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Gathering the Evidence of the Problem

In step 1, you identified the general social problem, its time period and related concepts and themes, and some undesirable conditions. Historians, though, sometimes disagree about the nature or seriousness of various social problems. Therefore, this step requires your group to use the Internet to locate at least three different sources of evidence to support the existence and extent of your problem. The goal of these activities is to develop problem solving skills through using the Internet to gather evidence about your problem.

Some of these sites will contain primary sources. Evidence about historical social problems may include statistics on these problems, articles by experts, or case studies. Our link, Topics for Developing American History Social Problems, that you visited in step 1, contains numerous resource links for each of the time periods and topics.

Statistics that focus directly on your specific problem are usually the best source of evidence. However, it may be difficult if not impossible to locate statistics for most problems that took place prior to the twentieth century. The articles by experts or case studies can supplement statistical data for 20th century problems or serve as your sole sources of evidence for earlier problems.

Worksheet 2: Gather the Evidence (HTML Version)
Worksheet 2: Gather the Evidence (MSWORD Version)


Step 3: Determine the Causes