On this page you will find...
Day 1: To examine a picture's historical relevance by using tools such as Google Reverse image search and basic internet searching to build a context for a photo.
Day 2: To hypothesize a historical concept and develop a thesis statement by using a photo's historical context.
You have a photograph - Now what?
First, you should explore the general subject of the image and begin to find its historical context and significance, then you can start to brainstorm topics to research and write about.
Please make a copy of the doc above and complete the research questions in order to guide your project. You will be expected to submit these research plans and your final topic must be approved before you begin your annotated bib.
Step 1: What tools can I use to figure out what my picture is about?
Step 2: What is the historical context? Why is it historically significant?
Step 3: What approach or focus will I use to interpret the image? How will this shape my thesis?
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Next, when you have an idea of what the photo signifies and its impact, develop a thesis statement: a CLAIM that you are stating about your topic that you would like to PROVE through research.
What were the causes? Its effects? What statement or conclusion can we make about it?
When developing a thesis statement, keep in mind that a well-developed thesis statement...
defines the focus of your research project: Your thesis statement helps readers to know the specific subject matter you will be addressing within the broad topic (i.e.: environmental disasters, as the example demonstrates).
provides critical information about your project by defining the focus of your research, its scope, and your motivation,
can set boundaries to help you figure out where to go next,
helps you figure out what types of sources you need to collect and analyze.
So how do you develop a “well-developed” thesis statement? Here are some basic guidelines:
Make sure your statement isn’t too broad
Example: The impact of environmental disasters in the United States
Make sure your question isn’t so specific that it can be answered by a quick internet search
Example: The causes of the Dust Bowl during the 1930s
Make sure your question is something that can be debated - not all research may agree with you, which gives you the chance to prove your point.
Example 1: Wide-spread erosive farming practices, in combination with the government subsidized settlement established by the Homestead Act, resulted in the ecological phenomena of the Dust Bowl. (policy's effect on the environment)
Example 2: As a result of an inability to farm the land due to the ecological conditions of the Dust Bowl, many workers seeked refuge in California, altering the population and infrastructure of the state. (migration and policy)
Example 3: Poor living conditions during the Dust Bowl and public spending through New Deal programs, caused a decrease in the demand for agricultural child-labor and an increase in education for America's youth. (education)
Before you leave...