This year in my American History class I got the opportunity to do Research projects for two of my grades; which counted a lot. I have never done a research report the way Dr.Soldani had addressed the format. For our first research paper, we were told to choose a case file from the folders she had during class time. The folders had inside them a picture of a man or women convict, a slave, or a death certificate. I chose one of the convicts because I felt that would be the most interesting. She explained to us that we would be using Ancestry and Newspaper.com to obtain more information about our case file and further it into a document of what we learned and found from doing this research. Doing my first research assignment was quite difficult and frustrating which is why it took me a little bit of time. I think I spent at least ¾ of the semester researching my convict slowly because I was so intrigued about the opportunity to research someone that I got to choose for an assignment. The second research project we had the opportunity to choose whether we wanted to research our own family history, help Dr. Soldani’s research or choose a case in the ancestry shoebox she had set up for us. I chose to look in the shoebox because I really enjoyed researching old criminals and their history during the late 1800’s all the way to the 21’st century. My second research project consisted of the same rubric as the first one so it didn’t take me as much time as ¾ of the semester, only because I was familiar on how to do research now.
I learned so many things about how to research from having the ability to access
ancestry.com thanks to our professor. I learned how to read US federal Census’. (Something I would have never learned how to do before taking this class) I also learned that it takes time and patience while doing research because you must piece every little bit together. Reading documents was a little difficult because back in time the formal way of writing was in script after taking my time I was able to read through script. I also learned that while researching documents it’s important to notice every little part of the federal document so you don't miss anything regarding your research. And for American History, I learned so much about how they treated prisoners and people in an insane asylum which is what made my research interesting to me. I also learned about more laws regarding American HIstory and the way Americans and Immigrants lived.
Without doing research this semester I feel I would be missing out on an amazing learning experience about history. Researching history is something that should continue in the 21’st century because it gives our generation a sense of how others lived and how grateful we should be for that, it also teaches us about where laws come from and our way of living. Being able to analyze documents and legal terms is something we won't learn without research and analytical skills are going to be extremely important in the future because our generation is the future and without being taught how to research may become an issue. This is why I believe being able to research and analyze documents is extremely important in our college classroomhistory classes, maybe even English too. We need to make advances in research now before we miss out on a golden opportunity.