Hist 209 01 Fall 2018 Syllabus: Research & Writing in History (WI)

This is the Fall 2018 Syllabus for the Hist 209 01 course. It is our 200-level writing intensive course intended for majors (but is open to all). Enrolled students can also find the syllabus on the Blackboard page.

A PDF of the syllabus can be found here:

Hist 209-01: Research and Writing in History
Fall 2018


Dr. Jamie L.H. Goodall
Stevenson telephone number: 443-334-2417
Stevenson email: jhagergoodall@stevenson.edu
Best times for phone contact:  Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
Office location:  LRC (Greenspring Library) Room 005 [giant pirate flag on door]
Office hours:  Wednesdays (LRC 005) from 3:30pm-4:30pm; Thursdays (MAC S120; Dr. Kerry Spencer’s Office) from 12:30pm-1:30pm; or by Appointment. 


Course: Hist 209 Research and Writing in History
Section number: 01
Credits: 3 (SEE Certified: Writing Intensive)
Prerequisite(s):  A grade of C or better in HIST 109 and ENG 152 or equivalent (HIST 109 may be taken concurrently)
Classroom or StudioLocation:  Dawson Center Room 315
Scheduled Class Days and Time:  Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00pm-3:15pm. There may be class days that are used for consultations or as research/writing days instead of in-class meetings. Please see schedule at the end of the syllabus to see those days.

Course Description:  Introduces students to the concept of the historical narrative, to the tools and methods used by historians while constructing that narrative, to the writing process involved in capturing that narrative on paper, as well as the necessity for public historians to think multi-culturally and to write in ways that maximize access to that narrative. During the course of the semester students will research a topic, write a short research paper, and create a minimum of two written products derived from that paper.

Instructional Methods Used in this Course: Methods include, but are not limited to, in-class writing assignments, consultations, lectures, group work, quizzes, written assignments, and oral presentations.

Required and Recommended Texts, Manuals, and Supplies:  Required (If you do not already own these texts, I will provide PDFs of sections needed: Thomas Cauvin, Public History: A Textbook of Practice, Reprint Edition (Routledge, 2016). ISBN: 978-0765645913.

Faye Sayer, Public History: A Practical Guide(Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). ISBN: 978-1472513663.

Kristen Nawrotzki & Jack Dougherty, Writing History in the Digital Age(Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2013). [Available digitally on Blackboard.

Strongly Recommended:The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers, ed. University of Chicago Press Staff, 16thEdition (University of Chicago Press, 2010). ISBN: 978-0226104201.

Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students & Researchers, Rev. Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, et al., 8thEdition (University of Chicago Press, 2013). ISBN: 978-0226816388.


CourseObjectives/Learning Outcomes:  By the end of this course students shall be able to:

  1. Apply the tools of historical research (observation, reflection, questioning, pursuit of knowledge) to a text or cultural artifact in order to determine its physical characteristics, purpose, author/creator, context and subtext.
  2. Analyze research findings to determine historical significance.
  3. Analyze research results in relation to their cultural significance for the intended audience(s).
  4. Develop a thesis regarding the meaning(s) of the text or cultural artifact under investigation.
  5. Engage in the writing process by planning a research paper, writing multiple non-graded drafts, engaging in individual writing conferences and group workshops, revising as necessary, and producing a graded final paper of polished prose, no less than 10 pages in length, conforming to the manuscript style guidelines of the National Council on Public History.
  6. Engage in the writing process in order to create a minimum of two derivative products, cumulatively totaling a minimum of five pages of graded prose, targeted at different audiences than was the research paper (e.g., magazine article, blog post, letter to the editor, historic preservation summary).
  7. Present the research results orally to the general public in an open forum.

To determine if this course fulfills additional program or track outcomes, please see the Academic Affairs portal page.


Grading Scale:

A 93-100 4.0
A- 90-92 3.7
B+ 87-89 3.3
B 83-86 3.0
B- 80-82 2.7
C+ 77-79 2.3
C 70-76 2.0
D 60-69 1.0
F 1-59 0.0

Passing standards are dependent on the catalog year in which you entered the University. For further information, please look under “Academic Standing and Grading Information” in the “Academic Information” section of the relevant catalog at http://www.stevenson.edu/academics/catalog/.

