Department of History

Overall Expectations and Core Competencies for Graduate Student Work

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The History Department has identified six core competencies which graduate students will develop during their course of study in the History MA Program. These competencies represent the core skills students will learn; they are not comprehensive in terms of the content and course-specific knowledge and additional skills students will learn. All graduate students will work towards these core competencies during their graduate work regardless of the specific courses completed. These overall competencies will be assessed in the final capstone course, HIST 9600, the Oral Defense of Research Papers Portfolio. In their final portfolio of three research papers and during their oral defense, graduate students will demonstrate how they have learned the core competencies of the History M.A. program.

Core Competencies of History M.A. Program

Graduate students completing a M.A. in History will be able to:

  1. Articulate original arguments, critical analysis, and complexity of reasoning in writing and oral discussion.
  2. Use, integrate, and discuss primary source evidence effectively in writing and oral discussion, based on an understanding of the methods of historical research and analysis.
  3. Use, integrate, and discuss secondary sources and historiography effectively in writing and oral discussion, based on an understanding of the methods of historical research and analysis.
  4. Use, integrate, and discuss methodological, conceptual and theoretical approaches effectively in writing and oral discussion.
  5. Demonstrate clarity of thought and critical thinking in the organization, form, framing, and development of arguments.
  6. Use proper writing mechanics, appropriate authoritative voice, active verbs/sentence structures, and proper citation format in footnotes/endnotes and bibliography.

The History Department will use the criteria below to evaluate students work, both written work and in oral discussion, during the final Oral Defense of Portfolio. Graduate students will aim to “meet” or “exceed” standards (criteria 4 and 5), according to the basic criteria outlined below.

5. Clearly Exceeding Standards 4. Meeting Standards 3. Below Standards 2. Unacceptable 1. Clearly Unacceptable

Competency 1.) Articulate original arguments, critical analysis, and complexity of reasoning in writing and oral discussion.

  • 5. Articulates an original, complex argument with highly effective critical analysis
  • 4. Articulates a complex, insightful argument with sufficient critical analysis

Competency 2.) Use, integrate, and discuss primary source evidence effectively in writing and oral discussion, based on an understanding of the methods of historical research and analysis.

  • 5. Effectively integrates a range of primary sources to support an innovative and complex argument/analysis
  • 4. Effectively integrates and discusses primary sources to support complex argument/analysis

Competency 3.) Use, integrate, and discuss secondary sources and historiography effectively in writing and oral discussion, based on an understanding of the methods of historical research and analysis.

  • 5. Effectively integrates and critically discusses a range of secondary sources to position and to support a complex, innovative argument/analysis within the relevant historiography
  • 4. Effectively integrates and critically discusses secondary sources to position and to support an argument/analysis within the relevant historiography

Competency 4.) Use, integrate, and discuss methodological, conceptual and theoretical approaches effectively in writing and oral discussion.

  • 5. Effectively integrates and critically discusses a complex understanding of disciplinary methods and conceptual/theoretical approaches relevant to support the argument/analysis.
  • 4. Effectively integrates and critically discusses disciplinary methods and conceptual/theoretical approaches relevant to the argument/analysis

Competency 5.) Demonstrate clarity of thought and critical thinking in the organization, form, framing, and development of arguments.

  • 5. Demonstrate clarity of thought and critical thinking in the organization, form, framing, and development of arguments.
  • 4. Demonstrates clarity of thought and critical analysis in an organized form.

Competency 6.) Use proper writing mechanics, appropriate authoritative voice, active verbs/sentence structures, and proper citation format in footnotes/endnotes and bibliography.

  • 5. Demonstrates and uses disciplinary conventions of writing and citation formats properly and highly effectively.
  • 4. Demonstrates and uses disciplinary conventions of writing and citation formats properly and effectively.

Rubric for Below Standards

Competency 1

3 – basic argument but minimal analysis and reasoning

2 – struggles to offer an argument/claim, and provides insufficient reasoning

1 – failure to identify a specific argument claim; little to no analysis presented

Competency 2

3 - Discusses relevant primary sources to support argument/ analysis

2 - Uses primary sources but fails to establish relevance to argument/analysis

1 - Fails to use secondary sources

Competency 3

3 - Discusses some relevant secondary sources to support argument/ analysis

2 - Uses secondary sources but fails to establish relevance to argument/analysis

1 - Fails to use secondary sources

Competency 4

3 - Demonstrates basic understanding of disciplinary methods and conceptual approaches as relevant to the argument/ analysis

2 - Demonstrates inadequate understanding of disciplinary methods and conceptual approaches

1 - Lacks understanding of basic disciplinary methods and conceptual approaches

Competency 5

3 - Demonstrates clarity of thought and complex critical analysis in a persuasive development of an organized argument

2 - Communicates basic ideas and analysis unclearly

1 - Fails to communicate basic ideas and analysis in an organized, clear, form

Competency 6

3 - Demonstrates some understanding and use of disciplinary convention of writing and citation formats

2 - Fails to conform with disciplinary conventions of writing and citation formats

1 - Lacks any understanding of proper writing and citation formats

Revised and Approved by Faculty, May 2015

 
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