History 2133 - Fall 2001
Introduction to Research and Writing

Room: West Hall 107
Section 2685: TTh, 2:30-3:45 p.m.

Instructor: Doug Catterall

Office: West Hall, 217 N
Office Hours: M, W, F, 1-3 p.m.; Th 9 a.m.-12 p.m., 4 p.m.-5 p.m.
work telephone: 581-2949
home telephone: 536-7950
e-mail: dougc@cameron.edu

What is this Course About?

The Big Picture.
What do historians do? How do they do what they do? For what reasons do they do the things they do? These questions are at the heart of this course and by the end of the term it is my hope that each of you will have developed your own answers for each one. While not all of you plan to become professional historians, understanding and mastering for yourselves the intellectual skills that historians use will serve you well as history majors and in whatever future direction you may choose to pursue in life.

It is said that, given the current degree of flux in the economy, most of us will change jobs multiple times in the course of our lives. I would suggest to you that the person most prepared for this environment is not the person with a set of skills that is in demand now but may not be in the future. Rather, the person who is probably most prepared to meet the challenges of this world is able to define and approach problems readily, to think critically and creatively about those
problems, interpret complex information in a variety of forms, write and otherwise communicate solutions clearly and with precision and detail, and is able to see the bigger picture of which his or her work is a part. All of these tasks and skills are part of what some have called the historian's craft, which is just a fancy way of saying: historians do these things all the time. Thus, as a history major you are not preparing for a particular future, but many futures and after finishing this course you will be closer to having the ability to meet them all.

This is why I am particularly excited to be teaching this course, because it is as much about possibilities and potential and it is about intellectual endeavor. Indeed it is my view that the most successful people in life are those who merge their talents with their passions in some way. Therefore, the opportunity to help each of you take some of your first steps towards this goal or simply to help you towards a goal that you have already set for yourself is one that I consider myself fortunate to have.

The Nitty Gritty Stuff.
Of course, while the lofty goals in the previous section provide the driving force behind our efforts this term, we also need to focus ourselves on specific goals. In general this will be a practical course driven by particular exercises and projects as opposed to a course whose focus is on mastering a body of knowledge about a particular time and place (e.g. the English Civil War or the Great Depression era). Having said that, I have framed the course a bit by making its theme the Atlantic world between 1400 and 1900. During the first 9 weeks of the term, most of our activities will
be based around a recent work on revolution and revolt in the Atlantic world: Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (Boston: Beacon Press, 2000). Our goal will be to gain a very detailed understanding of how Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker, two very prominent, left-wing, cultural historians, have gone about exploring, analyzing, and reconstructing events that took place between 1600 and 1900 involving common folk from the Americas, Africa, and Europe: i.e. common folk who lived in the Atlantic world.

It may seem a tall order to understand the "anatomy" of a thing so complex as a book, but we will take it step by step. As we progress through the term there will be five kinds of work that we will tackle this term. First, you will do exercises, primarily in class, involved with interpreting primary sources. Without the ability to interpret sources, a historian cannot construct a sound explanation of a past event or phenomenon, hence the heavy emphasis on these exercises. Another variety of writing we will work on is often called a book review or a critical review. This is not a book report, but rather
an analysis of the quality of argumentation and evidence presented in a work or works. Related to the critical review is the historiographical essay, of which you will write one this term. This kind of essay involves an analysis not just of one book but of the major perspectives pertaining to a particular major question or problem with which historians have been grappling. Next, you will write a major research paper as the culmination of all of your work this term. This will involve the skills of interpreting primary and secondary sources as well as your skills with historiography and should therefore allow you to show what you have learned earlier in the term. For this paper, however, you will determine the theme
and focus of your research project, so it will in many ways be your paper. I will also give each of you the opportunity to present your research ideas to your colleagues in the form of short presentations. The last area on which we will work this term will be essential research habits, skills, and information about the History Program at Cameron University: especially properly attributing sources using footnotes and a bibliography; learning about the library; and learning the interests and approaches of other historians in the Department of History and Government.

Specific Objectives: This course will emphasize the following two skill-sets:

  1. Mastery of the Historianís Skills
  2. Historical Thinking and the Historianís Craft
Ideal Environment:
The heart of the class-room environment (for me) rests in respect, enthusiasm, and openness. This may sound general, so I will elaborate. Enthusiasm means a persistent willingness to tackle the problems that come up in the readings and assignments for each week. It does not mean that everyone always has to show up happy and cheerful, but readiness to make a contribution to class is a must. Respect in the classroom means valuing each person's participation, not because their ideas are the best (although you might think so), but because they are trying to make a contribution to the group. Openness lies in the freedom for people to express their thoughts and opinions, which includes scope for debate and
disagreement with me or anyone else. The closer we approach this ideal environment, the more the classroom will be an effective space for clarifying, making manageable and even experimenting with the issues confronted in the course. This ideal may not always be achievable, but in my view we should always strive for it. Dramatic deviations from the ideal ought to be avoidable and I will be particularly hard on persons whose behavior makes it difficult for others to learn. Personal attacks, for example, will not be tolerated in the classroom.

