HIST 2291: Introduction to Research

Fall Semester 2021



Students will attend lectures prepared to contribute to discussion when prompted.

Writing Responses

Students will respond to the provided writing prompts that further explore the course’s subjects. Responses will be one-page typed and represent university-level writing.


Examinations will consist of multiple choice and short answer questions, as well as an essay question. The final exam is not cumulative.

Exam Rubric


Number of questionsPoints per questionNumber CorrectYour Score

Short Answer

IdentifiesPoints possibleTerm 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Total
Define term1 point      
When/why was it prominent1 point      
Key arguments and applications1 point      
Positive elements1 point      
Pitfalls or negative elements1 point      
TOTAL5 points      


Grading componentsSatisfiesNearly satisfiesAttempts to satisfyDoes not satisfy
Quality narrative; Clear explanations8-12 points5-7 points1-4 points0
Provides examples and evidence beyond basic definitions9-13 points6-8 points1-5 points0
Identifies terms, periods, locations, causes and outcomes associated with particular school of history9-13 points6-8 points1-5 points0
Identifies wider historical significance8-12 points5-7 points1-4point0

Collections Report

This semester we will focus on exploring one of ISU’s newly acquired digital collections: the Dublin Castle Records. Your Collections Report will explain and contextualize one aspect of the record. Potential topics and themes will be discussed in class. This is a three-page assignment that follows standard Stover formatting.

Research Proposal

Students will develop a proto-research proposal that may later be refined for use in HIST 4491. Topics will be discussed in class and will follow standard Stover formatting.

Project ProposalPointsProduct DescriptionProduct Points
Propose a significant historical question or problem (non-history majors see note below) to be investigated.  (Any historical question or problem is potentially significant, but you must make a persuasive case for why you feel that YOUR question or problem is significant).15 A document (five pages) written with clarity and precision and reflecting attention to mechanical issues associated with formal, academic writing.40 
Locate the question within a larger historical context (e.g., Irish in the West as part of larger question of western migration) or applicable theme (immigration and migration of the early twentieth century). 15
Devise a strategy or methodology that explains how the research will be conducted or how the sources in the bibliography will be used (e.g., beginning with an immersion in the primary sources and moving to the most directly applicable secondary sources, with an explanation of how that will be accomplished). 15
Summarize the proposal and discuss expected outcomes.  (This statement should go beyond the “idea” stage but stop short of a preliminary thesis so as not to bias the research toward a particular outcome.) 15

ISU library history research resources page:  https://isu.libguides.com/history

You can also contact the library’s History librarian, Ellen Ryan (ryanelle@isu.edu or (208) 282-3608). She is a great resource and is always happy to help students with their research.

The library catalog of books, etc. can be located at https://www.isu.edu/library/ under the Library Catalog tab. For JSTOR and other research databases, click on the Databases tab and then scroll through the drop-down menu.

The Student Success Center offers tutoring and other services that are helpful for students. Phone numbers: (208) 282-3662 (Pocatello) (208) 282-7925 (Idaho Falls). The student success center includes a writing center, tutoring, GRE workshops, and many other very useful resources. Students can also visit the Writing Center at ISU for help with the writing assignments for this class. The Writing Center offers face-to-face and online services.

Idaho State University Disability Statement

Any student who feels an accommodation based on the impact of a disability is necessary should contact the instructor to discuss specific needs and the requirements of the course. Students may also contact Disability Services at 282-3599 in the Rendezvous Building, Room 125 to coordinate reasonable accommodations. Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor and Disability Services. Please see their web page at http://www.isu.edu/ada4isu for more information about this process.

Idaho State University is committed to providing equal opportunity in education for all students. If you have a diagnosed disability or if you believe you have a disability physical, learning, hearing, vision, psychiatric) that might require reasonable accommodation in this course, please contact the Disability Services Center, Rendezvous Building, Room 125 (282-3599). It is the responsibility of students to contact instructors during the first week of each semester to discuss appropriate accommodations.

Student Conduct and Student Services

ISU policies for student conduct are included in the Student Handbook and the Student Conduct Code, which can be found on the Student Affairs Website. Additional resources include guidelines on relationship violence, religious support, sexual assault, stalking, and more. Please visit the Student Affairs website for more details. Please also see the Student Support and Student Services pages.

Academic Integrity and Dishonesty Policy

Idaho State University prohibits cheating and plagiarism. The instructor has a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism and other serious violations of academic honesty. If a student is charged with academic dishonesty, an F may be recorded as the final grade for the course and the student will be reported to her or his department. For the university academic honesty policy, see the link for more details:


Violations of Academic Honesty include the following:

CHEATING is defined as using or attempting to use materials, information, or study aids that are not permitted by the instructor in examinations or other academic work.

PLAGIARISM is defined as presenting or representing another person’s words, ideas, data, or work as one’s own.

Academic Freedom Statement

In carrying out its educational mission, Idaho State University is committed to adhering to the values articulated in Idaho State Board of Education Policy III.B. Membership in the academic community imposes on administrators, faculty members, other institutional employees, and students an obligation to respect the dignity of others, to acknowledge the right of others to express differing opinions, and to foster and defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and free expression on and off the campus of an institution.

Covid-19 & Delta Varient at ISU