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HIST 287: What If? Alternate Pasts  

Last Updated: May 9, 2016 URL: http://libguides.kzoo.edu/hist287 Print Guide RSS Updates

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Research Guide for History 287 What If: Alternate Pasts

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This guide is intended to help you research topics in History.

At the top of the Research Guide, navigate through the tabs to locate the specific type of resources you need including reference encyclopedias and dictionaries, books, journals and research databases, and web resources.

About History 287:

This is a class about what might have been. Taking history itself as an object of analysis, this seminar will ask us to reconsider how we understand the past by thinking and acting in counterfactual ways. We will explore debates for and against counterfactualism and examine diverse counterfactual writings. We will also experience counterfactualism by participating in two role-playing activities, one set in a critical moment of reform in 19th century Korea, and the other set in Japan in the months before Pearl Harbor. As we seek to achieve the goals associated with specific roles, we will gain insights on the contingent, complex, and often messy reality of the past.

 

Develop a research plan

What are the key concepts of your research question? 

Can you broaden or narrow your focus?  Consider one or more of the following:

  • time period

  • place

  • specific event   

  • specific people

Does your question overlap other subject disciplines such as sociology, political science, or history?

  • Think about the history of your question, its disciplines, and/or categories.

  • Who are the key people? What did they do? Why did it happen?

Think about the following aspects relating to your research question:

  • What do you already know about your question or issue?

  • What do you need to learn to better understand your question or issue?

  • What kinds of information resources might provide answers to these questions?

Consider your audience:

  • Who will read your paper?

  • Why will it be of interest to them?

  • What will be new to them?

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