Dr. Gary Jones
American International College
HST3415L01: Special Topics: American Sports History
American Sports History Term Paper
Choose an individual American sportsman or sportswoman from the late 1800s to the late 1900s. Selectively use primary sources (historical documents) and recent secondary sources (articles from historical journals or historical monographs) to write an essay that both analyzes the life/career of the individual you have selected and places the sportsman or woman in the context of his or her times. To what extent was the individual you selected shaped by or a shaper of his or her times?
Potential subjects include John L. Sullivan, James Naismith, Walter Camp, Jack Johnson, Jim Thorpe, Babe Ruth, Red Grange, Babe Didrikson Zacharias, Jesse Owens, Joe Louis, Willie Mays, Branch Rickey, Jackie Robinson, Muhammed Ali, Billie Jean King and many others.
I suggest you begin by reviewing Major Problems in American Sport History. Pay attention to chapters that address eras/sports/individuals you are interested in. Pay particular attention to the “Further Reading” section at the end of each chapter. You will find useful suggestions for collections of documents, historical monographs, and scholarly articles. Steven Reiss, the editor of Major Problems in American Sport History, recommends consulting journals such as the Journal of Sport History, as well as databases such as America: History and Life and especially SPORTDiscus.
Meeting with Nancy Little, Information Literacy Librarian, Shea Library:
On 10/29 at 9.25 we will meet in the library basement with Information Literacy Librarian Nancy Little. Nancy will introduce us to the databases and journals available via our library, and resources available via Inter-Library Loan (ILL).
Submitting your proposal:
Submit a typed proposal that identifies the individual sportsman or sportswoman you will study, the primary and secondary sources you will utilize, and one or more historical questions you intend to address. Include the full/complete bibliographic information for both the primary and secondary sources you have identified and intend to use for your essay. The deadline for your proposal will be 11/5. I will return it to you as soon as possible with suggestions and comments.
Your essay must contain a thesis, clearly stated in your introductory paragraph, an argument based on evidence from the sources you have analyzed, again, clearly stated in the main body of your essay, and a conclusion stated in your final paragraph. Remember, draft your essay and then revise and edit it. In order to produce your best work adherence to the draft-revision process is essential. Always cite your sources in endnotes whenever your quote or paraphrase. Use the Chicago style of citation. Mary Lynn Rampolla, A POCKET GUIDE TO WRTITNG IN HISTORY is an extremely useful resource.
Lastly, your paper should be approximately six to eight (6-8) pages, double spaced, standard font, margins, header and footer. The title page does not count towards the six to eight pages. The deadline for your essay is 11/24. If you wish to submit a draft earlier for suggestions and comments to help with the revision process I am happy to read the draft and return it to you A.S.A.P.