Malcolm X

Mechanics
o Citations should either be in MLA or Chicago style. I encourage you to use citation
machines like easybib.com (MLA) or citationmachine.net (Chicago) when citing others
work. These websites allow you to plug in information on your source and they will
generate the correct form of citation for your paper. All you have to do is copy and
paste to your Works Cited Page or footnotes.
o Your paper should be 4-6 pages long (3 pages and a few sentences on the fourth page is
NOT 4 pages)
o Garamond or Times New Roman size 12 Font
o Double Spaced
o One Inch Margins
– Paper Topic- Malcolm X
– Research
o A solid 4-6 page research paper typically will include:
1+ Primary Source(s) (these are speeches, newspapers, autobiographies, letters,
etc. from the time period of your topic)
4+ Secondary Sources (these are books and professional journal articles written
by people who did not experience first-hand or participate in the events or
conditions you’re researching)

o Primary Source(s):
Try to build your paper around your Primary Sources. Although it is possible to
write a quality research paper based on Secondary Sources, papers written based
on Primary Sources are almost always easier to narrow down and generally more
interesting.
o Secondary Sources:
Although you are required to have more secondary sources than primary, they
should be used to build historical context, not your overall paper.

– Content
o Treat your paper like an oversized essay based on primary source research. In other
words, you should develop a strong argument/thesis statement, make it clear early (first
paragraph or two), prove that argument using primary sources in the body of the paper,
and aptly conclude your findings.
o Careful thought and analysis is critically important to a good paper (and a good grade).
Do everything in your power NOT to make this an encyclopedic account of your topic.
Make a point and draw conclusions. A good historian is not a chronicler, s/he is an
interpreter. Almost anyone can find out what happened. It is an historians job to not
only explain what happened, but why and to what endeven if others might disagree
with the conclusions.
o Include a Works Cited Page at the end of your paper for all the sources you use in your
paper. Failing to cite someone elses work is plagiarism and will result in a failing
grade. A Works Cited Page does NOT count as one of your 4-6 pages.
o Use in-text citations so I know exactly where you used your sources within your paper.
In-text citations need the authors last name and page number like this (Jackson, 65).

– Other Things
o Please write this as a formal, scholarly paper. Avoid using first person (I, me, my, etc.)
and contractions (ex. use do not instead of dont).
o Consider your audience to be generally informed on the course of modern American
history but eager to learn more detailed interpretations about specific pieces of the era.
o Finally, endeavor to write something of publishable and/or presentable quality.
Although this is only 4-6 pages, it might be the making of a much larger project leading
to a journal article, MA thesis, or both.