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The Great Gatsby


The Great Gatsby & The 1920's

Research Project (200 points)



In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald weaves together a fascinating story of the 1920’s.   An understanding of the actual historical events mentioned in the novel will deepen your appreciation of Fitzgerald’s plot, characters, and themes.  Toward this end, you are going to complete a multi-part research project on one of the topics listed below.


Follow each of these steps to complete this assignment successfully.  Each element in the project will be evaluated and graded using a rubric


  • Part I – Treasure Hunt (20 points)
  • Part II - Works Cited and Note-Taking (20 points)
  • Part III – Written Research Report (100 points)
  • Part III - Presentation with Artifact (60 points)

Goals & Standards


1. Practice finding relevant and reliable sources.

2. Use NoodleTools to compile a Works Cited page using correct citation format.

3. Practice reading for information and taking notes from multiple sources.

4. Write a research report that synthesizes information from at least 3 sources.

5. Gain a deeper understanding of the historical context for The Great Gatsby.

Massachusetts Standards for English Language Arts:

The following standards are addressed in this research project

RI 1, 3, 4, 9

RL 9

W 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

SL 4, 5

L 1, 3, 4, 5

Assignment Part I

Part I – Treasure Hunt (20 points):

With a partner, complete the Gatsby Treasure Hunt that can be found on the LC website at: short answer to any 3 questions of your choice plus #13 from the Treasure Hunt activity site.  Make sure they are all in complete sentences and that you include the titles and authors of any sources you use. 

Rubric Part I

Treasure Hunt Rubric


Topic 1

Topic 2

Topic 3


Completeness – Have you answered each part of the question?





Plagarism – Have you written the answer in your own words?





Knowledge – Have you correctly defined key terms, key persons, and summarizing concepts?





Analysis – Have you given examples to back up your answers?





Grammar & Spelling – Did you write completely, in complete sentences, with minimal errors?









Grading Scale

Did not complete requirement

Partially completed requirement

Fully completed requirement

Adapted from:


Student Names:  _______________________________________________________

Comments: ___________________________________________________________






Assignment Part II

Part II - Works Cited and Note-Taking (20 points):

Choose one of the topics listed at:

Identify at least 3 reliable, relevant sources using the list of sources on the library’s Gatsby Project website.  Compile a works cited page using NoodleTools.  Print out a final copy by exporting your Works Cited to a Word document. 

Read your sources carefully.  You may want to print out your sources (if possible) so that you can annotate your sources by highlighting important information and writing notes in the margins. 

Demonstrate your skill at note-taking by using NoodleTools or an alternate method of note-taking.  You must write at least three “notes-cards” – one for each of your 3 sources.  You must demonstrate your ability to use the following note-taking strategies: Paraphrase, Bullet-Points, Direct Quotation & Commentary.


1. Works Cited Page

2. 3 Note-Cards

Rubric Part II

Citation Evaluation (4 points):






Citations are incomplete or missing. Words are misspelled and bibliographic elements are not correctly located. Links are missing or not functional.

Citation is generally accurate and correctly formatted. Most bibliographic elements are included and correct (e.g. database and author names) Links are functional.

Citation is accurate and correctly constructed. Words are spelled correctly, bibliographic elements. Links are functional.


Source Evaluation (8 points):






Sources do not have sufficient bibliographic information.

Sources have adequate bibliographic information.

Source have full bibliographic information that indicates it is scholarly and academic.


Sources are unverified and not cross-compared to other sources for accuracy.

Sources are cross-compared and information is verified as accurate.

Sources are cross-compared with other scholarly and academic sources and can be trusted as highly accurate.


Using criteria from authority and accuracy, the source suggests that there is bias.

Using criteria from authority and accuracy, the source does not give evidence of bias.

Using criteria from authority and accuracy, the source demonstrates a high degree of academic integrity.


The source is not related to the topic or fails to add knowledge and understanding of topic.

The source is related to the topic and increases knowledge and understanding of topic.

The source directly supports the topic and provides a high level of information to increase knowledge and understanding of the topic.


Note-Taking (8 points):





Notes are not recorded with keywords and phrases

Notes are mostly recorded as keywords and phrases

Notes are recorded as keywords and phrases

Direct Quotation

Includes no direct quotation

Includes at least one direct quotation, does not always use proper punctuation and citation

Includes at least one direct quotation using proper punctuation and citation


Notes are not related to the topic

Notes are somewhat related to the topic

Notes are related to the topic


Notes are disorganized

Notes are somewhat organized and neat

Notes are organized, neat, and bulleted

Assignment Part III

Part III – Written Research Report (100 points):

After doing the Gatsby Treasure Hunt you will choose a topic from the list at:

Write a 2-3-page report on your research.  Explain what you learned about your topic.  Synthesize the information from at least 3 sources.  You must incorporate specific facts and supporting details from your sources into your report and use in-text parenthetical citations to acknowledge the sources.  You will attach your Works Cited Page to your report.  The final report will be submitted to

Assignment Part IV

Part IV - Presentation with Artifact (60 points):

Give a 3-5 minute presentation to the class about your topic.  You can summarize the main points from your report or present the most surprising or interesting facts about your topic.  You will incorporate one visual or musical example (an artifact) into your presentation.  Examples of artifacts include: a poster, a photograph, a brief PowerPoint or Prezi presentation, a short video, a musical selection, or a work of art.


Timeline - 2014:

March 20

  • Introduction to the 1920’s in the L.C. with a Gatsby Treasure Hunt

Week of March 24-28

  • Topic Selection
  • Lessons on: Introduction to NoodleTools, Citation Creation, Note-taking
  • Time for Research in the L.C.
  • Due March 28th – at least 3 sources shared in NoodleTools

Week of March 31 – April 4

  • Research Completion in Class
  • Time for Writing
  • Time to create presentation
  • Due April 4 – 2-3 page historical context paper

Weeks of April 7-11 and April 14-18

  • Due April 7 - Presentation
  • Give presentations
  • Time to read The Great Gatsby

Printable Gatsby Assignment