This course is designed as an introduction to the practice and writing of history via examination of primary source documents that contain a “mystery.” The course involves learning how to ask questions and knowing by serendipity or logic the right question. Download
HIST 615 Syllabus PDF

Will, Robert Christian PDF
Will, Caroline Carson PDF
Probate Inventory, Samuel Hayes
Will & Probate, Louise Courselle PDF
Inquest, Mamie Grover PDF
Territory v. Rehberg PDF
Quilting Party PDF
It is also about knowing what is an irrelevant detail—a red herring—and what small detail will carry an inquiry to its main goal. It is about learning to interrogate (and to distrust) evidence and mastering the art of inference. The course is about piecing together the bits and pieces of evidence in an engaging narrative and convincing analysis. And last but not least, the course is about learning how to present findings to an audience, whether large and essentially anonymous, specialized or general. Doing history is much like solving a problem in any other discipline, and it’s a great deal like what a professional does every day. Note: You will probably not improve your Jeopardy won/loss record.


The following book is required for the course. It is available in the Campus Bookstore.


Blogs have become an important element on the web and something that you might have already done in another course. Rather than have a group blog or design a blog from the ground up, you’ll be doing something a bit different. You can obtain a Plus-level subscription to Typepad, a blog. The cost is $8.95 per month or roughly $27.00 for the semester (the cost of a modest textbook). The best thing to do is sign up for a free trial; this will furnish you with a two week's free service. At the end of the semester, you can cancel your subscription. Or, you may discover that you like blogging so much that you retain your subscription. The advantages of TypePad are ease of use and the option to customize your design. No muss, no fuss. Alternatively, you can use WordPress software. Wordpress is free, and several services offer automatic installation. It also is easy to use and possesses a variety of themes. WordPress recommends several hosting partners on its site with various pricing options. There are other options, but whatever option you choose, it must have no advertisements and possess a spam filter. For these reasons, please do not choose Blogspot or any other free service that depends on advertising.