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History of Modern American Science and Technology Session 4. How to Write a Paper in English. Revising Sentences. “As a student in science, I am pleasant to see science and technology get so much attention.”. Q&As. Why did Groves push scientists so hard?

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History of Modern American Science and TechnologySession 4

How to Write a Paper in English


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Revising Sentences

  • “As a student in science, I am pleasant to see science and technology get so much attention.”


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Q&As

  • Why did Groves push scientists so hard?

    • He felt that it was his duty, but also success would help his career

  • Why did the US drop the second bomb?

    • The idea was to drop two quickly so to create the impression that the US had many more. In fact the third one was about two weeks ago and many felt that the US should have waited longer.


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Paper Topics

  • Changes in American’s Science Optimism

    • “Changes in American Attitudes toward Science and Technology”

    • Pick two or three different periods: Great Depression, 1945, 2009?

  • Apollo Project

    • “Landing on the Moon”: How Americans Reacted to Apollo Project


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  • “Lawrence and the Atomic Bomb”

    • www.aip.org/history

  • “Should We Be More Optimistic Than Rachel Carson?”

    • How scientists viewed Carson in the 1960s and now?

    • http://www.tianyabook.com/zhexue/silent/index.html阅读《寂静的春天》中文版


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  • “Obama’s new attitude on science”

    • Obama’s views on science from the beginning of his election campaign to now

  • “Chinese American physicist C. S. Wu”

  • “What Were Brought Up by Genetic Engineering and Stem Cell?”


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Citation Style by Zuoyue Wang based on TurabianNote: Footnote style is different from that of bibliography.


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A. Footnotes

  • Books:

  • 1Anthony Brundage, Going to the Sources: A Guide to Historical Research and Writing (Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1997), 56. [If the city of publication is well-known, such as New York, you do not need to give the name of the state.] 

  • 2Brundage, Going to the Sources, 58. [Use last name and abbreviated title for subsequent citations; this rule applies to articles too.]

  • Articles in a scholarly journal:

  • Zuoyue Wang, “Responding to Silent Spring: Scientists, Popular Science Communication, and Environmental Policy in the Kennedy Years,” Science Communication 19, no. 4 (December 1997): 142.


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  • Articles in a scholarly journal accessed from an online database:

  • Peter Neushul and Zuoyue Wang, “Between the Devil and the Deep Sea: C. K. Tseng, Mariculture, and the Politics of Science in Modern China,” Isis 91, no. 1 (March 2000): 59-88, accessed on JStor online database in April 2004.

  • Articles in an edited book:

  • William Kirby, “Engineering China: Birth of the Developmental State, 1928-1937,” in Becoming Chinese: Passages to Modernity and Beyond, ed. Wen-Hsin Yeh (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000), 140.

  • Oral history interview:

  • Interview with Chang-lin Tien by Zuoyue Wang, March 19, 1999, Berkeley, CA.

  • Newspaper and popular magazine articles or letters to the editor:

  • Ralph Vartabedian, “U.S. Funnels Billions to Science to Defend Against Terrorism,” Los Angeles Times, March 7, 2004, A1.

  • Robert Parker, “Clooney’s Juvenilia,” letter to the editor, The Record (Bergen County, NJ), October 9, 2005, O.03. [If accessed on the web, see above]

  • Website:

  • Anon. to J. Edgar Hoover on Albert Einstein, April 21, 1953, available from FBI Freedom of Information Act Reading Room, “Albert Einstein,” Part 7, http://foia.fbi.gov/einstein/einstein7a.pdf, accessed in October 2003.


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B. Bibliography database:

  • Brundage, Anthony.  Going to the Sources: A Guide to Historical Research and Writing.  Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1997. (“Ctrl + t” in Word for hanging indent.)

  • Kirby, William.  “Engineering China: Birth of the Developmental State, 1928-1937.”  In Becoming Chinese: Passages to Modernity and Beyond, ed. Wen-Hsin Yeh, 137-160.  Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000.

