COURSE SYLLABUS HIST 3500, History Workshop 

Semester/Year: Fall 2019 Office Location: Crouch Hall, 406A
Semester Hours of Credit: 3 Office Phone: 963-7457
Instructor: Dr. Theron Corse Alternate Phone: 963-5471
Class meeting location: Crouch (GRD) 417
Day and Time: MW, 2:20-3:45 pm
  Office Hours: MWF: 9:30-11;  TR: 9:30-11:00, 1-2:00

A Few Writing Resources

Assignments:  1.Short Bibliography  2. Annotated Bibliography  3. Book Review 4. Historiographic Essay 5. Grading Rubric for the Historiographic Essay 6. Presentations 7. Ward Textbook Assignment

COURSE DESCRIPTION HIST 3500 is an introduction to history as an academic discipline and professional vocation.  The course traces the development of history as a specialized field, explores its philosophical foundations, and introduces students to the methods, practices, and career opportunities of professional historians.

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GOALS AND OBJECTIVES Course Rationale and Audience:

HIST 3500 is designed to provide students with the foundation for upper-level undergraduate studies in History.  The course is primarily intended for students majoring in History or pursuing a History concentration within another major program.  It should generally be completed during the first semester of a student's junior year and is a prerequisite to HIST 4500 (Senior Project).  Although there are no formal prerequisites for HIST 3500, entering students should have completed the University's general education core and possess the thinking and communication skills necessary for success in the course. 

Course Objectives:

The goal of HIST 3500 is to familiarize students with History as an academic discipline and equip them with the basic knowledge and skills necessary for historical research and writing.  Students completing HIST 3500 should be able to:


describe the development of historical writing from early times to the present;


discuss the development of History as an academic discipline;


explain the relationship of History to other academic disciplines;


describe the institutions and activities of professional historians in the United States and other countries;


explain the processes through which historians discover knowledge about the past;


identify and use effectively the research resources most commonly used by historians;


quote, paraphrase, summarize, and cite sources properly;


identify and critically assess theses, arguments, and points of dialogue and debate among historians; and


present an original analysis of historical scholarship in a well-written historiographic essay.

Instructional Methodology:

As indicated in the course title, HIST 3500 is a seminar or workshop.  Although the course meets consistently and includes some class lectures, the primary elements of instruction and learning are class assignments, discussion, guided reading, and the preparation of the course essay.  In each of these areas, initiative, active participation, and independent learning are vital to students' success in the course.  Resources available to students outside of class include instructor office hours and the online message board for the course.


  • Required: Conal Furay and Michael J. Salevouris, The Methods and Skills of History: A Practical Guide, 4th edition (Wheeling, Illinois: Harlan Davidson, 2000). ISBN  978-1-118-74534-2 
  • Required: Kyle Ward. History in the Making: An Absorbing Look at how American History has Changed in the Telling over the Last 200 Years (New York: The New Press) ISBN 1595582157 
  • Recommended: Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th edition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007). ISBN 0226823377 
  • Films: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great Part 2 - with Michael Wood (On YouTube it's called "In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great - Travel to Afghanistan."

The Furay and Salevouris book can be acquired as en ebook at this link.

The Ward book is available as an ebook download at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

EVALUATION Grades will be based on the assignments listed below. Assignments will be weighted as follows:  
Grade Distribution
Class Participation 10%
Homework 25%
Ward Textbook Assignment  05%
Short Bibliography 05%
Annotated Bibliography 10%
Book Review 15%
Historigraphic Essay Draft 10%
Historigraphic Essay 20%
Total 100%


Grades and their numerical equivalents are as follows:
Grading Scale
90 or above A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
59 or below F
Excessive Absence WN


Office Hours: Students who seek help with instructors during office hours get better grades. Do not wait until you have major problems! Students should speak to me any time they find themselves confused about material, directions, or grades. I am always ready to help any student who needs help with any of the material or any assignment. That's my job. 

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READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS Readings are taken from Methods and SkillsHistory in the Making, handouts, and the Internet. Readings and assignments for the Tuesday meeting are marked "T" and for the Thursday meeting they are marked "R." Homework assignments are due at the beginning of the class period. There will be a ten-point per day deduction for late homework assignments.

