HSTRY 492 A: Honors Historical Method

Winter 2023
T 1:30pm - 3:20pm / SMI 111
Section Type:
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

UW Campus Day 1906

UW Campus Day, 1906. Description from UW Special Collections: "This was an annual event from 1904 to 1934. Students and faculty worked together to clear land and improve the campus, with a break for a communal meal." When you are hard at work on your thesis and feeling sorry for yourself, just remember: at least UW students no longer have to go to work cutting down trees and clearing logs. Full information here.



Syllabus in Word

Tuesday 1:30-3:30 PM | Smith 109

Instructor: Professor Margaret O’Mara (momara@uw.edu, Smith 312A)


HSTRY 492 is the second of a two-quarter research seminar for History honors students, following successful completion of HSTRY 491 in Autumn 2022. The main objective of the 491-492 sequence is to give you an opportunity to develop an historical research project on a topic of your choosing.

In HSTRY 492, you will continue your research and consultation with your faculty co-advisor toward completion of your thesis. You will work together as peers to review and provide constructive feedback on one another’s work. At the end of Winter term, each of you will present your findings to History faculty, staff, fellow students, family and friends, at a final research symposium. You also are encouraged to submit a proposal for and participate in the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium in Spring 2023.

Your final product in this sequence is a thesis paper of scope and caliber of an article that could be submitted to a peer-reviewed academic journal. Your target length for this paper should be approximately 10,000-12,000 words, or between 30-40 double-spaced pages, including footnotes but excluding bibliography. The final paper will be read, commented, and graded jointly by me and your faculty co-advisor.

Required Reading (Continued from AUT 2022)

Zachary M. Schrag, The Princeton Guide to Historical Research (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2021)

The Chicago Manual of Style Online (17th edition)

Additional recommended guides:

  • Anthony Brundage, Going to the Sources
  • Richard Marius and Melvin E. Page, A Short Guide to Writing About History
  • Mary Lynn Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History
  • Jenny L. Presnell, The Information-Literate Historian
  • Willian Kelleher Storey, Writing History

Assignments & Grading

You will receive a single grade for your cumulative work in HSTRY 491 and HSTRY 492 at the end of Winter 2023. If you have completed all assignments and made satisfactory progress on your research project, you will receive a grade of "N" (In Progress) for HSTRY 491 at the end of Autumn 2022.

The grade you receive at the conclusion of the two quarter 491-492 sequence will be determined as follows, with this quarter’s work highlighted in bold:

Participation: 20% (10% HSTRY 491, 10% HSTRY 492

Scaffolded Research and Writing Assignments: 35%

Weekly Research & Writing Journal: 5% (HSTRY 491)

Historiographical essay: 5% (HSTRY 491)

Annotated bibliography of primary sources: 5% (HSTRY 491)

Prospectus (draft & final): 10% (HSTRY 491)

Draft of thesis paper: 10% (HSTRY 492)

Final Thesis Paper: 45% (HSTRY 492)

Class Schedule

This quarter we will alternate meeting in person with meeting on Zoom for group writing sessions during our scheduled class time. After signing on and checking in, we will spend two 45-minute blocks writing simultaneously, separated by a 15-minute break for chatting and catching up. Full schedule is below, with assignment due dates in italics (submit on Canvas by 11:59PM).

Tues Jan 3     meet and catch up, review schedule for quarter, discuss outlining

Mon Jan 9     full-sentence outline of thesis paper (2-3pp)

Tues Jan 10   no meeting – Zoom writing group

Tues Jan 17   no meeting – Zoom writing group

Wed Jan 18   class dinner 7PM location TBD

Mon Jan 23   first draft section of thesis paper (8-10pp)

Tues Jan 24   meet and discuss first sections

Tues Jan 31   no meeting – Zoom writing group

Mon Feb 6     second draft section of thesis paper (8-10pp)

Tues Feb 7     meet and discuss second sections, how to write introductions

Mon Feb 13   draft of introduction

Tues Feb 14   no meeting – Zoom writing group

Tues Feb 21   no meeting – Zoom writing group

Mon Feb 27   draft of full thesis paper    

Tues Feb 28  meet and discuss drafts and revision tactics; presentation rehearsals I (12-15 min each, 6 students)

Mon Mar 6    draft of presentation script for History Honors symposium

Tues Mar 7    feedback/questions on presentation group I; presentation rehearsals II (12-15 minutes each, 6 students)

Fri Mar 10     History Honors Symposium 10:30a-4:45p 

Wed Mar 15  thesis due

Student Hours

My Winter 2023 office hours are from 10-11 on Tuesday and Thursday. You can drop in if my door is open (Smith 312A), or sign up in advance for an in-person or virtual appointment here.

Catalog Description:
The purposes, materials, and techniques of historical scholarship. Theory, practice, and criticism. For honors students.
GE Requirements Met:
Social Sciences (SSc)
Writing (W)
Last updated:
June 13, 2024 - 1:21 am