  • Vartabedian, Ralph. “U.S. Funnels Billions to Science to Defend Against Terrorism.” Los Angeles Times, March 7, 2004, A1.

  • Wang, Zuoyue.  “Responding to Silent Spring: Scientists, Popular Science Communication, and Environmental Policy in the Kennedy Years.” Science Communication 19, no. 4 (December 1997): 141-163.  [Notice that there is a period after the article title and that here you give the inclusive page numbers of the article.]


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Checklist of Tips on Writing History Papers database:

  • 1. Place a period or comma before, not after, the closing quotation mark; but keep footnote no. outside of the quote:

  • Wrong:  “This is the wrong way to place the closing quotation mark and the period or comma” 1.  Right:     “This is the right way.”1

  • 2. Page Numbers: Be sure to insert page numbers for every page of your paper, except for p. 1 if you use cover sheet.

  • 3. Make sure that you distinguish between these words:

  • knew vs. new    know vs. now    there vs. their    where vs. were

  • it’s (It’s a great paper.”) vs. its (“Its page numbers are missing.”)

  • to (“To write is to re-write.”) vs. too (“You can never have too many revisions.”)

  • 4. Make sure that you italicize book or journal/magazine titles (Time); put “article titles” in quotes.


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  • 5. Use subsection headings (bold, centered) if the paper is five pages or longer.

  • 6. History students generally should learn to use footnotes.  But in some cases you can use in-text citations, for example, in exam essays.  Use the following style for in-text citations in combination with a bibliography: “There is, quite simply, no such thing as a ‘definitive’ treatment of any topic.” (Brundage, 55)

  • 7. Plagiarism: Avoid copying other authors’ words or ideas without citations; avoid long quotes.

  • 8. In general, use quotes from your primary sources but paraphrase ideas from secondary sources and provide corresponding citations.  It’s often desirable to have a paragraph or more of historiographical discussion (what arguments other scholars have made on your topic) and how your own thesis statement agrees or disagrees with the existing views within the first page or two of the paper.


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  • 9. Follow a chronological order in your narrative; it’s easier for you to handle and for the reader to follow.

  • 10. Try to write a topical sentence at the beginning of each paragraph and make sure that they flow well from one to the other.

  • 11. For most history papers you should be able to use both primary sources (published or unpublished correspondence, government records, newspaper and magazine articles, oral history interviews) and secondary works by other scholars.  The JStor database and www.historycooperative.org are perhaps the best sources to find scholarly articles on history topics.  Avoid using only one source for long sections of your paper.


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  • 12. How to write essay exams: Be sure to address all aspects of the examination question.  You can usually give a direct answer to the question in the first paragraph or two, then develop your argument in the body of the essay by providing examples, quotations, or other types of evidence for each period or for each group of people you cover.  Be sure to relate all your specific pieces of evidence to your main argument as articulated in the first paragraph.  You should then briefly summarize your argument in the last paragraph and can usually conclude the essay by offering some personal reflections on what you have learned and what’s been most striking to you in studying this topic.

  • 13. If you have any questions regarding the writing process, discuss them with your instructor.


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The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster 1986 of the examination question.  You can usually give a direct answer to the question in the first paragraph or two, then develop your argument in the body of the essay by providing examples, quotations, or other types of evidence for each period or for each group of people you cover.  Be sure to relate all your specific pieces of evidence to your main argument as articulated in the first paragraph.  You should then briefly summarize your argument in the last paragraph and can usually conclude the essay by offering some personal reflections on what you have learned and what’s been most striking to you in studying this topic. Melissa MizukamiHistory 408 Fall 2005

  • “I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program. And what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue.”[1] That poignant excerpt was from President Ronald Reagan’s address on the sudden and tragic loss of the space shuttle Challenger. The day was January 28, 1986 and the explosion killed all seven astronauts aboard. The event horrified America and the loss shook NASA’s manned space program to its core. Not only would the storied space agency have to mourn the loss of good friends, but they would have to prepare themselves to answer some very serious questions. How did things go so terribly wrong? Though this question was on the forefront another question loomed large. Would the American public continue to support NASA after Challenger?


