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First Year Seminar (FYS-101) Research Exercises

This guide is a companion to the SNHU FYS-101 First Year Seminar course.

First Year Seminar Syllabus

Undergraduate Research Day

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

All students (individually or in teams) are encouraged to submit research projects to SNHU's Undergraduate Research Day (URD) held the first Wednesday of April every year celebrating student work across campus including independent and course-based research projects, posters, video/online games, films, artwork, engineering projects, Makerspace projects, etc. Your FYS Final Team Project is an ideal one to share at Undergraduate Research day in April!

  • To participate, click on the link below and fill out the form.
  • Explain your research project in 250 words or less where asked in the form.
  • On URD on April 6th, you and your FYS group will be allotted 15 minutes to present your website and talk about your research to other students and faculty who attend.
  • Each year that you participate you will be given colored cords to wear on your graduation day, unless you participate all four years in which you will be given a stole to wear at graduation.
  • You may present class-based, internship-based, or original independent research projects in any discipline at Undergraduate Research Day.
  • You will need to select a "mentor" which for FYS might best be your instructor, so be sure to ask them before you submit to the proposal link below.

We look forward to your participation in this special day celebrating students sharing their learning across campus!

2022 UGR Day Proposal Link:

Profile Photo
Karin Heffernan
 WLLC 222A

Welcome to SNHU's First Year Seminar Research Exercises!

Black & White photo of hundreds of Native American Children in front of a white building, part of the Carlisle Boarding School Black & white photo of Ida. B. Wells Black & white photo of disabled young people crawling up the steps of the US Capitol Building

Public Domain photo: c. 1900                                                                                                                                 Public Doman photo: c. 1893                       Capitol Protest for ADA, Tom Olin. c. 1990

Finding hidden heroes while exploring the connections between hard histories and current issues

The six research exercises in this series are a companion to your classes in First Year Seminar designed to help hone your research and information literacy skills to prepare you for your final project in the course. You will be learning about how information is created, organized and shared in order to be able to search effectively for sources from a variety of perspectives and evaluate them within their context.

Links to each of the Research Exercises will be in your Brightspace course shell, but if you find yourself on this page, you may easily click on the Exercise you need using the buttons on the left navigation menu.

Dean Nivison's FYS Final Team Project Launch Video

FYS101 Final Team Project Assignment

First Year Seminar Final Team Project – “Facing Hard Histories.  Discovering Hidden Heroes”

Challenge Statement: With a team, create & present a multimedia website that teaches about the meanings & relevance of our country’s “hard histories” & “hidden heroes.”

Skills: This assignment is intended to help you:

  • Select, analyze, & cite credible sources from our library databases and the internet to develop insights & ideas
  • Analyze ways in which history may continue to inform our struggles for justice today
  • Synthesize research & analyses into an educational, multimedia website
  • Collaborate with teammates to present your website


The following nine (9) steps are required for successful completion of this project. Note: You will present your website to your peers, to share your learning. Your website will also be published online.  You will be encouraged to submit your website to SNHU’s Undergraduate Research Day.

  1. Step 1: As a team, select a Primary Source Collection, & choose one source (each) to research. See p. 2.
  2. Step 2: Independently, research your primary source & create an Annotated Bibliography for 1 Credible Source that helps you understand your primary source.
  3. Step 3: Independently, identify & submit one link to additional information (video, story, image, etc.) you might use in your Multimedia Webpage on your source. See p. 3
  4. Step 4: Independently, research your primary source & submit an Annotated Bibliography for 2 Credible Sources that help you analyze & teach about your source.
  5. Step 5: As a team, create Key Element A (a Home Page). See p. 3
  6. Step 6: Independently, create & submit Key Element B (a Multimedia Webpage) that draws from/cites your 2 credible sources & your additional information to teach about your source, in light of your team’s collection. See p. 3
  7. Step 7: As a team, create Key Element C (a Synthesis of Research Page) that teaches us why your sources connect to each other & are relevant today. See p. 3
  8. Step 8: As a team, Proof, polish, & submit your Team Project.
  9. Step 9: As a team, Present your Team Project!

Primary Source Collections

Sixteen (16) Primary Source Collections have been curated for you to discover, explore, and analyze ways in which the past influences the present.  Click the link below to review the complete options of Primary Source Collections:

Your goal, as a team, is to work both independently and together to figure out ways in which your primary sources may connect to each other and relate to some dimension of contemporary life in the United States.  While these collections have been curated for you, you may propose your own collection.  If you choose to propose your own collection of primary sources to research, please request your instructor’s approval, as early as possible.

*Note:  Language changes as culture changes.  According to the National Museum of the American Indian, the terms American Indian, Indian, Native American, & Native are acceptable today. Although many Native people prefer to be identified by their tribal names, the terms American Indian or Indigenous American are commonly accepted. 

Website Requirements:  Build a website using Google Sites.

Your team’s website must contain the following key requirements. Your team will receive one grade for the final website; however, you will each receive separate grades for your individual webpage(s).  See rubrics pp. 4-5 of the assignment linked below. 

Key Element A: Home Page
  • Title of website (& collection title)
  • Authors of website
  • Four captioned images of the primary sources in the collection
Key Element B: Individual Multimedia Webpage(s)
  • Title of webpage (Must include title of or reference to primary source)
  • Author of webpage (individual)
  • Captioned image of primary source
  • Analysis of the primary source, drawn from 2 (or more) credible sources:
    • What/who is it?
    • What are some key aspects of its historical context?
    • Why does it matter, in light of your team’s collection?
  • Additional information (multi-media)
    • Videos, stories, images, music, artworks, articles, etc. that contribute to a greater understanding of the primary source, its historical context, and its meanings/significance
  • Works Cited (MLA formatted) of your 2 (or more) credible sources and additional information (videos, stories, etc).
Key Element C: Synthesis of Research Page
  • Synthesis of Research Page(s)
    • Connections between all of the collection’s primary sources
    • Importance and implications of the sources and their relevance today, in terms of “hard history” & “hidden heroes”?
  • Questions/Comments/Possibilities (Optional)
    • What more do you want to know?
    • Which information were you unable to find?
    • What else caught your attention or what else do you want to add?

Due Dates & Grading:

This Team Project unfolds over the last three weeks of class & is worth 30% of your grade.  You will be graded individually & as a team. See our syllabus for project pacing & due dates. Note: Final projects will be checked by our plagiarism software, Turnitin.

Assignment & Primary Source Collections