Academic Program for HIST 710
This page outlines the assignments and expectations for HIST 710 Grassroots History. The aim in the end is a research paper of professional, publishable quality. Everything else in the program is designed to produce that paper or to promote scholarly community in the seminar. The table below outlines assignments in linear fashion. The process of scholarly research and writing is never so simple, but the table allows you to chart your progress toward completion of the program.
How Is All This Evaluated?
In other words, what is the basis for a grade? The final grade is based 1/2 on the quality of the final paper and 1/2 on the participation and preparation leading up to it.
In general, the standard for an "A" paper is that the work be of publishable quality—be, in my estimation, of quality acceptable for publication in a regional journal (such as a state historical journal). Here are the characteristics of such a work.
1. Treatment of a subject of scholarly and general significance
2. Strong base of research in good primary sources
3. Grounding in secondary sources for the sake of historical background and historiographic context
4. Introduction that captures reader interest and states a definite thesis
5. Body that displays logical organization and coherent transitions, so the reader can follow the story and argument readily
6. Conclusion that states findings, assesses their significance, and evaluates sources
7. Sound rhetoric and style in adherence to the Chicago Manual of Style
8. Competent handling of annotation
Here, too, are expectations for participation and preparation.
1. Submission of draft materials, as listed in table above, in good order
2. Engagement with colleagues and with the transactions of the seminar via the weblog
It should be clear from all written above that I am concerned with both process and product. Until the final draft, everything you do is process. I will provide feedback and suggestions throughout, and you also will receive the comments of all our colleagues in the seminar. We're in this together.