Department of History
J400 Seminar

Participants from Professor Arlene Díaz and Professor Nick Cullatherís J300 and J400 seminars held April 2005.


What is the J400 senior research seminar?

The J400 seminar is intended to provide a capstone experience for history majors, where students draw on their already-acquired skills, polish new ones, and demonstrate their mastery of the historian’s craft in a final project. Students must take the J300 seminar before enrolling in J400.

In this seminar:

  • Students will engage in discussion of topics under consideration.
  • Students will complete the equivalent of a 15-to-20-page research paper. Possible projects may include secondary research, source criticism, bibliographic essays, or oral history projects and might take the form of papers, exhibitions, or video presentations.
  • Students will receive guidance through their research stages and expect regular feedback on their project. Instructors may require students to prepare bibliographies, read and report on their research reading, submit the notes they have taken along with their papers, submit multiple drafts (or the like).

This course differs from a J300 seminar in that it is not designated as writing-intensive. Students in J400 may be presumed to have all the basic skills of the historian; and the project they create should be more extensive and draw on higher-order skills than a project for a J300 seminar.