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HST9064M Historical Research Assignment

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HST9064M Historical Research

University of Lincoln Assessment Framework Assessment Briefing Template 2022-2023

Module Code & Title:HST9064M: Historical Research

Contribution to Final Module Mark:100%

Description of Assessment Task and Purpose:

The assessment for this module consists of one piece of work, the portfolio:

Portfolio of work (100%)

This should be handed in as one piece of work, but it has three written components, plus a fourth component that will be evaluated by your online participation throughout the module (this element is not included in the submitted portfolio and will be evaluated by the seminar leaders as you engage with online discussion tools ahead of each seminar). 

Each of the three components submitted online should be no more than about 1800-2000 words long. Each of those components is worth 30% of the total mark, with 10% coming from your online engagement throughout the module (see bottom of this for an online engagement rubric). The total length of the portfolio should be no more than 6000 words(including footnotes and bibliographies).

Hand-in via Turnitin on the ‘Assessments’ section of the Historical Research module site by:Wednesday 18 January 2023 at 4pm

1) Reading response paper (1800-2000 words) 30%. Choose a seminar that looks interesting to you OR consider a theme or strand that is evident across the module’s seminars (digital history, newspapers, archives etc—if you are in doubt about your subject, please ask the module convenor for guidance). Write a paper on that week’s readings, or select readings from various weeks of the module that align with your theme. You can include ‘essential’ or ‘further’ readings from the module, but you should include 4-6 pieces (articles or chapters) in your discussion.

In a reading response paper, your task is to present the central arguments of the secondary works and compare and contrast these works with each other. You must think critically about the readings assigned, present an argument clearly and coherently, and demonstrate that your comprehension and analytical skills will put you in a position to engage in a similar discussion within the introduction of your MA dissertation as you survey the work on your topic or approach. Above all, you should show that (1) you understand the works and their central arguments (2) you have developed a clear perspective on the works relating to the week’s central theme, topic, or methodology you are examining. You are encouraged to highlight tensions, contradictions, and gaps within an author’s work; consider their respective perspectives on the topic or event and explore points of agreement and disagreement between texts. A bibliography and proper footnoting is expected (both count towards the word count).

***

The next section of the portfolio concerns the evaluation of source material. It is thus a different exercise from the first item, which is primarily historiographic (examining what historians have written and argued about issues and sources). In order to evaluate source material, you will need to bring a rigorous analytical approach to bear directly on the source. You will need a higher level of referencing and citation here. We have talked a lot about the importance of context for understanding the meaning of sources, so make sure you set the source in a properly researched context – both in terms of the setting, and in terms of finding out about the source – when was it made/written, by whom, for whom? If you can’t find out any of this information, maybe you need to choose another source.

2) Evaluation of a textual source (1800-2000 words) 30%. 

Choose one particular textual source – it could be a document of any sort, an issue of a newspaper, a letter, a diary etc, but not the same type of source as you analyse in part 3) of this assessment. You will have to look at this source, so something in the local Archive or Central Library would be sensible, or a document that has been digitised online, or you may also choose a published document. Then write an evaluation of this source and be sure to communicate your own approaches/methodologies in doing so. 

What does it say? Who is saying it and why? What are they responding to?

What can you say about the document itself – date, provenance, reception, significance of type of source (e.g. is it unique or widespread, etc)?

What is its significance and how do you know? How might a historian want to use it?

Have historians used it and if so how? Are there other ways to use it and what would the point of that be?

3) Evaluation of non-textual sources (1800-2000 words) 30%. 

You have a choice of things you can do for this part of the portfolio, but only do one of them! So, choose one of the following:

i) analyse an existing database (i.e. an online archive).

ii) evaluate an oral interview

iii) evaluate a visual or material source

Treat this assessment in the same way as you did your evaluation of another type of archival source in 2). Ask yourself the same type of questions – work from a detailed description of the source itself to a consideration of its context both generally and in terms of the source’s production and consumption, to a consideration of historical meaning both potentially, and in terms of how it has been used. When examining a database, consider the collection of sources, their origin, their production and consumption as well as its historical meaning to historians, and the implications of this collection being digitised and available.

You must avoid using materials that you have already analysed and discussed during your undergraduate studies, or you will run the risk of self-plagiarism, or using misleading materials, and this will also be flagged in Turnitin. 

