Titanic is the topic. It will just be important to work on refining the research question to make it more historical (attentive to change over time) and integrate more historical sources (particularly secondary sources) into your bibliography. One way is to think about how the Titanic helps us understand how people understood the category of disaster in the early 20th C, or to track representations of the sinking to understand what it meant to people at the time, or how they explained the event as a natural vs. manmade disaster. There are lots of ways to develop a historical approach to this topic. I encourage you to spend a little more time with the readings on developing research questions (e.g., Booth et al) as we go through the quarter. You’ll have a good head start on the research, so plenty of opportunity to develop a strong paper. (A perspective on how the event was perceived or affected others)
The goal of this assignment is to begin analyzing a primary source related to your project. You’ll recall that two of the key steps in developing a research question are:
* Making sure that your evidence is working in tandem with your research question.
* Going through an iterative process of revising your question, reading your sources, generating new questions, revising the original question, searching for new sources based on your new question…and on and on.
Review the primary sources you’ve gathered so far in your research. Select one that you think seems particularly rich or important or difficult.
If you haven’t already, place a citation for the source in your Zotero Primary Source folder (or if you’re not using zotero, in whatever tool you’re using to gather your research).
Scan the document looking for meta data: what kind of document is? what is its provenance? (i.e., how did it circulate originally, and how did it end up in front of you?
Read it closely. Use this guide to think about things to consider as you read.
Prepare a written response to the questions below.
At the top of your document provide a citation for your source following Chicago Manual style. Consult this citation guide for more information.
Type up a response to the following three sets of questions. Spend about a paragraph on each. Your final submission should be about 2 double space pages (400-500 words)
A. Describe the source in detail.
What is it? When was it produced? Who created/wrote it? For what purpose? You might need to do some research to answer these questions.
B. How can it be used?
What can we learn from this source? How might that information be useful to help advance your research project and question?
C. What do we need to know?
What additional context do we need to get the most out of this source? What additional research or sources might help you interpret this source accurately and productively (again, in a way that advances your research question).
8. In light of what you’ve learned from this exercise how might you want to adjust your research question? Include an up-to-date version of your topic and working research question. For more information on The Titanic Disaster visit this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinking_of_the_Titanic
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