Historical Research and Writing

This course provides an introduction to the methods of historical research along with the opportunity to practice good academic writing. Instead of focusing on a particular historical period or region of the world, we will examine the process by which history is written.

Required Texts

Kate L. Turabian.  A Manual for Writings of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Eighth edition. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2013.

Martha Howell and Walter Prevenier. From Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historical Methods. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001.

Additional Readings

Academic vs. Public History: Bradley C. Davis, “A Yao Script Project,” The Newsletter, 56 (2011): 4-5.

Archaeological Sources: David Frye, “Aristocratic Responses to Late Roman Urban Change: The Examples of Ausonius and Sidonius in Gaul,” The Classical World, 96/2 (2003): 185-196.

Technical Sources: Jamel Ostwald, Vauban under Siege: Engineering Efficiency and Martial Vigor in the War of the Spanish Succession. Brill, 2006.

Religious Sources: Joan Meznar, “Our Lady of the Rosary, African Slaves, and the Struggle against Heretics in Brazil, 1550-1660,” Journal of Early Modern History, 9/3-4 (2005): 371-392.

Periodicals: Anna D. Jaroszynska-Kirchmann, Letters from Readers in the Polish American Press, 1902-1969: A Corner for Everybody. Lanham, MA: Lexington Books, 2013.

Governmental Sources: Bradley C. Davis, “Rebellion and Rule under Consular Optics: Changing Ways of Seeing the China-Vietnam Borderlands, 1874–1879,” Cross Currents, 11 (2014): 59-91.

Political Sources: Caitlin Carenen, The Fervent Embrace: Liberal Protestants, Evangelicals, and Israel. New York: New York University Press, 2012.

Economic Sources: Barbara M. Tucker and Kenneth H. Tucker, Industrializing Antebellum America; The Rise of Manufacturing Entrepreneurs in the Early Republic. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

Legal Sources: Dominic DeBrincat. “Yankee Jurisprudence: The Court and Legal Culture of Colonial New London County, Connecticut.” PhD Diss. University of Connecticut, 2012.

Assignment One
Use JSTOR to find the following. Give the information about each source using the Chicago style described in Turabian, pp. 166-184.
1) A review of a history book on penises
2) A nineteenth century pamphlet on women’s suffrage
3) A scholarly article about duck hunting written in the last five years
4) A scholarly article about how to teach courses on research methods in History
5) A documentary film about the “singing revolution” in the Baltic republics
6) A scholarly article about ballet in a psychology journal
7) A scholarly article in Spanish about the Virgin Mary
8) A scholarly article in French about Renaissance cartography
9) SIX scholarly articles on a topic of your choice
10) TWO reviews of books on the topic you researched for question 9

Assignment Two
Use Artstor to find the following. Give the information about each source using the Chicago style described in Turabian, p. 200. You do NOT have to include a thumbnail of each image.
1) A Buddhist cave painting from the ninth century
2) A naked person
3) A Bolivian garden
4) Jewelry from Micronesia
5) A photograph of a monastery in Afghanistan
6) A drawing from the First Fleet collection at the National History Museum in London
7) A poster from the First World War
8) A stained glass window from a medieval French church
9) SIX images on a topic of your choice (preferably the same topic you used for assignment one)

Assignment Three
A) Find articles on the following topics in the New York Times. Give the information about each source using the Chicago style described in Turabian, pp. 186-187.
1) The landing of the Soviet spaceship “Luna 9” on the moon in February 1966
2) Student riots at Texas Southern University
3) An advertisement for fur coats from the nineteenth century
4) An editorial cartoon about the Second World War
5) The stock market figures from the New York Stock Exchange for October 29, 1929

B) Find articles on the following topics in the Times of London.
1) An obituary of Mahatma Gandhi
2) A news article reporting the British defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo
3) Criminals transported to New South Wales (Australia) before 1840
4) The weather forecast in London on the day you were born
5) A nineteenth century review of one of Oscar Wilde’s plays
C) Find SIX articles from one or both newspapers on a topic of your choice (preferably the same topics you used for assignments one and two)

Assignment Four
Using worldcat and other databases, find TEN books, SIX journal articles, FIVE websites, FOUR newspaper articles, and THREE visual sources related to a research topic of your choice.
Give the information about each source using the Chicago style described in Turabian, pp.164-215. Include the call number of the books if they are in a CSU library, and if they are not, give the name of the closest library that holds the book. Also note whether or not the ECSU library has the journals and newspapers your sources are in.

Topic Presentation
Give a six minute presentation to the class on your research topic. You may distribute handouts if you wish, but please do not use MS powerpoint. You should include:
1) A brief narrative of the story
2) The research question you want to solve
3) The sources you have available
4) The methodology you will use to answer your question

Assignment Five
Submit an outline of your major essay. It should include:
1) A research question
2) A thesis statement
3) At least three subheadings
4) At least three points within each subheading

Assignment Six
Submit a seven page draft of your major essay. It should be double spaced, size 12 font, and include footnotes using the Chicago style described in Turabian, pp. 164-215.

Assignment Seven
Submit a twelve page draft of your major essay.

Final Essay
Submit your final essay.  It should include a complete bibliography IN ADDITION TO the twelve pages of writing.

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