4) Online participation 10%:

See the below rubric for how this is assessed. Note that the online teaching for the MA is ‘asynchronous’ or not live. 

See further information on ‘Assessments’ section of module Blackboard site and module handbook for more information.

Learning Outcomes Assessed:

  • Recognise and evaluate different methods of gathering and evaluating historical data and their strengths and weaknesses.        
  • Use different methods of gathering and evaluating historical data critically.   
  • Critically appraise methodologies for historical research. 
  • Analyse the relationship between different approaches to, and theories of, history and methods chosen for historical research.

Knowledge & Skills Assessed:

Subject Specific Knowledge, Skills and Understanding: Source analysis, critical reading and thinking, literature searching, referencing, subject-specific knowledge.

Professional Graduate Skills: independence and personal responsibility, adaptability, written communication, creativity, critical thinking, IT skills, self-reflection, problem solving, effective time management, working under pressure to meet deadlines.

Emotional Intelligence: self-management, motivation, resilience, self-confidence.

Career-focused Skills: Communication skills, adaptability and flexibility, independent thinking and working, analysing and synthesising large bodies of complex material.

Assessment Submission Instructions:

This should be handed in as one piece of work, but it has three written components, plus a fourth component that will be evaluated by your online participation throughout the module (this element is not included in the submitted portfolio and will be evaluated by the seminar leaders as you engage with online discussion tools ahead of each seminar). 

Each of the three components submitted online should be no more than about 1800-2000 words long. Each of those components is worth 30% of the total mark, with 10% coming from your online engagement throughout the module (see bottom of this for an online engagement rubric). The total length of the portfolio should be no more than 6000 words(including footnotes and bibliographies).

Hand-in via Turnitin on the ‘Assessments’ section of the Historical Research module site by:Wednesday 18January 2023 at 4pm

Date for Return of Feedback:Wednesday 8 February 2023 at 4pm

Assessment Support Information: Besides the information and further guidance provided in the handbook and the module Blackboard site, students will also be given in-class guidance and advice on how to complete the portfolio assessment. The module coordinator and seminar leaders also provide office hours for students to discuss their plans and ideas for the assessment. 

Important Information on Dishonesty & Plagiarism:

University of Lincoln Regulations define plagiarism as ‘the passing off of another person’s thoughts, ideas, writings or images as one’s own…Examples of plagiarism include the unacknowledged use of another person’s material whether in original or summary form. Plagiarism also includes the copying of another student’s work’.

Plagiarism is a serious offence and is treated by the University as a form of academic dishonesty. Students are directed to the University Regulations for details of the procedures and penalties involved.

For further information, see plagiarism.org

Skills and Referencing techniques.

Marking Criteria for Assessment: (see rubrics on the following pages)

