This is the "Assignment" page of the "Artifacts of Southern California History" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Artifacts of Southern California History  

Ms. McConnell's U.S. History spring research project
Last Updated: Apr 8, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Assignment Print Page

Steps in your research

1. Determine a topic.

2. Move from topic to artifact.

3. Investigate the creator of and context surrounding your artifact.

4. Analyze and interpret your artifact's key elements.

5. Formulate a thesis question and craft your argument.


Writing the paper

Use this online guide explaining the steps in writng a research paper:

History Guide  (


Assignment synopsis

Explore a meaningful element of Southern California history from 1900-2005 through the close examination adn analysis of a key "artifact" from this period.  'Artiful' in its broadest sense is "anything made by human art."  This definition includes physical objects, as well as texts and visual media.  You may select an influential speech, delevised debate, a legal brief or precedent-setting court decision, a letter, a provocative painting or sculpture, a popular piece of music, dance, or fashion, an influential film, an innovative piece of technology, a unique piece of architectural design, a well-known advertising campaign, a famous political cartoon or photograph, a family memento, a family member's journal, etc.

Your job is to wrestle with the meaning and implications of your articat through investigation and serious historical reflection.  You need to go beyond a simple description of your artifact or merely putting it in historical perspective; a strong project will dig deeper and make a firm argument about this artifact: how does it help us understnad some important theme, idea, development, problem, or challenge faced in the last century?  What does your artifact reveal about American history?


Source Requirements

You must have at least 6 sources, and at least 2 must be books.  These must be "legitimate" sources explicitly referenced.  You must have at least 1 scholarly article and at least 2 primary sources (conversation, letter, speech, diary, painting...your artifact would count as one.)  Be selective on your internet sources.  No non-academic websites may be used.  Flintridge Prep-endorsed websites (i.e. sites that link from the library homepage) and websites ending in .edu are permissible.  Though encyclopedias are fine for background information, they may not be used as a source. 

You may need to look beyond the library for your search.  Ask our librarians for help!

The Librarians

Profile Image
Sue Hodge, Meryl Eldridge, Reggie Ursettie
Contact Info,,
Send Email

Loading  Loading...