The Art and Practice of Historical Writing
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is designed for graduate students completing a major or minor field in Modern European History. The objective of the course is to give participants practical experience in preparing various forms of professional writing: book reviews, review essays, dissertation proposals, fellowship proposals and grant proposals. After considering models of each genre, participants will formulate their own, submit them to the seminar and undertake common constructive criticism.
PROCEDURES: This practicum will consist of weekly meetings. In preparation for writing assignments we will first select and consider models of each format. For these sessions, all participants are asked to supply copies of recent book reviews and review essays from appropriate professional journals to serve as the basis for discussion. (The instructor will supply models and forms for dissertation, fellowship and grant proposals). Thereafter, participants will produce their own compositions, preferably on subjects related to major or minor field preparations in the Modern European area. Topics should be determined in consultation with the instructor in the intervening week. In the following session, we will collectively criticize our efforts. Each essay will be considered in detail by an individual reviewer; thereafter all are expected to comment on the work.
DEADLINES: All models and written assignments must be deposited in the History Department Office by 5:00 on the Monday before our sessions. Please supply one copy for the instructor, one for the individual reviewer and at least one for other members of the seminar. All participants are expected to read these materials by the time of our seminar meetings.
RECOMMENDED READING: The following books, available at Beck’s Bookstore, are useful guides to writing for publication.
The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed.
Jacques Barzun & Henry F. Graff, The Modern Researcher, 5th ed.
GRADES: Grades will be determined according to the following scheme. Attendance and participation will also be considered in setting the final grade.
Book Review 25%
Review Essay 25%
Dissertation Proposal 25%
Fellowship/Grant Proposal 25%
WEEK 1 (1/19) Introduction to the Course
WEEK 2 (1/26) Writing Book Reviews
WEEK 3 (2/2) Individual consultations
WEEK 4 (2/9) Critique of Book Reviews
WEEK 5 (2/16) Writing Review Essays
WEEK 6 (2/23) Individual consultations
WEEK 7 (3/2) Critique of Review Essays
WEEK 8 (3/9) No Meeting: Semester Break
WEEK 9 (3/16) Writing Dissertation Proposals
WEEK 10 (3/23) Individual consultations
WEEK 11 (3/30) Critique of Dissertation Proposals
WEEK 12 (4/6) Writing Fellowship and Grant Proposals
WEEK 13 (4/13) Individual consultations
WEEK 14 (4/20) Critique of Fellowship Proposals
WEEK 15 (4/27) Critique of Grant Proposals