Historical Topic Analysis Assignment Instructions
The purpose of the Historical Topic Analysis Assignment is to evaluate historical events, topics, and trends and their related causes and effects, especially on the field of education. The topic will also be addressed from a Biblical worldview perspective integrating current course materials and peer-reviewed journal articles. Candidates are encouraged to explore from a historical perspective a topic they anticipate might relate to their future capstone or dissertation project. Candidates research and conduct the analysis, they demonstrate knowledge of educational ideas of the past, consider the relevance of the topic, analyze the topic in light of their own educational beliefs, and critically analyze related actions and beliefs.
This paper is based on the topic, research question, and preliminary thesis statement you submitted in previous assignments and should be in APA format (see the APA Format Quick Guide).
Length: This paper is to be at least 1,300 words in length from the introductory paragraph to the conclusion. This does not count the title page, abstract, or reference pages.
Citations and References: Cite at least five sources throughout the paper and list them on the reference page. Of the five sources, one of them is required to be the course textbook. You may incorporate articles from your Annotated Bibliography Assignment and other course assignments as appropriate. Other sources may include course videos, academic journal articles, books, and textbooks from other courses.
Structure: You have a great deal of latitude in how the paper is structured, but it should follow a logical progression of thought and the guidelines below. See the Historical Topic Analysis Grading Rubric for required elements.
- Title Page
- Pagination: In APA, all pages are numbered. The title page should be page 1.
- Title: The title should not be the name of the assignment (i.e., Historical Topic Analysis). It should be a phrase drawn from the thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. It should provide the reader a hint of the topic and the main idea supported throughout the paper and may be phrased in a clever, unique fashion. The first letter of all words should be capitalized except for articles (e.g. a, an, the), conjunctions (e.g., and, but), and short prepositions (e.g., of, about), unless they appear as the first word, which is always capitalized. Center and bold your title and position it near the middle of the page or slightly above the middle.
- Other Information on Title Page: Position the items below in the bottom third of the page.
- Candidate Name
- University Name
- Abstract: The heading of the abstract should be centered and in bold font.
- Place the abstract at the top of a page by itself after the title page.
- Do not indent the first line.
- The abstract is a brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of the paper. It should present the main ideas and main conclusions/implications. Including the main ideas and conclusions in the abstract is much more important than a simple outline of the structure or headings.
- Introduction: Do not use the word “Introduction” as a heading for this section.
- The purpose of the introductory paragraph is different from that of the abstract. Do not simply copy the abstract.
- In this section, introduce your thesis statement that will be developed throughout the paper. It is the main idea you are presenting. Save other supporting ideas for the body of the manuscript. Do not overload the introductory paragraph with too many concepts that distract from the key point of the thesis statement.
- It is best to place the thesis statement at the end of the introductory paragraph. It is typically one or two sentences that serve as a transition into the rest of the paper. Some writers choose to place it as the first sentence of the introduction. Either option is acceptable as long as the introduction is well written and has a logical progression of thought.
- Summary and Context: Centered in bold with all major words capitalized, enter the first Level 1 heading of your paper. (Level 2 headings are unnecessary for this short of a paper.) Use the words “Summary and Context.”
- This brief section describes and/or summarizes the topic you have chosen so the reader understands the setting in which the topic developed. This is a succinct presentation of events or circumstances that may have influenced the topic.
- Include transitions that build a logical progression from the thesis statement in the introductory paragraph into the topic and its historical context.
- Critical Analysis: This Level 1 heading should be formatted the same as the previous one. Use the words “Critical Analysis.” This section should reflect various perspectives about the topic, including a Biblical worldview lens.
- Conclusion: Use the same Level 1 formatting as you have done with your other headings above and enter the word “Conclusion”in centered, bold font. Although your conclusion should include concepts from the thesis statement in the introduction and should have some alignment with the title of the paper, you should not simply restate the thesis statement. Wrap up the paper by emphasizing your main idea and draw a clear conclusion. Typically, a good conclusion does not introduce new information. The conclusion is where you are to discuss implications about what you have already shared and relate ideas to current educational issues.
- References: Starting at the top of the next page after the end of the manuscript, center in bold font the heading “References.”
- Double space everything throughout your paper, including the reference page. Do not insert additional extra lines/spaces.
- Using a hanging indent, which means that the first line of every reference is left-justified with all other lines of the reference indented.
- Follow the format below for books. Only initials are used for the author’s first and middle names. See the APA manual for examples of multiple authors, editors, etc.
Authorlastname, A. B. (2019). Book title in italics with only the first word and proper nouns, like Christian, capitalized: If there is a subtitle, the first word is capitalized. Publisher.
- Follow the format below for journal articles. Both the journal title and the volume number are italicized. There is no space between the volume and issue numbers. (Sometimes, the source provides no issue number. If that is the case, simply place a comma after the italicized volume number.) Page number are last without “p.” or “pg.” before them.
Authorlastname, A. B. (2019). Article title in regular font with only the first word and proper nouns, like European, capitalized: Subtitles may or may not be used. Journal Titles Capitalize All Major Words Except for the Articles, Conjunctions, and Short Prepositions, 15(2), 41-50.
- Regarding APA format for citing the Bible, see Religious Work References on the APA website. The Bible should be in addition to other required references.
First Person Pronouns: Per the APA manual, first person pronouns are permitted. However, they should rarely be used and are intended only for conveying an incident about your life story (e.g., “I was born into poverty”) or explaining the actions you took as a researcher (e.g., “I conducted focus groups with participants.”) A good writer makes strong declarative statements in third-person plural (e.g., teachers, parents, leaders, etc.) in terms of “ought”and “should” rather than overusing redundant statements such as “I believe that,” “I think that,” “to me,” “for me,” etc. Almost always, sentences are strengthened by simply omitting references to self.
It is considered poor writing to refer to yourself in third person (e.g., “this author”). It also may confuse the reader because there are typically multiple authors being discussed within a manuscript.
Academic Integrity: This paper will be screened by plagiarism-checking software, which reports to the professor the degree to which your paper is similar to other works. The following tips will help you avoid issues with plagiarism:
- Direct Quotes: No more than 10% of your paper should be made up of direct quotes. Therefore, do more summarizing and paraphrasing than quoting. Short quotes should be in quotation marks and longer quotes of 40-words or more should be indented. If you do not set off direct quotes in this manner and/or do not cite them, it is plagiarism.
- Ideas and Facts: If the idea or fact is not your own, you must cite its source. When not directly quoting, summarize or analyze the idea in your own words.
Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via an online plagiarism tool.