Defining Your Research (10% of grade)

Research and writing for your digital exhibit is a process that should continue throughout the semester. Once you have selected your topic, you will draft a summary of your research question, sources that you will use, and your basic thesis or problem.

The essay will be mounted on the wiki, with a link from your student wiki page. It should be revised throughout the semester as you conduct research. It will be graded twice.

First draft is due on Sept. 29 (Week 4). This should be a rough draft, its conclusions may be tentative, it may not have all the sources in place, and may include a section on further work to be done. Students will present and discuss these drafts in class.

Format of draft:

  1. General topic of the exhibit
  2. How does it fit into larger history of topic, place or time? How you are approaching the topic.
  3. What secondary sources do you plan to use?
  4. What steps do you need to take in order to complete the exhibit.

The first draft should include a [[module Comments]] line at the end of the essay so that classmates can offer suggestions and ideas.

Final version is due on Nov. 24 (Week 12). By this point you should have a more final version, with a clear thesis for your exhibit, a discussion of the most useful secondary sources and how they impact your thesis, and an outline for how you will explore your topic via the exhibit structure. Students will discuss changes since the first draft in class.


  1. General topic of the exhibit
  2. How the exhibit topic fits into larger historiography of topic, place, or time
  3. How you integrated work of other historians into your research
  4. How you will structure your exhibit

Grading Criteria


Were the essays completed? On time? Were the posts well-written? Did they contain typographical errors?


Have you found a historical question with sufficient depth for an exhibit? Have you identified the main research sources to assist you? Have you made reasonable arguments and assumptions?

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