Top 7 ways to use Questia that you didn’t know about

We know you follow the Questia blog (at least I assume so since you are reading this right now), but have you ever really dug into Questia.com to find out about all the cool features it offers? Just in case you haven’t, we thought we’d share with you some of the most unique features from Questia that make it stand out from the crowd.

There are many great ways to use Questia.

There are many great ways to use Questia.

Check out the top 7 ways to use Questia that you may have had no idea about…until now. Read more

TV show Orphan Black characters: Innovations in filmmaking

The BBC America/Canadian sci-fi television show Orphan Black just wrapped up its third season with the versatile actress Tatiana Maslany having played more than a dozen different characters, all clones in a secret scientific experiment.

Actress Tatiana Maslany has played over a dozen roles on the show Orphan Black. (Credit: BBC America)

Actress Tatiana Maslany has played over a dozen roles on the show Orphan Black. (Credit: BBC America)

An interesting research paper topic for your television or filmmaking production class is to write about the many ways this boundary-pushing show has made advances in camera work and costume makeup techniques to distinguish the many different Orphan Black characters. Read more

Controversial research topics: Institutional racism in America

When President Obama was elected to office in 2009, many politicos proclaimed that racism in America had come to an end. But the President himself recently appeared on a radio show where he used the “N” word to emphasize the point that institutional discrimination and racism are still going strong.

President Barack Obama used the n-word to make a point about the reality of racism in America during an interview. (Credit: CNN)

President Barack Obama used the n-word to make a point about the reality of racism in America during an interview. (Credit: CNN)

In your search for controversial topics for your next research paper, take a look at institutional racism in America. Read more

How college students can handle stress

College is supposed to be some of the best years of your life, right? However, do you ever feel that sometimes you are just so stressed out? If you feel like your mental and emotional health is taking a beating, you are not alone.

How do you handle stress? (Credit: Brain Report)

How do you handle stress? (Credit: Brain Report)

Maybe you and your peers could use some help balancing their newfound freedom and responsibility, while keeping the occasional smile on their faces. Read on for tips for college students on how to handle stress. Read more

U.S. incarceration rates and criminal punishment for your criminal justice term paper

Criminal punishment, incarceration rates by race, the role of rehabilitation, and the high rate of the mentally ill in prison all offer many good research paper topics.

Find out how the U.S. incarceration rate is highest in the world. (Credit: Shannon Stapleton, Reuters)

Find out how the U.S. incarceration rate is highest in the world. (Credit: Shannon Stapleton, Reuters)

For your term paper you could discuss how the U.S. imprisons more people than any other country, measures to reduce the prison population, race disparity in the U.S. criminal justice system or psychological treatment for mentally ill prisoners. Read more

The Confederate flag and Charleston shooting as your research topic

More than 100 years after the conclusion of the Civil War, some still see the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern pride, while others are very clear that it is nothing but a reminder of past, and present, racism. The Charleston shooting has people across the nation asking, once again, if the Confederate flag should still be flown over the South Carolina State House.

The Confederate flag waving near the dome of the South Carolina Capitol building. (Credit: Sean Rayford, Getty Images)

The Confederate flag waving near the dome of the South Carolina Capitol building. (Credit: Sean Rayford, Getty Images)

If you are looking for a research paper topic for an American History or African American studies course, consider following the news on this developing debate. Read more

Research topic: 150th anniversary of Juneteenth day in Civil War history

June 19, 1865, is considered one of the most significant U.S. Civil War dates. It’s the day the last of the slaves in the country were freed. Called Juneteenth day, the date is still celebrated, and 2015 marks its 150th anniversary.

Discuss Juneteenth in your next research paper. (Credit: TRGGR Radio)

Discuss Juneteenth in your next research paper. (Credit: TRGGR Radio)

For good research paper topics for your Civil War history, American history or African American culture class, consider writing about the historical significance of Juneteenth and its many ways to celebrate.

