USEM 1000: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Contemporary Social Justice
Final Paper & Presentation
As a part of your final grade, you will complete a Civil Rights Research Paper, Timeline, and Presentation. You must select seven (7) items that you believe are most significant to the Civil Rights movement. These items may be people, places, events, or organizations spanning from the Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863) until 1968 (the year of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death). However, at least three (3) of the items must directly connect to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Also, one (1) of your seven items must be a “Life Application” item (see below). If you would like me to review any drafts (whether it is a completed draft, or simply a portion of a draft and you just want to know if you are on the right track), they must be submitted to me electronically via Blackboard by no later than 9:30 a.m. on Friday, November 6th. I will not review any drafts after that date. All papers must be typed, double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font with reasonable margins, and should include a title page. This project encompasses two (2) components of your final grade for this course:
1. Research Paper and Timeline (15% of final grade):
- For each item, you must write a minimum of one (1) full page discussing why this item is significant to Civil Rights. Do not simply discuss what the item is, but the majority of the discussion should center around why it is significant.
- One of your seven items must be a “Life Application” item: select one of the items and discuss its significance to Civil Rights and also how it has applications to issues of social justice today.
- For this paper, you must use a minimum of five (5) sources. At least three (3) of your sources must be books or journal articles (electronic journal articles are allowed as long as they are cited properly). No more than two (2) website sources are permissible, but they must be from a reputable source (such as websites connected to well-known organizations, museums, electronic encyclopedias [like Brittanica], or media outlets like news media websites). Please note that Wikipedia is not a reputable internet source. If you have questions about the credibility of an internet source, please double check with me before using it. In addition to the seven pages that you will submit, you must submit a works-cited page, and you should use Kate Turabian’s Chicago Manual of Style (available in SPU’s library) to cite your sources.
- Along with your paper, you must present a physical timeline of your items. The format of your accompanying timeline is up to you.
2. Presentation (10% of final grade):
- During the last two class sessions of this quarter, each of you will be given five minutes to present your timeline to the rest of the class. Please note that this is your time to be creative! You may choose to present your timeline in a “report-like” fashion, but you are also welcome to utilize your artistic gifts, if you are so inclined (music, poetry, acting, even painting/sculpting).
As a final note, you will find that the Everyday Writer text will be helpful to you as you draft and finalize your papers. Here are a few chapters that might be especially helpful:
- See pp. 180-192 for helpful strategies for selecting appropriate sources.
- See Chapters 15-19 for guidance on how to formulate and write a research paper (especially reference chapter 18 for avoiding plagiarism).
- Civil Rights is a very poignant topic, and we want to be sure that we use appropriate and respectful terminology and language, so please see chapter 21.