|| Introduction to HIS390
"Historical Controversy on the Web"
Part I: Historical argument
- Discuss the ingredients of a historical argument. They
include a thesis (line of reasoning), supporting facts, sources
for those facts. For example:
- argue that history students are interested in HIS390
- by citing their majors and presence in class [facts]
- as shown by the Registrar's printout or MyWCU [sources].
- Discuss the need for definitions to support an argument.
For example, argue that the weather on January 3, 2006 was "bad."
A Hawaiian might agree, while a Greenlander might not. Define
"bad weather" as any three of the following "less than 50 degrees
F, more than 75% humidity, visibility less than one mile, winds
greater than 5 miles per hour."
- Discuss the need to include all relevant facts and not
just the ones that support an argument. For instance, to argue
that the weather on January 3, 2006 was "bad," one might argue
that the average annual temperature is 56 degrees F and that
average cloud cover is 35%. That omits the fact that this is
January when the averages are much different.
Part II: Discuss the use of web-based materials
- Ask students how they currently use the web
- How do you know if something on the web is factual? Discuss
aspects of web site design that improve credibility.
Consider appearance, the listing of sources, and the name of the
- How do you create reference notes for web material in a
paper and on another web site? According to The Chicago
Manual of Style, 14th editon (1993), sec.15.424, in general,
a reference should contain the author, title, name of source
[type of source: i.e. database on-line, electronic bulletin
board], vol. no., date document was created [date document was
accessed], URL or other unique source. (For more up-to-date
information, see International Standards Organization standards
for referencing electronic documents.) A reference note from one
Web page to another web page should include the link written out
and an active link to the source
Part III: Planning our approach to this semester's
- Draw up a list of topics to consider
- What should we do as we read our books and web pages?
Identify the author, read footnotes and identify sources. If
quotations are presented out of context, find the original to
make sure they were presented correctly.
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