HIS 499: History Capstone

Course Description

HIS 499 is designed as the capstone course for Charter Oak students with a history concentration. It offers rigorous practice in the study of history as a mode of discourse. Themes include specific historical content; thesis, evidence, Interpretation and judgment; research methods and critical reasoning; precise historical writing with citations. Each student produces a capstone project that demonstrates those themes, satisfies the history concentration outcomes, and locates the project within the field of historical study.


  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate mastery of content in one or more historical cultures, by explain primary characteristics of that culture, the main events of its history, and its historical significance.
  2. Participate knowledgeably in the affairs of the world around them, drawing upon understanding shaped through reading, writing, discussions, and lectures concerning the part.
  3. See themselves and their society from different times and places, displaying a sense of informed perspective and a mature view of human nature.
  4. Conduct research in primary and secondary materials appropriate for constructing a scholarly paper of substantial length and determine the evidentiary value of those sources including internet sources.
  5. Exhibit sensitivities to human values in their own and other cultural traditions and, in turn, establish values of their own.

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


Graded Discussions (14 total)


Written Activity Assignments (3 total)


Proposal (Draft and Final) 


Draft 1 of Paper / Project


Draft 2 of Paper / Project


Final Paper / Project




Required Text

  • There are no assigned common texts for HIS 499. Students will select one scholarly book to review as noted in this syllabus for Week 2.

Supplemental Materials

  • See the Course Materials section of the course in Blackboard for a list of recommended books.
  • Occasionally, the instructor will identify and post (or provide a link) to some scholarly article or some primary document useful to the week’s work. These will be generally initiated by the discussions in which students are engaged; sometimes students request materials about issues in which they are interested.
  • For some topics materials beyond the readings may be appropriate. Students tend to use internet sources, thus opening a world of research materials. Internet sources are also somewhat problematic, however, because of the potential for plagiarism, whether intentional or unintentional. Thus, except for links that are identifiable newspaper sources, or addresses with .edu or .gov, internet sources are discouraged. Interlibrary loan is, however, encouraged.

Course Schedule



Activities and Exercises




Introductions and Evaluation of Documents

  • Readings:
    • Your Mama's Knee
    • After the War: A Southern Tour
  • Review Syllabus, Course Policies, Course Materials
  • "Your Mama's Knee" & "After the War: A Southern Tour" Written Assignment
  • Participate in Week 1 Discussions



Professional Techniques and Composing a Scholarly Book Review

  • Readings:
    • Lecture material for “Tips” on doing research
  • Scholarly Book Written Assignment
  • Participate in Week 2 Discussions



Choose an Historical Project or Scholarly Paper
  • Draft of Proposal
  • Participate in Week 3 Discussions



Practice Writing Narrative History
  • The Great Goldilocks Caper: Personal Narrative Written Assignment
  • Participate in Week 4 Discussions



Completing the Proposal for a Scholarly Paper or Historical Project
  • Final Proposal
  • Participate in Week 5 Discussions



Submitting the First Draft of the Paper or Project

  • Schedule “Office Hours” with Instructor
  • Draft 1 of Paper/Project
  • Participate in Week 6 Discussions




Research and Writing Time

  • Continue to work on drafts of paper/project
  • Schedule “Office Hours” with Instructor
  • Participate in Week 7 Discussions



The Technical Apparatus of Citations and Bibliography & Submitting the Second draft of the Paper or Project

  • Schedule “Office Hours” with Instructor
  • Draft 2 of Paper/Project
  • Participate in Week 8 Discussions



Preparing the Final Paper or Project

  • Continue to work on final drafts of paper/project
  • Schedule “Office Hours” with Instructor
  • Participate in Week 9 Discussions



Submission of Final Papers or Projects
  • Final Paper/Project
  • Participate in Week 10 Discussions
  • Submit 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.