Making History 2022-23
School Of History, Law And Social Sciences
Module - Semester 2
The first part of the course is concerned with the use of the past made by historians and commentators such as politicians, the way traditions are invented (and destroyed), and introduces the different historiographical schools. It will look at various ideas about the study and writing of history which have developed over the last two centuries and which students need to understand in order to engage confidently with the different approaches which professional historians take to their work.
The second part will focus entirely on preparing for the dissertation. Students will be told about the structure and process behind the dissertation. They will choose a topic and will then discuss their ideas with a supervisor. Students will then conduct a literature search and a literature review, specific to this chosen area of research. These will be discussed with the supervisor.
Lectures 1-5 will cover key historiographical developments and the 6-10 may include the following topics:
- Broad introduction to the dissertation.
- Subject specific introduction to the dissertation.
- Discuss the topic with a supervisor.
- Do a literature search/bibliography and report back to the supervisor.
- Draft a literature review and discuss it with the supervisor. Agree on a timetable for the dissertation.
-threshold -Threshold students (D- and D) will have done only a minimum of reading, and their work will often be based partly on lecture notes and/or basic textbooks. They will demonstrate in their written assessments some knowledge of at least parts of the relevant field, and will make at least partially-successful attempts to frame an argument which engages with historical controversies, but they will fail to discuss some large and vital aspects of a topic; and/or deploy only some relevant material but partly fail to combine it into a coherent whole; and/or deploy some evidence to support individual points but often fail to do so and/or show difficulty weighing evidence (thereby relying on unsuitable or irrelevant evidence when making a point). The work may lose focus and may have irrelevant or atypical evidence. Alternatively or additionally, the presentation of the work might also be poor, with bad grammar and/or punctuation, careless typos and spelling errors, and a lack of effective and correct referencing. They will contribute to discussion boards, but these contributions may be sporadic, or cursory. The literature review will discuss some works on the topic, but there may be obvious gaps, and the coverage will tend heavily to description of basic contents of works, rather than placing them within historiographic trends or disputes. There may be doubts if it could be developed into a satisfactory introduction to a dissertation on the topic. -good -Good students (B- to B+) will demonstrate a solid level of achievement and depth of knowledge in all the criteria in the C- to C+ range, and will in addition exhibit constructive engagement with different types of historical writing and historiographical controversies. Ideas will be communicated effectively and written work will include a good range of sources/reading and demonstrate a clear understanding of the issues and of the existing interpretations expressed in a well-structured, relevant, and focused argument. Students at the top end of this band will engage with and critique the ideas that they come across, and synthesise the various interpretations they find to reach their own considered conclusions. Written work will be correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate. will exhibit constructive engagement with different types of historical writing and historiographical controversies. Ideas will be communicated effectively in both verbal and written forms. They will contribute frequently to discussion boards, making thoughtful and relevant points, and sometimes leading discussion. The literature review will be fairly comprehensive and reasonably analytic, indicating an awareness of the key issues and disputes between scholars. not only what historians have said. It would form the basis of a competent introduction to a dissertation on the topic. -excellent -Excellent students (A- and above) will show strong achievement across all the criteria combined with particularly impressive depths of knowledge and/or subtlety of analysis. In written work, they will support their arguments with a wealth of relevant detail/examples. They will also demonstrate an acute awareness of the relevant historiography and give an account of why the conclusions reached are important within a particular historical debate. They may show a particularly subtle approach to possible objections, nuancing their argument in the light of counter-examples, or producing an interesting synthesis of various contrasting positions. Overall, the standards of content, argument, analysis and standards of presentation will be high. They will be enthusiastic and stimulating contributors to discussion boards, often changing the ways in which topics are being discussed with their originality. The literature review will be comprehensive and fully analytic, indicating not only what historians have said, but clearly identifying the core of the disputes between them, and suggesting ways in which further research or reconceptualisations may move discussion on in future. It would form the basis of an outstanding introduction to a dissertation on the topic. -another level-Students in this band (C- to C+) will demonstrate a solid and satisfactory range of achievement or depth of knowledge of most parts of the module, and will make successful, if occasionally inconsistent, attempts to develop those skills appropriate to the study of History at undergraduate level. In the case of the written assessments, the answers will attempt to focus on the question, although might drift into narrative, and will show some evidence of solid reading and research. The argument might lose direction and might not be adequately clear at the bottom of this category. Written work will be presented reasonably well with only limited errors in grammar, punctuation, and referencing, and not to the extent that they obscure meaning. They will contribute to discussion boards reasonably fully, but their contributions may be a little derivative, with only limited evidence of individual insight or analysis. The literature review will be survey some relevant works, but there may be some obvious gaps, and it may not be fully analytic. It would form the basis of an adequate, but not strong, introduction to a dissertation on the topic.
- An abiity to demonstrate an understanding of the way in which the discipline of history has developed, especially in recent decades, and an awareness of some the various influential schools of historical thought.
- An ability to demonstrate an appreciation of the role of identity as a factor in our use of the past, and of the role of views of the past in political movements.
- An ability to evaluate the different ways in which the past may be understood, and of the extent to which it is a creation of later generations and subject to interpretation and controversy.
- An ability to present clear, cogent, evidence-supported and referenced arguments about aspects of the course in degree essay and in a literature search and review.
- An ability to reflect critically on scholarly apparatus and the skills required to compile a critical bibliography and literature review and to present a summary of key historiographies in a concise form
Discussion board contribution