Undergraduate History Capstone: HIST 4990 Senior Thesis for History B.A. Majors

Overview of HIST 4990

The History Department's "capstone" experience is a Senior Thesis, required of all History majors, and done under the close supervision in a class (History 4990) taught by one of our regular faculty members or Instructors. In the Senior Thesis class, you will prepare a full-length (usually 25-30 pages) essay on a selected topic in History, relying heavily on original or primary sources. You will pick your topic in consultation with your professor, and work on that topic through the course of the semester. Each senior thesis will go through a rough draft and revision process, involving critical peer reviews in class, and rewriting/revision according to feedback given. History 4990 also fulfills the "Capstone" requirement of the UCCS General Education program. Each semester, two or three faculty members lead different Senior Thesis sections. Each section focuses on a particular time period and region (such as U.S. History, East Asian History, Modern European History, and so on), depending on the particular specialty of the faculty member. You will pick your topic in direct consultation with the individual faculty member leading your Senior Thesis section, and your topic must fit within the parameters of the historical subject of your individual section. Nine hours of upper-division History courses as a UCCS student are a pre-requisite to enrolling in Hist 4990. It is highly recommended that students complete a HIST 4800 series course prior to taking HIST 4990.

Researching and Writing Your Senior Thesis

Research: History 4990 Senior Thesis demands extensive use of primary (first-hand) sources on a topic, and the close reading and intensive analysis of those sources, together with the crafting of a logical, coherent historical narrative based on those sources. Faculty members will work with each student individually to help them compile an appropriate bibliography of sources, and to learn how to mine those sources appropriately to support the presentation of an historical argument

Writing Much of historical thought and learning is a dialogue between yourself and the text, you and your fellow students, and between you and the instructor; therefore, each student will work as a writing partner for a fellow student. You will be reading, editing, and commenting on rough drafts of one of your colleagues. You will be responsible for commenting on various aspects of those drafts, including the use of primary sources to make an argument, clarity of the argument, relevance of the argument for its historiographical context, organization of the argument throughout the paper and stylistic as well as grammatical elements. Many professors also make extensive use of the resources of the Writing Center, and students are encouraged to publish their completed work in the UCCS Undergraduate Research Journal. For some sample of recent excellent senior theses done in the History Department, check the Volume 2 of the 2009 UCCS Undergraduate Research Journal, which published 8 of the theses completed that semester! (http://ojs.uccs.edu/index.php/urj/issue/view/4).

Rough and Final Drafts: In each individual Senior Thesis section, you will be required to prepare at least one full rough draft (and some professors require two different rough drafts), and one final draft at the end of the semester. Each final draft will be assessed according to the criteria of core competencies expected of all History students.

Fall 2018
Prof Headle – U.S History to 1910
Prof. Wei – East Asian History

Spring 2019
Prof. Sartin – Medieval and Ancient History
Prof. Sackett – Modern European History

Fall 2019
Prof. Martinez — Medieval and Early Modern European History
Prof. Christiansen – South Asian and Sub-Saharan African History, and History of the Global Sixities

Spring 2020
Prof. Duvick – Ancient Greece and Roman History
Prof. Harvey – Modern U.S. History

Fall 2020
Prof. Myers — Medieval Europe, Early Modern Europe, and English History
Prof. Woodall – Modern Middle East History

Spring 2021
Prof. Jimenez – Latin American History, Latino History, and Comparative Cities
Prof. Forrest – Native American History, U.S. History