Continuance and Progression Policies, if applicable: N/A 


Participation & Professionalism: 10%
Research Paper: 30%
Blog Post: 15%
Museum Panels & Labels: 15%
Additional (Chosen) Writing Assignment: 15%
Final Oral Presentation: 15%

Non-Graded: Required individual consultations


NON-GRADED—Individual Consultations:You will notice on the syllabus several days in which there are Individual Consultations in lieu of a traditional class meeting. These consultations will take place in my office, LRC 005, during our normal class time. A sign-up sheet for consultation slots will be posted outside of my office one-week prior to the consultations. Slots are for approximately 15 minutes and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. I will confirm your space each time a student signs the sign-up sheet.

Participation & Professionalism:Please see the sections on Electronic Devices, Classroom Behavior, and Preparation for Class. Things that may reduce your Participation and Professionalism grade include—but are NOT limited to—being tardy to class, failure to actively participate during lecture and engage with colleagues during small group activities, working on assignments not related to the course, and misuse of electronic devices during class. Things that mayimprove your Participation and Professionalism grade include coming to the required individual consultations, answering questions when asked, contributing to discussion and group assignments, taking notes, asking questions, etc.

Research Paper: Each student will be responsible for selecting a historical or public history related topic in consultation with me, craft a thesis regarding that topic, and research it to develop a 10-12 page (excluding bibliography & cover page) research paper. The topic of this paper is your choice, but must be approved by me. Once approved, the topic cannot be changed as we don’t have the time for major changes, although the exact focus may be refined in consultation with me. To make this daunting task less cumbersome, the paper will be broken up into multiple components totaling 600 points and will have their own due dates throughout the semester. Please see the class calendar for those due dates. The paper must use footnotes and include a bibliography (that lists all sources cited and consulted) and cover page (containing at a minimum your name, the class, and the title of the paper).  All citations should be formatted in Chicago/Turabian style.  The text should be double spaced, the pages should be numbered in the upper right corner (no page number on the cover page), and the paper should be in Times New Roman 12pt font with 1-inch margins. Footnotes should be single spaced in 10pt Times New Roman font. The ultimate goal of this research paper, beyond introducing students to the methods of doing history, is to produce a work of original research that is of sufficient quality that it can be presented to the general public or fellow academics at locations such as the annual meeting of the National Council of Public History.

  • Topic submission: 50 points
    • Students must submit a statement of the broad question/topic/theme they wish to investigate via email. This statement must be typed and should not exceed one page in length (but must be at least three sentences). Students are expected to have done some research before this component is submitted; i.e. you should have a general idea of the topic you wish to explore, the questions you wish to ask, and the thesis you want to prove.  This component should be a substantive paragraph that delves into the topic. Anyone who submits a one sentence statement will have their Topic Submission returned to them and their assignment will be counted as late.  Once approved, the topic cannot be changed.  However, the specific focus of the topic statement may be refined with the professor’s approval.
  • Formal Proposal (2-5 pages): 100 points
    • Topic: A successful proposal will set out the refined topic or problem you want to investigate via a standard introduction.
    • Thesis: The proposal will contain a suggested thesis statement as the last sentence of the introduction. Thesis statements will be refined in consultation with the instructor.
    • Brief Literature Review: A successful proposal will briefly introduce the relevant secondary literature on the subject and how your thesis fits into this literature. It will also discuss some of the primary sources you intend to use for the paper, and will establish the significance of the proposed research.
  • Working Annotated Bibliography: 75 points
    • The Working Annotated Bibliography is the basic list and brief description of the sources to be used in the research paper and their relevance to the project. The Annotated Bibliography should consist of both primary and secondary sources related to the research question, categorized according to type of source (i.e. primary or secondary) and separated by subheadings (i.e. journal articles, newspaper articles, books, website, etc).  The Bibliography should include the title of the research project, and a list of the search tools (such as WorldCat or FirstSearch, card catalog, etc.), electronic or otherwise, used to compile the Bibliography.  These search tools should be provided at the beginning of the bibliography.  The Working Bibliography must contain at least twenty sources, including at least 8 primary sources and at least 10 secondary sources (it may contain more).  At least five of the secondary sources must be scholarly works (books and peer-reviewed journal articles) published after 1995.  Secondary sources may not include reference works, textbooks, book reviews, juvenile literature, popular/non-academic web sites, or articles from popular media (like TV Guide, People, or Newsweek).  Entries should be formatted according to Chicago/Turabian style. Proper formatting is essential. As this is a “working bibliography,” students are expected to continue to add sources to it even after it is turned in (i.e. you do not need to identify ALL the sources you intend to use before this component is submitted, but you should identify as many as possible).
  • Completed Rough Draft: 125 points
    • This component is a full and complete first draft of your research paper. The draft should be proofread and as free of mistakes as possible. It should be a minimum of 10 pages in length, not including bibliography and cover page.  The draft should follow the formatting guidelines for the final paper. The draft will be evaluated according to the standards set for the final research paper.
  • Final Submission: 250 points
    • The final research paper is due on the date and time indicated below in the Course Schedule. It should be completed, 10-12 pages in length, incorporating the comments received in the draft component and consultation stages. It should represent a substantially revised version of the draft component.