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2 of the examination question.  You can usually give a direct answer to the question in the first paragraph or two, then develop your argument in the body of the essay by providing examples, quotations, or other types of evidence for each period or for each group of people you cover.  Be sure to relate all your specific pieces of evidence to your main argument as articulated in the first paragraph.  You should then briefly summarize your argument in the last paragraph and can usually conclude the essay by offering some personal reflections on what you have learned and what’s been most striking to you in studying this topic. nd paragraph

  • Though Americans were initially distraught and shocked by the shuttle accident, a majority expressed the sentiment President Reagan did in his Challenger address: the hopes and journeys of America’s space program must go on. Despite having witnessed the explosion of Challenger and the ensuing deaths of seven astronauts, the American public continued to strongly support the space program. To expand on this sentiment I will first discuss the history of the space shuttle, and the pre-flight and flight day activities that led to the accident. Next I will talk about the desire the families of the Challenger crew felt to press forward in space exploration and why they believed so strongly to do so. Then I’ll discuss the major support Americans expressed for the continuation of the space program after Challenger and what their reasons were behind it. Subsequently I will talk about the steps that were taken to find the cause of the explosion, what was done to eradicate further disaster and the public opinion of NASA’s manned space program today. And lastly I will discuss how the Challenger accident relates to the history of American technology in terms of how it contradicts the view that accidents like these are a major detriment in Americans’ enthusiasm for technology.


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3 of the examination question.  You can usually give a direct answer to the question in the first paragraph or two, then develop your argument in the body of the essay by providing examples, quotations, or other types of evidence for each period or for each group of people you cover.  Be sure to relate all your specific pieces of evidence to your main argument as articulated in the first paragraph.  You should then briefly summarize your argument in the last paragraph and can usually conclude the essay by offering some personal reflections on what you have learned and what’s been most striking to you in studying this topic. rd paragraph

  • The Space Shuttle concept was first envisioned in the 1960’s during the height of the Apollo spacecraft, to be used after the Apollo program was retired. The configuration of the final product was made in March 1972.[2] The new shuttle included the Orbiter, an expendable external fuel tank which carried liquid propellants for the Orbiter’s engines and two Solid Rocket Boosters which were recoverable.[3] The shuttle would be reusable, unlike the Apollo spacecraft which was discarded after every flight, and would be used for transporting cargo into space.[4] From the beginning the shuttle program flew perfectly, and missions to low-earth orbit became routine. Astronauts Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Judith A. Resnik, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald E. McNair, Gregory Jarvis, and teacher S. Christa McAuliffe were assigned to mission STS 51-L. 51-L’s mission objectives centered on the deployment of a tracking data relay satellite and a Halley’s Comet experiment.[5] The night before launch temperatures were unusually cold and engineers expressed concern regarding the cold weather effects on the boosters of the shuttle. The launch temperature was outside their operation specifications and the cold weather could pose a safety hazard to the joint rotation and o-ring seating of the shuttle.[6] Despite discussing the risks involved, management decided the engineers’ data was inconclusive and approved the launch. On launch day the mid morning weather at Cape Canaveral was “the coldest on which NASA had ever attempted to launch a manned spacecraft.”[7] The seven astronauts boarded the shuttle in the early Florida morning and at 11:38 am the shuttle began its ascent.[8] The space shuttle reached an altitude of 50,800 feet and was 7 nautical miles down range from the launch site when a brilliant glow was seen on one side of the external fuel tank.[9] Within seconds it grew into a gigantic fireball and without warning exploded in the mid-morning sky breaking into pieces and falling to the ocean. “Screams of horror rose from thousands of watchers. Families of the crew looked at the scene in disbelief, unable at first to comprehend what they were seeing.”[10] Within 73 seconds of liftoff the space shuttle Challenger, and its seven crew members, were lost.           

