Modern Latin American History

Format: double-spaced; 12 point font; 1 inch margins Length: 1000-1250 words (total)

The paper assignment asks you to explore a current issue or event in a Latin American country or region. Please do Colombia and the current issue on drug trade and smuggling and how much of a crisis it is in Latin America and America. MUST HAVE A THESIS AND SUPPORT THE THESIS

  1. Choose a Latin American country or region, (or Puerto Rico, which is part of the U.S. but located in Latin America) that is of particular interest to you.
  2. Read the sources below that provide guidelines for finding reliable information online. This assignment provides an opportunity to work on developing information literacy skills that allow us to evaluate the reliability of evidence, because studying history involves analyzing historical evidence and using it to try to understand why and how things change over time. In addition, there is a great deal of unreliable and false content on social media and elsewhere on line, so it is increasingly important that we can evaluate the accuracy of information we find online.
  3. Do some internet research to find reliable online sources about current issues in your chosen country/place/region in Latin America. Please a regular internet search engine (rather than a library database) so that you are developing skills to find reliable information online on the general internet.
  4. Choose a current or recent issue or event in that country/place, and find at least five reliable, academically appropriate internet sources that provide valuable information about this issue or event. Provide annotations of about 50 words each for these internet sources in the Works Cited/Bibliography that answer the following question: What about the source indicates that it is reliable and academically appropriate (according to the guidelines provided below)?
  5. Write an essay of about 750-1000 words that discusses what you learned about the issue. Feel free to supplement the five internet sources as needed with historical material from Born in Blood and Fire and Problems in Modern Latin American History. So your paper will consist of two parts: an essay of 750-1000 words about your topic/place. an annotated bibliography that provides 50-word annotations for each of the 5 sources that explain why the source is reliable, according to the guidelines provided in the list of sources below.

This website from Cornell University shows examples of what an annotated bibliography looks like: However, the content of the annotation for our assignment is the answer to the question above:

What about the source indicates that it is reliable and academically appropriate (according to the guidelines provided below)?

Guidelines for Reliable, Academically Appropriate Internet Sources:

The underlying principle that determines whether a source is a valuable and appropriate academic historical source is “peer review”: material produced by historians and reviewed for accuracy and sound methodology by other historians, or in the case of news sources, material produced by journalists and reviewed by other journalists. (I’m referring to peer review as a principle here, rather than the formal category of a “peer-reviewed academic journal.”) Please review the following guidelines for evaluating internet sources.

  1. Georgetown University, “Evaluating Internet Resources.”
  2. “Breaking News Consumers’ Handbook: Fake News Edition.” On the Media. November 16, 2016.
  3. “Beyond Fake News – 10 Types of Misleading News – Sixteen Languages.” EAVI – the European Association for Viewers Interests. Beyond Fake News EAVI.pdf (a useful infographic is available on this website and it is also attached; the link is at the top of this page.)
  4. Eugene Kiely and Lori Robertson, “How to Spot Fake News.” November 18, 2016
  5. Davis, Wynne. “Fake Or Real? How To Self-Check The News And Get The Facts.” National Public Radio. December 5, 2016.
  6. This guide discusses information sources more generally: Cornell University Library, “Critically Analyzing Information Sources: Critical Appraisal andAnalysis.” Sites such as or are not acceptable academic sources. and other commercial websites are not academically appropriate. The purpose of is primarily entertainment. The material there may or may not be accurate or peer-reviewed: we don’t know because the site doesn’t tell us who the authors or editors are, or what sources are used. The internet is ever-changing, so there is no one-size-fits-all rule. If you are uncertain about a source’s reliability and academic value, feel free to ask me. Structural Guidelines: The introductory paragraph of your essay should include a thesis statement, which is simply a concise statement of your answer to the essay question. You may want to think of the first paragraph as a road map for your readers, since it shows where your argument will go. In the body of your paper, flesh out your thesis: discuss each of your points in paragraphs that begin with topic sentences and support your points with evidence from your internet sources. Each time you make an assertion, provide specific evidence to support your point, and cite the source of that evidence. Use quotations sparingly, only when they are needed to illustrate your points, and avoid long quotations. Your concluding paragraph should briefly restate your thesis and the main points of your argument in a way that takes into account the fact that your reader has now read your full essay with its supporting evidence. Please feel free to contact me via email and/or meet with me on campus to discuss how to develop a thesis for this assignment.

Citation Requirements and Plagiarism Policy: It is essential to cite authors and page numbers for all information and ideas that you use in your paper. Failing to cite the sources for the information or ideas that you draw on for each paragraph of your paper is plagiarism. Papers that are partly or fully plagiarized will receive the grade of F (0 points). Plagiarism includes taking someone else’s words or ideas as your own without giving them credit. Plagiarism also includes downloading a paper from the internet, or copying passages from a book, website, or another student’s paper, or paraphrasing passages from a book or website or another student’s paper without citing the source. Plagiarism also includes turning in someone else’s paper as your own. To avoid unintentionally plagiarizing, make sure that you do the following:

  1. All direct quotations must be surrounded by “quotation marks.”
  2. All evidence, whether directly quoted or paraphrased must be followed by an MLA-style parenthetical citation, like this: (Chasteen 103), or a Chicago/Turabian style footnote.[1] (See below.) (APA style is okay too.)
  3. Provide a Works Cited page for MLA style or Bibliography page (for Chicago/Turabian footnote style) that lists your sources, with annotations, as described above, for your internet sources. The bibliographical information for each internet source should include the following: the author or organization (if available) the title of the article (if available) the website or publication title date of publication (if available) date of access If it’s a website, the date last modified (if available) URL. Guidelines for Chicago/Turabian footnote style:

Guidelines for MLA style citation:

Guidelines for APA style: citation:

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