HISTORY 495S: Senior Thesis Seminar

Course Information

Instructor: Prof. Janet Ewald

Designed to introduce qualified students to advanced methods of historical research and writing, and to the appraisal of critical historical issues. Open only to seniors, but not restricted to candidates for graduation with distinction.


Student Writing Assignment

What are students writing? An honors thesis.
For whom? Readers with graduate training in history but no prior knowledge of student’s topic or area.
Where would such writing typically be found? The writing is akin to academic journal writing.
Why would someone usually read it? Because they are interested in the topic.


Readers Needed: Professionals with graduate training in history.


Student-Reader Interactions

Intro mtg: [Sept 11 – 18]

  • discuss “rough draft of intro” ~5-10pp [due 3rd week]:
  • Feedback questions:
    • Do you understand the research question?
    • Is it clear how this research fits in with prior research (gap)?

Chapter draft: due –varies between week 4 ( Sept 22) and end of Oct

  • students send draft of Ch to readers when sending to class
  • Written feedback from reader w/in one week
  • Meet to discuss draft and FB within 2 weeks of sending

Revised Chapter: Nov 1 – end of term

  • students send revised draft of Ch to readers when sending to class
  • Written feedback from reader and mtg to discuss draft/feedback before end of term

Spring Term:

  • Continue to read and offer suggestions on further drafts; students and reader should arrange timeline at beginning of semester.