  • Though their lives were forever changed the day Challenger exploded, the families of the shuttle crew expressed a strong desire that space exploration carry on. But having experienced such deep personal loss what were the reasons behind their hopes of continuing the space program? "Space flight serves as an outlet for our human need to learn and expand," the families wrote in a statement. "What's out there will make our lives better on earth and help satisfy mankind's natural curiosity to explore and push the borders of the known universe.”[11] The families saw the inherent need for people to explore freely and without walls or barriers. They knew this because they saw it within the seven astronauts they loved and cared so much about. June Scobee Rodgers, wife of the late Dick Scobee, said “…you can't pick up a cell phone and talk without thinking about space exploration benefiting us, or an MRI at a hospital or new opportunity for energy. It's all derived from space exploration.”[12] The families were aware of the strength behind America’s technology and NASA. But the families didn’t just feel space exploration should go on because of the human need to learn and expand. They also supported the space program because it symbolized the legacy of the seven crew members. The Challenger families stated: “So that their lives were not lost in vain, we must rededicate ourselves to the exploration of space and to keep the dream alive."[13] They did this by opening a center for children to be educated on space exploration. The Challenger Center, which originated in Houston, Texas and has since grown to 30 centers all over the country, was intended to keep the memory of the seven astronauts alive and provide a lasting legacy by encouraging young children to study math and science and one day explore space the way their loved ones did.[14] When the next shuttle mission, following Challenger, was ready to launch the families issued a statement saying: ``The Challenger mission will continue so long as our nation explores new horizons and passes on the knowledge gained to our children.”[15]


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  • Lastly, the families of the Challenger crew supported the continuation of the manned space program because they knew the wishes of their loved ones would be that space exploration continues.[16] In a statement issued on the one year anniversary of Challenger the families of the crew reflected, saying “If they were alive and could speak to all Americans, we believe the Challenger crew would say this: Do not fear risk. All exploration, all growth is a calculated risk. Without frontiers, civilizations stagnate. Without challenge, people cannot reach their highest selves.”[17] They believed the crew did not risk their lives for aimless adventure, but rather to pay tribute to the nation that gave them opportunity in which space exploration was an extension of.[18] Grace Corrigan, the mother of teacher astronaut Christa McAuliffe did not want that enthusiasm to die. She said the astronauts knew of the risks involved in spaceflight but also knew of the good it did to mankind to explore and discover new things. “If we didn't continue, they would have died in vain."[19] Though the grief and pain of the Challenger families remained deep they stayed loyal to space exploration because it was space exploration that symbolized the hopes and dreams of those who perished.   


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  • Despite the horror and anguish felt on the day Challenger took its final flight, the American public stayed strong to the concept of space exploration. According to an article by Karlyn Bowman of the American Enterprise on Public Policy Research website 80 percent of Americans felt the shuttle program should continue post-accident.[20] Of the teachers who applied for NASA's “Teacher in Space” program, only a modicum withdrew their applications after the accident, while hundreds more added their names to the list.[21] Americans supported space exploration because they felt the need for man to discover science and introduce new cures and inventions to the American psyche. Pat Smith who was nominated to be part of the “Teacher in Space” program believed that humans have such a distinct need to discover. She believed that the human spirit strives to improve the lives of others as well as discovering new medicines and technology such as the pacemaker and fire suits which were both derived from space. [22] Every day, in a variety of ways, American lives are touched by space technology. According to the Ottawa Sun since 1976, about 1,400 documented NASA inventions have benefited U.S. industry, improved the quality of life and created jobs for Americans.[23] House Science Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner voted for the International Space Station since 1984 because he supported the human exploration of space and wanted scientists to have the new research opportunities it presented.[24]


