HUMN 7051 How to Write History

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102661

Coordinator Alison M Downham Moore Opens in new window

Description This subject introduces students to specific styles of historical methodology, considering how each of these styles alter the kinds of questions historians ask, how they select their sources, and how they account for the differences between past and present. Students undertake an independent, guided Applied Project on a historical methodology relevant to their intended thesis project.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline History

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


Students must be enrolled in a postgraduate program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Make an informed choice of methodological approach in your Masters thesis, having considered a range of possible options
  2. Relate your eventual choice of Masters thesis methodology to existing scholarship of that style
  3. Explain why your chosen Masters thesis methodology is the most appropriate approach for their chosen topic
  4. Describe the range of methodological approaches that characterise much current historical research
  5. Understand what is at stake in historians�f choices of particular methodologies
  6. Detect and analyse the methodological approach of any piece of historical scholarship

Subject Content

Seminars in this subject will focus on the practical methods involved in different approaches to historical scholarship, considering how particular topics may be more suitable to one or another approach, and what changes in a historian?fs account of a topic depending upon the style of scholarship through which the past is approached.
- social and family history ? how can we locate sources that tell US about ordinary people?
- cultural history ? how can we judge The Importance of films, paintings, novels, plays, newspapers, propaganda pamphlets, posters and magazines of The past?
- conceptual history, Intellectual history and history of political thought ? how can we appreciate what mattered to Past minds when their concepts were different to ours?
- history of science, Technology and medicine ? how can we appreciate what Past scientific thinkers assumed about The world?
- gender history and history of sexuality ? how can we reconstruct The way Past people saw sexual desire and saw themselves as sexed beings?
- Big history and deep history ? what is The largest Possible temporal scale for historians to work with, and what are The advantages/disadvantages of Big vs. small


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Applied Project 4000 words 60 N Individual
Log / Workbook 300 words each week 40 N Individual