Blog Post:Blogging is an easy and important way to briefly present your research to a very wide-ranging audience. While blog posts can be any length, they are generally relatively short—especially in comparison to a journal article—and are written in a more narrative style. Blog posts can be used to promote or generate interest in your work, receive quick and honest feedback, and foster networking or co-authorship opportunities. Public history venues will often use blogs as a form of “free press,” to promote exhibits, events, or fundraising opportunities. Based on your research and writing for the Research paper, you will derive a 600-800 word blog post from that content and your researching experience. Your blog should also contain at least 1 image. Your blog post will be graded on your ability to write clearly, engage the audience, proofread your work before posting, make use of folksonomic elements (or the use of tags to drive traffic, to categorize, etc), and demonstrate knowledge of your topic. The blog will not require in-text footnote citation unless appropriate. Direct quotes should be set apart and the name of the author/work should be mentioned in the text (and does not count towards the word count). A bibliography of all works consulted should be listed at the end of the blog post (and does not count towards the word count) We will discuss the blog post in class further, including log-in information to access the class page. Our blog can be found publicly at: https://hist20901fall2018.home.blog/blog/

Museum Panels & Labels:Although many museums are opting for new methods of conveying information, such as audio tours, docents, and videos, the writing of museum text is a critical skill for anyone entering the field of public history. Museum text can be used in exhibition panels, display labels, and QR reader info. In this assignment, you will envision your topic as if it were being presented in a museum exhibition. You will want to think about the type of museum your exhibit would be presented in (national, regional, local, university, etc) in order to craft panels and labels that will be most effective for your intended audience. Your assignment is to craft 2 exhibition display panels of approximately 150-250 words each (for a total of 300-500 words) and 4 display labels of approximately 20-50 words each (for a total of 80-200 words). Your 2 exhibition displays should briefly outline/inform the audience regarding your topic generally and should include at least 2-3 images per panel. Panels can be created using PowerPoint, Word, Microsoft Publisher, or any other design software you may have access to. To create your 4 display labels, choose 4 primary source objects/documents that you might envision accompanying your exhibition and write each label for your chosen objects/documents. Display labels can be created in a single Word document. When submitting the assignment, include an image of the object/document being written about for each label. Your assignment will be graded on ability to engage the audience, effectively considering the following questions, accuracy, etc. You do not need to provide in-text footnote citation, but a separate bibliography should be submitted as a Word document. When crafting your panels and display labels, consider the following questions:

  • Is the headline effective? Does it grab the viewer’s attention and clearly convey what the content will discuss?
  • Does the text make you want to keep reading? Does it set an appropriate tone for the content?
  • Is the body copy clear, to the point, descriptive, using active words, engaging, compelling, creative, moving, or even witty?
  • Does the text fit the intended audience? Is the language or word usage off-putting or potentially offensive? Is it repetitive or too long?
  • Are the font and colors used readable? Does it adhere to the American Disability Act standards?