Of course there are requirements. Every course has them. Course-work consists of four elements: participation in discussion, informal writings, formal writings, and essay examinations.


a. Preparation: In order to understand what I have to say and participate in class discussions and other activities you will need to do the assigned readings. Please budget time to complete readings for the day in which they appear in the assignment and reading schedule. The readings are in two forms, which are listed below.

Recommended Reference Works: Kate L. Turabian , A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Revised by John Grossman and Alice Bennett (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1996).

Secondary Source Readings: Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (Boston: Beacon Press, 2000).

Primary Source Readings: Primary Source Selections, chiefly in paper form and available in class or in the library on reserve or on shelf. If something I have assigned may not allow fair use duplication I will indicate that will a **.

Most important for completing the assignments that are the core of this course is the The Many-Headed Hydra by Linebaugh and Rediker. I would say that you cannot pass this course without this book, so please prioritize its purchase. For the in-class assignments and the take-home assignments, the primary source readings will be crucial. If you do not have a copy of Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers, then I would also suggest that you purchase it. I will be holding you responsible for applying its contents to your writing where applicable and I will mark you down for not making appropriate use of the rules that are in Turabian's book. Both Turabian and The Many-Headed Hydra may be purchased at the campus book store. I will usually provide all paper source readings to you in class and obviously on-line readings are linked to this web syllabus. Some readings in paper form will be available in the CU Library reserve or at the CU Printing Shop. I will give notice of this in class.

b. Discussion: This may seem like a small thing and something unrelated to the real stuff (passing the exams and hammering out the papers). I cannot stress enough, however, that participation in discussion will count in your grade and that effective participation almost always improves performance in the pressure situations. I will gauge participation on a daily basis with a check, check-plus, check-minus system.

c. Informal Writings: I will assign short writing exercises to help focus our discussions and to prepare you for major assignments. The emphasis will vary from paper to paper, but each informal writing will have some connection to the four categories of writings/skills outlined in the introduction to the syllabus. Informal writing will also be graded with a check, check-plus, check-minus system and usually include comments.

d. In-Class Source Analytical Essays: At the beginning of weeks five and ten of the course you will write an in-class, source-based analytical essay for me. These essays will serve as preparation for your first historiographical essay and research paper and will also count towards your participation mark in the course, each being worth 5% of your total grade.

e. Presentations: Each of you will need to make a brief five-minute presentation of your proposed research topic for the course in the twelfth week and a ten-minute presentation of the results of your work in week sixteen.

f. Credit for Participation: I will count each day you show up in class and each informal writing as one participation measurement for which you can receive up to 10 points. In addition your in-class source-based analytical essays are worth approximately 26 more measurements and your in-class presentations a total of about 3 more measurements. To have a fair shot at an A in participation you must have a minimum of 57 measurements or a potential to recieve 570 points. If you have less than 57 measurements, then your participation grade will naturally suffer. Informal writing(s), class discussion, and the in-class essays will be worth 25% of the final grade. And, if you look at the breakdown of grading in the course, you will notice that no other portions of the course are, individually, worth more.

Papers:You will have to write one short and two major formal essays for this course, a book review, an historiographical essay and a research paper. All papers must be typed and the second paper will involve a rough draft, due in the twelfth week of class. You must turn in a rough draft that is substantially equivalent in length to the final paper you intend to turn in. The book review will be worth 15% of your final grade; the historiographical paper will be worth 30% of your final grade and the research paper 30% of your grade. Due dates for the papers are listed below. General guidelines for the papers will be available by clicking the hypertext in this sentence. You can access specific guidelines for each of these projects by looking for the due date of each paper below, where you will find hyperlinks that will take you to a page containing additional information.

Guidelines for Academic Work:

Late Papers: The following policy applies to all late papers for this course that will receive a letter grade. All papers submitted at any time through the end of class on the day that the paper is due will be considered on time. Papers submitted after that time and date, no matter what the reason may be, will be automatically marked down one grade. You will then have five days from the original due date to turn in the paper. If in that time you are unable to complete the work, the paper will receive a zero. There are two reasons for this policy. First, I want to treat everyone equally, since I believe that all of you to have an equal chance at success. Second, I do not want anyone to fall behind because your success in this course in particular depends on your keeping up with the work.

