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Research paper

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N.K. Silverman

A.P. American Government


Each student is going to select a different person to research. After a general study of the person’s life, you will narrow that research to a specific event in that life. You will then write a paper which proves some thesis concerning that event in the life of your subject. Below is a list of people from which you will choose, although you may select someone who is not on the list if you get my approval. All subjects must relate to post-World War II American government. Some of the topics are quite broad, some even broad enough for 1000-page books, but you are novices in research and are limited in time and materials. You are to begin your research with the textbook, move on to an encyclopedia, then go to the library reference sections. Remember that your final paper will only be five paragraphs long, a maximum of two pages. You will turn in your assignment in the following stages:

  1. One-page biography of the life of the person in chronology form, worth one grade. Due _________. List the dates and important events in the person’s life. Include personal facts about his/her life, but concentrate on the political facts. Put a star (*) next to the event in your subject’s life on which you are going to focus.

2. Thesis card, bibliography cards, and reference note cards, worth two grades. Due _____________.

    1. On the first card in your stack you are to write the thesis of your paper. You need to prove something about your subject. The quality of your thesis will contribute to your grade on the paper itself. You must discuss your thesis with me once your research is done so you can change the thesis on your card after our discussion. Be sure to have your cards with you for the discussion. You must attach the thesis card I have written on to your final paper.

    2. Next in the stack will be your bibliography cards. Use the appropriate format as explained below. The bibliographic reference for each source is to be listed on a separate index card. In the upper left-hand corner of each bibliographic card, place a Roman numeral. You must use a minimum of five sources, in addition to the textbook and encyclopedia. You may only use one electronic source. AVOID WIKIPEDIA.

    3. Last in the stack are your note cards. All of the research that will be used in the final paper should be gathered in this stage. Each note is to be handwritten on a separate index card. Write the Roman numeral of the book from which the information was obtained in the upper left-hand corner of each card, and the sequential Arabic number for all the cards from the same book in the upper right-hand corner. Under each reference write the page number on which the information was obtained.

3. Final paper, worth six grades. Due ___________. Use the information gathered in the note cards to write the final five-paragraph essay. Remember that you are proving your thesis in your paper. The maximum length is two pages.

  1. Content Structure: The introduction immediately interests the reader; it begins with a general discussion of the topic and leads to specifics. It provides the necessary background information for the reader and ends with a clear statement of the purpose of the paper. Your paper is to present an opinion on the specific portion of your subject’s life which you have researched. The paper is not a biography.

  2. Content Ideas: The research effort is obvious; clear statements show that the writer comprehends the subject and has researched it well. The research is well documented by endnotes (see format below) and has used a variety of sources to develop the purpose. The style of the writer adds to the clarity and enjoyment of the work. The research paper reflects an individual perspective on the subject. In other words, DO NOT COPY FROM ANY SOURCE. If any part of the paper is found to have been copied, the student may be subject to the following sanctions: zeroes on the assignments, two U’s in the class, a report may be made to the dean, and a grade of no higher than a D in the class. Be sure to put quotation marks around words which are not your own.

  3. Mechanics: Errors will be marked in spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure. Do NOT refer to your subject by his/her first name only. Do NOT use “I,” “me,” “my…”

  4. Form: Errors will be marked in the form of endnotes, bibliography, title page, page numbering, and margins (approximately one inch per side). This paper is to be typed, double-spaced. Use Times New Roman font size 10, font size 11, or font size 12. (Use the largest of the three sizes that will fit in the two pages.) You are to turn in five sheets of paper, in the following order: title page, two pages of essay, one page of endnotes, and one page of bibliography. A picture on your title page makes it more interesting. Staple your corrected (with my writing and OK) thesis card to your paper or your grade will be lowered.

  5. Endnotes format: Endnotes are to be used to cite sources. Do not use them to add additional information. If you are quoting from an outside source, be sure to put quotation marks around the passage. You should type/write a small raised number at the end of any quotation, uncommon fact, statistic, or borrowed idea. For example, “The World Health Organization has estimated that DDT saved 25 million lives worldwide by killing disease-spreading pests such as mosquitoes and lice.”1 Note that the period (or comma) is inside the quotation marks, and that the number is after the quotation mark (or period or comma). The endnotes are numbered sequentially and are not repeated.


