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HIST 2232 - J. Altenhofel: Topics & Primary Sources

A guide for History 2232-20 (Civil Rights Movement)

Choosing a topic

Picking a topic is research! Topics start very broad and then need to be narrowed down to a manageable size. For example, the broad topic for this assignment is the Civil Rights Movement; however, there are thousands of books, articles, and films made about this era. Choose an event that took place during that era to focus your research on. You can also choose to focus on gender or race, person or place, activity or movement. Try a variety of topics and see what kind of results you get. If you get very few results, change the topic and try again.

Check out this brief tutorial from North Carolina State University

Civil Rights Topics

Here are some suggested topics

  • Color Barrier in Sports
  • Mortgage Discrimination (Red Lining)
  • Boycotts
  • Segregation in Education
  • The Great Society
  • Voting Rights
  • Health Care
  • Grassroots Activism
  • Race Riots
  • United Farm Workers
  • National Organization for Women
  • American Indians
  • Gay Rights/Gay Pride

Primary Sources

Primary sources provide first person experiences on your topic. Primary sources include letters, legal documents, interviews, live performances, images, and artifacts. Primary sources can be found in books, newspapers, and journals. They can also help you narrow your topic and discover keywords for further searching. Below are primary sources related to suggested topics: