You are given latitude in the choice of topics for your draft essays, but you are required to make clear reference in your essays to materials directly associated with our course. If you should wish to base your essay on materials not represented in the syllabus or found in SAC (especially internet sources not directly linked to our website), first please clear that with me.
In a draft essay, the accent is on the interpretation of primary documents and/or important secondary works identified in the course syllabus. Essays written in HIST 245 concentrate on secondary sources. Essays written in all other courses concentrate on primary sources. In all cases, whether primary or secondary, sources will be at the center of your attention. For a discussion of primary and secondary historical sources, .
A DEFINITION OF THE DRAFT ESSAY - University of Oregon
Students have very different approaches to drafting their essays. Some use a 'linear' approach, starting at the introduction and writing sequentially through to the conclusion. Others prefer a more 'recursive' approach where they work on one section for a time, move on to another part of the essay, and then return to the earlier section. We would not want to argue for any single approach. However there are several techniques worth employing.
In addition to the on-going journal record of library reading and your midterm and final exams, you will write brief draft essays in your journal. The nature and the timing of these essays are described on the electronic syllabus page.The course Academic Calendar and our main website, "The Student's Annotated Chronology and Systematic Bibliography" [SAC], are rich in . Assignment Four will already have sent you to the , where you became familiar with the main encyclopedias and reference works that now help bring primary documents to life as you prepare your draft essays.I say "draft essays" because I do not want you to devote energy or resources at this point to the production of a traditional, typed, formal "term paper". You will develop research skills as you work, but this is not a research paper so much as a "thought piece" focusing on certain sources identified on the course syllabus, in SAC and in other course materials.A good draft essay will open with strong and clear introductions, explaining to your reader what your topic and intentions are. Close with good summaries or conclusions. Everything depends on your making yourself clear. Dont presume the reader can guess. "You know what I mean" wont work.