 ClassificationArgument and understandingCritical thinking and analysisUse of sources and evidenceAcademic referencingPresentation and written communication
Distinction90-­‐100% First Distinction (Upper Range)Highly effective and sustained arguments, demonstrating exemplary critical thinking and awarenessofbibliography.Addresses all aspects of the assignment to exemplarystandard.Conformstothe highest standard that can be reasonably expected from a Masters levelsubmission.Work demonstrates exemplary standard of critical analysis and/or originality and creativity. Exemplary in its use of ideas, concepts and theory. Exemplary analysis of sources. Conforms to the highest standard that can be reasonably expected from a Masters level submission.Exemplary use of a wide range of sources. Demonstrates deeply impressive command of historiography. Demonstrates an exemplary sensitivity to the limitations of historical evidence. Sources selected and deployed in original ways. Conforms to the highest standard that can be reasonably expected from a Masters level submission.Exemplary in all respects. Outstanding bibliography with academic referencing conventions employed accurately, consistently and according to established practice within the discipline. Conforms to the highest standard that can be reasonably expected from a Masters level submission.Almost flawless presentation. Fluent and accurate written expression, with considerable stylistic elegance. Written communication, including use of subject-­‐ specific language, is of highest standard that can be reasonably expected from a Masters level submission.
Distinction80-­‐89% First Distinction (Middle Range)Coherent, articulate and resourcefully constructed arguments, demonstrating a very high level of understanding of the topic and associated historiographic issues /debates. Has addressed most or all aspects of the assignment to a very high standard.Work demonstrates a very high standard of critical analysis and/or originality and creativity. Employs ideas, concepts and theory to good effect. Very high level of self-­‐  reflection.Work demonstrates a scholarly command of the literature, drawing on a broad range of material and/or examining the topic in some detail. Sources selected and deployed in insightful ways. Demonstrates a very high level of awareness of, and sensitivity to, the limits of historical evidence.A very high standard of referencing throughout. Bibliography conforms to a very high standard. Errors very few and mostly very minor.A very high standard of presentation: clear, logical and few errors. Fluent and accurate written expression, with stylistic elegance.
Distinction70-­‐79% First DistinctionCoherent and articulate arguments, demonstrating a high level of understanding of the topic and associated historiographic issues /debates. Has addressed most or all aspects of the assignment to a high standard.Work demonstrates a high standard of critical analysis and/or originality and creativity. Employs ideas, concepts and theory to good effect. High level of self-reflection.Work demonstrates a clear use of successful research skills in locating relevant sources and engagement with the historical literature. Critical assessment of sources is evident.A high standard of referencing  throughout. Bibliography conforms to a high standard, though there may be a number of small errors, which can be easily corrected in future submissions.A high standard of presentation: clear, logical and few errors. Fluent and accurate written expression.
Merit65-­‐69%2.1 High MeritThe submission shows a thorough grasp of the subject and contains evidence of insight. Though it may lack finesse, it is thorough, clear and shows an understanding of the subject/topic. Has addressed most or all aspects of the assignment. Lacks intellectual  independence required for a distinction.The work contains some good examples of critical analysis but limited originality and creativity in use of ideas, concepts, case studies etc. Good level of self-­‐reflectionthough some scope for development.The student draws on a good range of evidence but lacks breadth of engagement with the secondary literature required for a distinction. Judicious use of sources and evidence appropriate to the discipline. Topics are mostly addressed but not always examined in sufficient detail. Partial awareness of the limits of evidence.A good standard of referencing, though a number of errors or inconsistencies may be present. Good bibliography but possibly containing technical errors, someminor,somemoreserious.A good standard of presentation: clear, mostly logical, and errors are mostly very minor. Generally fluent and accurately written expression.
 ClassificationArgument andCritical thinking and analysisUse of sources and evidenceAcademic referencingPresentation and written communication
 understanding
Merit60-­‐64%2.1 MeritThe student has submitted work which contains evidence of insight. Though it may lack finesse, it is thorough, clear and shows an understanding of the subject context. Has addressed most or all aspects of the assignment.The work contains some good examples of critical analysis but limited originality and creativity in use of ideas, concepts, case studies etc. Good level of self-­‐reflection, but plenty of scope for development.Thestudentdrawsonagoodrange of primary and secondary sources but lacks breadth of engagement with the secondary literature requiredforadistinction.Gooduse of evidence. Topics are mostly addressed but not always examinedinsufficientdetail. Partialawarenessofthelimitsof evidence, although this could be improved.A good standard of referencing, though a number of errors or inconsistencies may be present. Good bibliography but possibly containing technical errors, some minor, some more serious.A good standard of presentation: clear, mostly logical, and errors are mostly very minor. There may be occasional and relatively minor flaws in structure Generally fluent and accurately written expression, with a few errors.
Pass55-­‐59%2.2 PassCompetent work, with evidence of engagement in the relevant historiographic issues, but little originality and only occasional insight. Gaps in understanding and knowledge; may not have addressed all aspects of the assignment.Conscientious work and attentive to subject matter and/or task set, but balanced more towards a descriptive rather than a critical, analytical treatment.Draws on a satisfactory but relatively limited range of sources. Some assessment of evidence. Topics are mostly addressed but not always examined in sufficient detail. Some use of examples. Treatment of source material or literature is basically sound but too narrow in scope and underdeveloped. Understanding of the limits of evidence not fully articulated or understood.Referencing satisfactory on the whole, though some inconsistencies or instances of poor/ limited citation may be present. Satisfactory bibliography but likely to reveal some weaknesses in composition and use of referencing conventions.Adequate presentation and written expression, though a number of errors may be present.
Pass50-­‐54%2.2 PassWork shows some evidence of engagement in the relevant issues, but may be rather crude in its interpretation and argumentative purpose/focus. Little originality and only occasional insight. Gaps in understanding and knowledge; may not have addressed all aspects of the assignment. A narrow pass.Work is attentive to the subject matter and/or task set, but mostly descriptive rather than critical or analytical in its approach. It may contain some useful observations, but insights offered are very limited in scope and sophistication. A narrow pass.Barely satisfactory range of sources. Some assessment of evidence, but the latter may be simplistic and partial. Topics are mostly addressed but not always examined in sufficient detail. Some use of examples, but not necessarily well-­‐chosen or employed. Treatment of data or literature is basically sound but too narrow in scope and underdeveloped. Some evidence of the limits of evidence, but these may not always be properly articulated or understood. A narrow pass.Referencing barely satisfactory. A number of inconsistencies in citation may be present. Satisfactory bibliography but likelytorevealsomeseriousweaknessesin composition and use of referencing conventions. A narrowpass.A barely satisfactory standard of presentation and written expression which may be uneven and/or inaccurate. A small number of serious errors may be present. A narrow pass.

