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For the Research Project, each student will develop a problem confronting New York City and will analyze it using the
problem-solving approach that we will discussing in this Critical Thinking course. Research on the problem will begin in
by viewing Archive tutorials, and then conducting research using Archival sources. Additional research will be
conducted using digital sources about in the city. The final product produced by each student will be a research report
proposing solutions to the problem they have chosen.
ARCHIVES TUTORIAL VIDEOS
The project will begin by viewing the Video Tutorials designed by the LaGuardia Wagner Archives (that will be made
available to access from Blackboard). Students will view the Archive Tutorials.
As a repository for documents pertaining to NYC (Mayors, City Council, Housing Authority) the Archive collection deals
with many problem issues that affect the lives of New Yorkers. The staff of the Archives will introduce students to its
collections, demonstrate close reading of primary source documents, and suggest ways to use primary source documents
in their research.
I. DEFINING THE PROBLEM
Following the careful viewing of the Archives Video Tutorials, students will develop a problem on which they would like
to work. Folders with Archival material on a variety of problems will be made available. Students will choose a folder,
read a minimum of 10 pages of content from the folder, and write a 1-2 page reflection in which they explain what was in
the pages they read, pose a specific problem based on what they found in those pages, explain why that problem is
interesting to them, and suggest a preliminary hypothesis in response to their problem. Students should include a brief
personal biography of two-three sentences and a recent digital photo of themselves.
II. FIELD RESEARCH
Students’ exploration of their question should involve conducting research with several sources. The Archival documents
in the provided folders offered a good place to begin. Students should then broaden their research to include news
sources and scholarly articles accessible on the internet. Students should take notes based on what they find and critically
evaluate their sources in terms of reliability, bias, relevance, and accuracy.
III. ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Students will submit an annotated bibliography of the sources they have chosen.