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  • To many Americans, the Apollo program helped change the way of life in America, especially in health care. Some of the inventions contributed by the Apollo program include a kidney dialysis machine that was developed as a result of a NASA chemical process that could remove toxic waste from used dialysis fluid.[25] Another NASA contribution was a medical CAT scanner that searches the human body for tumors or other abnormalities.[26] Many Americans saw these medical inventions and their improvements in society as a reason for their support towards the continuation of the space program. Another reason Americans embraced the idea of continuing the space program was the same reason the families of the crew wanted to continue on: humanities inner need to explore. Astronaut Dr. William Thornton who flew on Challenger in 1983 and 1985 believed strongly in discovering new horizons. "The real reason for going into space is to expand our knowledge. There is something in man that will keep him going over the next hill, and space is the next big hill." "I don't know what we are going to find, but neither did the explorers who launched off in their boats centuries ago.''[27] To this day the horrific vision of Challenger exploding in the mid-morning air is vivid to many Americans, but it represented how vital space exploration is to mankind.


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  • After an extensive investigation the cause of Challenger’s explosion was the failure of an “O-ring” seal in the solid-fuel rocket on the shuttle’s right side.[28] The faulty design of the seal coupled with the unusually cold weather, let hot gases leak through the joint.[29] The space shuttle program was grounded until after the Space Shuttle Challenger Commission’s investigation. NASA management implemented stricter regulations in terms of safety and quality control and shuttle designers made several modifications.[30] Shuttle missions resumed on September 28, 1988, with the flight of the shuttle Discovery and all remained safe until February 1, 2003 when the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry.[31] Although the loss brought back memories of Challenger, Americans’ support for the space program remained high and does remain high today.[32] Their reasons continue to be the desire for human exploration and reaching unknown horizons.[33]


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  • Despite the pain and tragedy of losing 7 astronauts the Challenger explosion did not cause a detriment in Americans’ enthusiasm for technology. History has proven that the exploration of the unknown poses a risk, but it has also shown that those risks have created some of the most technologically advanced systems in the world.[34] They have created jobs, new industries, and a new way of life.[35] Mark Byrnes of Politics and Space Image Making by NASA says that NASA bolsters American national pride, national prestige, national strength (both military and economic) and peaceful international relations.[36] Though there were dissenting opinions on the continuation of the space program the majority really just felt that the space program needed a new resolve towards safety. One of the major reasons that the public gained a strong technological enthusiasm toward the space program and space exploration after Challenger was the investment NASA made in dedicating themselves to be safer. People began to be more enthused about the shuttle program when they saw the amount of work and effort that was put into making the shuttle safer.[37] After seeing Challenger explode the culture of America changed, not because it feared for the safety of those who embraced exploration, but because continuing on despite the risks inevitably defined heroism and changed humanity.[38]


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  • President Reagan believed deeply in continuing on the exploration of space, the families of the Challenger crew believed deeply in continuing on and Americans believed deeply in continuing on. They all saw the benefits associated with the exploration of space, and in a larger sense the exploration of the unknown. They believed so strongly in the space program because they saw man’s innate need to discover new horizons as well as the scientific advancement it provided to humanity. Also it became the legacy of the brave Challenger 7, who themselves would never have wanted the dedication of exploration to have stopped after their untimely deaths. Human exploration is a risk, it always has been and it always will be. It is a sentiment President Reagan deeply conveyed to the children of America. “I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes, painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.”[39]


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Bibliography exploration of space, the families of the Challenger crew believed deeply in continuing on and Americans believed deeply in continuing on. They all saw the benefits associated with the exploration of space, and in a larger sense the exploration of the unknown. They believed so strongly in the space program because they saw man’s innate need to discover new horizons as well as the scientific advancement it provided to humanity. Also it became the legacy of the brave Challenger 7, who themselves would never have wanted the dedication of exploration to have stopped after their untimely deaths. Human exploration is a risk, it always has been and it always will be. It is a sentiment President Reagan deeply conveyed to the children of America. “I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes, painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.”

