Senior Seminar
Course Information

Professor: Robert W. Brown

Course Description

History 4510 focuses on two separate but closely related topics. It deals first with methods of historical research, the critical evaluation of sources, primary as well as secondary, and the writing of an historical essay. Accordingly, one major course requirement will be a research paper based in part on primary sources. Because the process of historical research is as important as the research product, this paper will be the culmination of a series of steps (completed both within and outside the classroom) designed to help each student master the basic elements of research and effective written and oral presentation. Required also is an analysis of an historical document (a primary source), a critical review of a scholarly work (a secondary source) on the topic of the research paper, and an analysis of an Internet site. At the end of the semester, each student will make an oral presentation summarizing the results of his/her research.  This presentation should be done using PowerPoint.

The second component of History 4510 is a study of the western historiographical tradition. It surveys the writing of History from the earliest time to the present, and it investigates the nature of History, philosophies of History, and the various types of historical writing.

Course Goals

***an introduction to advanced methods of historical research and the critical evaluation of primary
    and secondary sources;

***mastery of a process model for the writing of a research paper in History;

***mastery of techniques for the writing of the critical book review;

***development of skills for the oral presentation of research results;

***a survey of the western historiographical tradition;

***an investigation into the nature of History, competing philosophies of History, and the types of
     historical writing.

***an introduction to the World Wide Web as a research tool and to methods for the analysis of Internet resources.

Course Requirements

1. Required Texts:

    Mark T. Gilderhus, History and Historians. A Historiographical Introduction. 6th ed.
    Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2007.

    Kate L. Turabian, Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, A Manual for
    Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations
. 7th ed.  Chicago and London: The University of Chicago
    Press, 2007.

2. Research Portfolio:

    Each student will compile a Research Portfolio consisting of the following items:

    A. Statement of Paper Topic and Preliminary Bibliography;

    B. Prospectus and Annotated Bibliography of Primary, Secondary, and Internet Sources;

    C. The Analysis of Historical Documents (primary sources) and an Internet Source;

    D. Rough Draft of the Research Paper;

    E. Final Draft of the Research Paper (with the incorporation of required changes);

    F. PowerPoint Presentation of the Research Paper;

    G. Critical Book Review (of a secondary source on the topic of the research paper);

    H. Reflective Essay.

    I. Notes on the terms for the assigned readings in Gulderhus, History and Historians.

    J.  Answers to the Discussion Questions.

    Due dates for each of these items will be announced during the semester. Each assignment will be
    graded promptly and returned. Do Not Discard Graded Assignments. At the end of the
    semester, a portfolio containing the entire semester's work on the research paper must be
    submitted; no grade for the course will be turned in until all of these items have been submitted.

3. Questions for Class Discussion.

    On a regular basis, hand-outs with questions relating to the reading assignments will be
    distributed.  Students will be assigned to answer these questions in writing and to stimulate
    discussion of them in class. These answers, which will be turned in and graded, and active
    participation in the class discussions are worth 10% of the total course grade.  These answers
    must be included in the Course Portfolio.

4. Test on Historiography.

    There will be a test on the material in Gilderhus (chapters 2-7. It will consist  of short essay, identification,
     matching, and multiple-choice questions. A list of the important names, terms, events, and so on will be
    distributed; test items will be taken from this study sheet. The short essay questions will be distributed
    about a week before the test date, and students are expected to write out their answers at home. A
    make-up of the original test will be given only if the student notifies the instructor in advance of the
    assigned test date; this make-up test must be taken before the next  class meeting after the date of the test.
    Otherwise, the make-up test will consist of the short essay questions and twenty-five identification questions.

5. Grading.

    Topic Statement, Prospectus, & Annotated Bibliography             10%
    Analysis of an Historical Document & Internet Source                 15%
    Rough Draft of the Research Paper                                             10%
    Final Draft of the Research Paper (with the incorporation
        of required changes) and the Oral Report                                20%
    Critical Book Review (of a secondary source on the topic
       of the research paper)                                                             10%
    Class Discussion Questions & Attendance                                  10%
    Historiography Answers and Test                                               20%
    Reflective Essay                                                                         05%

    Total                                                                                        100%

6. Grading Scale:

    A= 93-100; A-=90-92; B+=88-89; B=83-87; B-=80-82; C+=78-79; C=73-77;
    C-=70-72; D+=68-69; D=63-67; D-=60-62; F=0-59

7. Class Attendance: History 4510 is a discussion as well as a research class. Regular class
    attendance is therefore very important. Students are accordingly expected to attend every class,
    beginning with the first session. Absence from class, no matter what the cause, does not excuse a
    student from any course requirements. Make-up work is at the discretion of the instructor.
    Attendance will be taken.  Please turn cell phones off while in class.

8. Late Work: Work submitted late will be accepted without penalty if arrangements are made in
    advance; otherwise, late work will be accepted but penalized five points.

9. Honor Code:  Honor Code: Students are expected to comply with the provisions of the UNC Pembroke
    Academic Honor Code and the Code of Conduct, which are printed in the Student Handbook and are
    available on the UNC Pembroke web site.

10. Web Pages: Selected materials for this course are posted on the HST 4510 Web Page.

11. Office Hours: Office hours are posted on my office door in the History Department (N212); if
    these hours are inconvenient, please see me after class or telephone (910.521.6438) to make an
    appointment. E-mail:

12. Students with Documented Disabilities: Any student with a documented disability needing academic
    adjustments should speak directly to Disability Support Services and the instructor during the first
    two weeks of class.  All discussions will remain confidential.  This syllabus is available in alternative
    formats upon request.    For assistance, please contact Mary Helen Walker, Disability Support Services,
    Career Services Center, Room 210 (910.521.6695) or visit the Office of Disability Support Services web site.

13. Emergency Information Hot Line: For information about possible university closings or delays
    in opening, call 910.521.6888 or access the UNC Pembroke web page.

This Page is Maintained by Robert W. Brown
Last Update:  08.VIII.2007.

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