HIS 2708ID: History of U.S. Fashion Law 20th Century to Present/Adomaitis & Coughlin/Spring 2022
Assignment: Research paper! 40% of course grade (graded out of 800 total), due according to the
Overview: The main project of this course is a scaffolded research paper of eight to ten pages, in which
each student (or team of 2 students) will trace, through research in primary and secondary sources, the
history of a contemporary legal issue relating to fashion. The paper should conclude with the students’
own historical argument regarding the issue (see below for explanation). Students will develop the
paper in stages, according to the schedule below. Students are welcome to work in teams of two, with
permission from the instructors.
Background: Writing is integrally important to each of the disciplines involved in this course: history,
law, and the business of fashion. Writing is particularly critical for historians, who rely heavily on
written documents to understand the past and develop a reasoned and persuasive interpretation of a
historical event or process—that is, a historical argument. Historians also write to communicate with
one another and with the public, through books, articles, and papers explaining their interpretations and
arguments. A goal of the writing assigned in this course, including this paper, will be practicing this
work of a historian. Another goal of this paper (and all writing in this course) is to facilitate your
understanding of what you are learning. Much of the reading in this course is challenging, and many
issues addressed are emotional, such as religion, race, and gender. Writing can be a tool for you to
process your own thinking and reactions. To quote the author Flannery O’Connor, “I write because I
don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” As always, in-text citations and references in APA,
MLA, or legal (Bluebook) format must be included to avoid plagiarism. Please refer to Purdue Owl
online to be sure in-text citations and references are correct and to ensure that less than 20% of your
paper submission is matching.
Schedule: The paper should be developed according to the following schedule:
topic proposal and preliminary bibliography (2-3 sources that appear to be useful)—3% of course
grade, graded out of 60 – post on Blackboard by Tuesday, March 15
detailed annotated bibliography (5-7 primary and secondary sources you expect to use, with short
explanations of why they are useful)—5% of course grade, graded out of 100 – email to instructors
by Tuesday, March 29
rough draft and/or detailed outline, with citations to sources (7% of course grade, graded out of 140)
– email to instructors by Thursday, April 14
oral presentation of research and argument to the class, with Powerpoint or other visual content;
classmates provide immediate feedback (both graded: 7% of course grade for presentation, graded
out of 140; 3% of course grade for feedback to classmates, graded out of 60) – during class on
Tuesday May 10 or 17, as individually scheduled
final revised paper, which addresses classmates’ and instructor’s feedback and meets criteria stated in
course syllabus and reprinted below (15% of course grade, graded out of 300) – email to instructors
by Tuesday, May 24!
Students will receive feedback from instructors at each step, and any time feedback is requested.
If you would like to use primary legal sources such as court cases, statutes, constitutions, or other
documents, Prof. Coughlin will be happy to help you locate them—ask her!
Grading criteria for final papers (from course syllabus pp. 7-8):
Clear and thorough application of direct and database marketing concepts and principles (including
material covered in the assigned reading, lectures, and discussions).
Demonstration of original, logical, strategic thinking including a complete analysis of facts, logical
synthesis, and persuasive conclusion/recommendation. Specific examples should support the
analysis. Address the specific requirements of the assignment.
Quality of research (depth, breadth, appropriateness) and proper acknowledgement of references,
including complete citations in APA, MLA, or legal (Bluebook) style in-text notes, as appropriate.
Appropriate language and tone, accurate spelling, correct grammar, appropriate punctuation, and
logical organization. You will not receive an A if your writing is awkward, contains grammatical or
punctuation errors, or is disorganized.
Gen Ed Student Learning Outcomes assessed:
Knowledge: develop students’ knowledge of history, fashion, and law; hone students’ ability to
deepen and continue learning, by introduction to new, increasingly complex, concepts and analyses.
Skills: acquire and develop tools needed for communication, inquiry, and analysis in the disciplines
of history, business of fashion, and law, including research and understanding of primary historical
and legal sources; and oral and written presentation of historical analyses and conclusions.
Values, ethics and relationships: these concepts are intrinsically related to the craft of historical
research and writing practiced here.
Happy researching! Contact us early and often for support!