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Research Portfolio
Writing a Rough Draft Directions
How Did a Particular Historical Event Affect American Society?
Each year, thousands of people become American citizens. Thousands more native-born
Americans become full citizens when they turn 18 and can vote. What should these new
citizens know about the history of their country? What events will help inform them as
they participate in American democracy and society?
For example, what lessons can new citizens take from the internment of Japanese
Americans during World War II? What lessons can they learn from the rise of totalitarian
regimes in the 1930s and the U.S. response?
Description
For this project, you will write a research paper on a specific historical event and its
importance to American citizens. Your paper will answer the following question: Why
should new American citizens learn about this event?
This portfolio is spread across four units. In Unit 1, you chose your resources, compiled a
works cited page, and conducted your research. In Unit 2, you wrote the outline and
identified topics and subtopics for your research paper. In Unit 3, you will write a thesis
statement and a rough draft.
Your Unit 3, Part 4 portfolio assignment has three steps:
 Crafting a thesis statement
 Writing a rough draft
 Revising your rough draft
Your essay will need to contain the following:
1. An introductory paragraph that answers the following question, why should new
American citizens learn about this event?
2. 2–3 paragraphs of background information about the event that puts it into
historical context
3. 2–3 paragraphs that draw conclusions about why this event is important for new
citizens to learn about. These paragraphs should include specific examples.
4. A concluding paragraph that summarizes the main points of the paper.
Step 1: Crafting a Thesis Statement
© 2011 Connections Academy®, LLC. All rights reserved
A thesis statement should sum up the main idea of your paper. For this paper, your thesis
statement should answer the following question, why should new American citizens learn
about this event? A thesis statement is usually one sentence long.
For more information, view the movie in the lesson on how to craft a thesis statement.
Step 2: Writing a Rough Draft
Your note cards will help you write your rough draft. Organize your note cards into the
relevant sections in your outline. Then, section by section, look at your note cards. Is
there an idea that should be mentioned first? Organize your cards so that the ideas are in
the order in which you wish to write them.
As you begin to write, remember several things:
1. Think about using transition words between topics like then, next, secondly,
and also.
2. You may have more ideas than paragraphs for a section. Think about
combining two related ideas into one paragraph.
Step 2: Editing
You need to edit your rough draft to fix mistakes and make your report better. Write your
corrections on your rough draft.
(Note: To make it easier to turn your edited draft into your teacher, use the Review
function in Microsoft Word to edit. Click the Review tab, and then activate “Track
Changes.” You can also highlight and add comments to your paper.)
Use this checklist to edit your rough draft.
 I included all of the sections and ideas required in my report.
 I supported my main ideas with details.
 I read my rough draft aloud or had someone else read it to me.
(This will help you find sentences where the grammar is
incorrect or words are missing.)
 I used the grammar and spelling checks to make sure my draft
has no spelling and grammar errors.
 I asked someone else to double check my report to make sure I
caught everything.
You will turn in your rough draft with edits to your teacher for this portfolio assignment.
© 2011 Connections Academy®, LLC. All rights reserved

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