Additional Writing Assignment:This additional writing assignment form is open and is subject to a first-come, first-served basis. You will have the opportunity to turn your topic into one additional form of public history writing. This can come in the form of a series of Tweets, a museum brochure, a Wikipedia entry, magazine article, letter to the editor, oral history transcript/review, a guided walking/driving tour map with accompanying information (such as www.tripline.net), a Prezi, etc). The amount of writing required will depend on the format chosen (i.e. number of Tweets vs. word count on a brochure) and the use of images will be important. Although these formats may not require in-text footnotes, a bibliography should accompany the assignment (can be sent separately in a Word document).

Final Oral History Presentation: For your final “exam,” you will present your research and what you learned in a 10-15 minute oral presentation during our scheduled exam time: Monday, December 10th, 1:30pm-3:30pm. Per the Learning Outcomes, this presentation will be open for others to attend, but I expect that it will simply be your classmates and I. Your presentation will be graded on clarity, effectiveness, engagement, accuracy and punctuality. You will want to create a brief PowerPoint presentation that helps provide visual element to your oral presentation. Your presentation should introduce your topic and thesis, discuss the evidence used to support your argument and any limitations you encountered, acknowledge what you learned by deriving new forms of writing out of your research paper, and inform the audience of your overall conclusions. You will submit your digital presentation via email before the oral presentation, so slides should include references/citations where appropriate (such as where images were obtained). 90% of your oral presentation will be graded by me. 10% of the oral presentation will come from anonymous peer-assessment evaluations. You and your peers will evaluate each other on delivery, clarity, and engagement. I will grade based on those same components as well as for effectiveness, accuracy, and punctuality.



Late Work: I accept late work, BUT it is subject to losing up to 10% of the grade earned per day that it is late unless arrangements have been made with me in advance.

Electronic Devices:Participation in the course means actively engaging during question sessions, contributing to group assignments, and being an active listener. Attendance is also a vital component to any course. I expect you to attend class, including arriving on time and actively participating. Cell phones must be silenced or set to vibrate before the start of class. If you receive a call that might be related to an emergency, please quietly exit the classroom and return promptly. Texting, chatting online, or pursuing activities unrelated to the class will result in a 0 for your participation grade for the day.Please do not take pictures or video during my class without permission. If you do, I will ask you to leave and you will earn a 0 in participation for the day. You are encouraged to use a laptop to take notes and do in-class writing assignments. However, it should not be used for anything else during class. If you are caught using social media, checking email, or completing assignments for another class, you will lose your privilege.

Classroom Behavior: You are expected to be on time to class unless prior arrangements have been made. You should be in your seat and ready to begin class. You are not to pack up and leave before class is over unless prior arrangements have been made. I ask that if you have made arrangements to arrive late/leave early that you do your best to prevent classroom disruption. Please consume major meals before entering the classroom. Small snacks (so long as they are not distracting) and beverages (if in a secure, spill-proof container) are fine. But since we are in a computer lab, it is imperative that we do not jeopardize the computers. Classroom discussion should be civilized and respectful to everyone and relevant to the topic we are discussing. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Classroom discussion is meant to allow us to hear a variety of viewpoints. This can only happen if we respect each other and our differences.

Preparation for Class: Students are expected to come to class with all assignments and reading completed. Students should be ready to actively engage in discussion, small group activities, and in-class assignments.

Classroom and Studio Policies: Please do not rearrange furniture unless permission has been granted. Per the instructions of Conference Services, furniture must not be shifted between classrooms without express permission and return of said furniture. Please treat all objects within the classroom with care and respect.

Submission of Assignments or Projects:  Unless otherwise instructed, all assignments should be submitted via email for easier sharing of assignments for peer review and for ease of commentary in this writing-intensive course. All assignments should be submitted at least 3 hoursprior to the in-class due date and the student must receive email confirmation from the instructor. Failure to receive confirmation (whether due to an email error, lack of attachment, corrupted files, etc.) may result in a “late” submission. All emails must come from the student’s official Stevenson email address and follow the proper email etiquette available in the form of a Blackboard Announcement on our class page. All written assignments (unless otherwise instructed) should follow this format:
-Times New Roman, size 12 Font
-1” margins all the way around
-Name, Date, and Class single-spaced in the header (not body)
-Double-spaced (with excess space removed between paragraphs)
-Citation style should be in Chicago/Turabian format.

