Rules/Tips for Three-Page Paper Due Tuesday, October 9th

This summary is intended to be completely consistent with what I told you in class on Thursday and in previous classes.


1. Papers must be typed, double-spaced, normal margins, 11- or 12-point font.

2. Papers should be about three pages long: the class report (see below) should be one page long.

3. A research paper, even as short as this one, is essentially a report of your findings on a question or problem or conflict that you investigated. For this paper, I strongly suggested that you investigate differences reflected in an two of the five (or six) reports of the convention that I handed out. (If you are not investigating convention proceedings, I have indicated alternatives to this approach.)

Thus, the first paragraph of your paper and your class report should clearly state the issue or question that you focused on and a short statement of the answer or findings that you discovered. The rest of your paper spells out the basis of those findings (or, stated another way, it gives the support for your answer).

4. Sources and Citations: As I indicated in class, the sources you use should be primary sources (Urofsky’s text and Farrand’s Framing of the Constitution commentaries may also be used), and can be accessed via the Library of Congress “Century of Lawmaking,” which is linked on the main assignment page and which I showed you several times in class. Papers that focus on issues discussed in the convention should use the Farrand volumes (discussed in class) and perhaps the Letters of Delegates to Congress. Papers that focus on the Articles of Confederation or the events leading up to the Philadelphia convention will probably find the Journals of the Continental Congress useful, and the focus on the Massachusetts ratification debate should use Volume Two of Elliot’s Debates.

 For example, at the end of the paper cite all your sources, something like this:

Sources Cited

·         James Madison’s Notes of Debates  (“Madison”)

·         Robert Yates’s Notes of Debates (“Yates”)

·         Rufus King’s Notes of Debates (“King”)

·         Journal of the Philadelphia Convention (“Journal”)

(Actually, Yates’s, Lansing’s, and King’s “notes” were not formally published; they were letters. For our purposes, citing them as I have is sufficient to identify them.)

In the paper itself, cite the sources within parentheses at the end of the appropriate sentence. For example:

·         Mr Gerry thought property not the rule of representation.” (Madison, June 11th (or 6/11)) Urofsky indicated that the convention changed its mind. (Urofsky, p. 124.

For the Class Report

The class report should be a one-page summary of your paper, beginning with a clear, short statement of your research question and findings. Typed, double spaced.

We have thirteen reports to deliver in two days: seven on one day, six on the other. You must keep it short and clear.