

  • Guidelines for a wide range of styles guides (Turabian, Chicago, etc...) are available here