Primary Source Assignment

Research in the American Periodical Series Online


This assignment is part of the History Engine episode project. The History Engine is a collaborative project of the University of Richmond and several residential liberal arts colleges, including Wheaton.

In order to write their History Engine episode, students will need to find a primary source that will form part of the foundation for their episode. In the course of completing this assignment, students will identify the primary sources from which they will choose in order to research and write their episodes for the History Engine.

Due Date

This assignment is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, October 2.


Step One: Use the American Periodicals Series Online and the date December 1831 to find at least ten (10) articles about a topic from the following list of History Engine Tags:

  • African Americans
  • Agriculture
  • Arts/Leisure
  • Church/Religious Activity
  • Crime/Violence
  • Diplomacy/International
  • Economy
  • Education
  • Government
  • Health/Death
  • Law
  • Migration/Transportation
  • Native Americans
  • Politics
  • Race Relations
  • Science/Technology
  • Slavery
  • Urban Life/Boosterism
  • War
  • Women

Step Two: Complete a Research Record for your entire search. The Research Record form follows this page.

Step Three: Complete an Article Record for each article that you choose to read. Each student will complete a total of ten (10) Article Record forms.

Step Four: Write a brief paragraph or two discussing how this evidence might be used to write a short historical narrative about the topic of your research.