The Reading and Writing Seminar is designed to foster students’ acquisition of the competences required to read, analyze, and write academic texts. Students will be guided through elements of the research-to-writing process, with the opportunity to practice and fine tune their academic writing skills. It will cover the basics of the formal conventions of academic writing, such as language and style, as well as key aspects of academic texts, such as summary and argumentation.
In this seminar, students’ exploration of academic reading and writing will take the history of the Revolutions of 1848 as a lens. 1848/49 bore witness to the first and only Pan-European revolutions, as citizens took to the streets to fight for rights that remain prominent in our political discourses today: freedom, equality, and democracy. These European upheavals echoed across the globe with waves of unrest appearing in as far-flung places as New Granada and Australia. The barricades were not for nothing: The 1848 Revolutions catalyzed new understandings of politics and political movements, transforming not only the political trajectory of countries like Germany and France, but also modern European history and global history as a whole.
The seminar language is English with a particular focus on how the strategies discussed in class can be applied to other languages and genres (e.g., the difference between an essay, research essay, and Hausarbeit). As such, the seminar will not only prepare students for their further studies in history but will also be helpful for students planning on studying abroad in later semesters.
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
- Apply various strategies to read academic texts;
- Distinguish reader expectations for different genres of academic writing;
- Extract and reconstruct the central idea of an academic text and identify the supporting evidence the author(s) uses to substantiate the argument;
- Incorporate a draft-based strategy for writing and editing texts; and,
- Give, receive and integrate feedback on academic texts.
Literature: Beinke, Christiane [u.a.]: Die Seminararbeit. Schreiben für den Leser (UTB 8390), Konstanz ²2011, E-Book 2011 (http://www.utb-studi-e-book.de/9783838584706); Schmale, Wolfgang (Hg.): Schreib-Guide Geschichte. Schritt für Schritt wissenschaftliches Schreiben lernen (= UTB 2854). Wien 2006, E-Book 2012 (http://www.utb-studi-e-book.de/9783838528540); Jonathan Sperber, The European Revolutions, 1848-1851, 2. ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2011); Conal Furay and Michael J. Salevouris, The Methods and Skills of History: A Practical Guide (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015).