l. Topic and Significance: Explain your topic, why it interests you, its relationship to your prior study of history, and its relationship to nationalism. Why do you believe that research on this topic is significant in the study of history?
( I decided to do either something about how Somalis manage to mantain their nationalism self-image while congregating in MN, or how LGBT+ individuals have grouped themselves throughout the last several decades)
2. Question: State your topic in the form of a single, primary research question. This is essential as a guide to your research and your thinking. Unless you know exactly what you want to find out, you will scatter your efforts and waste valuable time looking at interesting but probably irrelevant material. If you choose to include subsidiary questions, they should flow from and narrow your primary question.
3. Place Your Topic and Question in a Historiographical Context: What have historians already written on your topic? Have other historians asked a similar or related question? Has your question already been asked and answered? Is your topic the subject of controversy and debate? Can your question fit into this debate?
4. Primary Sources: Is your topic “do-able” given the constraints of time and place? Identify the primary sources that you expect to use. Are they available online, on loan through the UMM Library or by interlibrary loan from distant libraries and repositories? Are the primary sources that you have identified likely to provide you with primary source material sufficient for a 20- to 25-page paper?
5. Tentative Hypothesis: Formulate a preliminary answer to your question. What do you expect that your sources will permit you to argue? This nationalism is your tentative hypothesis. As you search for evidence, analyze your materials, and build your argument, you will, in essence, be testing this hypothesis. As you do primary research and read more in the secondary literature, you may find support for your hypothesis, or you may need to revise it in light of what your research shows.
6. Plan for Research, Analysis, and Writing: Provide a schedule that indicates how you intend to proceed. Construct a week-by-week plan for your work, with a tentative First Draft due, Sunday, March 21.
7. Bibliography of Primary and Secondary Sources: Using The Chicago Manual of Style as your guide, prepare an annotated bibliography with separate sections for primary and secondary sources. As you work during the next weeks, you will add to and subtract from this bibliography and include it in revised form without annotation at the end of your draft and final paper.