Late Informal Writings: No late informal writings will be accepted, so don't ask. Remember, though, that your participation grade is a composite of your performance in class, your in-class analytical essay and your performance on informal writings. As long as you manage to achieve a total of 57 measurements, it will not matter to me how you do so. Although I will obviously keep track of what you do by way of participation I would advise you to remain aware of where you stand for yourself so that you know whether or not you are achieving the necessary minimum level of participation.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the representation of the work of another as your own. In all of the writing you do for this course you must make clear to me which ideas in a paper are your own and which come from someone else. This is especially important for any formal essays you write. In these such essays you must cite all primary and secondary sources you use in accordance with the proper conventions. I will provide a sheet explaining the basics of citation before any formal essays come due. If for some reason you do not receive a copy of this hand-out, do not assume you will be exempt from following its guidelines as it will be available on the online syllabus. In cases of plagiarism, the Department of History and Government at CU follows the plagiarism policy in the 2000-2001 "Student Handbook," pp. 207-211. Please heed this warning.

Schedule of Readings, Discussion Topics, Assignments, and Activities

Week 1

(8/21) Introduction, Get Acquainted, and Preparation for First Assignment

(8/23) Introduction to Source Analysis

Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 1-7.

Turn In: Source analysis #1: Introductory source analysis of assigned summary of secondary and
assigned primary source listed in the footnotes of the Introduction of the
Many-Headed Hydra.

Unit 1: Understanding Primary Sources

Basic Guidelines for Reading and Understanding Primary Sources

Week 2

(8/28) Primary Sources 1: Treatises, Books, & Similar Works

Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 8-49.
plus assigned source selection: Francis Bacon, An advertisement: available at the CU Library on Reserve under History 2133.
Touching An Holy War.
Turn In: Critical source comparison exercise
(8/30) Primary Sources 2: Institutional Sources 1: Laws
Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 49-70 and
William Marshall: Draft of a Poor Law, 1536 (for England).**
Turn In: Source analysis #2
Week 3

(9/4) Primary Sources 3: Maps and Prints

Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 71-87.
plus assigned source selection.
Prepare: Your own model for reading a visual source
(9/6) Primary Sources 4: Institutional Sources 2: Church Records
Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 88-103.
plus assigned source selection from The Records of a Church of Christ in Bristol
to be picked up at the CU Library as of 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 5.
Week 4

(9/11) Primary Sources 5: Printed Pamphlets & Newspapers

Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 103-123
plus assigned source selection, to be received in class on 9/11.
Turn In: Source analysis #3
(9/13) Primary Sources 6: Travel Accounts and Travel Literature
Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 123-142
plus assigned source selection.

Week 5

(9/18) Primary Sources 7: Review and Travel Accounts and Travel Literature Continued

Turn In: Source analysis #4
Unit 2: Understanding Secondary Sources

(9/20) Secondary Sources 1: Economic History

Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 143-154
plus assigned source selection.

Week 6

(9/25) Secondary Sources 2: Cultural History

Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 154-173
plus assigned source selection.
Write: In-Class Primary Source Analysis Essay
(9/27) Secondary Sources 3: Political History
Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 174-193.

Week 7

(10/2) Secondary Sources 4: Military History

Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 193-210.
plus assigned source selection.
Turn In: Secondary source analysis #1
(10/4) Secondary Sources 5: Social History 1
Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 211-227.

Week 8

(10/9) Secondary Sources 6: Social History 2

Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 227-247
plus assigned source selection.
Turn In: Secondary source analysis #2
(10/11) Secondary Sources 7: Revolutions 1
Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 248-267
plus assigned source selection.

Week 9

(10/16) Secondary Sources 7: Revolutions 2

Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 267-286.
(10/18) Fall Break: No Class

Week 10

(10/23) Secondary Sources 9: Abolition 1

Review: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 267-286.
Turn In: Secondary source analysis #3

(10/25) Secondary Sources 10: Abolition 2

Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 287-301.

Week 11

(10/30) Secondary Sources 11: The History of Race/Ethnicity

Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 301-326.
(11/1) Secondary Sources 12: Review & In-Class Essay 2
Read: Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra, 327-354.
Turn In: Critical Book Review
Write: In-Class Secondary Source Analysis Essay
Unit 3: Putting It All Together: Research Paper

Week 12

(11/6) Research Project Presentations, Day 1

Present: Research Proposals, Group I
(11/8) Research Project Presentations, Day 2
Present: Research Proposals, Group II
Turn In: Historiographic Essay
Week 13

(11/13) How to Construct a Bibliography

(11/15) Dealing with Footnotes.

Week 14

(11/20) Writing Day

Turn In: Rough Draft of Research Paper by end of class that day for full credit.
(11/22) Thanksgiving: No Class

Week 15

(11/27) Writing Day

Exchange: Research Papers with a Peer Review Partner.
Meet With: Me individually to discuss my comments on your draft.

(11/29) Writing Day

Exchange: Research Papers with a Peer Review Partner.
Meet With: Me individually to discuss my comments on your draft.

Week 16

(12/4) Project Presentation Day

(12/6) Project Presentation Day

Final Exam Week

(12/13) Turn In Final Draft of Research Paper by 3:00 p.m. at my office, 217N West Hall.

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