Students: Access this page from the NMH Virtual Desktop for all links to work.
As a requirement in both Humanities II courses (World Religions and World History) you must complete a final project that draws on resources from both World History and World Religions. You will write a paper and make an oral presentation in class. The project should demonstrate your grasp of the interplay between historical and contemporary forces in your chosen topic: cultural, religious, political, social, and economic. You must formulate and defend a thesis. Keeping in mind that history, as we have defined it, is the study of change over time, be sure to describe the major changes that are occurring or that have occurred in your topic area.
The project will receive a common grade from both instructors and count an equal amount toward your grade in the two courses (25% -- 5% oral presentation, 20% essay). The project includes training in research techniques (to be conducted during World History classes).
2. REVIEW: "How To Write Major Papers."
Secondary sources are works about your topic written by people who - like yourself - were not key players in the events you are studying. Especially good books can be found in the "Further Readings" at the end of each chapter of Worlds Together Worlds Apart (our main text. At least one source must be an encyclopedia and at least one must be a journal or newspaper article.
Primary sources might include the following:
1. Essays, articles, books, journals, or diaries written by the people you are studying.
2. Historical documents, such as treaties, legislative bills, "declarations," etc.
3. First-hand interviews with people who are involved with the phenomena you are studying (Muslim women who wear the veil, for example).
At the end of each day in the library you must show your work to one of the instructors so that we can monitor your progress. Notes must include precise topic titles and complete and accurate citations (author, title, publishing data, page numbers). The topic titles will become the building blocks of your outline.
Your bibliography should include at least six sources: at least two secondary sources (works ABOUT your topic - also) and at least one primary source (a source written by someone who was on the scene during the events you're researching - also). Draw journal or newspaper articles from NMH Library databases or library archives. You may use the internet for other sources, too, but no more than one third of your bibliography should be drawn from web sites that are not encyclopedia, newspaper, or journal sources. Such web sites must be archived at universities.
- Avoid "junk" websites. Use only websites from universities, published journals, and others that have undergone rigorous editing and peer review. Wikipedia is not permitted as a cited source.
- Do general keyword searches in the Library's online catalog.
- Search NMH Library Databases for journal and periodical materials (accessible via your Virtual Desktop).
- Most important of all, ask a librarian for help.
- When you include quotations, it is more effective to cite primary sources instead of secondary sources. For example, quote Gandhi himself, not your textbook. Finally, all quotations must be attributed; don't just drop them into your paper without developing a context and introducing the speaker.
- Don't rely heavily on a single source; your footnotes should reflect that you used a broad range of sources. This lends weight to your argument. Your essay will be much authoritative and persuasive the more expert sources you can find to back you up.
4. THE PAPER : Your paper in the project will consist of an essay of a minimum of four pages, typed, 1.5 line spacing, in 12-point Times Roman font, with one inch margins. Page headers should include page numbers and your last name. Your essay should be accompanied by Footnotes and a Bibliography in the Chicago Manual Style (Microsoft "Word" makes this task easy. Click here for a summary of the formats. See also: NMH History-Soc. Sci. Writing Page.
Your project should attempt to support a thesis that you express in a concise, declarative sentence in the introduction of your essay. Example: "Hostility between Orthodox Christians and Muslims played a role in the war in Bosnia." Feel free to emphasize one or more of the following aspects of your assigned country: religion, politics (including the interplay between them), history, culture, art, finances (the Islamic banking system, for example), women's rights, governmental polity, political and military conflict, natural resources and environmental concerns (especially water), etc. Other areas of emphasis may be possible; consult with your teachers closely about this.
In your work you must demonstrate your ability to describe the interplay of religious and cultural ideas and practices and their wider historical contexts. Specifically, what relationships and patterns can you see between ideas, practices, and events?
5. ORAL PRESENTATIONS: All students will present short oral presentations of their work to the class during the final week of the courses (6 minutes to speak, 4 minutes for questions -- Click for tips.) The order of presentation is as your name appears on the list of projects for the term.
We encourage you to utilize computer media such as "Powerpoint" in your oral presentations. However, the media should be visual only; no audio is permitted. "Oral Presentation" means the "audio" is your own voice, not the machine's.
1. ALL ORAL PRESENTATIONS must be ready for delivery to our colloquium at the beginning of A Block, Friday May 15, 2009.
2. TWO PRINTED COPIES (one for each teacher) of your essay in Microsoft Word are due complete with footnotes and bibliography (See also History and Social Science Department Writing Page) no later than the beginning of B block, Thursday, May 21, 2009.
No extensions will be granted beyond either deadline.
PowerPoint presentations must have been dropped into the designated Network folder by the deadline for oral presentations (A Block, Friday, May 15). On your Virtual Desktop drag your powerpoint file into the HUM II SA folder on "Classspaces. "
Name your digital files with your last name. Put no other characters in the filename.
Essays that do not include Footnotes and a Bibliography are not acceptable and will receive a failing grade (no higher than fifty points). Consult Jane E. Aaron, The Little, Brown Essential Handbook for Writers (Fourth Edition) for help with proper formatting in accordance with the Chicago Manual Documentation Style (pp. 189-199). You have been using this footnoting style all semester in your major essays, so, it should be very familiar. A summary of the formats can be found by clicking here. Note that academic dishonesty (p. 77 of the School Handbook and pp. 144-148 of The Little, Brown Essential Handbook for Writers) counts as a Major School Rule violation. Please review these references prior to submitting your work and read the summary linked here.
Essays submitted only in digital form will not receive an Honors level grade.
Final Planning Advice: Plan ahead. Allow enough time to ensure that you can meet the deadline if things go wrong. Wise planning includes using the Virtual Desktop and a storage device to save work so that papers may still be printed on other equipment and turned in on time even if your own computer "crashes" or your own printer fails you. Play it safe: back your work up to the Virtual Desktop and a storage device on a regular basis throughout the entire time you are working (every five minutes is a good rule of thumb), not just when you have finished. As an additional safeguard, copy and paste your paper into a SWIS message and mail it to yourself. Finally, make sure you have a reliable printer available and an equally reliable backup printer so that you can get your work in on time.