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This assignment addresses the following outcomes:
Locate source material for an independent research paper and assemble an annotated bibliography (CO#1, CO#2)
Draft a thesis statement argument about the history of piracy (CO#1, CO#2)
The Final Project is a comprehensive assignment that spans most of the term. To complete this assignment, you must choose a topic related to pirates and write a research paper. The paper must address an issue related to the history of Atlantic pirates.
Step 1: Choose a Topic
Think about what interests you about the history of piracy. Flip through the upcoming assigned readings and videos for ideas of interesting topics. Some topics that may be a good starting point include: gender, race, economics, or culture, pirate codes, or the study of a particular pirate to name only a few.
Then, to narrow down your topic choice, conduct a search in the Excelsior library (Links to an external site.) and Google Scholar (Links to an external site.) to find what sources are available. You may also wish to consult the Excelsior OWL pages on “Research & Citations (Links to an external site.)” for additional help.
If you have any questions or concerns, message your instructor through “My Messages.” Your instructor will help you narrow your focus or answer questions about the paper, but ultimately the topic choice is up to you.
Step 2: Draft a Thesis Statement
Once you’ve selected a broad topic area, you will need to narrow your focus into a thesis statement argument. A thesis statement should be 1 sentence long and it should address an argument that you can prove through your sources. Read more about how to create a strong thesis statement in the Excelsior OWL (Links to an external site.).
Step 2: Create an Annotated Bibliography
Next, search the Library and databases below for sources related to your thesis statement. For this assignment, you will create annotations for at least 4 sources: 3 outside sources and Daniel Defoe’s A General History of Pyrates (Links to an external site.), which is assigned in later modules of this course. Defoe’s book represents the most significant primary source on the study of pirates, and you are expected to draw heavily on this source in writing your research paper. In addition, you are expected to find at least three other outside sources in completing the assignment.
Your annotated bibliography should list each source in APA format and then include one approximately 100-150 word paragraph below the source. Each annotation should include:
A brief description of the source and its major points
A brief evaluation of the source and its author, including whether it is credible and authoritative on the topic
A brief evaluation of how the source will be useful for your thesis
See the Excelsior OWL (Links to an external site.) and/or the Purdue OWL (Links to an external site.) for additional information about what to include in an annotated bibliography.
Use the following resources to locate Primary Sources:
Primary Sources In the Excelsior Library (Links to an external site.)
US Primary Sources On the Web (Links to an external site.)
Global Primary Sources On the Web (Links to an external site.)
Use the following resources to locate Secondary Sources:
Excelsior Library (Links to an external site.) – conduct a keyword search to find e-books and peer-reviewed journal articles
Scholarly vs. Popular Sources: What’s the Difference? (Links to an external site.)
Excelsior Library History Research Guide