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Roots of Contemporary Issues (Hist 105/305) Research

This page provides links to short videos demonstrating databases required for the Roots of Contemporary Issues research assignment

RCI Final Essay/Paper - Template Text

Note: The text below is the overarching template text for the Final Essay/Paper for the entire RCI program. Your instructor may have altered this text for your section, please consult with your instructor/TA or course space for more contextualized information.


RCI Final Essay/Paper Guidelines

Make sure your final essay meets these requirements:


  • All essays must be typed, at least 1250 words (five pages) in length, double-spaced, 12-point font, and 1” inch margins.
  • No title pages.
  • Your name and section number should appear in the upper left-hand header.
  • Choose an appropriate title, type it on the first line of text (centered), and then begin your essay immediately after.
  • Do not use long, unanalyzed quotations to fill up space! These will be penalized.
  • All essays should be thoroughly proofread; essays with typographical errors will result in lower scores.
  • It is highly recommended that you use an outside proofreader or the Writing Center to cut down your sentence structure and grammatical errors.

Structure: Make sure your introduction clearly introduces your contemporary issue (use of a “hook” to grab your readers attention would be appropriate) and your central points (thesis/argument). The body of your paper should clearly identify the historical roots of your contemporary issue through time and across space. The body of your paper may work either backwards or forwards in historical time. Or you might find it necessary to employ other organizational forms, such as geography or sub-topics. Whatever you choose, make sure that your narrative flows.  Remember to provide a conclusion that brings all the various parts of your essay together, especially addressing the question of how an understanding of the past is important to understanding your issue in the present.

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