  • Borentstein, Seth. “Families Fulfilling Vision of Challenger Astronauts Creates ‘Living Memorials,” The Record (Bergen County, N.J.), Jan 28, 1996, A11. http://0-proquest.umi.com.opac.library.csupomona.edu:80/pqdweb?did=57992309&sid=11&Fmt=3&clientId=17860&RQT=309&VName=PQD

  • Bredeson, Carmen. The Challenger Disaster Tragic SpaceFlight. New Jersey: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 1999.

  • Broken Arrow School District, “Columbia Shuttle Tragedy Hits Close to Home for BAPS Teachers,” available from http://www.ba.k12.ok.us/NewBAPage/columbia.html, accessed on November 10, 2005.

  • Brown, Karlyn.  “Ashcroft's Positive Rating Down 17 Points since December 2001,” available at American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research website http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.19114,filter.all/pub_detail.asp, accessed on November 17, 2005.

  • Byrnes, Mark. Politics and Space Image Making by NASA. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994.

  • “Challenger Explosion Left Nation Gasping in Disbelief,” Houston Chronicle,July 30, 2001, available from http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/first100/968621.html,  accessed October 8, 2006.

  • CNN, “Challenger Widow ‘Rejuvenated with Space Exploration,” January 28, 2004, available from http://edition.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/01/28/cnna.scobee.rodgers/ accessed on November 12, 2005.

  • Greene, Nick. “NASA Inventions Benefiting Our Daily Lives,” March 8, 2005, available from http://space.about.com/b/a/2005_03_08.htm, accessed November 15, 2005.

  • Letter to America by Challenger families, January 28, 1987, from Challenger Center http://www.challenger.org/about/letter.cfm, accessed on November 20, 2005.


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  • Lewis, Richard S. exploration of space, the families of the Challenger crew believed deeply in continuing on and Americans believed deeply in continuing on. They all saw the benefits associated with the exploration of space, and in a larger sense the exploration of the unknown. They believed so strongly in the space program because they saw man’s innate need to discover new horizons as well as the scientific advancement it provided to humanity. Also it became the legacy of the brave Challenger 7, who themselves would never have wanted the dedication of exploration to have stopped after their untimely deaths. Human exploration is a risk, it always has been and it always will be. It is a sentiment President Reagan deeply conveyed to the children of America. “I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes, painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.”Challenger The Final Voyage. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988.

  • McConnell, Malcolm. Challenger: A Major Malfunction. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1987.

  • “Most Support Space Program, Poll Shows,” USA Today, February 2, 2003, available from http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-02-02-shuttle-poll_x.htm, accessed on November 15, 2005.

  • NASA, “Space Shuttle Basics,” February 15, 2005, available from http://spaceflight1.nasa.gov/shuttle/reference/basics/ accessed on November 14, 2005.

  • “NASA Spin-offs—Apollo Inventions,” available from http://space.about.com/od/toolsequipment/ss/apollospinoffs.htm, accessed on November 17, 2005.

  • Reagan, Ronald. “Address to the Nation on the Explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger,” January 28, 1986, available from The American Presidency Project,http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=37646&st=Challenger&st1= accessed on November 15, 2005.

  • Saltzman, Jonathan. “McAuliffe’s Mother Urges Exploration,” Boston Globe, February 6, 2003, http://www.boston.com/news/packages/shuttle/globe_stories/McAuliffe_s_mother_urges_exploration+.shtml, accessed on November 17, 2005.

  • Sensebrenner, James. “Remarks before the Electronics Industries Association,” July 15, 1998,  available from House of Representatives site http://www.house.gov/science/pressrel/105-220.htm, accessed on November 17, 2005.

  • Stafford, Ned. “Let’s Clean House,” Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), April 24, 1987, 1. http://0-proquest.umi.com.opac.library.csupomona.edu:80/pqdweb?did=33051581&sid=8&Fmt=3&clientId=17860&RQT=309&VName=PQD


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