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Senior: 11 & 12: Unit 2: American Civil Rights (IA2)

Oliver Library Catalogue


Look here for books, eBooks, DVDs and websites.

Useful Sources


POSSIBLE KEY QUESTION: What was the significance of the Little Rock Nine?

Sub-Question: Why was Brown v. the Board of Education a landmark legal case? 

Sub-Question: How was the Southern Manifesto of 1956 a response to the Brown v. the Board of Education?

Sub-Question: What role did state Governor Orval Faubus play in the Little Rock crisis?

Sub-Question: Should President Eisenhower have intervened in the integration crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas, or should he have let the state government handle the matter?


POSSIBLE KEY QUESTION: How did the activities of the Freedom Riders and Sit-ins bolster the U.S. Civil Rights Movement?

Sub-Question: Who were the leaders and partners of the Freedom Riders and Sit-in protesters?

Sub-Question: What methods did they use to desegregate interstate transportation?

Sub-Question: Who were the opponents to the Freedom Riders and Sit-in protesters, and what were their responses?

Sub-Question: What were the outcomes of these protests?


POSSIBLE KEY QUESTION: What was the significance of the Selma to Montgomery march in the civil rights movement?

Sub-Question: What was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and what were its provisions?

Sub-Question: Why was Selma selected as the beginning of the march?

Sub-Question: What was Governor George Wallace's role in the march?

Sub-Question: What was the significance of Bloody Sunday? Look at this source as well. Or this one.

Sub-Question: What role did Martin Luther King play in the march?



POSSIBLE KEY QUESTION: Is Martin Luther King best described as a saint or a sinner with his beliefs, behaviour and policies? (Discuss whether he was a glory seeker, a hypocrite or a betrayer of his people - see Vivienne Sanders).

POSSIBLE KEY QUESTION:  Which of these two  activists made the most important contribution to the American Civil Rights Movement?

Sub-Question: What was the motivation for Martin Luther King to become active in the Civil Rights Movement, and what was his ideology?

Sub-Question: How did Martin Luther King contribute to and show leadership in the Civil Rights Movement?

Sub-Question: What was the motivation for Malcolm X to become involved in the Civil Rights Movement, and what was his ideology?

Sub-Question: How did Malcolm X contribute to and show leadership in the Civil Rights Movement?

Sub-Question: How can the effectiveness of the contributions of the 2 activists be compared?

NOTE: Malcolm X's message of self-defense and black nationalism resonated with northern, urban blacks more effectively than King’s call for nonviolence. 

Martin Luther King AND Malcolm X

Martin Luther King


   Martin Luther King ebook

Malcolm X

POSSIBLE KEY QUESTION: Was Malcolm X a symbol of black pride and aspiration, or  a racist, anti-Semitic demagogue (a political leader who seeks support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational argument)? This is an article from the New York Times)


undefined    Malcolm X ebook

Paragraph Showing Source Analysis and Evaluation Skills

Martin Luther King Jr. considered the 1963 Birmingham Campaign a necessity because of the harsh treatment of the African-American community. In mid-1962, King and other officials from the SCLC conceived ‘Project C’, which used the non-violent protest strategies of sit-ins, boycotts and daily marches, to draw public attention to the heavy-handed, and often violent, responses by the police. King’s justifications for this approach are explained in a telegram which he sent to President Kennedy in 1962, in which he stated that a “reign of terror is still alive in Birmingham Alabama [and] it is by far the worst big city in race relations in the United States” (King, 1962, 1). His reasons are explained further the following year, in a letter which King wrote while in jail in Birmingham following his arrest for taking part in the protests. In it, the civil rights leader argued that the protests were necessary since the city authorities left the African-American community with no alternative (King, 1963, 2). As this document was written with the expressed purpose of explaining the causes of the Birmingham Campaign, it is a particularly reliable record of King’s justifications for the event. As is clearly seen in these two sources, both written by King himself, he saw Project C as a vital step in gaining full rights for the citizens of the city. Therefore, King was convinced that the 1963 Birmingham Campaign was a direct result of the unjust treatment suffered by the African-Americans in Birmingham.

Colour key:








This Colour Key Code has been applied to the paragraph above.

Adapted from History Skills


The ENTIRE collection of resources provided by the BBC Library can be searched on ONE single, powerful search platform, which retrieves print books, eBooks, database articles and websites. Click HERE for assistance.

Advanced Web Searching Tips

1. Use 'Ctrl F' (Control + Find) to search for particular terms easily in a long document, whether from a website or a database article.

2.  Use a Boolean command - put double inverted commas around phrases to limit and improve your results eg "energy drinks problems".

3. Use filetype:pdf to search in Google for only pdf articles - "plastic pollution" filetype:pdf - will force Google to return results on plastic pollution which are only pdf articles (PDFs are great sources sometimes deeply buried in Google results and remain unseen).

4. Use a Google domain command eg site:edu OR site:gov to limit results to a CERTAIN DOMAIN such as education or government eg biodiesel site:edu

5.  To check the authority of a website when it is not clear who the author / authority is, go to the end of the URL in the Google search box, cut back to the first forward slash (/) and hit 'Enter'. This will take you to the Home Page of the website, and you can see the full name of the source.

6. Use a Google command to limit results to the MOST RECENT: After you get your results, choose the Google Menu Bar, and choose 'Tools'. Then on the far left, at the drop-down menu next to 'Any Time', you can choose 'Within the last year' (or less, if you prefer), but generally, you can choose 'Custom Range' at the bottom, as often the last 3 years would be sufficient for a recent search.

QCAA Sample Annotated Response for IA2 Task

Zotero Online Referencing Tool

Zotero can be set to the same Harvard AGPS (Australia) style that CiteAce uses, called 'Melbourne Polytechnic - Harvard'. Please read the instructions carefully.

Any issues - see your Library Staff

Useful Databases

Information in JSTOR is 3-5 years old, but of university quality.

When you are away from the campus you will need to login using the appropriate username and password, available in an email which has previously been sent to you by Ms King.

Useful Ebooks

History Skills: IPO CAM Source Analysis and Evaluation Skills


More Source Evaluation Skills


Use This Writing Template for Response

IA2: Format for Layout of Assignment