Writing in the Disciplines: History
- Catalog Description
UWP 102C. Writing in the Disciplines: History (4) Lecture/discussion-3 hours; extensive writing. Prerequisite: course 1 or English 3 or the equivalent and upper division standing. Open to majors in history or to students concurrently enrolled in an upper division course accepted for the history major. Advanced instruction in writing in the discipline of history. GE credit: Wrt (cannot be used to satisfy a college or university composition requirement and GE writing experience simultaneously). -II (II.)
- Course Goals
- To introduce students to the forms of discourse specific to history major
- To teach students to present their ideas persuasively, using the kinds of sources, forms of evidence, and types of analysis required by history courses
- To teach students the conventions of writing and source citation within history
- To give students practice in reading critically in the discipline of history
- To strengthen students' ability to organize, draft, revise, and edit their work
- Entry Level
Students should have completed UWP 1 or ENL 3 or the equivalent and have upper division standing. Students should be majoring in history or should be enrolled in an upper division history course. They should be familiar with the general principles of good writing, including organization, development, sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation.
- Topical Outline
- Understanding the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing
- Analyzing typical rhetoric situations within history; analyzing the needs, interests, and abilities of the audience; adapting one's writing to the situation
- Ascertaining the forms of discourse appropriate to history; analyzing the nature of evidence
- Reasoning and logic within the discipline of history; recognizing biases and presenting evidence fairly; finding and using appropriate sources
- Developing an effective academic and professional writing style within the context of the discipline; documenting sources using approved forms; learning the various conventions of writing for history courses
- Writing clear and focused sentences; using verbs effectively; writing coherent paragraphs; using specialized terminology appropriately
- Grading Criteria
- The course will be graded by a letter grade.
- Grades will be based on the students' performance on in- and out-of-class writing assignments and on a final exam. Students will write a minimum of 6000 words; the number of assignments, assigned topics and weight of each assignment will vary according to the instructor. Typical assignments include research papers, review papers, critiques, policy analyses, proposals, and personal statements.
Texts will vary according to the instructor, but will include either a standard textbook on style such as John Trimble's Writing with Style , or C. Edward Goode's Mightier than the Sword: Powerful Writing in Class and On the Job , or a more specialized text like Jules Benjamin's A Student's Guide to History , Steffens and Dickerson's Writer's Guide: History , Richard Marius's A Short Guide to Writing About History , or Cantor and Schneider's How to Study History . Additional reading could include various primary and/or secondary historical works and articles on historiography such as Linda Simon's "The Naked Source," Barbara Tuchman's "When Does History Happen" and "The Historian as Artist," Edward Hallet Carr's "The Historian and His Facts," and Gertrude Himmelfarb's "Tradition and Creativity in the Writing of History."
- Explanation of Potential Course Overlap
UWP 102C does not overlap with any other course. It is distinguished from UWP 102A (Writing in the Disciplines), from other UWP 102s, from UWP 101 (Advanced Composition), and from other general advanced writing courses by its focus on the writing within a specific field and from other UWP 102 adjuncts by its focus on the writing required of history majors. UWP 102C is distinguished from the companion courses by its emphasis on instruction in writing rather than on the subject matter of the companion course.
- Justification of Units
UWP 102C is a four-unit course, based on three hours per week of lecture/discussion. As with all upper division writing classes, an additional unit of credit is justified by the significant amount of work that students must do outside of class time to plan, draft, and revise the 6000 or more words of required writing. In addition to this substantial written requirement, students will meet individually with the instructor for discussion and evaluation of their work. The estimated time of preparation of the writing assignments (research, consultation, drafting, and revision) is thirty hours, an amount consistent with Carnegie Rule guidelines.