HIST 390: Historical Research & Writing

HIST 390: Historical Research & Writing

Welcome to HIST 390, as taught by Professor Tom Isern. This is the methods course required of all History majors at NDSU. The course is required for a reason: because it teaches the skills you need to succeed in the academic major and as a professional historian. The course is a workshop that imparts mastery of the craft through instruction, interaction, mentorship, and most of all, practice. The course requires a high level of focus and responsibility. Attendance at class sessions is required, invoking the terms of the NDSU policy on Class Attendance.

Media & communications: mainly old-school and simple. Written work will be submitted in hard copy, with no late submissions accepted without documented reason. Course information, including full syllabus information and much more, distributed online via GoogleDrive. Out-of-class communications by email, telephone, and face-to-face conversation. No use of Blackboard whatsoever. (Speaking of communications: there may be times in class when you may want to use the Internet to look up something relating to our proceedings, but please do confine use of electronic communications during class to course-related matters. Unless there is a possible emergency, or you have dependents who may need to reach you, it is best to switch off phones during class.)

General Tone

Prof. Isern takes seriously the motto that runs across the NDSU home page: "Student-Focused Land-Grant Research University." Here's how it pertains to HIST 390.
- This course is student-focused in the extreme. Class size is manageable, sessions are highly interactive, and they are supplemented by one-on-one appointments.
Land-Grant Research University
- The modern land-grant research university holds research, the discovery of knowledge, in high esteem. HIST 390 makes you into a researcher, thus inducting you into the research community of the university.
Tom Isern, Professor of History
University Distinguished Professor

TextsRampolla, Mary Lynn. A Pocket Guide to Writing in History. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2015. ISBN 9781457690884.
Strunk, William Jr., & E. B. White. The Elements of Style. 4th Ed., Longman, 1999. ISBN 9780205313426.
Bring your texts to class with you!

Bulletin description:Techniques and skills of historical research and writing. Includes researching in libraries and archives, constructing thesis statements, outlining papers, building logical arguments, writing clear and concise English, using primary sources, footnoting, and copyediting.
Accommodations for persons with disabilities:Any students with disabilities who need accommodations in this course are encouraged to speak with Professor Isern as soon as possible to make appropriate arrangements.
History major:Required of all History majors at NDSU

American Historical Association / Phi Alpha Theta / State Historical Society of North Dakota

Tom Isern / HiPhRS