Syllabus – Spring

Spring 2016 Syllabus

Tues, Jan 19: Welcome Back

  • Introduction to Zotero. Installation instructions on Zotero Handout.
  • Brainstorm with Jane Currie, History Librarian.
  • Read Booth, Colomb, Williams, The Craft of Research , pp. 31-34.

Blogpost 1: Introduce readers to your topic, the five questions that you would like to ask of it, and where you are looking to find sources for your topic. (Due 8 pm, 1/26)

Tues, Jan 26: Library Week – no class

  • Read Booth, Colomb, Williams, The Craft of Research, chap. 3.
  • Decide on a specific topic, as Booth suggests.
  • Write down 5 ques­tions that you want to answer about that topic.
  • Gather a prelimi­nary bibliog­raphy of at least 15 items that seem relevant. Some must be articles (try Article Quick-Search on the library web page); some must be primary sources. Recall books on loan to someone else. (On the left-hand side of the library web page [] click  “Request Forms”; then click “Recall/Hold.”)  Immediate­ly order arti­cles etc. that Cudahy Library does not have through Inter-library Loan. (On the left-hand side of the library web page, click “Interlibrary Loan.”)
  • Start reading some of the works Cudahy does have. Explore the possibilities in Chicago for archival work.
  • Bibliog­raphies (divided into 2 parts: primary and secondary sources) should be emailed to Dr Roberts ( by 10 pm, Sunday evening, 1/31 along with a statement of the topic and the 5 questions you want to answer about it.

Tues, Feb 2: Bibliography Week

  • Be prepared to discuss your topic with the class, following the scheme in Booth, p. 34: I’m working on X because I want to find out Y, so that I (and you) can better understand Z.
  • Be prepared to discuss note-taking by reading Booth, chap. 6.
  • Bibliography and footnote quiz (study the various forms on the Bibliography and Note Forms page).

Tues, Feb 9  Reading Primary Sources

  • Email to Dr Roberts a copy of one page of the notes you have already taken. Do not write “special notes” for this task.  Make enough copies for all in class.  We will discuss note-taking techniques.
  • If you were supposed to consult a specialist in the History department on your topic, be ready to report on the results.
  • Bring in a very short primary source sample, one that you are working with.  Make enough copies for all in class.  We will discuss how to read primary sources (see How to read primary sources in this syllabus).  (Don’t be miffed if we don’t get to your primary source.)
  • Be prepared to discuss your prog­ress on your paper.
  • Sign up sheet for individual meetings with instructor on 2/16.

Blogpost 2: Share some of the primary sources that you’ve found and how you go about reading them. (Due 8 pm, 2/16)

Tues, Feb 16: Individual Meetings

  • Meet Prof Roberts in CC 548 at the right time.
  • During this week, ­start organizing your materi­als, writing up one or more tentative outlines.
  • Read Booth, 108-113, 173-6, and chap. 12.

Tues, Feb 23: Library Week – no class

  • Read, write, outline!
  • Start writing parts of your paper as they coalesce in your head. Outlines are due by 10 pm on Sunday, 2/28 to Dr Roberts’ email.

Blogpost 3: Write about the process of outlining your topic. What was satisfying about the experience? What was frustrating? Has it helped you see how the paper is coming together? (Due 8 pm, 2/29)

Tues, Mar 1: Outlining and Writing

  • Critique of outlines
  • Report on progress of your papers.
  • Read Strunk and White, chapters 2, 3, and 5

Tues, Mar 8: Spring Break – no class

Tues, Mar 15: Library Week – no class

  • Read Booth, chap. 13.
  • Write the first draft of your paper.  Reread this draft several times and revise it: smooth out the grammar and organization, correct all typos.

Blogpost 4: Write about the process of creating the first draft of your paper. What was satisfying about the experience? What was frustrating? Where do you think you need to do more work? (Due 10 pm, 3/27)

Tues, Mar 22: Library Week – no class

  • First Draft papers are due by 10 pm Sunday, 3/20 to Dr Roberts’ email.
  • Take a breather! Writing and re-writing are just around the corner…

Tues, Mar 29:  Revising – Grammar and Composition

  • Discussion of papers in general. Suggestions for revision.
  • Review Strunk and White, chapters 1 and 4
  • Read Booth, Chap. 14.
  • Sign up sheet for individual meetings with Professor Roberts on 4/5

Tues, Apr 5: Individual meetings

  • Meet with professor to talk about progress in revising papers

Blogpost 5: Write about your experience of receiving feedback on your first draft and your plan and process for revising. (Due 8 pm, 4/12)

Tues, Apr 12:  Library Week – no class

  • Revise your papers.

Tues, Apr 19: Library Week – no class

  • Polished draft of your paper for final prize judging  due Saturday, April 23rd by midnight.

Blogpost 6: Post a 250 word abstract and image for your paper (Due 8 pm, 4/25)

Tues, Apr 26: Practicing Your Oral Presentation

  • Write (and be prepared to read aloud to the class) a 3-page paper summarizing your topic, your sources, and your conclusions. (Time yourself: the papers should be 8 minutes long, no longer.)
  • More revisions, polishing, rewriting.

Sat, Apr 30: Research Colloquium – 2-5 pm, Piper Hall

  • Members of the History Dept. faculty will be invited. Please invite your family and friends. There will be refresh­ments.

Sat, May 7: Email Final Papers to Professor Roberts by 10 pm