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HIST 1302: Isaac's Storm

This guide was created for Professor Lambert's HIST 1302 class.

Your Assignment

Read Erik Larson's Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History, and pick an aspect to research. Once you decide on a topic, please get the instructor’s approval using D2L course email.

Assignment Guidelines

  • Your research assignment should consist of 4-5 full textual pages (double-spaced) plus a Works Cited page. Use a standard 10- or 12-point font with one-inch margins.
  • Your assignment should include an introduction with a thesis statement and a conclusion. 
  • A minimum of four sources plus the Larson book is required, with at least one from each of the following: a historical monograph (book), a scholarly journal, and a reputable website. Encyclopedias and dictionaries are not acceptable as sources.
  • All sources must appear in the Works Cited page, and those that do must be cited in the paper. Documentation must be parenthetical, and all forms must follow those prescribed in the MLA Handbook.
  • Save your research project in rich text or as a Word document and submit it as an attached file, using the D2L email feature. 

Check the course calendar for the due date. Fifteen points will be deducted from any late assignment, and no assignment will be accepted more than one week after the due date. The evaluation of this research assignment will focus not only on content but also on clarity, organization, coherence, and use of standard written English.

Warning: Plagiarism is theft of another writer’s words or ideas and will receive a zero. Ask for assistance if you are unsure.

You will have to pick an aspect of the hurricane, as written about in Isaac's Storm, find additional informational resources, and write your paper. The instructions for the assignment state that the paper will be 4-5 double spaced pages. Think of a topic that will be manageable to tackle in that many pages. It is very important that you begin your research before you start writing. Based on the information resources you find, you might have to adjust the topic or even change your topic completely.

1.     As you read Issac's Storm jot down a few aspects that were interesting to you. From this list, you may be able to come up with a topic to begin researching. 

2.     Think of keywords that describe your working topic.

3.     Begin researching. See the Find BooksFind Articles, and Find Internet Sources tabs.

4.     If you are finding information that supports your original topic idea, you can go ahead with the topic (pending professor approval!). If not, either try a different topic and keywords OR use the information you are finding to create a new topic idea.

  • Galveston hurricane
  • united states hurricanes
  • 1900 storm
  • 1900 hurricane
  • Galveston
  • Clara Barton
  • Red Cross
  • hurricane history
  • orphanage

Here are a few ideas for inspiration:

1. How was the storm a turning point in the development of Galveston (business, government, arts, etc.)? 
2. Compare how the techniques of the historian differ in Isaac's Storm and another history book on the subject. 
3. Why and how did communication fail in warning the people of Galveston? (Perhaps bring in prejudicial attitudes toward Cuba and Hispanic cultures.) 
4. Clara Barton's role. 
5. Sisters of Charity Orphanage. 
6. Compare reportage at the time of the event to what we know now. (Consider using the database named America's Historical Newspapers.)

The Galveston Hurricane of 1900

Galveston disaster, interior St. Patrick's church. Library of Congress.

Body in the ruins, Galveston hurricane. Library of Congress.

Galveston hurricane. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Seeking valuables in the wreckage, Galveston, Texas. Library of Congress.

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