Texas history / Texans

Topic is – come and take it flag in Texas history / Texans

5 pages essay – 1 page bibliography = total 6

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I find it is useful to begin with secondary sources to get a general idea of the myth/topic. Go beyond Wikipedia, though; use the Library to find books and articles that give you a general history of the topic. Make sure your secondary sources come from appropriate and respectable outlets. JSTOR provides academic articles, which is a good place to start. Then look for primary sources that help you dig deeper into the topic.* Remember that you have to submit a bibliography of at least 10 primary sources and 3 secondary sources that you consulted during your project. It’s best to write your bibliography as you research, updating it as you come across new sources. Additionally, as you research, it’s useful to begin imagining what you want to say. Start to distill your research into 2-4 main points that you will discuss in the exhibit.


Write the essay. This must be a well-structured, coherent essay that has an identifiable thesis, clear arguments, and relevant supporting evidence. For the latter, students must utilize and correctly cite primary and secondary sources. The essay should be a minimum of 5 double-spaced pages. Make sure to complete the checklist below before submitting.


Use the following questions as a guide while you research and write your essay:

1. Identify the myth & explain your relationship to it—What is it? Can you pinpoint where, who, and when it comes from? Who, when, and where was it believed? Do you or have you ever believed it or heard others believe it? What does it mean to you?

2. Investigate the myth using primary sources—What do the historical sources tell us about the myth? Are there sources that clearly prove and/or disprove the myth?

3. Analyze the myth’s meaning—What does the myth tell us about Texans in the past? Why would certain people decide to believe or not believe this myth? What does it reflect about the time period and place that it was created/believed?

4. Reflect on what you learn regarding myth and history from researching and writing the essay—Has your perception of the myth changed? What are the differences between myth and history? What do you think is important about an exercise like this, especially in today’s world?


Make sure to include an introductory paragraph with a strong thesis statement, several body paragraphs exploring the main points of your thesis statement, and a concluding paragraph. If you need to cite a primary or secondary source, insert a footnote at the end of the sentence.[1]


*A Note on Primary Sources

Remember, a primary source is a piece of first-hand evidence left behind by participants or observers at the time of events. These sources can take the form of letters, diaries, newspapers, books, government documents, interviews, paintings, photographs, clothing, buildings…the possibilities are endless! Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later. Primary sources are characterized by their content, regardless of whether they are available in original format, in microfilm/microfiche, in digital format, or in published format.


Useful resources for primary source research:

· Portal to Texas History: https://texashistory.unt.edu/

· Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/

· National Archives: https://www.archives.gov/

· Digital Public Library of America: https://dp.la/

· History Matters—Many Pasts, Primary Sources: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/browse/manypasts/

· America’s Historical Newspapers: https://infoweb.newsbank.com/apps/readex/welcome?p=EANX (access through Databases on UTD Library website)

· Digital History: http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/index.cfm (Primary Sources under “Resources”)

· Smithsonian Institution: http://collections.si.edu/search/

· Discovering American Women’s History Online: http://cdm15838.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/women

· Documenting the American South: https://docsouth.unc.edu/


Separate ONE PAGE – · Bibliography of at least 10 primary sources and 3 secondary sources, all properly cited (author/creator, title, date, publication information, where found [book, website, etc.]) (Chicago)






· My introductory paragraph reveals the topic at hand and defines key terms I will use in my thesis.

· My introduction contains a clearly-stated thesis. My thesis is a unique conclusion about the myth and what it reflects about the past and present. It also contains a “road map” to the essay, showing the reader what is to come.


I have thought about how my paragraphs are arranged, and they are structured in a way that best supports my argument.
I have checked to make sure that I completely tackle one part of my argument before moving on to the next, and I have checked to make sure that I do not unnecessarily revisit arguments I began earlier in the paper.
Each paragraph is focused around a main idea (“mini-thesis”), which is stated in the paragraph’s first sentence (“topic sentence”).
Each paragraph employs evidence supporting that idea. That evidence is analyzed; that is, I have used my own words to tell the reader why and how my evidence supports the topic sentence.
Each paragraph has a workable transition from its predecessor.



· My paper contains a conclusion paragraph of at least four sentences.

· My conclusion rewords and restates my thesis statement.

· The conclusion tells the reader why my analysis is important, gives them the “so what?”


· My analysis is unique and insightful, showing a new way of looking at the myth.

· Each argument is supported by evidence.

· I have thought about the arguments that could be marshaled against mine, and have addressed those through refutation or concession.





· I have used both primary and secondary sources of various types (material, visual, and/or textual).


All material I have quoted appears between quote marks.
Each time I bring in evidence that is not clearly common knowledge, I have cited the source of that information with a footnote.
Each time I quote I have checked to make sure the quotation is properly integrated into the sentence.
Each of my quotes clearly relates to a footnote that offers the source and page number of the quotation. Each footnote number comes after the period in the sentence in which the source is referenced.
Citations within footnotes must be single-spaced, using 10 pt. Times New Roman font.
My footnote style conforms to the Chicago Manual of Style (helpful resource: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/chicago_style_introduction.html).
For each of my quotes, it is clear who the speaker of the quote is, and the circumstances in which the speaker authored the quote (relevant time, place, and context).

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