Montezuma II Research Paper


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Assignment: Select an individual from the list provided by your instructor, and write a research
1. To learn more about a specific historical individual.
2. To improve research and writing skills.
3. To learn to think and write like a historian. Your paper should present a combination of
historical fact and analysis (analysis is simply how and why the individual was
significant and/or important). Report the facts about your topic while developing your
own argument or opinion. Analyze the facts accordingly.
1. LENGTH: Your paper must be 5 full, typed pages (text), double-spaced, 12 pt font Times
New Roman, with one inch margins. Maps, illustrations, etc. are in addition to the pages of
2. RESEARCH: Your paper must have a works cited page with a minimum of THREE solid
sources. DO NOT USE your textbook, general encyclopedias or an on-line or CD
encyclopedia (like Grolier, Wikipedia or Encarta) as a cited source in your paper. You
should use both printed and online sources, BUT ONLY 1 OF YOUR SOURCES CAN BE
FROM A WEBSITE! If you need help finding appropriate sources, do not hesitate to ask me
and/or a reference librarian for help.
3. CITATIONS: You MUST include citations in the body of your paper to indicate the source
of all the information you used from your research sources. A list of your sources on the
Works Cited page IS NOT ENOUGH. See “Citation of Sources” below for more detailed
instructions on citations. If you do not understand these instructions, ask me to explain them.
You cannot receive above a C- (71) on a research paper that does not have citations.
Document the sources of the information you use in the MLA format. If you do not
understand what is meant by the MLA format, ask me to explain it. [If you prefer APA,
Chicago, or Turabian you may use those styles as long as you are consistent.] Do not assume
that the way you did a research paper in high school or another college or for another class is
the right way. Let me know if you have any doubts or questions about doing citations.
4. Be sure to keep a duplicate copy of your paper in case the original is lost. You will be
required to turn in a copy to the dropbox on D2L!!
The paper due dates is listed in your syllabus. Late papers lose on letter grade per day late:
weekends count as one day.
1. Choosing a topic: Choose an individual from the list below. Even though you cannot use
your textbook or encyclopedias as sources in writing your paper, they are a good place to get
2. Doing Research: Start with very general books such as a history of a civilization, people,
region or country a period of history, or the history of a subject (e.g. science, art, a religion).
Try to learn as much as you can about the individual, his/her country and century appropriate
to your topic.
Use a variety of sources (books, articles, internet, etc.). Try to use a PRIMARY SOURCE if
possible. This is something written by someone who lived during the time you are writing
about – an eyewitness account, something written by one of the historical characters in your
paper, or a history written at the time. You are not limited to the Trident Tech library
(Learning Resource Center). Try the libraries at the College of Charleston and The Citadel, as
well as the public library downtown (on Calhoun Street with free parking for one hour). Our
library’s interlibrary loan program is also very good about getting books quickly.
3. Finding the Thesis: You need a PURPOSE to guide your research and organize your paper.
Your Thesis will be fairly straightforward. Your paper is to analyze the importance and
significance of the individual you choose as your topic.
Your thesis should be limited to the time period of your paper. Don’t try to connect or
compare your topic to the present. This is a more demanding type of paper and beyond what
you are expected to do in this course.
MINUTE. While doing the research is the easier part, SET YOURSELF A DEADLINE to stop
researching and START WRITING at least a week before the paper is due. If you want me to
look at a draft and give you suggestions, you must give me the draft no later than 2 weeks
before the paper is due. (See “OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES” below.)
***Your paper should be fairly structured. What I expect****
1. Start with an introduction paragraph (introduce your individual and give a little
background on the country/empire that your individual is from that helps place
him/her in his historical location).
2. End your intro with your Thesis (Was this individual significant/important? Why?)
3. After your intro, your next paragraph should give some background on the individual
himself, and re-enforce your thesis.
4. You then should have about 3-5 paragraphs supporting your thesis (what your
individual did and why it was important/significant). This is where your research
should be used to support your thesis and your ideas. (This is where the analysis
really comes in!!) (Although the thesis and ideas are yours, you should NEVER write
in the First Person. Rather, your paper should always be in Third Person, and in Past
Tense!) While supporting your thesis, do not forget to look at evidence that may
possibly “disprove” your thesis, and try to counter it with arguments that support
your thesis.
5. Finally, you will have a conclusion paragraph that wraps up the entire paper. You
will want to re-visit your thesis in the conclusion, and give your final analysis as to
why your thesis is correct and supported.
Core Curriculum Competencies
All courses approved for the general education core curriculum help students develop critical
thinking and/or communication skills.
HIS 104 develops the critical thinking core competency. Critical Thinking is the ability to
evaluate concepts and information and draw clear, logical conclusions based on evidence.
Critical Thinking Assessment: All students will demonstrate the critical thinking competency in
the Research paper.
IMPORTANT: I do not want you to write just description or a biography of a person.
History is not just what happened, but why and how it happened, and the significance. How did
things change? Why did they stay the same? Choose your topic, do your research, then develop
your own position, argument or opinion and use your research to support your position.
5. Citation of Sources: YOU MUST USE CITATIONS to tell your reader the source of all the
facts and opinions in your paper that you get from your research. You must have a citation
for all the information from your research material, EVEN IF IT IS NOT A DIRECT
QUOTATION. It is not necessary to use a direct quotation for the information you use in
your paper from your research sources, but you must give a citation even if you do not quote
from your sources. Avoid overusing direct quotations. It is usually better to put the material
in your own words along with a citation of its source.
Other Important Instructions for Citations:
Citations are one of the most difficult parts of doing a good research paper. If you have not
written a college research paper before, you may need help from me, or the Writing Center (in the
Learning Center in building 920, room 211).
a. Do not put all your citations at the end of a paragraph, but put them immediately after the
sentence or sentences containing the information from that source. Do not break up a
sentence with a citation.
b. Anything that is considered “common knowledge” does not need to be cited. (For
example: “Columbus sailed to the New World in 1492.” No citation needed. BUT “On
13 January 1493 Columbus made his last stop in the New World. He landed on the
Samana Peninsula where he met the hostile Ciguayos who presented him with his only
violent resistance during his first voyage to the Americas” (Dunn and Kelly, pp. 333-334).
Note both (a) since the sentence contains specific knowledge it needs to be cited, and (b)
the citation comes at the end of the sentence, after the closing of the parenthetic, and
before the period to end the sentence.
c. Avoid using direct quotations too much. It is usually better to put the information in your
own words as long as you include a citation of its source. Quotations over four lines
should be indented without quotations marks.
I prefer that you NOT mention the source of the citation in the sentence itself, but
put it after the sentence.
It is not necessary to mention your sources in the text of your paper. I do not want a paper about
historians or histories, but about history.
WRITE IN THE PAST TENSE. To avoid confusion in which verb tense to use, I recommend
writing in the past tense throughout your paper. Do not skip back and forth from present to past
tenses. It is not necessary to mention your sources (historians and books) in the text of your
paper. I don’t want a paper about historians or histories, but about history. But be sure to use the
MLA citation to credit the sources of your information. ALSO, DO NOT USE FIRST
OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES. Avoid asking “hypothetical” or “rhetorical” questions in your
paper! Instead, you should make the question a statement. Make sure to write out contractions
with full words (ex. Write do not instead of don’t). When writing numbers, if the number is less
than 100, or if it is the first word of a sentence, write the number out (ex. “There were eighty-five
deaths and 2000 injuries. Three-thousand were reported missing.”) Exception: when writing dates
always use numerical characters (ex. “In the year 70 AD the city of Jerusalem was besieged by
the Romans.”)
PLAGIARISM. Do not copy any portion of your paper from your textbook, an internet website,
or any other source without clearly indicating that it is a direct quotation by putting it in quotation
marks and by giving a citation showing the source. You are allowed to use a few quotations in
your research paper, but use them sparingly. Most of your paper must be your own words and no
portion of it can be written by someone else. Changing a few words of a passage does not make it
your own wording. Copying any portion of your paper other than what is clearly identified as a
direct quotation from another source or person’s writing is a form of academic misconduct as
defined in the Trident Technical College Student Handbook 2009-2010 (pages 45-46) and can
result in a failing grade for that assignment as well as disciplinary action.
WORD OF CAUTION ABOUT PLAGIARISM: According to Webster’s New World
Dictionary, to plagiarize is to “take the ideas, writings, etc. from another and pass them off
as one’s own” (570). When you do this, you are committing a form of academic dishonesty
and this is a type of stealing. Please read the STUDENT HANDBOOK, Academic
Misconduct, Pages 45-46, if you have any questions. Plagiarism will not be tolerated, and
may result in a failing grade or suspension/expulsion from the College. I am always
available to answer questions about sources and citations if need be, please do not hesitate
to ask.
Note: These are the individuals you must choose from for your topic, and you must inform me of
your choice. HOWEVER, each individual may only be chosen ONCE, so the sooner you give me
an individual the better, it is first come, first served. Therefore, if someone has chosen the
individual you want, you will be required to choose someone else.
Pharaoh Akhenaten
Pharaoh Tutankhamen
Ramses II
Cyrus the Great of Persia
Darius the Great
Artemisia of Halicarnassus
Philip II of Macedon
Hannibal of Carthage
Cornelia Africana
Charles Martel
Pope Gregory I
Zheng He
Han Feizi
Ashoka Maurya
Tang Taizong
An Lushan
Empress Wu Zhao
Murasaki Shikibu
Mahmud of Ghazni
Prophet Muhammad
Abu Bakr
Abd al-Rahman
Fatima al-Fihri
Harun al-Rashid
Alp Arslan
Chinggis Khan
Kubilai Khan
Osman Bey
Mehmed II (the Conqueror)
King Sundiata
King Mansa Musa
Frederick Barbarossa
William the Conqueror
Pope Urban II
Richard I (the Lionheart)
Pope Gregory VII
Salah al-Din
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Hildegard of Bingen
Vasco da Gama
Ibn Battuta
John of Montecorvino
Desiderius Erasmus
Isabella I of Castile
St. Thomas Aquinas
Dinh Bo Linh
Wang Kon
Montezuma II
Huayna Capac
Henry the Navigator
Shah Abbas

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