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General Description
Students will write a research biography on a figure from U.S. foreign relations history (excluding US Presidents) discussed in the course materials. This length of this paper must be between 1,750 and 2,250 words total (not counting footnotes or bibliography). Students will submit this research paper in Week 13 by Friday, November 18, at 11:59 p.m.
Content Overview
Your research paper must cover the basic facts of the person’s life, death, and legacy, but should focus primarily and explicitly on their career in and/or involvement with foreign policy. Some questions that might be helpful to consider when selecting what to research and write about include:
Why is your subject important to U.S. foreign relations history?
What specific events/incidents/ideas were most noteworthy as regards your subject’s involvement with US foreign relations?
Which events did they play a direct role in and what was the nature of that role?
Were their parents/family/other close relatives also involved with foreign relations?
Why/how did they become involved in US foreign relations?
Why/how did their career in/involvement with US foreign relations end?
How is your subject remembered today by scholars or the general public? Do people debate over your subject’s importance, effectiveness, and/or justness? If so, what are the different attitudes towards your subject? Have attitudes toward your subject changed over time?
Formatting Requirements
Your essay should be typed in twelve-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins.
Page numbers and word counts must be included. Please make sure that any program you use to measure your word count (e.g., Microsoft Word, GoogleDocs, etc.) is set to exclude footnotes and bibliographies from the total.
Papers are required to have footnotes (please do not use endnotes) as well as a bibliography.
Research Expectations
When conducting historical research, your aim should be to find and review the best available sources for your topic. If your research topic involves someone of great renown (e.g., Abraham Lincoln), it will be more difficult to sort through the available works with the time and resources available. At the same time, if your subject is too narrow, it may be difficult to locate enough material with the tools and timeframe at hand. For this reason, it may be helpful to quickly settle on a preliminary topic that can easily evolve or be abandoned depending on the course of your research. The longer you wait, the less time available for the research process to play out. Footnoting Expectations
Footnotes are the historian’s proof of work. They provide the mechanism to ensure the integrity of historical scholarship. Without them, other scholars would have no way of assessing the research underlying a given work of history.
You should aim to provide footnotes for:
all factual material that isn’t common knowledge (e.g., not the dates or locations of famous events); and
any analysis or explanation taken from someone else’s scholarship in whole or in part.
Generally, it is sufficient to add a footnote every few sentences or every paragraph, though you should err toward over-footnoting rather than under-footnoting.
An individual footnote should provide interested readers with enough information to locate the cited material themselves. If you’ve relied on a digitized version of a print source, it is best practice to include the relevant web address along with the traditional citation. Please be careful to avoid digitally native material (e.g., Wikipedia, YouTube, history.com, encyclopedia.com) as these are not acceptable sources for scholarly research.

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