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History 112: Library Class

(K. Black)

Your assignment...

Research Essay (20%)

Due: April 7th -­‐ Length: 5-­‐7 pages
Proposal 5% (Due: March 15th) & Essay 15%

Developing your writing and research skills are an important objective in this course. For your essay you may select a topic of your choosing that is relevant to Canadian history since 1867.

It is strongly advised that you take time to discuss your proposed topic with me before you begin the research and writing process. There will be an essay writing workshop in October where we will discuss the essay in greater detail. Following the workshop, you have the option of submitting an essay proposal that will count towards 5% of your overall essay grade, making the essay itself worth just 15%. This proposal is an opportunity for you to seek feedback on your research ideas.

Essays must contain a minimum of 4 sources – two primary and two secondary (scholarly).

Helpful context from your course outline...



Two examples

Canadian Forces Military service records...


"...Died suddenly at 21 mile feb 11 1923..."

Exploring the dimensions of the topic...

Idea: Defending the Northwest Coast in WWII 

Forming research questions as you research and read...

Idea: People and mega-projects

  • What factors account for the rise of mega-projects through the 20th century? In Canada? In BC?
  • What have been features of displacement of people and communities by mega-projects?
  • What inducements or incentives or coercion have been offered? What protections or regulations have been in place, and how have these changed over time?
  • What lasting impacts have mega-projects had for adjacent communities?
  • How have mega-projects exacerbated rural/urban tensions? 
  • Can mega-projects be regarded as a site of ongoing colonization? Have treaties helped to manage indigenous/settler relations with respect to mega-projects?


Where to look for scholarly, secondary sources depends on the nature and scope of your topic.

For example: 

"first nations" "hydroelectric projects" 

("first nations" OR aboriginal OR indigenous OR "indians of north america" OR "native peoples") (dams OR hydroelectric)

Tracing the scholarly conversation

One useful article may help to locate others. For example:

Look at references (footnotes, endnotes, bibliography) to trace the sources the author used...

In this case, a related book and a journal article are found in the Library collection.


Journal article:

Tracing sources forward using Google Scholar "cited by":

Google Scholar Search

Selected resources for Chicago Style help:

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