HIST 103: INTRODUCTION TO HISTORY

Fall 2016

Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00-11:15 am, in SOS Z-27

Instructor: Mark R. Baker, Ph.D.
Office: SOS-136; phone: 0212-338-1399

email: mbaker@ku.edu.tr
(I am most easily accessible via email, but phone is fine too.)

Office hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, 11:30-12:30

Course Description: What is history? In this course we will explore this question in depth. A definitive answer is unlikely, but we can examine and discuss the various ways in which historians have attempted to understand and write about the past. The course catalogue provides this description: "The philosophy of history and various methodological approaches used in studying the past. Critical reading and writing skills emphasized." Our focus will be on the latter, with some attention to the former. I do not have any desire to lecture on the various historical approaches of historians over the centuries; this method strikes me as tedious and boring. My approach instead is to help students learn the tools to research and write history papers, in effect, to do history, and thereby to develop crucial skills for more advanced courses. HIST 103 is a required course for all freshman/sophomore history majors. It is taught every other fall semester and is a prerequisite for HIST 404.

Course Learning Objectives: By the end of this course, students will (hopefully) be able:

  • To understand various approaches to the study of the past, and how these approaches have changed over time.
  • To be able to develop a good historical question, one that is limited, interpretive, and in some sense original.
  • To write a concise, high quality, critical, and clearly presented summary of a chosen history book, article or film.
  • To read, critically analyze, and write about historical documents.
  • To learn the skills needed to research and write a research paper on a topic of their own choosing (this is the hardest part).

Reading Requirements: Readings for this course will appear in the course outline below by date. Students are required to do the readings listed for a particular date before the class period on that specific date. All listed readings are required. We will discuss them regularly at each class.

Books (both are in the university bookstore and both are required):

  • Furay, Conal, and Michael J. Salevouris. The Methods and Skills of History: A Practical Guide. 4th ed. London: Wiley and Sons, 2015. ISBN: 9781118745441
  • Marius, Richard, and Melvin E. Page. A Short Guide to Writing About History. 8th ed. London: Longman, 2014. ISBN: 9781292027401

NB: Whenever a reading is assigned from one of these books, you must bring this book to that class.

Interesting and useful links:

Assignment
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Research Paper Preparatory Assignments (1-5): Instead of writing a complete research paper, in this class we will work on the essential parts that make up to such a paper, but not the paper itself. Here are the parts:

 

1. Paper Proposal: DUE 17 October 2016 by 9:00 am: Click here to see description of the paper proposal. Please submit to www.turnitin.com (Class ID: 13655073; password: Namier). To see an example of a paper proposal click here. [Read here how to develop a good historical question.]

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2. Bibliography: DUE: 2 November 2016 by 9:00 am: a minimum of TEN scholarly sources closely related to your research topic in correct Chicago Style. Click here to view the basic guide for using Chicago Manual of Style citations. Your bibliography's citations must be in the format described under "Notes and Bibliography." In addition, you need to annotate the entries. Please submit to www.turnitin.com (Class ID: 13655073; password: Namier). To see an example of an annotated bibliography click here.

Click here for tips on researching your topic.

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3. Document analysis: DUE 5 December 2016 by 9:00 am: an analysis of one or more documents that could be used to help prove the thesis of the research paper. The analysis should be critical, explaining the problems of bias in the source and how it could be used to help prove a thesis. Please submit to www.turnitin.com (Class ID: 13655073; password: Namier).

For what to include in your document analysis, click here.

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4. Book/Article Critique: DUE 30 December 2016 by 23:00: One 3-4 page, critical, clearly argued critique of a book or scholarly article of your choosing, but related to your research topic, and with prior approval from the instructor. Click here to read the Book/Article Critique Assignment.
Click here to view an example of a well-written article critique. Please submit to www.turnitin.com by 9:00 am (Class ID: 13655073; password: Namier).

Click here for tips on researching your topic.

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Participation: Our classes will be mostly discussion, involving a great deal of student participation. Therefore, it is crucial that students do the readings in advance, come prepared to discuss them, and to answer the discussion questions. I will take attendance at each class, but this will not translate directly into a participation grade. Attendance is a minimum requirement; students will be graded on the quality as well as the quantity of their participation. Students are allowed a maximum of four absences. Any further absences will result in a grade of "F" in the course. Students will also lose participation points for bad behavior, disrupting class, leaving early, chatting to other students unnecessarily, or using their mobile phones.

