HIST 4990, 4960: Senior Seminar ad Directed Reading
Professor VanderMolen


Fall 2000


book and candle image

Class meets: M 2:30 - 5:30PM in C 102
Office Phone: (209) 667-3153 Department Phone: (209) 667-3238
Email: vander@toto.csustan.edu or vander@ainet.com

History depends upon research and good thinking to develop as a discipline, and this development occurs as new research is done and new perspectives are developed. In this seminar we will examine some of the major methodological problems associated with history, and you will be given the opportunity to do some research, to evaluate historians' thinking, and to do a great deal of writing. It is necessary for you to attend each seminar meeting, except when individual contacts are scheduled or other arrangements are made; your grade will depend for the most part on the writing you do, but your attendance and participation will also be considered (fractional grading will be employed). If you do a thesis, you will be expected to produce a substantial research paper (25-30 pp.); while directed reading students will write eight book analyses (4-6 pp. each)

Those taking the course for WP credit need to do satisfactory work on the WP test in order to get WP credit. Also, to get WP credit you need to get a satisfactory grade (C- or better) in the academic aspects of the course. Throughout the semester we will work at correct university-level writing.

The latest edition of Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers . . . . will answer most questions about proper form for your papers; and D. Hacker's A Pocket Style Manual contains good stylistic advice.

CALENDAR
9/11 Introduction

9/18 individual meetings (4990 students - discuss topics and bibliography)
- no class

9/25 individual meetings (4960 students - discuss topics and bibliography)
- no class

10/2 sources; notes; outlines; drafts; topics (submit a one-page proposal
for your research or reading program for the semester, plus a bibliography)
4990: monographs, articles, primary sources
4960: monographs; four academic articles may be substituted for a monograph

10/9 no classes in the University (Columbus Day)

10/16 paper #1 (cover page with a bibliographical entry, plus your name and
relevant information)
(do this for each paper)

10/23 paper #2 Thesis outline (submit a four-page essay on interpretive
problems as well as your outline)

10/30 paper #3

11/6 paper #4

11/13 paper #5; Thesis overview (submit a four-page "overview" essay)

11/20 paper #6 Thesis - First Draft

11/23-24 no classes in the University (Thanksgiving)

11/27 paper #7

12/4 Thesis presentations (cover page, outline, body of the paper, bibliography)

12/11 Thesis presentations; submit paper #8


Exam time scheduled 12/11 - please bring the material to my office
1. Final copy of thesis due (including notes and drafts)
2. All finished book analyses due (including notes and drafts)

HIST 4960 Directed Reading Seminar

For this course you will need to write eight analytical book analyses, each of which should be at least four pages long. Each paper should do the following:

1. identify the author's main arguments;
2. identify the bases for the author's arguments;
3. evaluate the author's success.

The books you select should be major works in the area of study. If your reading is in an area outside my expertise, you will need to get help from an appropriate member of the history department, at least when you first develop your bibliography. You will need to read your papers in class, and the class will discuss your work.

History 4990 Senior Thesis

For this course you will need to write a research paper based on your research in original sources. The research paper should be at least twenty pages long, and it you should do the following:

1. identify interpretive differences among scholars who have also done research in the same topical area;
2. be based on original research;
3. result in a coherent presentations of your findings.

If your research is in an area outside my expertise, you will need to work with an appropriate member of the history department, at least as you begin your work. You will need to read you work on the assigned dates, and the class
will discuss your work.

In all cases, you will need to submit all notes you have taken (on 3x5 cards),
all drafts you have produced, and a final, correctly written, clean paper (or papers)

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