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Teaching History Blog

History Research Paper Series--Brainstorming

If you are familiar with this blog from previous posts, we are changing the format a bit this year to be practical lessons that you can implement in your online, hybrid or face to face classrooms.

To begin this new series we will focus on research and writing skills with a series of assignments designed to lead students to the overall outcome of writing a history research or term paper.

Title: History Research Paper Series--Brainstorming
Objective: Students will brainstorm ideas and interests to select a topic for a research paper
Assessment type: Formative
Assignment Details:
1. Instructor will introduce what brainstorming is and Student will read a source on Brainstorming for papers, from Scholastic, and discuss with teacher brainstorming.
2. Students will make a list of no less than 20 possible topics of personal interests about history or of current interest such as topics related to their career path, hobbies, etc.
3. Student will identify and eliminate topics that seem too broad or narrow the in scope for a 3-5 page paper
4. Student will share top five topics with classmates in a peer support group
5. Students will collaborate in the group to narrow each classmate’s topic list to two possibilities
6. Student will search the internet or other library sources for at least 10 potentially reliable sources on the two topics
7. Based on reasonable ease of research and interest student will select one topic for paper and submit that to the instructor for approval.

Rubric: Assignment based on 100 points
Student generated list of 20 possible topics-0-20 points

Student reduced list to top five to share with classmates in group discussion 0-5 points

Student posted five topics in discussion with classmates, collaborated with peers accepting feedback openly, and provided reasonable, constructive suggestions to at least two classmates.-0-25 points

Student narrowed choices to top two and searched internet for a minimum of 10 possible reasonable sources on the internet or other library sources.-0-25 points

Student selected and submitted one topic. 0-25 points

How do you encourage students to brainstorm?
Next week, we explore thesis statements.

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