Research and Writing Seminar:  Humanities in a Digital Era
TXG380 Winter 2004 (200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition)

Fridays:  9:30 AM - 2:00 PM  GWP216
Michael Kucher, Ph.D.

Thomas Jefferson's letter, page 1
Thomas Jefferson's letter page 2
Thomas Jefferson's Letter, page 3
Above:  President Thomas Jefferson's message to Congress communicating the discoveries of the explorers Lewis and Clark , 02/19/1806 
Item from Record Group 233: Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789 - 1990

The Research and Writing Seminar in the  provides students a chance to discover a topic of interest and brush up on their research skills. The Seminar will take students step-by-step through the process of picking a topic, developing a research strategy, writing a literature review, and writing multiple drafts of a final paper.  It is designed for both experienced writers who would like to catch up on the latest research techniques as well as students who have little experience in upper-division research and writing.  Required field trips to important regional research sites will be an integral part of the course.  The area of research will vary by quarter and for winter 2004 the focus will be using primary sources to document the social, cultural, and environmental impact of the exploration, settlement, and urbanization of the Pacific Northwest .  Sources will include exploration narratives, diaries, maps, ships' logs, public records, and images.  Some sources will be manuscript, some will be printed and some may even be digitized--or, students may take the initiative to digitize and publish both their source material and their projects.

Course objectives include learning to:

The course will feature a small class, considerable choice in topics within the larger framework of history of the Pacific Northwest (Winter 2004), lots of practice in writing, and frequent constructive feedback.  If you have been out of school for a while and are feeling mystified or overwhelmed by the "information explosion," this is the course for you.

Required Texts:

Amato, Joseph Anthony.  Rethinking Home : A Case for Writing Local History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.  ISBN: 0520232933 $18.95
Storey, William Kelleher.  Writing History : A Guide for Students. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.  ISBN: 0195166094   $14.95
White, Richard.  Land Use, Environment, and Social Change:  The Shaping of Island County, Washington. Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1992.  ISBN: 0295971436   $18.95

A sample chapter of Amato's book can be found here, courtesy of the University of California Press.

Optional Texts:
Booth, Wayne, Joseph M. Williams, and Gregory G. ColombThe Craft of Research  2d. ed. Chicago, 2003.  ISBN: 0226065685   $15.00
Schwantes, Carlos. The Pacific Northwest:  An Interpretive History. 2d ed. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska, Revised edition (2000)
ISBN: 0803292287   $29.95
Strunk, William, Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style (any edition will be fine, often available very cheap in used book stores).

The Oxford English Dictionary 2d ed. (the official course dictionary)
American Heritage Dictionary 4th ed.  (NOT the "college" edition.  A good, compact backup for when your internet connection to the OED is down.)

Questions: about the course can be mailed to kucher at u dot washington dot edu (please be sure to include a return address).

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All materials © 1999- 2004 Michael Kucher
updated:  30 January 2004