Discussion Questions will also be part of the participation grade: Each student must submit two unique discussion questions for each common reading. due by 9:00 am of the day on which we will be discussing this reading.

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Extra work: If upon completing all these assignments, a student is not satisfied with her or his grade, she or he may decide to write the actual research paper, 10-12 pages in length, following all the standards explained in the course. The grade on this extra assignment will be averaged with the combined grades of the Research Preparatory Assignments. Students deciding to do this must inform the instructor by 28 December 2016, earlier if possible.

 

Very important rules:

  • Late assignments will be accepted, but one-third of a grade per day will be deducted (for example, a "B-" paper that is one day late will become a "C+" paper).
  • Make-up quizzes will be permitted only with written verification of medical or personal emergencies. I am a historian; I require written evidence.
  • Students are allowed a maximum of four absences. Any further absences will result in a grade of "F" in the course. Students will also lose participation points for bad behavior, disrupting class, leaving early, chatting to other students unnecessarily, or using their mobile phones.
  • Each student should read Koc University's Student Code of Conduct, especially concerning Academic Dishonesty. Using words from any source without placing them in quotation marks and citing the source is plagiarism. Submitting a paper (in whole or part) that was submitted for any other course is also plagiarism. Looking at another student's exam or using any outside sources during an examination is cheating. A course grade of 'F' will be applied in all proven instances of cheating and plagiarism.
  • Turnitin.com: Students and the instructor will be using www.turnitin.com to learn about and check for plagiarism on all written assignments (except the discussion questions). All students will need to register with www.turnitin.com in the first week of class. (Class ID: 13655073; password: Namier [NB: case sensitive])
  • You MUST check your email account on a regular basis in order to do well in this course. I frequently send email messages about upcoming events concerning the course, as well as handouts and other course materials. If you are not in the habit of checking your Koc email regularly, you will need to start, or else have your email forwarded to whatever email address you do use regularly.
  • Be on time for class; if you need to leave class early, please let me know in advance.
  • The classroom is a public forum for dialogue. Hence, all electronic communication devices (especially cell phones and pagers) must be turned off during class.
  • Students unable to comply with any of these guidelines should see me personally and immediately to discuss their reasons.

Course Outline: Readings are to be completed before class on the day on which they are listed below. Students should plan to spend several hours each week outside of class time reading, taking notes, reviewing notes, and posing questions. In addition, they will need to work on the various writing assignments throughout the semester. Please bring all relevant materials to class, especially your discussion questions and the textbooks.

dd.mm.yr
Topics and readings

26.09.2016

Introduction to syllabus, course, and history as a practice

Document analysis practice: Treaty of Alliance Between Germany and Turkey, 2 August 1914

28.09.2016

The History of Historical Practice: Discussion Questions

Reading: Conal Furay and Michael J. Salevouris, The Methods and Skills of History: A Practical Guide, 4th ed. (Oxford: Wiley and Sons, 2015), [hereafter "Furay and Salevouris, Methods"] Chapter 14, pp. 255-270 [pdf].

DUE: Discussion questions due by 9:00 am (email: mbaker@ku.edu.tr).

Click here to view pdf of student's questions.

03.10.2016

Approaches to the Past: Discussion Questions

Reading: Richard Marius and Melvin E. Page, A Short Guide to Writing about History, 8th ed. (London: Pearson, 2014), [hereafter "Marius and Page, Short Guide"] Chapter 1, pp. 1-25.

DUE: Discussion questions due by 9:00 am (email: mbaker@ku.edu.tr).

Click here to view pdf of student's questions.

05.10.2016

Researching the Topic

Click here to see description of the paper proposal.

Worried about your grammar skills? Check out this site: Grammar Girl: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/

Reading: Marius and Page, Short Guide, Chapter 2, pp. 27-61.

DUE: Discussion questions due by 9:00 am (email: mbaker@ku.edu.tr).

Click here to view pdf of student's questions.

10.10.2016

The Uses and Abuses of History

Reading: Furay and Salevouris, Methods, Chapter 1.

12.10.2016

Reconstructing the Past

Reading: Furay and Salevouris, Methods, Chapter 2.

17.10.2016

How to write a film critique as a historian

Reading: Furay and Salevouris, Methods, Chapter 9.

[Link to film]

DUE by 9:00 am: PAPER PROPOSALS: Please submit to www.turnitin.com by 9:00 (Class ID: 13655073; password: Namier [NB: case sensitive])
Click here to see description of the paper proposal. To see an example of a paper proposal with annotated bibliography click here. Read here how to develop a good historical question.

