1. Choose a topic related to U.S. History up to 1877 (Chapters 1-15) that you would truly like to explore and that you are willing to spend some time on. Your chosen topic should be focused. Pose a question that you really want to answer. You may want to begin with more than one topic in mind.
2. Do some preliminary reading on the topic(s). You may begin with the textbook, then further explore the information available. Refine your topic. Summarize your topic, your interest in the topic, the questions you want to answer, and a hypothesis you want to test.
3. Gather information from a variety of sources. Use a minimum of four sources for your paper, and at least one must be a primary source.
Examples of primary sources are ones that are used in our discussion forums 2-8. They are sources that are contemporary to the times under investigation. An example of a secondary source is our textbook, though the textbook also contains excerpts of primary sources, which you may use as a source in your paper.
4. Outline the results of your research and the plan for your paper (you are not required to submit the outline).
5. Write the final draft and be sure to include a Works Cited List, and use the correct MLA documentation style.