Claire Parham


Return to: ETAP 623 Spring 2014 -- Claire Parham portfolio cpminicourse

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Many college students find it hard to grasp how to write like an historian. History faculty often require students to analyze primary documents and compose a variety of other writing assignments including book reviews, movie reviews and essay exams. The goal of this mini-course is to provide a series of videos, written examples, and outlines that could be used by students when they are completing these assignments.

Learning Outcomes

Learners will be able to:

1. Identify, articulate, and critique the significant points in historical books and articles.

2. Read analytically and write formal academic essays.

3. Demonstrate competence in research skills.

Needs Assessment

Instructional Problem

Educators have always complained about poor writing skills. As we have become more focused on test scores and multiple choice exams, students enter college needing more assistance in terms of completing writing assignments. While most college have writing centers that can help students with the structure of a paper or brainstorming, expectations and writing styles vary by discipline. It is now increasingly falling on the shoulders of individual faculty members to provide writing instruction to their students.

In my mini-course, I am asking participants to learn how to write analytically about a variety of historical documents. This is a new way of thinking for many students. Making them think critically and structure and argument, write clearly and concisely.

Learning Objectives

-How to write a document analysis

-Place material in its historical context

-Present opinions and content analysis in a logical written form

-Write for different audiences

The Learners

In general, this course would be used by students taking History 101 seeking information about how to successfully complete written assignments.

Instructional Content

All instruction will be placed online. The material will consist of short videos, sample assignments, and assignment outlines and grading rubrics.


The main goal of this course is for students to gain a better understanding of historical writing and to improve their overall writing, critical thinking, and research skills.

Performance Objectives

By the end of the mini-course students will have:

Written a book review

Written a document analysis

Learned How to Study for an Essay Exam

Task Analysis

Unit One

Tips for All Writing Assignments

The learner will watch a brief instructional video. The learner will be asked to answer several questions at the end of the video concerning certain basic writing concepts. The learner will be asked to review an outline of the concepts covered in the video.

Unit 2

How to Analyze a Primary Document

The learner will watch a brief instructional video on analyzing a primary document. The learner will learn how to place a document in its historical context.

The learner will then be asked to review the assignment outline.

The learner will be asked to read the document and complete the assignment.

Unit 3

How to Write A Book Review

The learner will watch a brief video on writing a book review. The learner will understand how to critically read a book. The learner will learn upload a document into turnitin. The learner will be asked to review the book review guidelines and examples. The learner will read the assigned text and complete the assignment.

Unit 4

How to Study and Write an Essay Exam

The learner will watch a brief video on the key elements of studying for and completing an essay exam. The learner will be provided sample questions to review.

Curriculum Map

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