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HIS 121: Dual Enrollment: United States History (Judd-Vereb-Loudoun)

This guide has been created to help you find library resources related to this program of study. Direct comments to Julie Combs,

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HIS 121: DE Research Paper

People Underrepresented in the Current U.S. History Curriculum

The Scenario:

Thomas Jefferson inspired the Patriot Cause with these words: “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness….” When these words were written, not all Americans-- including Women, Native Americans and Enslaved People-- enjoyed the full benefit of that promise. The American Dream evolved to include wider, more diverse groups over the next 88 years, culminating in the indelible words of Abraham Lincoln, spoken at Gettysburg in 1863: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” 

In the 88 years between the founding of the nation and its split during the Civil War, the United States grew and changed with the help of many people, not just those who are prominently featured in typical U.S. history books. 

Your Assignment:

You will select an underrepresented figure (see 2022 DE Research for listing). As you research you will make an argument about why your selected figure deserves to be included in a more robust US History Curriculum.

Key Questions to Think About as You Write:

  1. How did this person positively or negatively affect history?
  2. Did they break with the traditional role for their social group?
  3. What were their major contributions? 
  4. How were they able to challenge traditions? 
  5. Why should they be included in a more diversified curriculum or museum (this is a persuasive essay)?

For additional assignment information, please review the DE Research document.

Biographical/Background Information

When selecting a historical figure, you may want to know more about them before beginning your research. Use the biography databases below to find biographical and background information as well as main issues/topics related to your individual. Remember that you cannot cite an encyclopedia/biographical entry as a scholarly source.

Dual Enrollment Information

Off-campus access to online library resources is available to current NOVA students, faculty and staff.

After you have completed your assignment, be sure to take advantage of NOVA's Tutoring Services, a free service available to you as a NOVA student. 

  • Option 1: Request A Tutoring Appointment either in-person or via Zoom. NOVA tutors provide paper and citation review services.
  • Option 2: Free 24x7 Online Tutoring via through CANVAS; drop off an essay for review and feedback.

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