History of Juneteenth

The history of Juneteenth makes a good term paper. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all slaves were free as of January 1, 1863. But as the Civil War raged on, it took two more years for the news to spread. The last slaves to become free in the United States were in Texas, a region further west of the states that experienced the bulk of the war. Texas still had 250,000 slaves. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger, accompanied by thousands of federal soldiers to enforce the new law, arrived in the city of Galveston, Texas where he read General Order No. 3, which declared: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”

“Juneteenth” is a combination of the month and date, it’s also known as Independence Day or Emancipation Day. The first official Juneteenth celebration was in Austin, Texas in 1867. Texas later declared the date a state holiday, and the day is now officially observed in 43 states.

Commemorate the meaning of Juneteenth

Another idea for a term paper is to discuss various ways of commemorating the significance of Juneteenth. For example, Texan Sam Collins, chairman of the Texas Historical Commission State Board of Review and member of the board of advisers for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is also a descendent of slaves from Galveston. In 2005 Collins purchased Stringfellow Orchards, a plantation where his ancestors were slaves. He preserved the property and its historical significance. “We must never forget what Juneteenth meant to the former enslaved people,” he said in “Juneteenth: 150 Years Ago, Black America Got Its Own Independence Day,” by Laura Saunders Egodigwe, posted June 19, 2015, on TheRoot.com.

Collins added: “Some people still suffer today in various forms of bondage; Juneteenth is a celebration that may give those people hope that they, too, may one day be free.”

Juneteenth Is for Everyone

Kenneth C. Davis, a prominent American historian, wrote an opinion piece in New York Times saying that we should not think of Juneteenth as an “African American” holiday. “That perception unfairly diminishes the fundamental significance of Juneteenth,” said Davis in  “Juneteenth Is for Everyone,” posted on June 19, 2015. “The day should be recognized for what it is: a shared point of pride in the symbolic end of centuries of racial slavery — a crime against humanity and the great stain on America’s soul. As meaningful as Independence Day itself, Juneteenth completes the circle, reaffirming ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ as the rights of all, not a select few.”

Books about Juneteenth

Many books have been written about Juneteenth. All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom, written by Angela Johnson and illustrated by E. B. Lewis, shows the events of that important day through the eyes of a little African American girl. The book was reviewed by Elizabeth Dobler in “Black History Month Brings Forth Good Books,” posted in Topeka Capital-Journal February 2, 2015. Dobler said, “Beautiful watercolor illustrations depict the day, under the hot Texas sun, that a little girl and the other slaves on the cotton plantation learned of their freedom. Singing, prayer and joyful shouts could be seen and heard in the fields and around the campfire into the night. The next day everyone awoke to a time that would be all different now.” The book includes a list of historical dates, a time line of Juneteenth celebrations, glossary and resources for further research.

For more information, check out Questia’s library on African American History. 

What are some other significant events of Juneteenth? Share with us in the comments.

Research paper topics: American inventors and innovation

The innovation process doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Those American inventors such as Thomas Edison were often driven and inspired by rivals who were just as capable but who have not always gotten the recognition they deserve. The history of innovation is filled with jealousy, near misses, warring egos and the luck of timing.

Research American inventors for your next term paper. (Credit: National Geographic)

Research American inventors for your next term paper. (Credit: National Geographic)

The National Geographic Channel miniseries American Genius, explores several inventors and how their competition drove them to success. If you’re looking for science and technology research paper topics, you should take a look at the episodes in this miniseries. Read more

800th anniversary of the Magna Carta for your research paper

June 15, 2015, is the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. What began as a peace treaty has evolved, for many, into the originator of liberal democracy.

Learn more about the Magna Carta. (Credit: Mums do travel)

Learn more about the Magna Carta. (Credit: Mums do travel)

The historical event is a good time to look back at what the Magna Carta meant when it was first written and what it means to us today. Read more

Research topics on aging and the elderly

If we live long enough then we all have something in common — aging. The elderly, often defined as someone over age 65, now comprise 14 percent of the U.S. population and are projected to rise to 20 percent by the year 2050. For your next term paper you might consider research topics on aging such as age discrimination or aging and sexuality.

Learn more about aging and gerontology. (Credit: eHow blog)

Learn more about aging and gerontology. (Credit: eHow blog)

You might even want to take a course on gerontology which is the study of the social, psychological and biological aspects of aging and elderly people. Read more