Research and Methods Course
As a history major here at MCLA, I feel one of the most beneficial courses you can take is HIST 200 Research and Bibliography. Research and Bibliography prepared me for what was in store for me with this major and what was expected of me in the history department. The ability to write a strong, arguable convincing, and well thought out research paper is a vital skill to have and that is exactly what this course did for me. It assisted in my understanding of the Chicago Manual of Citation Style (the most commonly used citation method for history students) and taught me how to gain a comprehensive understanding of subject matter that I would be studying and writing about. This annotated bibliography contains about 40 annotated sources that were used in support of a thesis statement comparing Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin in the leadership over the USSR. Below is an example of an annotated bibliography that I compiled in this course.
Research and Methods Course
HIST 205 Historiography is a very beneficial course offered here at MCLA to history majors. In this course, detailed discussions and exploration of historigraphical documents is accomplished along with a successful completion of an original historigraphical essay on the topic of your choice. This course enhanced my ability to comprehend and sort through various historigraphical approaches, furthering my understanding of different historical topics. Thus, this course allowed me to think critically about how and why events occurred in history and how they relate to the general outcomes that occurred. My historigraphical essay discusses how the Treaty of Versailles was a catalyst for the rise of Fascism in countries like Germany and Italy. Due to the preparation I received from this course, I was able to explore many edited works that enhanced my understanding and knowledge of this very difficult time in history. Below is the historigraphical essay that I wrote for this class.
Analysis and Writing
In HIST 310-01 Latin American and the United States, I researched and evaluated the extent to which the rule of Rafael Trujillo; the authoritarian dictator of the Dominican Republic during the Cold War era, was worth the political and social detriment and destruction that occurred in the Dominican Republic during his rule. Through my work with this research question and paper, I was able to gain a strong understanding of the positive outcomes of such a destructive and authoritarian leadership. I chose this topic because I was relatively unfamiliar with it before I began my research. I was interested in the Cold War era politics of the United States and thought this to be a fitting topic to wrap up this course with. Finally, my work on this paper allowed me to put into practice the tools that I had gained from both HIST 200 Research and Bibliography and HIST 205 Historiography and compile a clear, logical, and persuasively written research paper. Below is my research paper on Rafael Trujillo's authoritarian rule of the Dominican Republic.
Knowledge and Understanding
In HIST 310-02 History of India, I researched and evaluated the Indian Caste System and evaluated the extent to which it was still a major factor in Indian culture and society today. Through my research I was able to gain valuable insight on the various beliefs to the origin of the Caste System, along with use my own critical judgment to determine which one was the more realistic and appropriate in support of my argument. This course prepared me to write this research paper because a major theme of this course was how Indian culture and practices have changed and adapted over the centuries. From writing this research paper and taking this course, I was able to become more familiar with the diverse culture and chronological periods of Indian history. This also allowed me to reflect on my own culture in comparison to this vastly different society. I gained a new respect for life outside of the strict bindings of a Caste System from researching this incredibly complex social hierarchy. I chose this topic due to my previous interest in the subject and a desire to learn more. Below is my research paper from this course.
Arguments and Presentations
This section represents the highest stage of my development as a history major, the 400-level senior seminar. The senior seminar that I am highlighting here on this page was the course European Empires of the 19th Century in which I was enrolled in the spring semester of my junior year. This course explored the impacts and legacies of European imperialism in colonies all around the world. My research paper for this course was based around the impact the German's had on their African colonies during their brief stint in controlling overseas colonies. This paper explores their unique and sudden interest in obtaining colonies and the challenges they met with being one of the last European powers to obtain colonies. I chose this topic because of my interest in German history. I had written an historigraphical essay the year prior about the rise of Fascism in Germany and this sparked my interest in exploring the extent of their imperial legacy. One can see from this paper that I have a thorough ability to appropriately, and adequately access, use and evaluate primary and secondary sources in attempt to make a coherent argument. Feel free to read through my research paper below.