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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Michael Kucher
TIAS 380
Tacoma Campus

Humanities and Social Science Research and Writing Seminar

Covers developing a thesis, designing an outline, doing preliminary research, writing drafts, and presenting a paper. Includes required field trips.

Class description

Some class meetings will extend until 3 or 4pm because of field trips. These field trips are mandatory. Feel free to contact me for dates as the first class nears.

The seminar is a prerequisite for completing the History Major. It is intended expressly for History Majors. It DOES *NOT* COVER RESEARCH IN NATURAL, BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, OR MEDICINE. In it, each student will pick a thesis topic; compose an analytic, annotated bibliography; write a literature review in which they identify a research opportunity; and finally, craft a viable research proposal for their senior thesis. The course will focus on skills and methods in history as well as provide an opportunity for each student to construct the historiographic context for their thesis.

Student learning goals

Craft a research proposal for a senior thesis in history.

Compose an annotated bibliography of at least 21 items using bibliographic database software such as Zotero, EndNote, or RefWorks.

Distinguish between primary and secondary sources and sharpen their skills in identifying, locating, and using primary sources.

Place their individual thesis project into historiographic context by writing a detailed literature review.

Select a thesis topic and begin the search for a senior paper adviser.

Intelligently identify, locate, analyze, and interpret digital and print resources as well as evidence provided by visual and artifactual resources, as appropriate.

General method of instruction

Methods will be hands-on with visits to libraries and archives when possible. Frequent writing and revision. Rigorous editing. Structured peer review. Critiquing Undergraduate Research Program presentations.

THE CLASS INCLUDES SEVERAL REQUIRED FIELD TRIPS TO REGIONAL LIBRARIES AND ARCHIVES. Destinations are readily accessible by mass transit or personal transportation, but no UW transport will be provided.

Recommended preparation

Should have met a ALL the history graduation requirements except the thesis. Should have a clear idea from day one of the sort of research topic he or she will pursue. Student should make sure he or she has set aside the time needed each week to take the course, which will include traveling to libraries and collections independently to consult primary sources and other non-digital items.

Class assignments and grading

Extensive, self-directed research and writing. Requires high degree of initiative and self-reliance as well as the ability to follow directions and style sheets.

Active participation in each and every class and field trip. Extreme attention to detail, meticulous quality, creativity, thoroughness, contribution to the field.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information from Course Catalyst Site
Last Update by Michael Kucher
Date: 01/29/2014