Research and reading journal | American history homework help


Reading and Research Journal for History 109

In the journal you will write observations and reflections on your reading in Connecting California. You will also do some research to find at least one additional primary source related to topics you are discussing in the journal. 

Please focus on a few selections (primary or secondary sources) in each of the sections we are covering. When you mention a selection, please put the title in bold (or a few words from the title). You may also comment on parts of our main textbook that you see as related. 

To find an additional source on your own, you may use the college library or visit a historical website with primary source material. Please make sure you get the material from a reputable institution such as the California Historical Society, the San Diego History Center, the Library of Congress, or one of the university libraries with online collections.

Examine each source critically, and consider how it adds to our understanding of the history we are studying. You may also write your own reflections on what you are learning, and perhaps relate the material to other courses or experiences.

Please plan to write at least five high quality pages each time you turn in the journal. Please double space. You may use any style, but please divide your writing into paragraphs so it is easy to read. For sources you use in Connecting California you only need to specify the title of the document. 

For the source that you find on your own, please include information about the author, the date the document was written (if known), and the collection where you found it. (Please be mindful that the editor of a document collection is not usually the author of the documents in the collection.)

Keys to Success:

  • Plan to use a variety of selections (about eight for five      pages) from Connecting California.
  • Add a primary source from your own research to enrich the discussion.      Show how this source adds insight on topics you are covering.
  • Use the section introductions to help you examine the sources      in historical context.
  • Consider the author’s perspective for each of the sources. How credible is this source?
  • Consider how the documents help us understand the history we      are studying. 
  • Reflect on how the reading relates to your own knowledge,      experiences, cultural attitudes, etc.

Suggested Journal Prompts (these are just suggestions):

  1. How does the material in this chapter relate to what you      learned earlier, perhaps in other classes? Did you find anything surprising in the documents?
  1. What events do you see here that have shaped the world we live      in today?
  1. If you did a movie set in the time period of this section, what      would be the key elements in your movie? Tell how you imagine the characters, and what challenges they would      deal with.
  1. How might we understand the history differently from someone      living in the time period? 
  1. How do the documents help you understand the era? What are some important factors to      consider when looking at these documents? 
  1. How do the selections in Connecting California compare      with what you are reading in the main textbook for this class? Are you able to connect what you are      reading in the two books? 
  1. How are these readings, or other activities in the class,      helping you grow as a critical thinker?

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