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Teaching History Blog

History Research Paper Series--Bibliography

In the previous blog post, your students submitted, and you approved, the thesis statement for our short 3-5 page research paper. The next step is to research the topic more thoroughly as it relates to the thesis. This is a good time for the instructor to coach students to evaluate the types and effectiveness of sources they find and demonstrate how to cite them.

Title: History Research Paper Series--Bibliography
Objective: Students will build a rough draft copy of a bibliography or works cited page.
Assessment type: Formative
Assignment Details:
1. Explain to students that you expect either MLA or APA formatting and citation for the paper.
2. Provide examples of citation for various sources, these may include web resources such as http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
3. Provide some sources to students to help them identify reliable online research sources. http://www.suite101.com/content/online-references-a57651
4. Student will post one correctly cited source in a discussion for the instructor to evaluate and classmates to see. Students will include in the post why they think that source is reliable for their paper based on the information provided in the previous step. Students will respond to two classmates after visiting the source provided and add their thoughts or questions about its reliability and effectiveness.
5. Student will locate at least 10 sources. Prior to this assignment the instructor should determine how many sources are to be primary and secondary. (You may want to visit other posts in this blog that have assignments on Primary and Secondary sources. We will also revisit this topic later this year, but assume here your students already know the differences.)
5. Student will construct a traditional bibliography or works cited page but will also include a brief explanation following each source with a description on why the student believes the source is reliable.
6.Student will submit rough draft of bibliography to instructor for feedback.

Rubric: Assignment based on 100 points
Student posted a correctly cited source in discussion and described why it is a reliable source, 0-10 points
Student responded to two classmates about reliability of source provided, 0-10 points
Student submitted at least 10 sources for paper, 0-10 points
Student cited each source correctly using MLA or APA formatting, 0-30 points
Student explained why each source was reliable in a couple of concise well written sentences, 0-30 points
Student submitted assignment on time, 0-10 points

As I mentioned in my previous post, timeliness can be vital to the successful feedback loop between instructor and student with this type of graduated assignment. In this rubric, I am deducting ten points to suggest that you may want to reflect on this more.

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