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Prompt 1: Choose an event from American history that occurred before 1997. Trace the historical roots and context of your topic, AND trace the impact of your topic on contemporary American culture. It must be culturally significant.

Prompt 2: Choose a legitimate profession. Trace the historical context of this profession and the intricacies involved in becoming part of it today.

Steps to a Successful Research Paper


First: Take out a clean sheet of paper and they divide it into three columns vertically.  In the first column, list (very simply) interests.  VERY GENERAL!  They should be things like: outdoors, sports, food, movies, clothes, music, animals, traveling, whatever… very simple and general. Skip several lines from one to the next.

Next: In the following column begin listing people, places, things associated with those general topics.  It becomes a little more specific, just to get traveling down a road of personal interest to a topic.

THEN: Begin thinking of a specific moment related to one of the lines you followed from the beginning.  

The moment needs to be in American history, occurring on American soil (not the Normandy Invasion of WWII, not the dropping of the atomic bomb, not the sinking of the Titanic, etc).


·         (first column) sports

·         (middle column) baseball, homeruns

·         (last column) Hank Aaron Aaron’s 715th homerun to break Babe Ruth’s all time homerun record on April 8, 1974.

Works because it follows the prompt

- Can trace the beginnings of baseball in the U.S., blacks in baseball, integration, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron himself, etc

-  Can speak on the cultural significance of the moment (he received threatening hate mail from the KKK, threats to his wife if he broke the record, needed police escort, etc.)

-  Can speak about what has happened in baseball and the United States since because of the moment (minorities in baseball, steroids, Barry Bonds, records, race relations, etc.)


·         (first column) – Music

·         (middle column) – rock and roll, guitar, electric guitar, Jimi Hendrix

·         (last column) - Jimi Hendrix performing the Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock in 1969.

Works because it follows prompt

-  Can trace the roots of rock music from negro spirituals to blues and jazz, Star-Spangled Banner, Elvis Presley, minorities in mainstream music, invention of electric guitar, acid rock and the “druggy” 1960s, Vietnam War, etc.

-  Can speak on the cultural significance of the moment (hippies and Woodstock, political implications, etc.)

-  Can speak about what has happened in the U.S. since regarding music, freedom of speech, reaction to warfare, liberal vs. conservative movements, current controversial music performances (Adam Lambert at the music awards with that homoerotic performance )

Research Project Tasks

Explain the significance a moment in history had on American culture

 You will be asked to write a historical research paper on the significance of a "moment in history" from the following list:

  • Gulf War
  • Cable news and the 24/7 news cycle
  • Bill Clinton impeachment
  • Cloning
  • The Internet
  • Oklahoma City bombing
  • The assassination of JFK 
  • Watergate
  • The O.J. Simpson trial 
  • Woman’s Suffrage
  • Prohibition
  • Columbine massacre


English 11

Research Paper: Moment in American History

Choose a significant moment in American history that occurred before 1990. Trace the historical background or events leading up to the moment, discuss the moment itself, and trace the cultural implications of the moment since then.

You must use 5 - 10 outside sources. They must be credible sources.

Wikipedia is NOT considered a credible source for this research paper.

The best place to access credible sources is through our school databases. Here is where you find them:


·         This page lists ALL of the databases. These are great resources for you.

Depending on your topic, the best databases for you may be under “English/ILA” or “Social Studies” but feel free to check them all; they are all great resources.

·         If you are accessing the databases from home, you need this information:

To access      CQ Researcher:

User name:   anokaschools

password:      remote


To access      All other databases:

User name:   anoka

password:      anokaremote


According to correct MLA style, your sources must be cited in two (2) places:

·         Within the text of your paper (in-text citations)

·         At the end of your paper on a works cited page.

     (The works cited page is a separate handout titled Works Cited.)


Your paper should be three to five pages in length plus your works cited page. That’s three to five pages of text and writing and then one more separate page for your works cited.


These are the basic requirements for this paper. We will be doing various activities before the paper is due. These activities include gathering research, creating an outline, drafting the paper, and editing and revising, just to name a few. These steps must be completed before a final draft can be turned in.

You will need to upload this paper to AND submit a hard copy of the paper.

The final draft of this research paper will be due on