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What does it mean to read, think, and write as a historian?  In English 198D, we will explore this question, drawing in part on the lectures and readings for History of the Americas 135.  The goal of English 198D is to help students critically read history texts, conduct research, develop arguments, evaluate their own writing as well as that of their colleagues, and use feedback to revise their drafts. Students will also learn to analyze history course materials for cues as to the underlying assumptions of assignments, the nature of the audience addressed, the beliefs about what counts as evidence, and the characteristic ways of building arguments in the discipline. 

Class activities in the writing link reflect the importance of writing as a means of learning.  Students will write to think through particular issues or problems as well as to articulate what they already know.  Students will do much of this writing as homework assignments that may include analyses of readings, development of group presentations, and short pieces leading to a longer paper.

English 198D uses a workshop format, with students sharing their ideas and writing in small groups and with the full class.  In addition to regular class meetings, students will also attend individual conferences with the instructor on each major essay.

Although English 198D shares some texts and assignments with History of the Americas 135, the writing class has separate reading, discussion, presentation, and writing tasks.  To do well in English 198D, however, you will need to keep up with history course lectures, discussions, and readings.  I will attend lectures and meet with history course staff, but you serve as the primary link between the courses.

My role in the writing course is to provide the tools and resources you will need to advance your own thinking about U.S. history through your writing.  I will pose questions, design activities to help you think through those questions, and respond to the substance of what you write.  Your role is to do the hard work—the critical readings, analyses, and research.  You will generate ideas, evaluate evidence, and construct arguments relevant to concerns raised in the history course.  You will revise your papers until they are as good as you can make them.



Class: MWF 10:30-11:20
Location: Mueller 154

Image of Man Entering Building Through Separate Admission

Contact: K. Gillis-Bridges
Office: Padelford A-16
Phone: 543-4892
Hours: TTh 10:30-11:30
and by appointment

Page updated 3/9/06
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