Attendance: Each student is responsible for his or her own class attendance and regular attendance is expected. Every student is responsible for the material covered or the skills exercised during scheduled classes. Grades will be based on demonstrated achievement of the objectives of the course, not on attendance in class as such. Students who stop attending and fail to officially withdraw from a class will be given a grade of “FX” which calculates as an “F” in the GPA.

Course-Specific Attendance: Please see grading section on Participation and Professionalism above.


Diversity Statement

Stevenson University commits itself to diversity as it relates to awareness, education, respect, and practice at every level of the organization. The University embraces people of all backgrounds, defined by, but not limited to, ethnicity, culture, race, gender, class, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical ability, learning styles, and political perspectives. The University believes its core values are strengthened when all of its members have voice and representation. The resulting inclusive organizational climate promotes the development of broad-minded members of the University who positively influence their local and global communities.

Standards of Academic Integrity

Stevenson University expects all members of its community to behave with integrity. Honesty and integrity provide the clearest path to knowledge, understanding, and truth – the highest goals of an academic institution. For students, integrity is fundamental to the development of intellect, character, and the personal and professional ethics that will govern their lives and shape their careers. Stevenson University embraces and operates in a manner consistent with the definitions and principles of Academic Integrity as set forth by the International Center for Academic Integrity.

Students are expected to model the values of academic integrity (honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage) in all aspects of this course.

Students will be asked to assent to and to uphold the University Honor Pledge:

I pledge on my honor that I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this assignment/exam.”

Suspected violations of the Academic Integrity Policy will be reported and investigated as outlined in the Policy Manual, Volume V.


Disability Services
Stevenson University will make reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. The Office of Disability Services (ODS) facilitates equal access for every student who self-identifies as having a disability. If you are a student with a disability who needs accommodations in this class, please contact the Director of Disability Services located in Garrison Hall South Room 138 or send an email to ODS@stevenson.edu. Once accommodations are authorized by ODS, please provide me (your instructor) with your approved accommodations memo as soon as possible. Accommodations are not retroactive.

This is the link to the University’s Office of Disability Services: http://www.stevenson.edu/academics/academic-resources/disability-support-services/

Academic Link
The John L. Stasiak Academic Link,
located on Owings Mills in the Center for Student Success (GHS 101), provides free tutoring for many classes. If you are having difficulty with or would benefit from discussing the material with an upper level peer, seek assistance early in the semester. Tutoring often makes a difference in a student’s grade. To view the tutoring schedule and sign up for an appointment, go to stevenson.go-redrock.com,visit the Link in person, or call 443-394-9300.


The SULibraryprovidesextensive electronicand printresources to supportyourcoursework.Research Guides and databasescan befound on the libraryhome page,as well asbrieftutorials to assist youin usingtheseresources. A professional librarian is always available to help you find the best information sources for your needs. For more information about library services, please visit: http://stevenson.libguides.com/stevensonlibrary

Online Learning Resources

Atomic Learning (Hoonuit), available through Blackboard, is an online learning resource available to all Stevenson students that provides video tutorials for instruction on a wide variety of topics.

The Wellness Center

Stress is a normal part of being a student. However, if personal, emotional, or physical concerns are interfering with your ability to be successful at Stevenson, please call the Wellness Center at 443-352-4200 to make an appointment. More information about the Wellness Center can be found at: http://www.stevenson.edu/student-life/health-wellness/


SU Goal No. 1: Intellectual Development (ID)

The SU graduate will use inquiry and analysis, critical and creative thinking, scientific reasoning, and quantitative skills to gather and evaluate evidence, to define and solve problems facing his or her communities, the nation, and the world, and to demonstrate an appreciation for the nature and value of the fine arts.

SU Goal No. 2: Communication (C)

The SU graduate will communicate logically, clearly, and precisely using written, oral, non-verbal, and electronic means to acquire, organize, present, and/or document ideas and information, reflecting an awareness of situation, audience, purpose, and diverse points of view.

