• Class Number 5563
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Tania Colwell
    • Prof Carolyn Strange
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course aims to induct students into the historian's craft. In particular, it will assist students to undertake an historical research project using primary source materials, and to present their work in a form appropriate to its subject matter, purpose and audience. Through a program of seminars, site visits, workshops, and feedback, each student will formulate a research question, work with a variety of historical sources, and construct a research output. Students will be invited to reflect on questions of method, ethics, audience and presentation in historical research and communication. All students undertaking a history major will be required to complete this course. The course encourages students to 'identify and reflect on the knowledge and skills developed in their study of History' (History Level 7 Threshold Learning Outcomes).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. identify and select from a range of conceptual approaches to interpreting the past in designing a methodologically sound historical research proposal;
  2. locate and interpret a wide variety of primary source materials and secondary literature relevant to that project;
  3. provide and respond to feedback in the process of developing historical project work;
  4. construct an evidence-based historical argument in a form suitable to its content, stated purpose and target audience;
  5. reflect on and apply the discipline's ethical conventions; and

Research-Led Teaching

This course draws on the research experience of History staff who will lead seminars designed to assist students to develop and produce independent research projects.

Field Trips

Details about any off-site archival field trips will be provided on Wattle.

Additional Course Costs

There may be incidental costs relating to transport for students opting to undertake work with original archival materials off-campus.

Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

Required course readings will be provided electronically via Wattle. Further readings are accessible through the ANU library, the National Library of Australia, or from archival institutions relevant to your research project.

Students should have access to the internet through a laptop, tablet or desktop computer. Students without those resources should arrange for on-campus or off-campus access at prescribed times.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lecture: Orientation and Expectations Seminar: Introductions and Developing a Research Proposal
2 Archive Orientation: ANU Archives Seminar: Primary Research & The Digital Revolution
3 Archive Orientation: Australian War Memorial Seminar: Abstracts & Research Proposal
4 Archive Orientation: National Library of Australia TBC Seminar: Personal & Creative Sources
5 Archive Orientation: National Archives of Australia TBC Seminar: Abstract Workshop
6 Seminar: Archival Texts
7 Seminar: Visual/Material Sources
8 Seminar: Oral/Aural Sources
9 Seminar: Writing Workshop 1
10 Seminar: Writing Workshop 2
11 Seminar: Research Presentations
12 Seminar: Research Presentations

Tutorial Registration

Students should register for seminars via the course Wattle site. Please register before week 1 of semester.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Seminar Participation 10 % * * 2, 5
Source Posts 10 % * * 2, 3
Abstract for Research Paper 10 % * * 1, 2, 4
Research Proposal 15 % 20/09/2021 04/10/2021 1, 2
Research Presentation 10 % * * 3, 4, 5
Final Research Paper 45 % 04/11/2021 02/12/2021 1, 2, 4, 5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are expected to participate by regularly engaging in seminar discussions and providing peer review as requested, and by completing oral and written assessment tasks.



Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 2, 5

Seminar Participation

Value: 10%

Due: Weekly. Students are expected to attend at least 10 of the 12 weekly seminars. Absences from more than 2 seminars without documented explanation will adversely affect your participation grade.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3

Source Posts

Length: 150–200 words maximum each (4 in total)

Value: 10%

Due: Weeks 2, 3, 4 and 6; 24 hours before your scheduled seminar

Overview: Students are required to upload 1 source post in weeks 2, 3, 4 and 6 to their seminar Wattle forum. These posts will consist of 3 primary sources (1 each for weeks 2, 4, and 6) and 1 abstract from a secondary source reading relevant to your own research (week 3).

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4

Abstract for Research Paper

Length: 250–300 words

Value: 10%

Due: Week 5, 24 hours before your scheduled seminar

Overview: Write an abstract outlining your research project and upload this to your seminar Wattle forum. The objective of preparing an abstract is to present a preliminary condensed version of your research, which you will develop further in your Research Proposal and Final Paper.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 20/09/2021
Return of Assessment: 04/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Research Proposal

Length: 1000 words

Value: 15%

Due: Monday 20 September @ 12 pm/midday

Overview: This task asks students to identify an historical problem or question which they would like to research for their Final Research Paper and to explain how they will pursue that research.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 5

Research Presentation

Length: 8–10 minutes

Value: 10%

Due: Weeks 11–12

Estimated return date: end of semester


Overview: Students will deliver an 8–10 minute oral presentation on their final research paper in weeks 11–12, followed by Q&A to be led by a peer from within your seminar. One of the aims of this task is to share your research, arguments, and the decision-making processes undertaken to shape and advance the project, with your peers and to take advantage of the feedback that may be offered to refine your final research project. 

Assessment Task 6

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 04/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 02/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4, 5

Final Research Paper

Length: 3500­–4000 words

Value: 45%

Due: Thursday 4 November @ 12 pm/midday

Estimated return date: a Wattle collection point will be available from Thursday 2 December when final results will be released.

Overview: The final research paper should be an evidence-based response to the historical question or problem identified in their research proposal. It should develop ideas raised in the proposal in light of both your independent research and the feedback provided by peers and seminar chairs throughout the semester. The final research paper should include a coherent argument based on critical and imaginative engagement with and analysis of sources and scholarship. It must be well structured, with a clear introduction, body and conclusion. It must also abide by  History’s disciplinary and ethical conventions. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be marked within two to three weeks of submission and returned to students electronically.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission of assignments is not permitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Tania Colwell
02 6125 4788

Research Interests

Medieval and early modern European social and cultural history

Dr Tania Colwell

By Appointment
Prof Carolyn Strange
02 6125 2613

Research Interests

Prof Carolyn Strange

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions