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Choosing a Topic

   One of the most difficult tasks in researching and writing a paper is to see the big picture. Where do I start? What do I look for? Once I find something, how do I know where to put it? Those questions, each very difficult, are the ones you should be able to answer when you have completed this assignment.
  
  You need to first pick a topic. What is a topic? It has several components:

1.gif (1109 bytes) A historical setting; 2.gif (1147 bytes) An American perspective; 3.gif (1141 bytes) An action or reaction on the part of someone, or a series of related actions or reactions by several people.


Here are some examples on how to define your topic:

WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Start with a Historical Era or Event: WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Choose a specific element of that event or era: WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Define the action reaction you will examine:
Historical Era/Event Specific Component Specific Action/Reaction
The Progressive Era Rt_arrow.gif (228 bytes) Immigrant Life in the Cities Rt_arrow.gif (228 bytes) Media's Role in exposing inequalities
Slavery Rt_arrow.gif (228 bytes) Resistance Against Slavery Rt_arrow.gif (228 bytes) Effect of John Brown's death
Era of Innovations Rt_arrow.gif (228 bytes) Carnegie's Vertical Integration Rt_arrow.gif (228 bytes) Carnegie eliminates competition

Your topic is each of the three columns above together.

  To form your hypothesis, you will develop an opinion regarding your topic.
  For example, your topic might be the U.S. reaction to the bombing of the USS Maine in 1898. Your hypothesis could address an opinion that the U.S. reaction to the bombing was unjustified. 

 

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The Hypothesis

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