HUX 501 - Defining the Humanities: History
[Online Section Instructions (see below)]
Each assignment is due in the instructor's mailbox during the week indicated below. Count Week 1 as the first week that classes begin and Week 13 as the final week of the term. Trimester dates are listed at the upper left hand corner of your registration form.
All papers must be typed, with footnotes and bibliographies where appropriate, and mailed in before the assignment deadline. Send papers directly to the instructor of your section (see your registration materials for instructor and department address). Send in an extra copy, marked “For HUX Files,” and keep a copy for yourself (do not send HUX copy if you are emailing your paper to your professor). Also, keep a copy of the title page of the paper returned by the instructor which contains your grade, comments, and date. Send a self-addressed, stamped (with adequate postage) envelope for the return of each assignment. If you do not fully understand the assignment or need help, telephone the instructor during office hours, or mail in your questions.
In preparation for the assignments below, read pages 9-18 in this course guide and look over the three assignment descriptions below during the first week of class. Contact your instructor if you need clarifications. If not, you should be ready to begin the first assignment. Take note of the various helps for the assignments in this course guide, such as the study guides for the course texts and the research tips.
Important Note: If you do not have access to the internet or to a library that has or can get scholarly journal articles, you will not be able to complete Assignment III as described below. Contact your instructor at your earliest convenience to discuss options.
Due: Week 5
Length: 7 pages
Format: Essay with page references in parentheses in body of text (see “Tips for
Effective Essays” in this course guide)
Grade: 30% of course grade
Read: In Williams, The Historian’s Toolbox: Part I and chapters 9, 11, 12, 13
In Tosh, The Pursuit of History, Ch. I
Question to Answer:
Write an analytical and argumentative essay on “What Is History?”
using only the assigned pages above (see “Argument” in Williams, 106)
Topics to include:
· Issues posed by historians (causation, arguments, speculations, revisionism, history as science vs. art, denial of history, manipulation
of history, women’s history, etc.)
· Varied emphases and approaches (narrative, analytical, oral, film,
biography, historicism, etc.)
· Tools of research and investigation: ( primary and secondary sources, chronology, document authentication, statistics, maps, artifacts. images,
Due: Week 9
Length: 9 pages
Format: Essay with page numbers in parenthesis
Grade: 30% of course grade
Read: Tosh, Chs 2, 3, 8, 9, 10
Questions to Answer: (about three pages each; you may want to devote more space
to question 3)
1. What are the uses of history? Why study history? (Ch 2)
2. Select and explain some dominant themes in the mainstream
of historical writing and research? (Ch 3)
3. Select, explain, and comment upon some theories of history (Chas. 8, 10)
Due: Week 13
Length: Approximately 6 pages
Format: Essay with reference page numbers in parentheses and bibliography.
Grade: 40% of final grade, based upon each of the numbered requirements below plus general evaluations criteria
Read: Five scholarly history sources, at least three of which must be articles from professional journals of history on a history topic of interest to you.
Assignment: Write a state of research paper on a topic of your choice from any era in history. Indicate which theoretical approach to history presented in this course seems most appropriate for this topic and explain why. Below are guidelines to follow as you prepare this essay. Be sure to also read and follow the instructions elsewhere in this course guide as indicated below.
1. The first step is to select an appropriate topic. See “Selecting a Topic” in this course guide. The topic should be as focused as you can make it.
2. Use the CSUDH Distance Library resources to locate and download three or more journal articles closely related to this topic. It may prove simplest to make all five sources journal articles from this source. See the instructions for using this resource in this course guide. If you live near a research library (such as the library of a university—local public libraries normally will not have what you need for this assignment), you may do your research there, but we encourage you to try to use our Distance Library resources so that you can see how useful it truly is. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are unable to access the internet or visit a research library, contact the HUX office and you will be mailed a packet of journal articles. Do not choose this option unless you absolutely must do so. You will have to work with the pre-selected topic if you choose this option, and you will not be able to learn as well the skills of research that you will need later in the HUX program.
3. Write an essay that presents the current scholarly debate on your topic (see the section of Scholarly Dialogue below). Attempt to enter into that debate by presenting your view and distinguishing it from that of the scholars you have read. Bear in mind that this is an academic exercise to teach you the importance of and how to prepare a state of research section. Do not assume that such a brief assignment could give you a complete understanding of the topic or adequately prepare you to enter into the dialogue. But give it a shot to get a feel for how this works. In your master’s thesis you will need to do this thoroughly and “for real.”
4. Once you have a grasp on the current thinking and approaches of scholars to this topic, include somewhere in the essay a paragraph or two explaining which theory of history you have studied in Tosh or Wilson seems best suited to this topic. If you do a master’s thesis in history for HUX, you will need to employ a theory of history (a specific historical methodology) in your analysis of evidence and defend its use to your readers.
5. Avoid topics that address recent or current events. It takes historians several years at best to sift through the evidence, digest the issues and implications, and thrash out with one another possible conclusions in journal articles and at professional societies of historians related to a given event. To avoid frustration pick an event or topic at least ten years old.
6. If you use sources that are not articles from professional journals of history, such as books, be sure that the other sources are written by trained historians and are legitimate works of scholarship. See the section in this guide on how to assess the scholarly value of books and articles. You may not use encyclopedia articles. You also may not use webpage postings from any source that has not been published and sanctioned by a professional society of history. The best bet is to stick with professional journal articles and books by trained historians.
7. Please use “Student Paper Example for Assigment #3” on pg. 34 as a good model for this assignment.
Online Section Instructions