Friday, March 27, 2009

Progress of the Research Paper and Other History-Related Projects

The past week definitely marked some significant progress in a number of projects for our class. I was able to further work on my research paper about Chicago and managed to compile all the information I will need to write the paper, including all twenty primary and secondary sources. In my last blog, I mentioned a number of websites that are especially useful in finding sources, but here are two web pages that have helped me significantly in citing these sources (in addition to the style guide we have gotten from the history department): The first page is a general citation guide that explains how Chicago citations are structured and how a variety of secondary sources are to be cited (much easier than the reference book you can find in the library) ><. The second site is from the Library of Congress and gives detailed information of how to cite all sorts of primary sources (newspapers, pictures, videos etc) in different citation formats, including Chicago (><). Using these websites in addition to the style guide we have been given proved much easier and quicker than using the confusing reference book in the library.

Regarding the actual argument of my paper, I have a thesis (as discussed in last blog). The second part of this thesis has proven to be somewhat more difficult to prove than the first. In the second part I am arguing that World War I breaking out sped up German-American integration into Chicagoan society. It has been really difficult distinguishing to what extent this is process of immigration was stimulated by anti-German sentiment associated with the war (German-Americans feeling the need to denounce their cultural heritage) or the decline in / halt to German immigration due to the war (the argument that German cultural institutions could not preserve their ethnicity and traditions because they relied on a continued influx of German immigrants to do so and that immigration flow was halted by WWI).

In this past week, I have also been to the Fire Department and scanned five primary historical documents. The majority of my documents deal with the Great Mall Fire in Winter Park, but others deal with fire safety in the immediate Winter Park area (such as adequately equipping a nursing home with fire safety measures). As I continue to find out more about these photographs and artifacts in the following week, my next blog will deal with their historical significance.

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