SU Goal No. 3: Self, Societies, and the Natural World (SSNW)

The SU graduate will consider self, others, diverse societies and cultures, and the physical and natural worlds, while engaging with world problems, both contemporary and enduring.

SU Goal No. 4: Experiential Learning (EL)

The SU graduate will connect ideas and experiences from a variety of contexts, synthesizing and transferring learning to new, complex situations.

SU Goal No. 5: Career Readiness (CR)

The SU graduate will demonstrate personal direction, professional know-how, and discipline expertise in preparation for entry into the workplace or graduate studies.

SU Goal No. 6: Ethics in Practice (EIP)

The SU graduate will practice integrity in the academic enterprise, professional settings, and personal relationships.

For more information about the SU learning outcomes and goals, please see the Stevenson catalog.


Course Calendar:  Course Calendar is Subject to Change.

**We may not necessarily discuss these readings (sometimes we will), but they will help guide our research preparation and understanding. Please be responsible and keep up with these readings. For some of you, this will merely be a refresher from Hist 208.**

Week 1:

08/27 (M): Introduction
08/29 (W): Brief review of Cauvin, pgs. 107-124; discussion about research


09/03 (M): Labor Day; Please review Cauvin, pgs. 140-157 & 174-183
09/05 (W): Cauvin, pgs. 216-245; Sayer, pgs. 113-125 & 143-146; Please submit a short email informing me of your topic brainstorming since topic submissions are due in Week 3; we can consult digitally about potential options if you are struggling.

Week 3:

09/10 (M): Cauvin, pgs. 163-172; Sayer, pgs. 147-184
09/12 (W): Questions, Citation Overview [TOPICS DUE]

Week 4:

09/17 (M): Lecture/Discussion: How to do academic historical research (ex. Finding primary and secondary sources)
09/19 (W): In-Class research/writing

Week 5:

09/24 (M): In-Class research/writing
09/26 (W): [PROPOSALS DUE]; In-Class peer review of Proposals

Week 6: NO CLASS MEETINGS [Individual Consultations by Appointment]

10/01 (M): [REVISED PROPOSALS DUE via email]; Individual Consultations/at-home work
10/03 (W): Individual Consultations/at-home work

Week 7:

10/08 (M): NO CLASS(Fall Break)
10/10 (W): Lecture/Discussion: How to craft an Annotated Bibliography

Week 8:

10/15 (M): In-Class research/writing
10/17 (W): Lecture/Discussion: Blogging for Public History [ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY DUE]

Week 9:

10/22 (M): In-Class research/writing
10/24 (W): Lecture/Discussion: What are Museum Panels/Labels and how are they effective?

Week 10:

10/29 (M): Lecture/Discussion: Using Public History collections in your research
10/31 (W): In-Class research/writing [BLOG POST DUE]

Week 11:

11/05 (M): [PAPER DRAFTS DUE]; In-Class peer review
11/07 (W): NO CLASS; Instructor review of Drafts

Week 12: NO CLASS MEETINGS [Individual Consultations by Appointment]

11/12 (M): Individual Consultations/at-home work
11/14 (W): Individual Consultations/at-home work

Week 13:

11/19 (M): Lecture/Discussion: Other Models of Public History Writing [PANELS/LABELS DUE]
11/21 (W): NO CLASS (Thanksgiving Break)

Week 14:

11/26 (M): In-class research/writing
11/28 (W): [LAST WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT DUE]; In-Class peer review of revised drafts

Week 15:

12/03 (M): In-Class Practice Oral Presentations
12/05 (W): [FINAL PAPER DUE]; In-Class Practice Oral Presentations

Graded Assignments:  See above sections for details.

Topics: September 12th
Proposals: September 26th
Revised Proposals: October 1st
Annotated Bibliography: October 17th
Blog Post: October 31st
Drafts: November 5th
Panels/Labels: November 19th
Additional Written Work: November 28th
Final Paper: December 5th
Oral Presentation: During Exam Time

Final exam date, time, and location: TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED Monday, December 10th, 1:30pm-3:30pm