Famous American Report

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Famous American Report
You will select a famous American on which to report. Your report will consist of a written report and an oral report to be given in front of the class. The guidelines for the report are as follows.
Written Report

*Your written report must include the following information:

  1. The person’s birth and death dates and cause of death. (If the person is still living, this must be stated in place of the death information.)

  2. What the person did that made them famous.

  3. At least 2 nonfiction stories about the person’s life.

  4. A bibliography page with at least 3 entries.

**Your written report may include the following information:

  1. Drawings or pictures from the person’s life. (Photocopies or graphics from electronic resources will not be as valuable as original artwork.)

  2. Graphs, charts, or maps.

  3. Anything else to make your report more creative and interesting.

The written report must be typed (double spaced) or in handwriting in ink (skipping lines). Remember...neatness counts! When you turn in your report, it must be in some kind of report folder, not just stapled in the top corner.

There is no length requirement on this report; however, you will want to include lots of good information. Therefore, make your report as interesting as possible. It will be graded on its content and quality.

Helpful Hints

You may get your information from encyclopedias, CDRoms, the Internet, books, or magazines. Take notes as you research. You may not plagiarize, that is, copy word-for-word from another source. Plagiarism is against the law!

Once you have done your research you may want to make an outline (the outline will not be turned in however). Then make a sloppy copy. Have a parent check your sloppy copy for mistakes or suggestions. Finally, make a final draft to turn in.

As you do your research, write down any information that you will need for your bibliography. It should include:

  • The title of the book, CDRom, website, or magazine (underlined)

  • The address if the source is a web site (ex. http://www.americaslibrary.gov)

  • The author’s or webmaster’s name

  • The copyright date (for Internet, the date you found the information)

  • The publishing company (address or “burl” of a web site)

  • The page numbers where you found your information.

Here is an example of how a bibliography entry must be listed at the end of your report:
The New Popular History of the World, Caldwell, c.1950, Greystone Press, pgs. 491-495.
Oral Report

You will present the oral report in front of the class. It should contain all of the information you must* include in your written report, however you will not stand in front of the class and read your report. You may, though, use notes from your report written on 3x5 or 4x6 index cards. Your oral report will not take more than 5 minutes. Part of the grading of your oral report will be on creativity and presentation. These things will be graded just like the things that may** be included in your written report. Try to think of some ways to make your report more interesting for the class to listen to. Here are some ideas you may use if you can’t think of any others on your own:

  • Dress up like your Famous American.

  • Have a shoebox or bag containing articles relating to your Famous American.

  • Use maps, charts, or even the overhead projector.

  • Do a PowerPoint presentation. Please see Mr. Cliffe ahead of time if you choose to do this.

Due Dates

The written report will be due on Friday, February 8. Any reports turned in after that date will be considered late and will receive a grade of zero. You may turn in your written report on the day you do your oral report.

Your oral report will be presented to the class on one of the days during the week of February 4 through 8. You will choose which day of that week you want to present, however, we can only have up to 8 presentations each day, so you may not get your first choice.

This report will count for a great deal of your Social Studies grade for this quarter. Each part of the report will be worth 100 points (Written = 100, Oral = 100). Points will be awarded as follows:

75 points for what must be included in the report. *

25 points for what may be included in the report. **

Grading Scale

Points Grade

98 - 100 A+

93 - 97 A

90 - 92 A-

88 - 89 B+

83 - 87 B

80 - 82 B-

78 - 79 C+

73 - 77 C

70 - 72 C-

68 - 69 D+

63 - 67 D

60 - 62 D-

0 - 59 F
These instructions are available on Mr. Cliffe’s website:



Some very helpful websites for this report are:

  • Mr. Cliffe’s website: http://apu.edu/~pcliffe

  • Grolier Online: http://go.grolier.com (From school your username is cousd and your password is school. From home your username is cousd5 and your password is home.)

Famous Americans
Below is a list of Famous Americans from which you may choose one to do your report on. If you want to do your report on someone whose name is not listed below, you must get my approval before you start your research.
Any President of the U. S. A. William Clark

Any First Lady of the U. S. A. John Charles Fremont

Meriwether Lewis Zebulon Pike

Jedediah Strong Smith Edwin Aldrin

Neil Armstrong John W. Young

Samuel Adams Susan B. Anthony

Benjamin Banneker Daniel Boon

Samuel Clemens Davy Crockett

Benjamin Franklin Patrick Henry

James Marshall William Penn

John Wesley Powell Paul Revere

Elizabeth Cady Stanton Harriet Beecher Stowe

John Glen Anne Mansfield Sullivan

Harriet Tubman Nat Turner

Eli Whitney James Wilson

Martin Luther King Jr. Amelia Earhart

Lucretia Mott Christa McAuliffe

Nathaniel Hawthorne Betsy Ross


(Cut off and return this portion with the required signatures.)

Mr. Cliffe,

We have read and discussed these report guidelines and will encourage our child to complete its requirements. The report will be about _____________________.

(Famous American)
Parent Signature Date
Student Signature Date

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