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Assessment and Contact Hours

This module adheres to the departmental guidelines for undergraduate assessment.

For formative assessment, all students must give one oral presentation on a seminar topic, write one 1,500-word book review, and write one 2,500-word short essay. An optional take-home mock exam is due at noon on Wednesday in Week 2, Term 3 (May 4, 2016).

The summative assessment for this module is determined by whether or not the student will be basing a Dissertation on the module:

  • For students who are not basing a Dissertation on this module: a two-hour exam and a 4,500 word essay
  • For students who are basing a Dissertation on this module: Three-hour exam

For details of examination and assessment, please see:

Written Assignment Deadlines (no late submissions will be accepted, but early submissions are welcome):

  • Book Review (1,500 words): on the day of your oral presentation (except for the book review on “Gender” which will be due in the following week)
  • Short Essay (2,500 words): beginning of seminar, Wednesday, Week 5, Term 2 (Feb. 10, 2016)
  • Long Essay (4,500 words): noon, Thursday, Week 1, Term 3 (April 28, 2016)
  • Optional Mock Exam: noon, Wednesday, Week 2, Term 3 (May 4, 2016)


Oral Presentation Instructions:

At the beginning of the year, the tutor will assign you one seminar topic, and you are required to deliver an oral presentation (approximately 15 to 20 minutes) at the start of that week’s session. You will be marked alongside your book review, and the combination of the feedback is intended to help you prepare for the exam and/or long essay at the end of the year. Like all the essays you write, your oral presentation must present and support a convincing argument. It should not simply be a summary of the readings. Although your presentation may be used to guide our tutorial discussion, providing lengthy descriptive synopses of the reading materials without robust analysis is neither helpful to you nor interesting to the audience. There are many recorded scholarly presentations that are available online. You may treat them as exemplars, but keep in mind that not all professional historians give good oral presentations. Similar to why it is important to revise your writing before submission, you should practice your oral presentation multiple times before the day it is scheduled to take place.


Book Review Instructions:

You are required to write a 1,500-word review of one book of your own choosing from the optional reading list. Each optional book is paired with a particular seminar topic, but you do not have to review the book that is recommended for the week of your oral presentation. Nonetheless, students usually find it easier to review the book recommended for their topic, because they will already have done in-depth preparation for the oral presentation and this familiarity with the topic can be helpful for forming a better judgment of the book. The best way to learn how to write a good book review is to go through the book review section of peer-reviewed journals. Like your oral presentation, your book review should not simply regurgitate what the book is about. Though providing a sufficient amount of such information may be useful, you should also discuss the book’s sources, methodology, historiographical significance, accessibility, strengths, weaknesses, among other things. If you plagiarize a published book review, you will be subjected to the same disciplinary procedure for plagiarism found on essays and other assessed work.


Contact Hours:

  • Autumn Term: 18 hours of seminar
  • Spring Term: 18 hours of seminar
  • Summer Term: 4 hours of revision and mock exam
  • Tutorials: 4 hours of feedback + long essay prep
  • TOTAL: 44 hours