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History 401 Historical Research, Spring 2007

John A. Taylor, Professor of History

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

Office PH 3216, office telephone 650-2836


Welcome. This course meets T 10-11:50 AM in PB 3312. In this course you will develop skills in historical research. You will write a term paper of about ten pages upon a topic centered on the ancient theory of republican government. Republics mixed monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy.

At the beginning of the semester we will all meet at the scheduled class sessions. During the first week, and for presentation at the meetings of 16 January and after, students will write general essays. Write an essay of two pages in length upon the subjects of your background knowledge and the general impressions that you have of history as an academic discipline. This essay project will serve two purposes. It will introduce each of you to me, and it will give you the experience of writing.

On 23 January, please turn in a book report, again of two pages in length, upon a specific book that has influenced you in the past. As you write your report, you should have in the back of your mind the need to find a topic for your term paper. By 6 February you should have made a firm choice of topic. Prepare a projected bibliography and an outline of your paper first and turn those in on that day for my approval. You will write your term paper in the following several weeks. Each of you will also give a class presentation of your topic. These will begin in March and carry on to the end of the semester.

Among the books useful for this class are the following: Kate Turabian, A Manual for the Writer of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations; William Strunk and E. B. White, The Elements of Style; and A Manual of Style issued by the University of Chicago Press. I presume that you will use a computer to prepare your work and, if you do use a computer, please also use a style checker such as Grammatik.

Students will adhere to conventional rules of academic procedure. Attendance and class participation are very important. Students are not to come to class late, nor are they to interrupt class by departure previous to the scheduled end of the day's session. Turn off all pagers and mobile phones during class. Plagiarism will not be tolerated, and all work submitted in the course must be original compositions with quotations and sources properly noted.

This course has neither a midterm exam nor a final exam.

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