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Reseach Methods

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2016
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
OD 202
Days & Times

05:30 P. M. -- 08:20 P. M.  Monday

Dr. Harry P. Hewitt (view Profile)

Course Attachments


The Methods and Skills of History -- Furay
Research Methods
Going to the Sources - Brundage
Research Methods
Doing History -- Galgano
Research Methods
The Pocket Guide to Writing in History -- Rampolla
Research Methods
Course Objectives

The student will achieve a clear, working understanding of the varied methods of historical research, documentation, and writing. In learning to practice the craft of history, the student will also demonstrate the necessary skills and proficiencies in the process of gathering, organizing, and interpreting sources, and in presenting their conclusions in a well-reasoned and well-written narrative. The student will gain a familiarity with the wide range of finding aids that serve as useful tools for the historian. At the same time the student will show evidence of a precise and well-reasoned analysis of historical sources and, therefore, an ability to follow the practices of good writing and editing. Moreover, the student will be able to engage in a thoughtful way the subject of the philosophy of history, and in so doing to identify conflicting historical interpretations and thus to distinguish differing interpretations of the past from actual fact.

Course Expectations

You will be asked to make class presentations pertaining to the research you are doing on your chosen topic. Generally, once we get into the semester, these will be reports of about fifteen minutes, and participation in the seminar discussion is not only encourage but expected.

All term papers will be presented to the class in final draft form at the end of the semester. You will be assigned to critique one presentation, and are encouraged to comment on the others.

Grading Standards

You will be asked to make class presentations pertaining to the research you are doing on your chosen topic. Generally, once we get into the semester, these will be reports of about fifteen minutes.

Determination of course grade:

Term Paper 80 percent

Class participation 20 percent

Final Exam 12/12/2016 05:30pm-08:25pm
Submission Format Policy

Your paper may be longer than 12 pages, but the paper you present must be at least twelve (12) pages in length, and suitable for presentation at a conference. You must include end notes and a bibliography following the style of Kate L. Turabian, A Manuel for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. The latest edition is preferable, but not mandatory. The reason for this requirement is that the History Department requires your thesis follow the Turabian format.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Late Paper Policy

Late papers will be accepted, but only with your understanding that there will be a the penalty of a one letter grade reduction.  Late papers must be submitted by the beginning of the Spring semester or the grade will become an F.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Class attendance is mandatory.  The class meets once a week and absences can not be accepted except under dire circumstances.  You must make every effort to be here and make multiple efforts to inform me that you will be absent.  Leave e-mails and voice mails with the History department office and my office.  Notify students who are in class so they can alert me.   

Other Policies

 COURSE ASSESSMENT:  The History department has decided to implement the following assessment instruments for this course.

1.  A pre-test post test.

2.  Your oral reports will be assessed on the basis of your exhibiting critical thinking.

3.  Your term paper will be evaluated on the basis of demonstrating critical thinking.  


Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at