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4398 Senior Seminar

SPRING 2006

SENIOR SEMINAR IN HISTORY

Dr. Mark Stoll

742-1004 ext. 250     Holden Hall 135
E-mail: mark.stoll@ttu.edu   Web: http://www2.tltc.ttu.edu/stoll/
Office Hours: Monday 12:00-1:00 and Wednesday 10:0011:00

CLASS DESCRIPTION

The goal of this seminar is to develop your skills in historical research methods and writing by examining the history of American religion. Religion is a many-faceted subject that allows one to look at all the many historical categories: society, culture, politics, ethnicity, immigration, class, gender, and ideas. Each of these categories interacts with religion in varied, interesting, and enlightening ways.

In consultation with the instructor, you will select one aspect of religious history to investigate. You then write three papers on that subject: a book review, a research proposal, and a 20-25 page research paper. There will also be class discussions about ways to understand and use source material, critical methods to apply to sources, and the writing of research papers. Other readings and discussions will give you a sense of the field and its methods. Visits as a class to the library and Southwest Collection will expose you to many possible primary source collections. The instructor will also meet individually with you in conferences.

After finishing your paper, you will present it in class and another student will critique it. You will then have the opportunity to rewrite your paper. Grades are based on discussion, papers, and critiques.

REQUIRED READINGS

These books will also be on reserve.

ASSIGNMENTS

General style requirements: Papers should be printed double-spaced in black ink, 12-point Times New Roman or equivalent, with one-inch or one-and-a-quarter-inch margins. Number the pages and staple in the upper left corner.

Book review: You will read a work of religious history that you select from the bibliography on my Web site, and then write a 4-6 page review. The review will contain: a brief (1–2 paragraph) summary of the book’s contents; a description of the author’s thesis; and an analysis of the thesis, use and selection of sources, supporting arguments, quality of writing style, place in the literature or agreement with other course material, and author’s viewpoint or biases. The analysis section should explain if the book’s thesis was convincing and supported by the evidence.

LINK TO ENVIRONMENTAL BIBLIOGRAPHY

Research proposal: You will prepare a research proposal of about 250–750 words. The proposal will include a proposed thesis, bibliographical essay about the topic, and anticipated original sources and their locations. You will meet with me before you turn your proposal in.

Research paper: This paper is the capstone work of the your undergraduate career, your "magnum opus," your "masterpiece," and is the most important part of the course. It represents the culmination of your historical training and experience. You will find original sources, many of which may be located in the Southwest Collection or the library, assemble them, analyze them, and write a paper telling their story and significance. Frequent consultation with the professor and discussion in class, as indicated in the Class Schedule, will guide your work.

Grading: As proportions of your final grade, the book review is worth 15%, the proposal 10%, the paper itself 55%, presentation and commentary on another's paper together 10%, and class participation 10%. Neatness counts! Faded printer type, irregular margins, and so forth will cause points to be deducted from the paper grade. All absences will hurt your final grade, except absences for dire need, which must be documented appropriately. For each absence, five points will be deducted from your final grade.

Late papers: Five points per day late will accrue to all papers that are not handed in on time. Papers are due at the beginning of class. No computer excuses will be accepted! Give yourself plenty of time to allow for possible printer problems, etc.

Please be aware that plagiarism, which includes close paraphrasing that is not properly footnoted, cannot be tolerated. It will result in an automatic 0 for the paper and failure in the class, and a letter will be placed in the student’s permanent record. Students should be well aware of and prepared to abide by the penalties for plagiarism as defined in the university’s code of student conduct.

Note: Students who, because of a disabling condition, may require some special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make necessary accommodations. Students should present appropriate verification from the Disabled Students Services in the Dean of Students Office.

The professor reserves the right to change this syllabus at his discretion. Changes will be announced in class and posted the class Webpages.

CLASS SCHEDULE

Date Assignment
Jan 23 Introduction; What is history?
Jan 30 Tours of Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library and University Library
Meet in the University Library Room 151 (in the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center, to the right (north) of the front elevators)
Feb 6 What is religious history?
Reading: Allitt, chapters 1 & 3; Albanese, Introduction
Assignment:
Select research topics and book to review
Feb 13 Interpreting evidence: oral history & photographs;
Reading: Albanese, chapters 1-3
Assignment: Book review due
Feb 20 Issues in religious history
Reading:  Allitt, chapters 5 & 7; Albanese, chapters 4-5
Feb 27 Discussion of research proposals
Reading: Allitt, chapters 9 & 10; Albanese, chapters 6-7
Assignment: Research proposals due
Mar 6 Writing history: Outline, thesis, interpretation, style, notes, bibliography
Reading:
Allitt, chapters 12 & 15; Albanese, chapter 9 and Conclusion
Mar 13 Spring Break
Mar 20 Individual conferences
Mar 27 No class
Apr 3 Individual conferences
Apr 10 Individual conferences
Apr 18 Assignment: April 24 papers due (send a second copy to the commenter)
Apr 24 May 1 papers due (two copies)
Presentation of papers and critiques
Presenting
Zeb
Maggie
Bianca
Andrew
Carey
Justin


Commenting
Bianca
Dylan
Michelle
Audrey
Jeff
Andrew
May 1 Presentation of papers and critiques
Presenting
Dylan
Quentin
Audrey
Michelle
Jeff
Dillon

Commenting
Justin
Carey
Dillon
Maggie
Quentin
Zeb
May 9 Assignment: Revised papers due (optional)

This page was last edited on January 10, 2007 11:50 AM