The more research I conduct on my topic, the repatriation of Korean and Chinese POWs during the Cold War, the more information I obtain. This should go without saying. However, this leads to one of the major problems I have with my sources, namely too much information. In class I remember the emphasizes put on the importance of context. Context, which answers the big question, “So, what?”. Why is your paper relevant. My topic being part of the Korean War (that occurred during the early 1950’s) two other major issues that would give my topic some context came to mind: the Cold War and civil rights. The Korean War saw two different presidents in the White House. I found two books, one entirely devoted to President Truman and civil rights and the other Eisenhower and the Cold War. After reading through these I found that the Korean War did effect the Civil Rights Movement. However, the Cold War was the bigger issue on the minds of Americans at the time. So, I found another book by Gaddis (we read a book earlier this semester by him for class) entitled The Cold War. This is my problem at hand now. How much context is too much context? I feel as though I could right eight pages of my ten page paper entirely on events that were effected or affected by repatriation but not repatriation itself. This is a something Dr.Ward brought up in class, students have a problem cutting out information. This is very true. I found loads of awesome information that give my topic context. I know that I will have to cut the majority of this information out of my paper. I do not want to do it. But, it has to be done. Also, my arguments are becoming more focused and they seem to be multiplying. I know I will have to cut out many of my supporting arguments which will be hard to do as well. Basically, too much information. Now it is time to condense and pick out the best information possible,
Plagiarizing is basically the act of a person using someone else’s thoughts, material, writings and/or work and not giving the creator credit. For example the recent speech and some writing of Senator Rand Paul were not properly cited and he has now been accused of plagiarizing material from such sources as Wikipedia. Plagiarism is apparently a large problem among students in university settings. Every syllabus I have received during my college experience has mentioned plagiarism and the consequences that would result if a student were to plagiarize. These consequences can be as serious as expulsion from the college. Plagiarism is viewed so negatively as it is an act of academic dishonesty. A person knowingly using somebody else’s material and using it as their own. What can be done to prevent plagiarism? Well, a good start is to properly cite material created by others in your own work. Including a bibliography and footnotes is a good method of properly giving credit. However, a professor may find it acceptable to simply use brief end of paragraph or quoted material citations only. Usually, this is appropriate when only allowed to use a single source or sources that have been discussed within the classroom. So, plagiarism is using other people’s material in a way that it may be perceived as your own original material. To avoid plagiarism give credit where credit is due using proper citations.
I have found three different primary sources for my paper concerning Korean War repatriation. The first primary source I located is a speech given by Senator Douglas to President Eisenhower, only twelve days before the United Nations Command (UNC) gave their final position for repatriation of Korean and Chinese prisoners held by UNC forces. In this speech Senator Douglas picks apart the plans for repatriation presented by communist countries. Douglas builds his argument with examples of forced repatriation from previous wars, concrete examples of promises of protection made to Korean prisoners, and instills a fear of the possibility of communism spreading if we were to accept the terms communist had proposed. All the points brought up by Douglas are great and will prove valuable in writing my term paper. I find the fear of communism spreading to be the most interesting. It gives some context to public concerns, which Douglas uses to his advantage, during the early part of the Cold War. In a separate primary source Scheck writes a news article about events that took place in UNC prisons located on Koje-do and Pusan. Scheck writes about problems between anti-communist and communist prisoners within the same prisons. There were frequent riots in which the prisoners often fought with weapons including homemade grenades. Once the prisoners managed to capture a Brigadier General and held him until their demands were met. The problems Scheck gave concerning communist and anti-communist prisoners showed the possible outcome for prisoners who may be forced to repatriate. My third primary source is a news article written by Neufeld. In the article Neufeld writes about more problems between the Korean prisoners. He also writes about Operation Little Switch and Operation Big Switch. Both operations centered on prisoner exchange, which was very interesting to read about and will prove useful in my paper. I am still searching for more useful primary sources, but I am happy with the ones discovered thus far.
For my term paper, I am writing about prisoners of the Korean War, namely Koreans and Chinese, that the United Nations Command held captive. I began my research when Dr. Ward gave an assignment to write on a primary source document. I was given the topic of Korean War POWs. I have been familiar with the EBSCOhost online resource data base since high school. I have used this data base in the past to find primary sources. So, I began searching the data base with the subject of Korean War POWs, and constricted the search to the time period of the Korean War. In doing so I found many great primary documents. One in particular was very interesting, a speech by Senator Douglas given to President Eisenhower concerning repatriation of our Korean War prisoners. I am also taking speech class this semester. When choosing a topic for my informative speech, I picked the same subject as my term paper. Thus, allowing me to do more research. Inspired by the speech Douglas gave, I decided to focus specifically on repatriation. I turned to Wikipedia to obtain more ideas on possible subjects to search that concerned repatriation of prisoners. I used this information to search the library catalog and to search EBSCOhost once again. I found a good reference source within the government documents in the library and several online articles that were interesting and gave good statistical information. Using this information, I formed my informative speech and presented it. Then, we as a class met with Bret Heim. In his discussion with the class, he provided information about many different ways to research and introduced several search engines I did not know existed. Heim also provided each student with sources concerning our own individual topics. Although I have not had the chance to examine the sources he suggested to me, I am sure they will prove to be useful. In class, we also discussed Turabian’s chapter on research strategies. The information given in our meeting with Heim and the discussion on Turabian has shown many different ways of research, note taking, actively creating bibliographies, and examining sources. I also found Dr. Ward’s system on note taking and gathering information on sources to be very efficient. I plan on using this newly obtain knowledge to enhance future research concerning my term paper and other research in the future.