1First name before Last Name, Title of Book (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year) Page Number.


2First Name before Last Name, “Title of Article,” Title of Encyclopedia. Year.


3First Name before Last Name, “Title of Article,” Name of Periodical (Date): Page.


4First Name before Last Name, “Title of Article,” Date of Creation, Date of Access .


  • If you are repeating any source used above, then you just write: Author’s last name page.

  • If you are repeating the source that is directly above you may use: Ibid. Page. (You don’t need the page number if it is the same as the one above.)

  1. Bibliography format: Be sure that the sources listed in the bibliography are in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. If no author is listed then insert the source in alphabetical order by the first item in the entry. Use the following formats:


Last Name, First Name. Title. Place of publication: Publisher’s name, Date of publication.


Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title. Place of Publication: Publisher’s Name, Year of Publication.


Last name, First name. “Title of Article: Subtitle.” Name of Periodical Volume Number (Date): Pages.


Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” URL address. Date of creation. Date of access. (URL address, date of access, and question numbers are mandatory.)

Revised 5/10

  1. Agnew, Spiro

  2. Albright, Madeline

  3. Alito, Joseph

  4. Baker, Howard

  5. Baker, James

  6. Black, Hugo

  7. Blackmun, Harry

  8. Bork, Robert

  9. Boxer, Barbara

  10. Brennan, William

  11. Breyer, Stephen

  12. Brown Edmund G., Sr. (Pat)

  13. Brown, Edmund G., Jr. (Jerry)

  14. Brown, Ron

  15. Brown, Willie

  16. Buchanan, Pat

  17. Burger, Warren

  18. Bush, George H.W.

  19. Bush, George W.

  20. Byrd, Robert

  21. Carter, Jimmy

  22. Cheney, Richard

  23. Chisholm, Shirley

  24. Clinton, Hillary Rodham

  25. Clinton, William Jefferson

  26. Douglas, William O.

  27. Dulles, Allen

  28. Dulles, John Foster

  29. Eisenhower, Dwight D.

  30. Evers, Medgar

  31. Faubus, Orval

  32. Feinstein, Dianne

  33. Ferraro, Geraldine

  34. Ford, Gerald

  35. Fullbright, J. William

  36. Gingrich, Newt

  37. Ginsburg, Ruth Bader

  38. Goldwater, Barry

  39. Gore, Al

  40. Hill, Anita

  41. Hiss, Alger

  42. Humphrey, Hubert

  43. Jackson, Jesse

  44. Johnson, Lyndon B.

  45. Kefauver, Estes

  46. Kennan, George

  47. Kennedy, Anthony

  48. Kennedy, Edward M.

  49. Kennedy, John F.

  50. Kennedy, Robert F.

  51. King, Martin Luther, Jr.

  52. Kissinger, Henry

  53. Malcolm X

  54. Marshall, Thurgood

  55. McCarthy, Eugene

  56. McCarthy, Joseph

  57. McGovern, George

  58. Nader, Ralph

  59. Nixon, Richard M.

  60. North, Oliver

  61. Obama, Barack

  62. O’Connor, Sandra Day

  63. O’Neill, Thomas P.

  64. Oswald, Lee Harvey

  65. Pelosi, Nancy

  66. Perot, H. Ross

  67. Powell, Adam Clayton

  68. Powell, Colin

  69. Powell, Lewis

  70. Rayburn, Sam

  71. Reagan, Ronald

  72. Rehnquist, William

  73. Rice, Condoleezza

  74. Roberts, John

  75. Rockefeller, Nelson

  76. Roosevelt, Franklin D.

  77. Rumsfeld, Donald

  78. Scalia, Antonin

  79. Souter, David

  80. Stevens, John Paul

  81. Stevenson, Adlai

  82. Stewart, Potter

  83. Taft, Robert A.

  84. Thomas, Clarence

  85. Thurmond, Strom

  86. Truman, Harry S

  87. Wallace, George

  88. Wallace, Henry

  89. Warren, Earl

  90. White Byron

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