History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

HIST 300: Introduction to Historical Method

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Section Information from the Schedule of Classes for Fall 2011

HIST 300-003:
Twentieth-Century U.S. Women’s History: Going to the Archives  —  Laura Moore

01:30 PM to 04:10 PM R — 

History 300 is not like other history courses. It provides history majors with preparation for History 499 by introducing them to the process of writing an original research paper based on primary sources that students find and analyze for themselves. In this particular section, readings and research will focus on twentieth-century United States women’s history and on the excitement and challenges of finding primary sources in archival collections – which will require spending time at a research center such as GMU’s Special Collections. (Students registering for this section should note that such archives often have limited, daytime and weekday, hours.) In this writing-intensive course, students will complete weekly writing assignments, both on the required reading and on their original research. During the first few weeks of the semester, we will read examples of women’s history scholarship and discuss theoretical and methodological issues raised by them. At the same time, students will complete a series of research assignments, both on and off-campus. Paper topics will emerge out of that research (not the other way around). By the fifth week of the semester, students will have developed a research agenda and will be focusing on their own investigations, placing their research within relevant secondary literature, and writing up their findings. In addition, students will learn to read and comment on each other’s drafts. In the end, students will gain experience with the methods, challenges, and collaboration required of advanced, archival-based, historical scholarship.

Satisfies the general education requirement in synthesis.

Other Sections

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Introduces research skills and methods, as well as historical interpretation, culminating in written and oral presentations.

Satisfies General Education requirement for synthesis..


History majors with 30 credits or permission of instructor.


Topics vary according to instructor. History majors strongly urged to take HIST 300 early in their program of upper-level courses. Grade of C or better is required to graduate with BA in history.

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