Be forewarned: this is a challenging academic undertaking. Introduction to Historical Methods is designed as one of the capstone courses for the history major. As such, it is an opportunity for class members to concentrate on the steps involved in the process of writing an original, Download
HIST 300 Syllabus PDF

extended research paper in which they synthesize the skills that they have honed during their undergraduate majors. This particular offering of the seminar will focus on the history of the Gilded; its twin goals are, first, to read a basic text that will introduce the history of the period and suggest ideas for further research and, second, to write an extended, formal essay on a topic relevant to the course topic. Along the way, the class will complete several smaller assignments that will build toward the seminar essay.

This course demands a great deal of its participants, but those who commit themselves will have a sense of accomplishment at its end. The reading assignments should be completed before the date they are due so that you will have time to digest the material thoroughly. The assignments are due on date indicated on the schedule above. Because the discussions depend on all participants' having completed the reading or done the assignments, participants are encouraged to make virtues of punctuality and readiness to facilitate lively exchange.

Since this course is an upper division, it assumes that you have attained a certain level of skill and competency; namely, you can read intelligently and write coherently. It also assumes that you can take responsibility in some measure for the course. The course will primarily depend on your contributions and arguments, although the instructor will deliver mini-lectures from time to time to assist us all in our attempts to grapple with research problems.

This course fulfills all/in part the Writing-Intensive requirement in the history major. It does so through the successive stages, namely the topic statement, a bibliography, small research tasks, and drafts; these are due on dates indicated on the syllabus. The Writing Intensive regimen culminates in a 3500-word research paper. The research paper will be completed through a draft/feedback/revision process. The first draft will be due on the date specified on the syllabus. I will provide commentary on the draft and return it to you for revision. The essay in its final form will be due on Wednesday, December 12.


The following books are required for the course. They are available in the Campus Bookstore or from other vendors far and wide.

The text, essentially, encapsulates several of the themes pertienent to the Gilded Age. Read it quickly to find ideas for topics.