UCSB Hist 133P, Winter 2002
Proseminar in German History
HSSB 2202, Tue, Thu, 10:45-12:00

Prof. Marcuse
HSSB 4221, Tel. 893-2635
Office hours:
Tues. 12-1, Wed. 11-12

Hist 133P: Proseminar on "The Holocaust in German History"
Note: this syllabus has been superceded, see 133p website

Course description

This seminar offers undergraduate history majors the opportunity to practice the craft of the historian: conducting original research and presenting the results orally and in writing. The course is designed to help students to select a topic of their interest within the broader theme of the course, and to formulate a working hypothesis about that topic. We then turn to research methods: how to find primary and secondary material, and how to analyze, interpret and organize our findings. Finally, the seminar provides a forum for the written and oral presentation of the results.
Knowledge of German is
not required. However, as far as possible these projects should draw on original source material (e.g. diaries, letters, speeches, contemporary diplomatic and journalistic reports, memoirs, autobiographies, etc.).


  • Attendance is essential. Regular exchange with your scholarly peers and mentors is an important part of the research process. You should always come to class meetings with your own agenda: the ideas, questions, and problems you wish to discuss.
    Call my office in advance and leave a message should an emergency situation arise.
  • Several written assignments
    You will need to purchase at least one package of 4"x6" index cards.
  • A two page peer review of another student's research paper.
  • An 8-10 minute oral presentation of the results of your research, based on a thesis paper.
  • A research paper: ca. 20 text pages (double spaced, 1˝x1x1x1" margins, 12 pt. proportional space font).
    A complete draft is due on Thursday, Mar. 3; a final version on Thursday, March 18.

Required Book

Mary Lynn Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (Boston: Bedford, 2001), $11 new, $8 used.
This handy little book gives advice about how one can research, organize and write a history paper. It includes examples of how to cite primary and secondary sources.


Jan. 8

Jan. 10

Introduction: finding topics

Thesis questions;
Finding books

Read Pocket Guide, 1-12,32-36. Make a list of at least 3 research topics that would interest you. Give a one paragraph elaboration of each, including questions you would investigate. You will present one of these topics in class.

Jan. 15

Jan. 17

Library searching
(meet at library, rm 1414C,
in the curriculum lab)

Preparing a prospectus

Make a list of keywords or keyword combinations. Search each of Pegasus, Melvyl, and Mags: 1) for the key or title words in your list; 2) for the subject tracers of books you found in 1; and 3) for the authors of the most promising works retrieved in 1 and 2. Finally, group the relevant call numbers and do an "unsystematic search" in the stacks.

Read Pocket Guide, 23-28, 44-47.

Jan. 22

Jan. 24

Excerpting from books

Index card systems,

For the research topic that interests you most, prepare a 2 page prospectus including a title, a statement of main questions and hypotheses, and a bibliography of at least 10 primary sources, books and articles. Use proper citation formats (Guide 68-82). Bring one of your books to class!

Discussion of note taking and index cards, proper citation format
Practice constructing sample outlines

Jan. 29

Jan. 31

Discussion of note taking

Interpreting primary sources

For one of the most relevant books or articles you have found, make a set of index cards. These should include 1) one primary bibliography card, 2) at least two secondary bibliography cards, and 3) at least 7 keyword cards.
Bring the book (or article) you used to class.

Feb. 5

Feb. 7

Outlines revisited


Feb. 12

Feb. 14

Annotated bibliographies

Thesis statements revisited

5 pages (including introduction) due
Come to class prepared to discuss difficulties you encountered and problems you are having. (Success stories are also welcome!)

Feb. 19

Feb. 21

Quoting and footnoting

10 more pages due

Feb. 26

Feb. 28

Peer reviewing

exchange papers for peer review

Mar. 5

Mar. 7

Oral presentation (4)

Draft thesis papers due.

Mar. 12
Mar. 14

Oral presentations (7)

Oral presentations (7)

Start at 10:30

Start at 10:30

Mar. 20

Wednesday, 12noon:

Final draft due in professor’s office (earlier submissions welcome).

back to top, to 133p homepage, to Courses page, to H. Marcuse homepage