As the school year gets underway and the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy approaches in November, high school and college students will likely be intrigued by a subject they may have read about or heard about from parents or grandparents.
You may be assigned or even want to write a research or term paper about the events of November 1963.
Go for it. Here are five tips on how to to about writing a JFK term paper.
Understand the importance of the subject. JFK’s assassination on November 22, 1963, was the 9/11 of its day: a day that set the country on a different course. Like 9/11/, 11/22 was as a pivotal moment in American history. Among other things, JFK’s presidency coincided with the ascendancy of national security agencies whose extraordinary powers of secrecy and surveillance are on display today.
Engage in critical thinking. There are lots of JFK conspiracy theories out there, lots of YouTube videos on the subject, lots of misinformation and disinformation. Learn the facts before you commit to any particular conspiracy or anti-conspiracy theory.
Third, get online. Visit MaryFerrell.org, which has the most complete introduction to the historical record of JFK’s murder. The online world (not the U.S. government) offers the largest body of information about the investigations of Kennedy’s murder.
Look at the “Starting Points” page. Unlike most JFK assassination sites, the MaryFerrell.org doesn’t argue for any one theory. It provides the evidence so you can make up your own mind about who killed JFK.
Fourth, keep it simple. Whatever you choose as your topic, address it systematically in your paper. When I asked one reader of JFK Facts how to write a JFK term paper, he said this:
“Get good a conceptual grasp of what happened, where it happened, and when it happened.”
“What, where, and when are three of the five basic interrogatories. The other two are how and why; they’ll form part of the conclusion of the research paper.”
Describe what happened, where it happened and when it happened. Then ask yourself, how did it happen? And why did it happen?
You’ll ace it.
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