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NOTE: Read carefully. Please follow all instructions. The only sources you should use are linked in files. Cite everything CHICAGO style. This is my biggest grade and I really need help!
Every place has a history, and those histories are intimately tied to that place’s relationship to other places, its transportation links, its resources, and its production, in other words, to its natural and built environment. A key question to ask is how have humans transformed this particular piece of the natural world.
Purpose of Assignment: To give students some initial practice in thinking about places historically and geographically and in developing solid historical questions that they can answer.
Assignment: Develop a 2000-2500 word historical sketch about a place of your choosing. Because this is a research sketch, you may not get to the point where you can develop a sophisticated thesis about your research, but you should have developed a robust set of information about your place and be able to detail changes over time.
Choosing a Place: Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI
Source Material: Historical maps, including historical topographical maps, are likely to be the single most important sets of sources. Census data, both published and manuscript, might give real clues as to things like what kinds of productive activity was taking place in this community. Newspapers can be valuable, particularly if you use them to search certain individuals or company names; you can also search other published primary materials in the same way. Visiting the place may well be a useful thing to do. Record what you see. Using satellite maps can take the place of an actual visit, but also reveal patterns unapparent at ground level. Sources like diaries and letters may be harder to come by and not always worth the effort of locating—a couple of quick searches and then move on. Historical photographs are actually sometimes easier to find than diaries and letters, and they can be an invaluable source for this assignment. These projects have a likelihood of being heavily illustrated, with the prose analyzing the illustrations.
Secondary and tertiary sources are frowned upon in this exercise, although they may be useful in leading you to primary source material. If you find yourself using mainly secondary sources for your material, you are doing the assignment wrong. Be particularly careful about using unreliable material found with simple Google searches – histories published by local governments are particularly problematic. Conceptualizing the Paper: One way to conceptualize the paper is to think of your place as going through a distinct set of eras, each with a different primary focus and relationship to the environment, both natural and human-built. You can then detail how the place changed from era to era, and from there identify the agent of change. Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the use, without proper citation, of words and ideas which are not your own. Merely paraphrasing somebody else’s words does not relieve you of the obligation to provide a citation. Original thinking is the best way to avoid charges of plagiarism. Obviously, if you borrow a paper from a friend, cut-and-paste from the internet, or buy one from some service, that is the ultimate in academic dishonesty. Plagiarism of any kind will result in failure of this class; it may mean dismissal from the University.
Notes: Both direct quotations and paraphrases must be cited in notes, following Turabian/Chicago style. Either footnotes or endnotes are acceptable; footnotes are easier to read, but if they are not technically feasible for you, use endnotes. Don’t freak out about the notes and their format. Keep in mind that the point of notes is to guide your readers to where you’ve found your information. Poorly formatted notes are undesirable, but one of the points of the format is to remind you of what information should be in the note, as the bigger sin is leaving essential footnote information out. For more information consult the online citation guide.
Mechanics: • Papers should be must be in digital form for submission through Canvas.
• The paper must be double-spaced, although footnotes and indented block quotations may be single-spaced. If footnotes are single-spaced, there should be a blank line between each footnote.
• Top and bottom margins should be one inch and each line of type should measure at least six inches (there are three acceptable combinations: L 1½”, R 1”; L 1¼”, R 1¼”; and L 1”, R 1”). • For the body of the paper, the font should be 12 point. (Notes can be in 10 point.) • If technically feasible, italics should be used instead of underlines – don’t use both.

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