Marks awarded in the range below indicate that the candidate has failed to achieve the standards required for a pass mark at Masters Level on  this  occasion.  It  is recommended that the  student receiving marks in this range meet with their adviser (or the marker) to  review the factors that may have  influenced the mark and ways in  whichtheirperformancemightbeenhancedinsubsequentassessments.

 ClassificationArgument and understandingCritical thinking and analysisUse of sources and evidenceAcademic referencingPresentation and written communication
Fail40-­‐49% FailWork shows some understanding of the topic and some relevant knowledge, but its treatment is basic, unimaginative, and superficial. Construction of arguments lacks the sophistication required of a Pass at Masters level. Grasp of key concepts is weak. Arguments employed are poorly evidenced and/or contain flaws.Range of data and/or literature employed is very limited and too narrow to justify a Pass at Masters level. Over-­‐ reliance on material provided on Blackboard or in lectures/seminars. There may be some evidence of reflection but it is partial and lacks insight expected at Masters level.Limited primary and secondary sources, which may not always be appropriate. Examples are provided but are poorly chosen or employed. Lacking in sophistication or finesse. The submission reflects a limited level of engagement in wider reading and a limited confidence/ability in the use of evidence. Limits of evidence very poorly articulated or understood. Submission lacks the evidential base required for a Pass at Masters level.Citations may be present, but referencing is poor, suggesting that little effort has been made to follow guidance. Work is vulnerable to unwitting plagiarism. Bibliography inadequate. Many errors, some serious, revealing an insufficient awareness of mechanics of scholarship.Presentation and written expression may be uneven and/or inaccurate, failing to meet the standard required for a Pass at Masters level; a number of serious errors may be present; Poorly structured and written, with poor attention to vocabulary and grammar. The student should consider seeking additional support in the development of their written English.
Fail30-­‐39% FailThe submission contains some material of merit, but it is only a partial attempt to address the question and fails to answer the question fully or in a robust manner, with few (and mostly unsuccessful) attempts to construct argument(s). Poor understanding of key issues or concepts.The treatment is mostly descriptive. Whilst the work contains some evidence of criticality or analysis, it is too limited or partial or lacking in depth to justify a pass. Limited evidence of reflection.Limited evidence of sources. No real attempt to assess evidence. Examples are occasionally provided but are poorly chosen andemployed.Entirelylackingin sophistication or finesse. The submission reflects a very limited level of engagement in wider reading and a limited confidence/ability in the choice and use ofevidence.Citations present but very limited. Referencing is very poor. Bibliography is omitted, partial or poorly structured. Guidance not followed. Poor referencing means work is highly vulnerable to unwitting plagiarism. Many serious errors, revealing very limited awareness of mechanics of scholarship.Poor standard of presentation and written communication may be unclear; too many serious errors present. Weaknesses undermine clarity of meaning. Text occasionally incomprehensible. Includes significant flaws in spelling, grammar, and basic sentence/ paragraph composition. The student should consider seeking additional support in the development of their written English.
Fail20-­‐29% FailLittle material of merit or relevance, revealing a paucity of understanding of key issues or concepts. Fails to address most aspects of the task or question set. Work lacks any sustained argument(s).The treatment is almost whollydescriptive.Containslittle evidence of a critical or analytical engagement in the topic. Very limited evidence of reflection.Very limited evidence of sources. Rarely goes beyond paraphrasing bits of lecture notes or easily accessible web sources. No attempt to assess evidence. Examples are very rarely provided and those that are very poorly employed. Submission reflects a very limited level of engagement in study on a more general level.Citation almost or entirely absent. Guidance largely ignored. Bibliography omitted or very poorly assembled. Poor referencing means work is highly vulnerable to unwitting plagiarism. Awareness of mechanics of scholarship very weak.Presentation and communication may be very poor. All of the flaws mentioned above, but of an even more serious nature. The student should consider seeking additional support in the development of their written English.
 ClassificationArgument and understandingCritical thinking and analysisUse of sources and evidenceAcademic referencingPresentation and written communication
Fail10-­‐19% FailNo material of merit or relevance, revealing a complete lack of understanding of key issues or concepts. Fails to address all aspects of the task or question set. No attempt to construct argument(s). Reflection almost entirely lacking.The treatment is wholly descriptive. No evidence of a critical or analytical engagement in the topic.Very slight evidence of sources. Submission reflects a very limited level of engagement in study on a more general level.Citations absent. Guidance entirely ignored. No bibliography that could merit description as such. Very poor referencing Highly vulnerable to unwitting plagiarism. Work shows no real attempt to apply the mechanics of scholarship.Little evidence that any thought has been given to the standard of presentation. Many serious errors/inaccuracies. Slight evidence of communication with little care taken in the composition of proper sentences or paragraphs. The student should consider seeking additional support in the development of their written English.
Fail0-­‐9% FailNo understanding is demonstrated. Arguments notable for their complete absence. No evidence of reflection.The treatment is wholly descriptive.No or almost no evidence of sources. Submission reflects a very limited level of engagement in study on a more general level.Citation entirely absent. Bibliography omitted. Highly vulnerable to unwitting plagiarism. Application of the mechanics of scholarship entirely absent.No evidence that any thought has been giventothestandardofpresentation.Noor almost no evidence of communication. No attempt to compose proper sentences or paragraphs. The student should consider seeking additional support in the developmentoftheirwrittenEnglish.

