Paper #2 Writing Assignment
Business and Economics in North America
This assignment is intended to improve the student’s writing as well as to improve the student’s ability to use the library and its web-based search engines.
Students will write a 3-5 page essay paper based on an article found in a scholarly journal. Only scholarly, researched articles from a referred journal will be accepted. No essays, book reviews, opinion articles or discussion articles will be accepted.
The principal historical journals for this course are listed below and can be found using online search engines that are accessed through the CSUCI Broome library’s home page. Students will select a topic of interest to them, find an article on that topic and write a three to five page essay on that article. Follow these three steps:
a) Select an article from a scholarly journal.
b) Get my approval for the article either in person or via email
c) Write a three to five page subjective essay (double-spaced) on the article
Panic of 1907 Panama Canal
Federal Reserve System Mexican nationalization
Postal Savings Bank Mexican Industrialization
Stock Market Crash 1929 Canadian Industrialization
Teapot Dome Scandal Labor and the Mexican Revolution
Land Redistribution in Mexico Canadian Railroads
Panic of 1857 History of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac
New Deal Income Tax in the US
Business and World War Savings and Loan Collapse
Below are the journals relevant to the study of business and economic history. Only articles gotten from one of the journals listed below will be acceptable for the paper assignment. Note that only scholarly, researched articles are acceptable.
American Historical Review Journal of American History
Journal of Economic History Pacific Historical Review
Journal of Negro History Latin American Research Review
Journal of African History Hispanic American Historical Review
The Americas Past and Present
Journal of Black Studies Latino Studies Journal
Journal of Caribbean Studies Journal of Latin American Studies
Journal of Ethnic Studies American Economic Review
Business History Review Canadian Journal of Economics
Economic History Review Journal of Political Economy
All of these journals are linked to “JSTOR.” If you need help browsing JSTOR ask a librarian at the reference desk of Broome Library.
Make sure that you select a researched, peer reviewed article from a scholarly journal. In JSTOR click “search,” then “advanced search,” then “article.” Next type in your key words (i.e., “NAFTA”) and then click the type of journals you want searched (History, Latin American Studies).
The paper should have your own title and also a citation of the article you have chosen.
How to cite the article:
The citation for both your brief description and your paper should follow the following format:
Author’s last name, first name. “Title of Article.” Journal volume:number (date), page numbers.
Esparza, Rebecca. “The Mexican Cotton Industry.” Journal of Economic Studies 23:3 (January, 2002), 427-452.
This format follows the Chicago Manual of Style and not the Modern Language Association (MLA) format or other academic formats
Rules to abide:
1. No cover pages or plastic paper covers. Name, class, date should be in upper right hand corner, followed by your centered paper title.
2. Article title should be in same font and type size as rest of paper. No large points, bolds, or italics for paper title.
3. The article citation should be located just below the title of your paper at the top of the first page. Do not cite the article on a “works cited” page at the end of the paper!
4. Article titles are in “quotes,” journal titles are italicized.
5. The citation should not have a “Vol,” Volume, “No.” or “Number”—a simple 43:2 is enough.
6. Citation should not have a “pp.” or “pgs.”—a simple 238-256 is enough.
7. DO NOT EMAIL ME A COPY OF YOUR PAPER! I WILL NOT ACCEPT EMAILED PAPERS.
Six Steps in Writing an Essay
This assignment expects students to read and analyze a scholarly article on a particular topic related to the history of business and economics in North America. This is not a research paper.
One: Go over the reading, determine the author’s thesis (what the author is arguing) and develop your own thesis—what it is you are going to argue in your paper. You may agree or disagree with the author’s thesis but you are expected to analyze the argument[s] presented in the article.
Two: Write an opening paragraph presenting the thesis of your paper.
Three: Back up your thesis with examples from the article. When citing a particular example or passage, note the source and page number in parenthesis e.g., (Segev, 95). Do not use long quotes—use your own words.
Four: End your paper with a concluding paragraph that summarizes the argument or arguments you have presented in your paper.
Five: Once you’ve finished a first draft, read each sentence out loud. Often you can weed out poor and/or incomprehensible sentences by reading your paper out loud. This is a writing and grammar assignment as well as a history assignment. Bad writing can destroy the most brilliant thesis, while good writing can make a commonplace argument appear profound.
Six: Check your paper for correct spelling and punctuation (“spell check” on word processing programs are helpful for this).
Note: Always make a hard copy of your paper for your records and keep a copy on your computer.
This is not a research paper and students should not consult any other sources. Students may consult the textbook if needed, but the focus of this paper should be on the article you select.
Writing is a very difficult craft, and I would be happy to review your paper provided:
1. You write a complete 3-5 page, double spaced, typed draft following the above outline.
2. You give me a rough draft two weeks before the paper is due.
3. You accept my edits and advice with good grace and spirit. Don’t be defensive about my editing suggestions—you are the apprentice and I am the craftsman. Even great writers ask colleagues to edit their writing, so don’t be offended by my editing suggestions.
Rules for better writing:
Avoid “ly” words (adverbs).
Active voice is stronger than passive voice.
Do not split infinitives
Don’t use contractions in a scholarly paper
One word is almost always better than two
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