For your project, you will find, present, and evaluate a group of Web sites about a particular subject in U.S. history since 1877. Here’s What You Do Select any major topic in the scope of our course, of U.S. history since 1877. (i.e. Industrial Revolution)(Gold Rush) ( World War II) Find ten sites that deal with it on the Internet. (Do not use Wikipedia.) Write a brief paper describing the sites and assessing their value in the study of history. Preparing Your Project Each project should consist of the following elements: An introduction, in which you explain the significance of your subject and suggest its contents and direction. The body of the project: Here you will have a series of paragraphs. In them you should identify each site, give its address URL), briefly describe it, and–most important–evaluate it A brief conclusion. Here can summarize your project and gracefully depart from the scene. It would be useful to prepare your project as a web page, in HTML format. In doing this you can provide a link to each of the sites. However, this is not required. The text of your project should be clearly written and free from grammatical and spelling errors (points will be deducted for these). Evaluating Sites The most important part of your project is its evaluation of the sites. Evaluation means identifying strengths and weaknesses. In this project, you should concentrate on the historical qualities of the site (rather than its esthetic or other qualities). Here are some of the historical criteria you should use: Accuracy. This is the most important criterion for this project. Does the site present an accurate account of the developments it is describing? In assessing accuracy, test the site against the textbook’s version of the events. The textbook incorporates the most recent historical interpretation and is usually a reliable measure of accuracy. In looking at Web sites, the organization or person maintaining the site often tells you a lot about its reliability. For example, you can probably trust the accuracy of anything maintained by the Library of Congress. Interpretation: does the site advance an interpretation? What is that? Is this interpretation logical? Is it in agreement with the one presented in the textbook? The textbook’s interpretation may not always prove the most persuasive, but if the site’s interpretation differs, you should describe the difference and explain which (in your view) seems stronger. You should also indicate how the site contributes (or fails to contribute) to our historical knowledge. For example, if you’re discussing a site containing the letters of a Civil War soldier, you could say something like this: “Individual soldiers, like the one who wrote the letters in this Web site, often don’t have the ‘big picture’ of a battle or war and may also make factual mistakes. But they know how they feel, and knowing how fighting men felt is invaluable in humanizing our knowledge of an event like the Civil War.” How Your Project Will Be Graded Here are the grading criteria: Grade Criteria Lists 10 sites Contains introduction, body, conclusion Evaluates sites for historical value in a sophisticated way Grammatical and spelling errors insignificant Lists 10 sites Contains introduction, body, conclusion Makes attempt to evaluate all sites Grammatical and spelling errors limited
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