Students will develop their own reading list for this course.  Common assignments will come from three sources, a methodological book to help find sources, a methodological book to help you with conceptualization and writing, and a popular how-to guide for college history students.   Consider these books to be an introduction to the real work of the course that you will do when you choose a topic and begin researching, and writing.  As you will discover if you have chosen your topic well, scholars have engaged in an extended conversation about your topic for many years.  You will need to familiarize yourself with this conversation so you can contribute to it.  As in any dialogue, originality is important; the same ideas expressed over and over soon become boring.  But originality can come in many forms.  Perhaps you will discover something new about your topic.  More likely, you will take existing facts and ideas and re-evaluate them, organizing them in a unique way or analyzing them in a way different from what others have done.  This is the challenge and the reward of doing research -- adding to the world's store of knowledge by what you have done.


Jenny L. Presnell, The Information-Literate Historian: A Guide for History Students (2007)

Patrick Rael, "Reading, Writing and Researching for History: A Guide for College Students" (Bowdoin College: Brunswick ME, 2004), available online


Jules R. Benjamin, A Student's Guide to History. Tenth Edition (2007)