History 300
Research Methods
Department of History

Description: History 300, Or How to Write a History Paper in Seven Not-So-Easy Steps: A Syllabus and Guide

This is not a typical syllabus. A few years ago, I taught History 300 for the first time. Although my students were too polite to complain, the semester was a disaster. We spent too much time talking about abstract ideas about what history was and doing exercises from a textbook, and too little time actually doing history. This semester, I would like to do something different. I would like you to read this syllabus from cover to cover, treating it as a how-to guide rather than a set of rules and dates. I would like our meetings to be workshops, not lectures. I promise not to waste your time with silly exercises that you do not want to do and I do not want to grade.

For this novel approach to teaching History 300 to work, you need to take it seriously from day one. I am not going to waste your time by spending two days lecturing on the merits of history or obscure theories of how to do history that you may never use. And you can’t wait to half way through the semester to start paying attention. You will need to start working on your paper today.

Seven Steps

Step 1: Pick a Topic

Step 2: Secondary Sources and Context

Step 3: Primary Sources

Step 4: Developing a Thesis and Outline

Step 5: Documenting and Developing Your Arguments

Step 6: Introductions and Conclusions

Step 7: Editing, Revising, and Professionalism Self Evaluation

Syllabus and Rubrics

Rubrics (writing, oral, website)


Eagle SPUR Research Grants
Undergraduate Symposium
Save our Stories Competition
McCain Curator Competition