Topic Exploration

The work you do on this topic exploration worksheet will directly support your work
on two other projects—a research plan and introduction and a multimedia presentation—that are due later in the course.
One of the prime benefits of studying history is that it allows us to learn about who we are and where we came from. The people and events of the past can
often shed light on the conditions and social norms of the present. Having historical awareness can inform various aspects of your life as well as future
aspirations. Learning from past failures and successes can shape ideals and values for years to come.
In this course, there are three longer-term projects that that will help you understand the fundamental processes and value of studying history. In the first
project, you will choose a topic that is interesting to you from the options provided, complete a topic exploration worksheet that asks you to break down the
event, investigate the types of research you might need to do to learn more about it, and develop research questions. Please note: You can choose a topic
outside of the options provided with permission from your instructor.
In the second project, you will use this worksheet to complete a research plan and introduction. You will choose one of your research questions and do some
secondary source research (using the sources provided in the library guide or resources you locate yourself), speculate on primary-source needs, and use the
information to write the introduction and thesis statement for a possible research paper. (The entire paper is not completed—just the introduction). In the third
project, you will create a multimedia presentation that explores both major developments in historical inquiry as well as the value of examining history.
This topic exploration worksheet assignment will assess the following course outcome, which you focused on throughout Modules One and Two:
 Develop questions about foundational historical events that inform personal assumptions, beliefs, and values using evidence from primary and
secondary sources
Prompt
Choose one of the provided topics that intrigues you. You can find more information about each topic in the library guide. Answer the questions in the Topic
Exploration Worksheet template. You will do some preliminary research on your topic, as well as create a plan for what else you might need to learn.
1
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
I. Describe what you already knew about the topic prior to this course, based on your personal history or experiences. This may include assumptions,
biases, beliefs, or values related to the topic. Be as detailed as possible.
II. What questions do you still have about the topic that you would like to explore? From these questions, identify two questions about the topic that you
would like to explore further in this course. Be sure to address why these questions are important to you personally and to society.
III. Identify which secondary sources would help you address these questions.
IV. Identify which primary sources would help you address these questions.
V. Based on this research of your topic, detail what you have learned about it.
Part Two:
Review the HIS 100 library guide linked within each module and read another secondary source of your choice related to the topic you are interested in.
Then, download and complete the Secondary Source Analysis Worksheet for the secondary source that you selected. Refer to the Sample Secondary Source
Analysis Worksheet for guidance on how to fill out the worksheet.