Ancient History 10 Research Paper Outcome

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Ancient History 10 Research Paper

Outcome: critically investigate Ancient History issues of the: plan, research, and write a formal thesis directed research paper using the historical method.

A history research essay is a formal piece of writing based on the development and proving of a thesis (argument/point of view) using a variety of academic primary and secondary sources. It requires you to develop your own opinion and fully substantiate your view with convincing evidence and facts.

To do:

Select an Ancient history topic of interest you, prepare a focused question, and write a 1500–2000-word formal research essay. I have provided a list of ideas below. Please clear your topic with me first before you begin your research. **Remember your thesis must present the arguments to answer your research question. Each argument is to be supported with convincing evidence and examples from a variety of academic secondary and primary sources.


o Length: 1500-2000 words

o History Essay Guidelines & Writing Analytical Essays handout followed

o Focused Thesis – your answer to your research question & supporting arguments

o Minimum of five academic sources (primary and secondary) must be cited only 2 academic websites

o At least one primary source must be used and cited

o Academic Internet sites must be used. The author’s name must be present.

o Consider using: documentaries, interviews, and data bases: Ebsco (username hrsb & password hrsb) &

Modern World History Online (username cpahs & password cheetahs)

o MLA in text citations with a works cited page - ALL RESEARCH MUST BE CITED or your paper will not

be graded. *See me if you need further help with citations.

o Formal essay (cannot use “I”, contractions, slang, or abbreviations)

o Word Count included at end of essay

o Rubric must be attached.

Important Due Dates:

Topic Chosen & Working Research Question –November 8

Working Thesis Statement & Sources Overview –November 15

Final Masterpiece – December 8

**You will be assessed on each step of the above process.

  • Sparta: Historical analysis vs. pop cultural depictions

  • Ancient Greece and sexuality

  • Alexander the Great: Ancient conquerors

  • Hannibal and Rome

  • Greek drama: Sophocles

  • The historical Helen of Troy

  • Hippocrates and his influence on modern medicine

  • Athens and the development of democratic thought

  • The Greek hero and the contemporary definition of heroism

  • A historiography of the Peloponnesian War

  • Roman military tactics

  • Roman architecture and social roles

  • Slave revolts in Rome

  • Political turmoil and the death of Julius Caesar

  • The historical Jesus and conflict with Rome

  • Rome and the development of Christianity

  • The gnostic gospels

  • Divisions of labor in rome (Social classes)

  • Constantine the Great

  • Emperors of Rome: Establishing the best and worst

  • The expansion of Latin: Linguistic analysis

  • The cradle of civilization

  • Mesopotamia and human evolution

  • Hunting and gathering societies of the Americas

  • Pastural societies and tribal structures

  • The Bronze Age

  • Greek mythology

  • Celts

  • Eastern Island

  • The Aztec and the Maya

  • Early African Empires

  • The rise and fall of Pompeii

  • Atlantis: Fact and fiction

  • The role of women in Greece and Rome: Gender studies

  • Stonehenge: Analysis and mystery

  • Ancient Assyria and regional impacts

  • The Persian empire

  • Cleopatra: Historical versus Shakespearean depictions

  • Vikings and modern exploration

  • Ancient art and culture

  • The Great Wall of China: Architectural, historical and cultural analysis

  • The rise and fall of paganism

  • The search for King Tut: Carter’s expedition

  • Genghis Khan and the Bubonic Plague

  • The seven wonders of the Ancient world

Research Essay Steps:

1. Select a topic of interest to you. Please clear your choice with me.

2. Begin researching your topic. Read, read, and read. Use books and academic websites only. Remember you need to use at least 5 academic sources. *Remember primary sources and multiple perspectives.

3. Ask a focused research question that your essay will answer using relevant and in depth evidence. This will help you to develop your thesis. **If you have too few sources, you will have to alter your focus or change your topic.

Unclear: Why are social networking sites harmful?

Clear: How are online users experiencing or addressing privacy issues on such social networking sites as MySpace and Facebook?

The unclear version of this question doesn’t specify which social networking sites or suggest what kind of harm the sites are causing. It also assumes that this “harm” is proven and/or accepted. The clearer version specifies sites (MySpace and Facebook), the type of harm (privacy issues), and who the issue is harming (users). A strong research question should never leave room for ambiguity or interpretation.

Unfocused: What is the effect on the environment from global warming?

