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HIS 200: Historical Methods and Materials

Course Description

Examination of problems in historical analysis and interpretation. Emphasis on historical reasoning, research and writing history. Consideration of methodological approaches and historical materials.

Prerequisite

  • ENG 101: English Composition 1

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify, comprehend and summarize an author’s thesis drawn from a written historical source.
  2. Analyze the nature of evidence, so as to distinguish between a fact and a personal opinion and between significant fact and detail.
  3. Analyze the validity and the limits of evidence to prove a thesis.
  4. Identify the viewpoint, bias or subjective position of an author or speaker by examination of language and construction of argument.
  5. Write a short coherent essay that poses a thesis and supports it with historical evidence.
  6. Construct a chronological framework for historical reporting and writing papers.
  7. Write an historical narrative and/or a critical historical essay based on information gathered from primary and/or secondary materials.
  8. Edit and revise an historical research paper or written narrative.
  9. Quote, summarize, paraphrase and cite historical sources in writing papers and other assignments in history.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignments

Weight

Discussions (Weeks 1-8)

20%

Inference Exercise (Week 2)

5%

Scholarly Book Review (Week 3)

5%

Analysis of Scholarly Article (Week 4)

10%

Narrative: Goldilocks Caper (Week 5)

10%

Reconstruction Chronology (Week 6)

20%

Reconstruction Draft Narrative (Week 7)

20%

Reconstruction Final Narrative (Week 8)

10%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore

  • Fitzgerald, Michael W. Splendid Failure: Postwar Reconstruction in the American South. Ivan R. Dee Publishing, 2008. ISBN-10: 1566637392 or ISBN-13: 9781566637398

Course Schedule

Week

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignments

1

1,2

Topics: The Nature of the Historical Process

  • Readings:
    • “Your Mama’s Knee”, Richard A. Gerber
    • “The Significance of the Frontier in American History”, Frederick Jackson
  • Read assigned readings
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Read Course Policies, Course Documents, Syllabus and Webliography

2

1,2,3

Topics: The Thesis - The Historical Argument

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 1-5, Splendid Failure
    • “After the War, a Southern Tour,” Whitelaw Reid, Excerpt
  • Read assigned readings
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Submit Inference Exercise to the Discussion Board

3

3,4

Topics: Historical Evidence / Subjectivity or Bias / Historical Context

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 6-9, Splendid Failure
  • Read assigned readings
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Submit Scholarly Review

4

1,4,5

Topics: Historical Scholarship – The Essay; Ethics in Historical Scholarship; Introduction to Historiography

  • Readings:
    • “The Road to Reunion 1865 – 1900”, Paul Herman Buck
    • “Republicans Face the Southern Question 1877 – 1897”, Vincent de Santis
    • “The Liberal Republicans of 1872 in Historiographical Perspective”, Richard A. Gerber
  • Read assigned readings
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Submit Analysis of Scholarly Article

5

1,4,5

Topic: Interpreting Documents

  • Readings:
    • “The Enactment of Reconstruction: Restoration and Revision”, Richard A. Gerber
  • Read assigned readings
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Submit Narrative: “The Great Goldilocks Caper”

6

1,5,6

Topic:Writing Historical Narrative I - Chronology

  • Readings:
    • Documents 1-17
  • Read assigned readings
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Submit Reconstruction Chronology

7

1,6

Topic: Writing Historical Narrative II – The Draft

  • Readings:
    • Reread Documents 1-17
  • Read assigned readings
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Submit Draft Narrative on Reconstruction

8

1,5,6,7

Topic: Writing Historical Narrative III – The Technical Apparatus in Writing History

  • Readings:
    • Reread Documents 1-17
  • Read assigned readings
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Submit Final Narrative on Reconstruction
  • Complete Course Evaluation

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.