This assignment is due by Friday, December 8, 2017.
Find the Wikipedia article for “Sam Houston” and use it to answer the following questions:
In the top right corner of many articles is a long box with facts about the subject. Often, there is a picture at the top. This is called the infobox, and it includes basic information about a person like when they were born, what jobs they had, and other facts.
- Besides president and governor, what two political positions did Houston hold in Texas?
- What two armies did he serve with?
The first few paragraphs of text in a Wikipedia article (before the table of contents) are called the lead. This is a summary of the entire article. It is the “short version” of the article, so it can save you a lot of time reading if you don’t need all the details.
- Houston was “the only person to have become the governor of” …
- Which state did Houston become governor of in 1827?
- Did Houston support the annexation of Texas by the United States?
Table of Contents
The Contents table always comes after the lead. It is a box that lists the sections of the article. You can click on the name of a section to take you directly to it.
- In which section would you most likely find information about the Battle of San Jacinto?
- In which section would you most likely find information about Houston’s marriages?
All the text between the Contents table and the References is called the Body of the article. This is the “long version” of the article with all the details.
- After Houston ran away from home, who did he live with?
- What was Houston’s Cherokee name, and what did that name mean?
War of 1812
- Houston became close to “Jackson”. Who was “Jackson” and why was he important? (Hint: You might have to go back a few sentences to see his full name and click on the link to read a little about him.)
- What rumors kept Houston from running for governor again?
Controversy and trial
- What did Houston do to William Stanbery on Pennsylvania Avenue?
U.S. Senator from Texas
- There is a humorous “mistake” in the first sentence of this section. What is it?
- What was Houston most worried about at this time? (Answer with at least one complete sentence.)
Governor of Texas
- Did Houston support or oppose the secession of Texas from the United States? Why? (Answer with at least one complete sentence.)
- What does “secession” mean? Write a definition in your own words.
This is the most important part! All information in Wikipedia should be cited from a reliable source. In the body of the article, there are many small numbers that look like this. Click on a number, and it will take you to the references section of the article and highlight where that piece of information comes from. Often, that reference will include a link to the source so you can read it yourself. This is a great way to see if information in Wikipedia is accurate and learn more about the subject.
- From the section “U.S. Senator from Texas”: In a speech, Houston once said “A nation divided against itself cannot stand.” Who published the source for this quote? Does that seem like a reliable source to you? Why or why not? (Answer with at least two complete sentences.)
- From the section “Governor of Texas”: Which source does the article cite for the sentence “The Texas secession convention replaced Houston with Lieutenant Governor Edward Clark”? Does this seem like a reliable source? Why or why not? (Answer with at least one complete sentence.)
- In the section “Governor of Texas”, there are two references for the sentence “He instead urged the formation of a Unified “Union” ticket in opposition to it.” Is the second reference a primary source or secondary source? Explain why you think this. (Answer with at least one complete sentence.)
In a paragraph (at least five complete sentences) explain the possible advantages and disadvantages of using Wikipedia for research. Use examples for how you might use it in the future. Be sure to explain how you might critically read an article to ensure that it is factually accurate.