The Practicing Historian (HIST*2450) | College of Arts

The Practicing Historian (HIST*2450)

Code and section: HIST*2450*01

Term: Winter 2020

Instructor: Norman Smith


Course Synopsis:

The Practicing Historian examines the discipline of history, with special focus on developments from the nineteenth century. Students will strengthen critical and creative thinking skills through in-class engagement, critical reading exercises, and the writing of a term paper and two exams. Students will learn how to identify and evaluate primary and secondary sources, and incorporate them into their work. Communication skills will be enhanced through writing as well as through participation in seminar discussions and a presentation. Through the course of the term, students will become familiar with major differences in approaches to the understanding and study of history and will assess their own determinations of changes in the field of history. Global understanding will be enhanced by consideration of the importance of history in various societies around the world. Professional and ethical behaviour will be enhanced through encouraging critical and respectful approaches to varied forms of historical study and through the development of research techniques.

Course Arrangements

There are generally two lectures and one seminar per week. Free questioning during lectures is encouraged. Regular discussion is expected in seminars. Attendance in the course is recommended for students to maximize their university experience.


There are no prerequisites for this course

Course Requirements

There are five grade components:

  1. Critical Evaluation / Presentation Assignment (10%)
  2. Mid-term Exam (25%)
  3. Term Paper (25%)
  4. Final Exam (30%)
  5. Participation (10%)

Texts and/or Resources Required:

Jeremy Black and Donald M. MacRaild, Studying History. New York: Palgrave, 2017.

*Please note: This is a preliminary web course description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the



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