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History 113

2018 Spring | for K. Rollwagen

Your assignment...

Research Paper                                                                                                                                   25%

Each student will complete a research paper on a topic selected from a list of acceptable topics (posted on VIULearn). These topics have been selected based on the availability of resources. If you have another topic in mind, please come and see me to have it approved.

Your research paper MUST:

  • be between 1,800 and 2,000 words in length (6-8 double-spaced pages);
  • use a minimum of 7 scholarly and historical secondary sources related to your topic;
  • contain an argument – a thesis statement supported by historical evidence;
  • be formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), with footnotes/endnotes and a bibliography...

Research Paper Outline and Bibliography                                                                                         15%

Before you write your paper, you must submit an outline and an annotated bibliography. I will provide you with a template for the outline, to help you organize your thoughts. The comments you receive on your proposal will help you to prepare a stronger research paper.

Your outline should:

  • clearly identify your topic and research questions;
  • suggest a thesis or argument (this may change before you submit your final draft);
  • identify the main points you intend to make;
  • include the evidence you are going to use to support your main arguments, and
  • point out gaps in your argument or places where more evidence/research is needed.

Your bibliography should:

  • include at least five scholarly and historical secondary sources related to your topic;
  • be formatted correctly in Chicago Style (Note-Bibliography); and
  • include for each reference a brief explanation of how this source will contribute to your argument (50-100 words).






Forming research questions as you research and read...

Idea: People and mega-projects



  • What factors account for the rise of mega-projects through the later 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? 
  • In what ways can mega-projects be regarded as a site of ongoing colonization, or as opportunity for Indigenous economic development? Have treaties helped to manage Indigenous/settler relations with respect to mega-projects?
  • ...?

Exploring the dimensions of the topic...

Topic themes:



Indigenous peoples

women / gender


"in the world"

From concepts and key words to search strategy...

For example: 

"first nations" "hydroelectric projects" 

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

(postwar OR "post war") (church* OR relig*) (peace OR pacifis* OR "anti-war") canad*

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

Look for filters: scholarly, books & ebooks, discipline, subject, content type, date...

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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