Monday, December 10, 2012

Local Geography and Native American Cultures:
An Outline

Note:  This is an interactive outline I use to introduce steps and sources for writing a 9th grade World Civilizations essay assignment.  The 5th & 6th period classes are starting their assignment today.
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Paul's World Civilizations 
Two-Page Essay Research Project

Native Peoples of North America

From the textbook: in each of the ten culture areas, "people adapted to geographic conditions that influenced their ways of life."

Assignment:   Research, describe and explain (in a two-page essay) the cultural characteristics of a tribe-nation and how these characteristics have been created, shaped and or/influenced by the environment and geography.

Use at least 3 different sources (at least 1 print source, such as a book or magazine article)

Citation styles:

!!!!   Tip -- Use NoodleBib to create a correct bibliography and to take notes.

Finding Books - Use the Paideia Library Catalog or your public library catalog.

Finding Magazine Articles - Use ProQuest, Sirs or JSTOR

Finding Websites -

All these links and more (such as links to local college library catalogs) are on the
Paideia Library Start Page

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Tips on How to Write a Two-Page (aka "5 Paragraph") Essay

Anna's Explanation

Think of your paper as a court case on a TV show.   The police have collected the evidence (the information you've gathered in your research). You are the attorney presenting the case to the jury (in this case, your teacher).  

You present the plea, (your thesis statement) in your introduction -- "The culture of the XYZ people was shaped by the (desert, woodland, coastal, high plains, whatever) environment they lived in.  These three or four aspects of their culture (main foods, festivals, religion, style of dress, style of housing, style of tribal government, nomadic or agricultural habits, etc etc) are some of the ways the local environment influenced their culture."  

In each middle paragraph, you give evidence to support how a different cultural aspect is unique to your tribe because of where they lived.  Stick to one aspect per paragraph.  Here's where you are proving your case to the jury.  Each source is a witness, the information you find is their evidence.

Your conclusion is the attorney's summation, the closing argument, where you wrap it all up for the jury. Remind them of your thesis, explain why it matters and how you've proved it.

Explanation of the 'Argumentative' Essay from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab

Outline with Example Paper  from Glendale Community College in Arizona

History Paper Writing Tips from the Writing Center at Emory University

Emory Writing Center on organizing your essay:

1). Write your essay as if it were going to be read by someone who knew less about the subject than you do.

 2). Your first paragraph must have a clear thesis statement which explicitly states your argument. Explain here both what the thesis of your essay is and how you will substantiate it.

3). Make sure that every subsequent paragraph expands and clarifies the thesis stated in your introductory paragraph. Support your generalizations with specific historical evidence.

 4). All essays must have a clear organizing principle. Effective ways to organize them include (a) chronological organization, (b thematic organization, (c) organization by geographical region (d) organization by social group, etc. Whichever organizational principle you choose, use references to dates and time periods to structure and clarify your arguments.

 5). In your concluding paragraph, briefly recapitulate your argument and then indicate its wider historical significance.

~ Quiz ~

What's the Most Valuable Resource in the Library?

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