Assessment criteria for participation marks

At each seminar, each student will receive an individual mark out of 100, which will be averaged at the end of a semester to generate a final grade (minus authorised absences). 

To find out more about participation marks, why we use them and how we calculate them, watch the video here: https://web.microsoftstream.com/video/e271d6d1-c50b-4358-9d08-9f0bde19f530 (with contributions from lecturers and former students).

Rubric for online participation:

Grade bandAcademic engagement (overall)Online/remote activities
First class (70+)  Articulate, perceptive, accurate response/summary/comment, based on wide reading where appropriate; good general contributions; respectful and responsive to others’ contributions.Very high level of general effort to participate actively in both synchronous (online ‘live’ sessions) and asynchronous (that precedes and/or follows an online session, such as tasks and activities to prepare and share with the tutor and other students) contributions. Constructive and articulate comments, questions and responses that stimulate further interactions and debate.
Upper second class (60-69)  Generally sound and articulate response/summary/comment, having read and understood assigned reading, and able to summarise its main lines accurately for others; willing to participate in general debate; respect for others’ contributions.Good level of general effort to contribute to both synchronous (online ‘live’ sessions) and asynchronous (that precedes and/or follows an online session, such as tasks and questions to prepare and share with the tutor and other students) activities. Willingness to participate and interact with online tasks and activities.
Lower second class (50-59)  Basic but shallow understanding; some reading, imperfectly understood or communicated, or rather narrow in scope; imprecision or lack of clarity in summaries; general contributions either occasional or off the point.Basic contribution and irregular interaction with both synchronous (online ‘live’ sessions) and asynchronous (that precedes and/or follows an online session, such as tasks and questions to prepare and share with the tutor and other students) activities. Lack of regular engagement.
Third class (40-49)  Poor understanding or misunderstanding of assigned reading; little evidence of any
background reading; inarticulate or unable to communicate clearly or summarise effectively; contributions to group either negligible or irrelevant.Poor or non-existent contribution to both synchronous (online ‘live’ sessions) and asynchronous (that precedes and/or follows an online session, such as tasks and questions to prepare and share with the tutor and other students) activities. Lack of participation and interaction with both tutors and other students.
Failure (0-39)Failure to carry out the task assigned; irrelevance; consistent silence in general discussions. A mark of 0 indicates an unexplained absence from a scheduled performance.Failure to attend regularly and to contribute effectively to both synchronous (online ‘live’ sessions) and asynchronous (that precedes and/or follows an online session, such as tasks and questions to prepare and share with the tutor and other students) activities. Failure to engage with online tasks.