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Final report


The final report is the culmination of the work you have been doing these last few weeks

Final report

You have been working on one of these final report topics:

  1. you dug deep into your family history
  2. you dug deep into a particular topic/event/person

Now we want you to produce final document about your research that demonstrates your research skills and your talent at telling a story and placing it in historical context. Use all the resources at your disposal to build a cohesive story. We expect you to use any source we have introduced you to. The library collections, online archives, family documents – all this provides context and evidence for your research. If the topics overlaps, you can use material from the graphic novel you read.


Whatever you choose to research, make sure your final report includes:  

1: a clear topic (that is not US history) and it’s importance to the 20th C. if it is your family story – then you state the context in which this story unfolds: is it a story of migration? Is it a story of wartime or economic relocation? Is it a story of survival? Is it a bit of all of that? If you are writing about technological innovation or development, legal changes, political issues and pacts, whatever your topic, place into the context of the 20th century –  review the historical context based on research you do in the library, using material provided by the class or online material (vetted by a librarian or your TA). 

      1.a) make a timeline – this is a very helpful way to check that you are following a chronological structure

       1.b)use the timeline to develop the narrative of your essay

2: define your research and support it with evidence: 

  • if you are writing about your family, make sure this is not just a collection of memories or conversations. Place them in context. If your aunt tells you about her experience emigrating from Cambodia in the 1970’s – do research in the library about why people were leaving Cambodia, explain the political context, research how the international community responded. If you have a grandfather’s diary – see if you can corroborate anything written in there – historical almanacs can tell you what the weather was on any given day in most parts of the world, newspaper can contradict personal points of view – use the sources at your disposal to place your family history in a wider context.
  • if you are researching a particular topic/person in the 20th Century: frame your research question – what are you writing about and why, what sources will you use, what evidence will you be relying on? Who has already written about this – and why are historians interested in this? 

Basic requirements of final report (if written):

  • at least 1000 words
  • title, introductory sentence that tells the reader what to expect, as many paragraphs as needed to complete research, concluding paragraph
  • in-text citations & bibliography
  • no spelling mistakes (do a spell-check)
  • cannot be a US history paper

Basic requirements of final report if podcast/film/graphic novel/ anything else (get approval from us first!)

  • must be equivalent to  1000 words – so if it is a film, it should convey the effort you would have put in researching a paper of 1000 words.
  • you need to fulfill the promise of the final report: the document must have a clearly explained historical context, must explore a family history or a historical topic in depth, it will have a title and it will conclude.
  • whatever the form, you need to find a way to cite your sources and use many sources! see 8th decade – the  sources you annotated in the bibliography are the minimum source you should use, but find more and cite them all.
  • edit carefully so as not to leave mistakes/repetitions/unclear sections

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