Click here to read the Tips for Better Writing Guide.

19.10.2016

More on Researching the Topic

Reading: Furay and Salevouris, Methods, Chapter 7.

24.10.2016

Historians and Change over Time

Reading: Furay and Salevouris, Methods, Chapter 3.

26.10.2016

Multiple Causality in Historical Thinking

Reading: Furay and Salevouris, Methods, Chapter 4.

31.10.2016

How to think contextually about the Past

Reading: Furay and Salevouris, Methods, Chapter 5.

02.11.2016

DUE by 9:00 am: BIBLIOGRAPHY: Please submit to www.turnitin.com by 9:00 (Class ID: 13655073; password: Namier [NB: case sensitive])

To see an example of an annotated bibliography click here.

Click here for tips on researching your topic.

07.11.2016

Interpreting Evidence, how to read sources

Reading: Furay and Salevouris, Methods, Chapter 10.

09.11.2016

How to make notes and begin to write

Reading: Marius and Page, Short Guide, Chapter 3: "Notes and Drafts," pp. 64-89.

DUE: Discussion questions due by 9:00 am (email: mbaker@ku.edu.tr).

14.11.2016

History as Story Telling: We all like to tell stories

Reading: Furay and Salevouris, Methods, Chapter 6.

16.11.2016

How to read history

Reading: Furay and Salevouris, Methods, Chapter 8.

21.11.2016

Interpreting Evidence, how to read sources

Reading:

Marie Antoinette's letter to her mother, Maria Theresa, 14 June 1773 [link]

Marie Antoinette's last letter, to her sister-in-law, Madame Elisabeth, 16 October 1793 [link]

23.11.2016

Reading Primary Sources Critically

We will analyze more documents, first from Salevouris and Furay (pp. 179-196), and then your own documents for your document analysis.

28.11.2016

Properly citing sources: How not to plagiarize

Reading: Marius and Page, Short Guide, Chapter 5: "Documenting Sources," pp. 124-135.

30.11.2016

Finding your voice and style

Reading: Marius and Page, Short Guide, Chapter 4: "Voice and Style," pp. 91-122.

DUE: Discussion questions due by 9:00 am (email: mbaker@ku.edu.tr).

05.12.2016

Interpreting the Past

Reading: No reading for this day; students should focus on completing their document analyses.

DUE by 9:00 am: DOCUMENT ANALYSIS: Please submit to www.turnitin.com by 9:00 (Class ID: 13655073; password: Namier [NB: case sensitive])

For what to include in your document analysis, click here.

Click here to read the Tips for Better Writing Guide.

07.12.2016

Interpreting the Past

Reading: Furay and Salevouris, Methods, Chapter 12.

12.12.2016

How to read a scholarly article.

I will assign a scholarly article, which students will read before class, and then we will critique at class.

Scholarly article: Quataert, Donald. "Clothing Laws, State, and Society in the Ottoman Empire, 1720-1829." International Journal of Middle East Studies 29, no. 3 (1997): 403-25. http://www.jstor.org/stable/164587.

14.12.2016

How to write a high quality history paper

Reading: Furay and Salevouris, Methods, Chapter 13.

19.12.2016

How to read a scholarly article.

I will assign a scholarly article, which students will read before class, and then we will critique at class.

Scholarly article: Yucel Yanikdag, "Ottoman Prisoners of War in Russia, 1914-22," Journal of Contemporary History 34, no. 1 (January 1999): 69-85.

21.12.2016

Individual help for students working on article/book critique

26.12.2016

Oral History and Statistics

Reading: Furay and Salevouris, Methods, Chapter 11.

DUE: Discussion questions due by 9:00 am (email: mbaker@ku.edu.tr).

DUE by 9:00 am: BOOK/ARTICLE CRITIQUE: Please submit to www.turnitin.com by 9:00 am (Class ID: 13655073; password: Namier [NB: case sensitive])

28.12.2016

History and its interaction with other ways to study humans

Reading: Furay and Salevouris, Methods, Chapter 15.

DUE: Discussion questions due by 9:00 am (email: mbaker@ku.edu.tr).

Last day of classes!

DUE by 9:00 am: Students must inform me on this date whether they will be writing a Research Paper!

4.01.2017

No Class!

Research Paper (an extra assignment, not required) DUE 4 January 2017:

Please submit to www.turnitin.com by 9:00 (Class ID: 13655073; password: Namier [NB: case sensitive])

Click here to read the Tips for Better Writing Guide.