Analyze the connection between historical strategies and their current issue using supporting evidence.

Touchstone 2: Thinking Critically about History
SCENARIO: Imagine you represent your company at a service organization dealing with one of these two issues:
Facing Economic Change
Engaging Civil Rights
Your supervisor has asked you to research information related to the history of one of these issues for your organization to help new employees and volunteers understand it better. Eventually, you will make a powerpoint presentation with slides that include your findings and recommendations. A list of sample primary and secondary sources has already been started. In the next Touchstone (Touchstone 3), you will create a presentation of 7–11 slides.

Using the same research question as you select in Unit 2, you will organize a presentation for new employees and volunteers to help them understand better how key historical events in U.S. History are connected to their work and impact society today. Some of the tasks you’ll be asked to do are:
Use evidence to clearly identify challenges throughout US history that are related to your topic.
Analyze how challenges were tackled throughout US history that are related to their topic, using historical evidence.
Analyze the connection between historical strategies and their current issue using supporting evidence.
ASSIGNMENT: For Touchstone 2, you’ll use the critical thinking process to investigate an issue and craft the argument you’ll be presenting in Touchstone 3.

The touchstone template below will guide you through this process in five steps:
Knowledge: What are the focused questions that will help you investigate your research question?
Comprehension: What have you learned about your issue?
Application: How do your sources connect?
Analysis: How will you use your evidence?
Synthesis: What are the main points you will communicate?
For this touchstone, you will take the first step in creating your presentation to help new employees and volunteers understand how historical events can be applied to one of the issues currently affecting your organization. To do the research necessary for your presentation, you will need to choose four sources that are credible and relevant to the issue facing your organization.

You will first select the specific issue and research question you want to address. Then, from a collection of sources, you will choose two primary and two secondary sources that have relevant information for the historical events that relate to the research question you will choose. Finally, you will evaluate the credibility of your chosen sources by answering a set of questions.

To begin, download the touchstone template below and fill out the sections as you complete each step. When you have finished, you will submit this template to move onto the next unit.

A. Directions
Step 1. Knowledge
You’ll use the Knowledge step of the critical thinking process to figure out what information will help you answer your research question. Remember, in the Knowledge step, you ask yourself these questions:
What are some more focused questions I can use to guide my investigation?
What smaller pieces of information will I need to answer the bigger research question?
By breaking your research question down into smaller pieces and writing out what information you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find the evidence you need from your sources and build your knowledge of the issue.
In this Knowledge step, you will:
select your issue
select your research question
identify key words
1a. Select Your Issue
Select the issue you’d like to focus on for your presentation. As you saw in the scenario above, your supervisor has asked you to present lessons learned from historical events related to one of two issues: Facing Economic Change or Engaging Civil Rights. You will choose only one of these issues to write about, so pick the one that’s most interesting to you or most relevant to your work.
Read about each issue below and then select one to use for this touchstone.
Issue 1: Facing Economic Change
The pace of economic and workplace change is faster than ever. How have people been affected by such changes in the past and how have they adapted? What lessons can we learn for success in the modern workplace to deal with the changes that might occur down the road?
Issue 2: Engaging Civil Rights
The United States was established on the principles of freedom, rights, and equality—in a society that condoned slavery and unequal rights. It has been a historical struggle to expand and apply those founding principles more inclusively, especially for African Americans, women, and immigrant groups. What have been the key barriers to progress and how have different groups been affected? How have those groups overcome obstacles? What are related current issues and how might they be successfully addressed both now and in the future?

1b. Select Your Research Question
To begin investigating your selected issue, you must choose to focus on one of the following research questions.
Issue 1: Facing Economic Change
If you choose to focus on this issue for your presentation, you will select one of the following questions.
What if the bottom falls out? How can you prepare and protect yourself for bad times based on lessons learned from the Great Recession of 2008 and the Great Depression?
What happens when technological changes impact the workforce? How can people adjust when technology changes and what lessons can we learn from the U.S. Industrial Revolution and the Information Age?
Issue 2: Engaging Civil Rights
If you choose to focus on this issue for your presentation, you will select one of the following questions.
What lessons can we learn from women’s history? What strategies were used and what lessons can we learn from the struggles women faced in the late 1800s–early 1900s and the 1960s–1970s for engaging current and future women’s rights issues?
What lessons can we learn from African American history? Considering past struggles from Reconstruction to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s for African American civil rights, what lessons can we learn about the best strategies for engaging civil rights now and in the future?
What lessons can we learn from immigrant history? Based on lessons learned from policies in the late 1800s and early 1900s on immigration, how can present-day immigration issues be addressed to help new immigrants to their new home in the United States?
What lessons can we learn from the fight for LGBTQ+ rights over the years? What strategies were used and what lessons can we learn from how this group has fought for its rights since the 1960s, and how can present-day LGBTQ+ civil rights advocates combat businesses, people and institutions that continue to openly discriminate?
1c. Identify Key Words
Now that you’ve selected the research question that you’ll focus on for your presentation, it’s time to look for the sources that will provide answers to it. Although you will have access to a list of primary and secondary sources that have already been collected for the issue you’ve chosen, you’ll still need to figure out which ones will help you answer your research question. That’s where key words can help.
As you read earlier in this course, key words are specific and meaningful words associated with your research question. You may also want to include concepts or phrases from your research question (like “U.S. manufacturing 1940s” below) in order to focus your search. Check out the example below to see this process in action.
EXAMPLE

Issue: Facing Economic Change
Research question: How did World War II affect manufacturing in the United States in the 1940s?
Key words and phrases: World War II, U.S. manufacturing 1940s, economy, economic change
Step 2. Comprehension
Now that you’ve selected a research question and you have some key words in mind, it’s time to find two primary and two secondary sources for your assignment and review them. Your key words will come in handy as you evaluate the list of sources to see which ones best support your research question.
To begin developing an answer for your research question, you need to review information about the historical events you are considering. As you recall from the assignment scenario, your predecessor has already collected information related to the issue you are investigating, and the secondary and primary sources from the collection are listed below.
2a. Choose Primary and Secondary Sources
Secondary Sources
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/may/07/1963-beginning-feminist-movement
Primary

National Organization For Women Statement of Purpose

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