Assignments

Class Participation—Regular class attendance and daily preparedness are required. Students are expected to contribute to class discussions at least once on a daily basis to receive the minimum passing grade. Grades will be based on whether students participated and the substance of their comments.

Introductory Presentation—During the second week of classes, students will give a five-minute presentation about themselves and why they are a history major.  As part of this assignment, students will need to construct a gallery of images to include in your presentation (use Pinterest, Powerpoint, Google Slides, etc.).  Students will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Includes of at least 5 images.
  • Discusses their interest in history.
  • Gives an introduction and conclusion to presentation.
  • Speaks loudly and coherently.
  • Uses suitable posture and gestures.
  • Answers questions competently.

Blogging—Each student will build a website where you will blog on reading assignments and your research (see class schedule below for specific dates).  It will serve as a space where you can share work-in-progress, reflect on the processes of historical interpretation, and gain constructive criticism from faculty.  Additionally, you will be required to attend one “Talking History” presentation (Wednesday, September 20–“History in the News: Removing Confederate Monuments;” Monday, October 9–“African American History and Virginia’s National Parks; Monday, November 13–“History of Aeroflot”) this fall and post reaction on your blog by the beginning of the following class .This blog can also serve as an electronic portfolio for all of your academic work while attending UMW.  Please keep postings appropriate and professional in tone.  All blog posts are due before the start of class.

About Me—Students will create an “About Me” page on their website where they will begin to articulate their intellectual biography.  Rough drafts are due in class on Monday, September 11 for peer review and class discussion.  Final versions are due online by Friday, September 15.

Secondary Source Analysis Paper (2 pages)—This is an essay in which students summarize and critique the content and argument of the assigned scholarly article, “Selling the East in the American South: Bengali Muslim Peddlers in New Orleans and Beyond, 1880-1920” by Vivek Bald.  Students will also discuss the kinds of primary sources used, the author’s engagement of other major historiographical works, and the article’s contribution to historical understanding. Rough drafts are due in class on Friday, October 20 for peer review.  Final versions are due on your blog by the beginning of class on Monday, October 30.

Writing and Speaking Centers—Students must take one writing assignment to the Writing Center and practice one presentation at the Speaking Center during the semester (NOTE: visiting either Centers after an assignment is due will not be accepted).  Be sure to schedule appointments early!!!  Failure to attend to either the Writing or Speaking Centers reduces your participation grade by a full letter grade.

Historiography Project:

  • Literature Review Topic Assignment (1 page)—Students will bring one page (typed only) to class on Friday, September 22 that describes the topic that they plan to explore in their literature review. NOTE: The topic is limited to U.S. Immigration History. This short essay should include 1) the event, person, or idea that you plan to explore (including periodization and geographic limitations) and 2) why it is important.
  • Annotated Bibliography—Students will construct a bibliography of at least 10 books and articles to be used in their literature with brief summaries of each book/article along with correctly formatted bibliographic citations using Turabian/Chicago Manual of Style. The content of that paragraph should include: 1) the main focus of the work, including its key research questions and conclusions; 2) intended audience for the work; 3) evaluation of its use or relevance for your project (be specific regarding how it is or is not useful.) You may also want to note special features that may be relevant. Each summary should be 4-6 lines. Annotated bibliographies are due on Friday, October 27 for peer review and class discussion. These documents will be handed in.
  • Timeline—Student will construct a timeline of secondary literature from their annotated bibliography and post it on their domain using Timeline JS. A bibliography, using Turabian/Chicago Manual of Style, will also be inserted into the webpage. Approved texts will only be included in this assignment. Final versions of the timeline are due before class on Monday, November 20.
  • Book Review (3-to-4 pages)—An essay that presents the content and evaluates the significance and usefulness of a book. Specific expectations will be discussed in class. Rough drafts are due in class on Wednesday, November 8 for peer review. Final versions are due on your blog by the beginning of class on Friday, November 17.
  • Literature Review (10 pages): An essay that discusses an issue (person, event, idea, etc.) and the ways in which scholars have addressed it. This assignment must engage 10 books and/or articles related to your final research paper. Specific expectations will be discussed in class. Rough drafts are due in class on Monday, December 4 for peer review. Final versions are due on your blog by noon of Friday, December 15.
  • Final Presentation (10 minutes): Formal presentations to the class on your literature review.  It is required that students include multimedia. Specific expectations will be discussed in class. Final presentations will be given during the week from November 27-December 1.

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