Readings Marked "Chapter" are from the Methods book. Numbers in parentheses are for the 4th edition. Readings marked "Ward" are from History in the Making

Weeks Dates Topic, Readings, Homework Major Assignments


Aug 19, 21
  • Introduction
  • The History of History
    • Chapter 13 (14)


2 Aug 26, 28
  • History and Other Disciplines
    • Chapter 15, Exercise 1
  • Doing History
    • Chapter 1
    • Chapter 2, Set A, Exercises 1-3


Sep 2, 4
  • Introduction to Historical Analysis
    • Ward # 1
  • Introduction to Historical Analysis
    • Ward # 1


Sep 9, 11
  • Introduction to Historical Analysis
    • Ward # TBA
  • Introduction to Historical Analysis
    • Ward # TBA



Sep 16, 18
  • Continuity and Change
    • Chapter 3, Set A, Exercise 1; Ward #8
  • Causation in History/Judgment and Objectivity
    • Chapter 4, Set A, Exercises 1-2


Sep 23, 25
  • Continuity and Change
    • Chapter 3, Set A, Exercise 1; Ward #8
  • Causation in History/Judgment and Objectivity
    • Chapter 4, Set A, Exercises 1-2
  • Causation in History/Judgment and Objectivity
    • Chapter 5, Set A, Exercises 1-2
  • Introduction to Historical Analysis
    • Ward # 22, 23


Ward Textbook Assignment Due Sep 25


Sep 30. Oct 2
  • Causation in History/Judgment and Objectivity
    • Chapter 5, Set A, Exercises 1-2
  • Libraries
    • Chapter 7, Set A, Exercises 1-2; Ward #32
  • Evaluating Arguments;
    • Chapter 8, Set B, Exercises 1-3; Ward #37
Short Bibliography Due Oct 2
8 Oct 7, 9




Oct 14, 16 Book Review Due Oct 16
10 Oct 21, 23    
11 Oct 28, Oct 30
  • Oral History and Statistics
    • Chapter 11, Set A, Exercises 1-2
  • Writing a History Essay
    • Chapter 13, Set A, Exercises 1-2




12 Nov 4, 6


13 Nov 11, 13 Annotated Bibliography  Nov 14

Class Assignment: 
Look over the Nashville Historic Commission site to get an idea what they do. Read at least a few of the historic markers. Visit in person or online (links not always available, but you all know how to use Google) at least one historic site in Nashville.
14 Nov 20, 22


15 Nov 27, 29

Fall Break and Thanksgiving 

Historiographic Essay Draft  Due Nov 30
16 Dec 2-7 Historiographic Essay  Due Dec 6  


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REQUIREMENTS Assignments Assignments for this class will include reading, writing, and special projects. Readings maybe assigned not only from the text, but also from photocopied materials, library books, and Internet sources. Students are responsible for all work assigned in this class, whether or not they are present. Assignments must be completed on time. Late work will be penalized unless you have a good excuse, and no assignments will be accepted more than one week late. All students are expected to participate regularly in class discussions.  

Attendance and Punctuality

Attendance and Punctuality: Attendance and punctuality are expected of all students. Students are responsible for all material, tests and assignments, regardless of attendance or punctuality. The professor is under no obligation to give make-ups or accept late work caused by unexcused absence or tardiness. The professor reserves the right to deduct from the student's participation grade for more than three unexcused absences and to deduct up to a letter grade from the final grade for excessive unexcused absences (10% of class hours). The professor reserves the right to fail students who miss more that 20% of class hours. Thos students who know that they will have a consistent problem due to scheduling conflicts should discuss this with the professor at the beginning of the semester.

Last Day to Withdraw - Nov 3

Special Note on Academic Honesty

Students should be aware that a university is a community of scholars committed to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge and truth. Without freedom to investigate all materials, scrupulous honesty in reporting findings, and proper acknowledgment of credit, such a community can not survive. Students are expected to adhere to the highest traditions of scholarship. Infractions of these traditions, such as plagiarism  and other forms of cheating, are not tolerated. Misrepresenting someone else's words or ideas as one's own constitutes plagiarism. In cases where plagiarism occurs, the instructor has the right to penalize the student(s) as he or she thinks appropriate. As a general guideline, I given students a zero on the assignment for the first offence and an "F" in the course for a second offence, but I reserve the right to give a student an "F" in the course for any offence. When in doubt as to whether use of any material or idea would constitute plagiarism, ask the instructor. 

Class Participation

Class Participation: Preparation: since students are expected to participate in class discussion, it is important to complete all the assigned readings before coming to class. Students are expected to understand the material, or to have identified what they do not yet understand in order to ask questions in class. All students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned material.

Students are expected to observe normal courtesy in class. They are expected to pay attention to the instructor, to take detailed notes, to refrain from personal conversation, and to avoid any other behavior that disturbs others. A student who does not observe these courtesies maybe asked to leave the room. 

Accommodation for Disabilities:

The Department of History, Geography, and Political Science, in conjunction with the Office of Disabled Student Services, makes reasonable accommodation for qualified students with medically documented disabilities.  If you need an accommodation, please contact Dan Steely of TSU's Disabled Student Services Office at 963-7400 (phone) or 963-5051 (fax).

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Back to Contents Last Updated: Aug 27, 2012