Focused: How is glacial melting affecting penguins in the Arctic Circle?

The unfocused research question is so broad that it couldn’t be adequately answered in a book-length piece, let alone a standard college-level paper. The focused version narrows down to a specific cause (glacial melting), a specific place (the Arctic Circle), and a specific group that is affected (penguins). When in doubt, make a research question as narrow and focused as possible.

Too simple: How are doctors addressing diabetes in the U.S.?

Appropriately Complex:  What are common traits of those suffering from diabetes in America, and how can these commonalities be used to aid the medical community in prevention of the disease?

The simple version of this question can be looked up online and answered in a few factual sentences; it leaves no room for analysis. The more complex version is written in two parts; it is thought provoking and requires both significant investigation and evaluation from the writer. As a general rule of thumb, if a quick Google search can answer a research question, it’s likely not very effective.
Retrieved online from the George Mason University Writing Centre

Sample Research Questions for Ancient History

  1. To what extent did the Greek Gods represent the qualities of the Ancient Greek patriarchal society in 2000 BC?

  2. How did the Ancient Greek democracy influence the modern day societal structure?

  3. Analyze the differences between Greek democracy and Roman republicanism.

  4. How were the lives of Ancient Egyptian women different from the lives of the Greek and Roman female contemporaries? Precise a specific period of time

  5. Assess the role of the Olympic games for the Greek society of 1500 BCE?

Topic Research Question

3. Continue researching - focus on answering your research question. Keep detailed notes and always keep a record of your sources, including the page numbers. You will need this information for citations and your works cited page.

4. Prepare a point form essay outline – include your thesis (the answer to your research question), your key arguments and the evidence (facts and examples) you will explain in each paragraph to prove your thesis. **You will need this for your conference with me.

5. Write and edit a rough draft(s).

6. Review Essay Checklist & Essay Guidelines to make your essay has met all of the requirements.

7. Write the good copy and pass in the masterpiece.


Sample Research Question & Thesis:

The Impact of the Mongolian Empire on Russia and China during the conquest of the XIII century

Question: How was life of regular Russian and Chinese commoners influenced by the Mongolian Conquest of the XIII century.

Introduction: The Mongol Empire stretched across the Near East and Eastern Europe from the thirteenth century to fifteenth century. During this period, their empire experienced many changes, particularly after the death of their leader, Genghis Khan, in 1223. After the death of Genghis Khan 1227, who had guided the Mongol’s conquests and ruled the empire, the lands were divided among his sons . Ogotai overcame the Chin and Sun dynasties of China in 1234, and another son, Batu, occupied Russia, parts of Hungary, and Georgia and Armenia, establishing the Kipchak Empire, part of which was known as the Golden Horde. Genghis’ grandson Kublai Khan conquered China and used both subjects and foreigners, such as Marco Polo, to administer the empire. The Mongols lost China in 1367 and Russia in 1380, and the empire was broken into individually governed chiefdoms. During its almost 150-year rule over China and Russia, the Mongols made a significant impact on the economical and cultural aspects of lives of inhabitants of both countries.

Your research paper on the Mongol Empire will compare and contrast the Mongol empires in Russia and China after the death of Genghis Khan. It will explore the following aspects of the Mongol Empire:

  1. The organizational and cultural differences throughout the Empire

  2. The impact of cultural practices on the quality of life for inhabitants of these countries.

  3. This examination will demonstrate that despite many similarities, such as religious tolerance of the Mongol rulers in both regions, the experience of the Mongols in China and Russia were very different for the people of these lands.

    • The Chinese enjoyed a relatively good quality of life under the Mongols

Suggested Body Paragraph

The Mongol’s early reign in China was similar to their rule elsewhere in their Empire. That is, they ruled as military conquerors who intended to enrich their empire, and although the methods that they used to accomplish may have changed over time, superiority and self-enrichment remained the primary concerns of the Mongol rulers in China. Historians have noted problems associated with the appraisal of the impact of Mongol rule on Chinese civilization. Specific contributions of the Mongols to China are well-documented, including the establishment of a rapid postal relay system throughout the country, and the creation of branch secretariats that evolved into the Ming and Ch’ing provinces. However, it is difficult to identify causal links between cultural innovations and Mongol rule. Nevertheless, the Mongol leadership in China eventually created circumstances that allowed for a variety of cultural expression and a relatively high quality of life for the area’s inhabitants.

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