Final Project. Due by Day 7.
Students will demonstrate their mastery of the learning objectives and associated skills developed in the course by responding to their choice of a historical issue posed in Week One. In the first part of the project, students evaluate the historiography of the issue, that is, how the issue has been examined in historical scholarship over time. The second part of the project requires students to analyze a primary source document relevant to the chosen historical issue.
Students will demonstrate the ability to:
· Identify key elements of the theory and practice of historical writing
· Assess the different ways historians have investigated and responded to historical issues
· Apply historiography to historical analysis
· Identify the types of primary sources historians analyze
· Assess the different theoretical approaches historians use when analyzing primary sources
· Apply primary source analysis skills to the development of historical analysis
• Why did witchcraft persecutions take place in Early Modern Europe or British colonies in North
America? How have historians attempted to explain the causes and effects of the witchcraze?
· Why did the French Revolution take place? How have historians examined different factors involved in revolutionary movements to offer explanations?
· How did British colonial rule affect social, cultural, economic, or political systems in India? How have historians characterized the nature and impact of colonialism in this context?
· How did the Industrial Revolution affect society and culture? Why do some historians offer arguments suggesting major discontinuity, while others suggest gradual change?
· How did the Civil Rights movement challenge concepts of race and cultural identity?
Part One: Historiography: Identification, Assessment and Application
Prior to completing this portion of the assignment, students should reflect upon the concept of historiography, as discussed in Chapter 3 of Tosh, the video by Bowles, and related content throughout the course.
Using the sources within the course, the Annotated Bibliography from Week Three and the outline from Week Four, students will write a five- to seven-page historiographical essay on the secondary sources chosen for this project.
In this section, students must
· Identify the thesis and key elements of each author’s argument.
· Identify debates between scholars with regard to the historical issue under consideration.
· Identify the source materials the authors are using (both primary and secondary).
· Explain the methods, methodologies, or theoretical approaches the authors are employing.
· Explain the reasons how or why a given scholar’s approach might produce a different interpretation than that found in another study.
· Explain how scholars have built upon, supported, critiqued, or dismissed the positions presented in prior studies.
· Explain why one author’s interpretation might be more convincing than that of another.
· Explain how or why each study provides a unique answer to the historical question under consideration to enhance the understanding of the issue.
· Identify questions or areas of research that require further examination.
Part Two: Primary Source Analysis: Identification, Assessment and Application
Prior to completing this portion of the assignment, students should review the course materials presented in Weeks Two and Three, along with Tosh, Chapters 4 and 5.
Building on the initial primary source analysis exercise in Week Two, students will write a two- to three-page primary-source analysis essay on the primary source they have chosen for this project. The essay must have a formal introduction with thesis statement, body paragraphs that present evidence-based analysis of the source, and a formal conclusion that emphasizes the key elements of the argument.
In this section, students must
o Apply the methods, methodologies, or theoretical approaches explored in this course to analyze the chosen
o Write an analytic essay addressing how or why the source provides evidence that explains a key element
or theme relevant to the chosen historical issue. This analysis should address the significance of the following elements:
o Type of source
o Specific historical context within which the source was created o Author
o Author’s intent or motivation for writing
o Author’s bias or preconceptions
o Audience, whether intended or actual
o Reception or impact
o Relative strengths and limitations of the source
o Broader theme or issue the source addresses
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