Syllabus – Spring

Building on the work of the Fall seminar, we devote the Spring semester to individual research papers.   We will first work on developing research questions, finding sources, and taking notes in the first month of the course.  You will go to archives and libraries while meeting with us and blogging about the process with your reflections.  You are learning history-specific research skills, including: mining primary sources in archives, finding secondary sources in circulating libraries, and developing historiographic reviews of relevant literature.  In addition to group discussions about each other’s work.

We spend the last third of the semester writing and sharing our work.  You are invited to present your work to the public at Loyola’s Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium on April 22, 2017.  Your final presentation will be the Ramonat symposium, a celebratory scholarly gathering on April 29th.

Tues, Jan 17: Welcome Back, Let’s Talk about Research Questions

  • Introduction to Oral History
  • Project Updates
  • READING: Booth, Colomb, Williams, The Craft of Research , pp. 27 to 64

Tues, Jan 24: Introduction to Zotero, the Adventures of a Digital Site, and Sources

  • READING: Colomb, Williams, The Craft of Research , pp. 65-104
  • Read your sources and take notes.
  • Play around with Zotero if you like.
  • Submit a copy of one page of the notes you have already taken to sakai assignments Monday at noon before class. Do not write “special notes” for this task.  Make enough copies for all in class.
  • If, in my comments on your proposal, I recommended you consult a specialist in the History department (or another department) on your topic, be ready to report on the results.
  • Sign up for individual meetings with instructor/s on 2/6, 7, or 8.
  • Guy Valponi will talk to us about his Digital Project/Presentation

Blogpost 1: Introduce readers to select primary sources.   (Due 8 pm, Sunday 1/29)***

Tues, Jan 31: Library Week—No Class

  • Read your sources and take notes
  • Prepare for your meetings with the instructor/s next week
  • start organizing your materials, writing up one or more tentative outlines.

Tues, Feb 7  Monday, Tues, or Wednesday: Individual Meetings

  • Meet with course instructor/s.
  • Read Booth, 105-113, 173-6, and chap. 12.

Thursday and Friday, Feb. 16th and 17th, Robert Ellsberg Talk and Dorothy Day Symposium. 


More details to follow.  The talk and dinner will be Thursday evening.  The Symposium events are all day Friday.

Blogpost 2: Reflect on the talk and the symposium. (Due 8 pm, Sunday 2/19)***

Tues, Feb 21: Library Week – no class

  • Read Booth Chapter 13-14
  • Read, write, outline!
  • Start writing parts of your paper as they coalesce in your head.

***Outlines are due by 10 pm on Sunday, 2/26 to sakai assignments.***

Blogpost 3: Post your outline and talk about it. What was satisfying about the experience? What was frustrating? Has it helped you see how the paper is coming together? (Due 8 pm, Monday, 2/27)

Tues, Feb. 28th: Outlining and Writing

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

Tues, Mar 7: Spring Break – no class

Tues, Mar 14: Library Week – no class

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

****First Draft papers are due by 10 pm Sunday, 3/19 to sakai assignments***

  • Take a breather for a few days! Writing and re-writing are just around the corner…

Tues, Mar 21: Library Week – no class

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 8 pm, Sunday 3/26)

Tues, Mar 28:  Revising – Grammar and Composition

  • Discussion of papers in class. Suggestions for revision.
  • Review Strunk and White, chapters 1 and 4
  • Sign-up sheet for individual meetings with Professor Nickerson and Amelia on 4/3,4,5, Mon, Tues, Wed.

Mon, Tues, Wed, Apr 3, 4, 5: Individual meetings

  • Meet with instructor/s 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, Sunday, 4/9)

Tues, Apr 11:  Library Week – no class

  • Revise your papers.

Tues, Apr 17: Library Week – no class

***Polished draft of your paper for final prize judging due Thursday, April 20th by midnight***

Saturday, Apr. 22: Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium, students present their work orally and/or in poster sessions


Blogpost 6: Post a 250 word abstract and image for your paper.  If you are doing a digital project and think you are ready, post a link  (Due 8 pm, Monday, 4/24)

Tues, Apr 25: 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 29: Research Colloquium – 2-5 pm, Piper Hall

  • Members of the History Dept., administrators in the College of Arts and Sciences, and other faculty will be invited. Please invite your family and friends. There will be refreshments.

Sat, May 7: Submit Final Papers to sakai assignment by 10 pm