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  • Source review: 2,000 words (40%). 12.00 noon, Friday, Week 8.
  • Digital object (EITHER a podcast OR a videocast OR a digitalised source with comments OR a blog): 2,000 words (40%). 12.00 noon, Friday, Week 10. NB For the dates when blogs should be posted, see below.
  • Oral participation: (20%). Ongoing throughout term.

NB Students should check the subjects of their source review and their digital object with the module tutor.

There will be a session on assessment (the source review, the digital object, and oral participation) at 3.00 on Friday 12 January in R2.41 in the Ramphal Building. All students are expected to attend this.

For details of the submission of assessed work, click here.

NB Each assessed element will be marked according to the standard assessment criteria. Students should ensure that they follow the MHRA style guide carefully, especially for the presentation of the footnotes and the bibliography.

Source Review

The aim of the Source Review is to shift your attention to primary sources and allow you to seriously engage with them, in preparation for more extensive research as in your final year dissertation.

The key question you are trying to answer with the review: How can we use this source (or these sources) to illuminate violence in early modern Europe? NB Sources need to have been produced in a European country in the period c. 1450-c.1750 As such you should choose a source first, not a theme, and that source should drive the content of the project. (In this sense, this is different from what you are asked to do in a normal research essay)

Choose a sizeable source(s) eg. a book, or a comparable quantity of written/visual sources (but be realistic: you need to be able to get to know your source/s well in the time available) NB Please choose your source(s) in consultation with the module tutor. They will be able to advise you on the sources available. By the Friday of Week 5 you should let your tutor know by email which source(s) you have chosen.

Having chosen the source, read or examine it carefully, BEFORE you do too much secondary reading. Go back and read/examine it again after you have read more about its context.

The Review should include discussion of:

  • what kind of source is it? Its form, author, purpose, language, audience, context.
  • what forms of violence are represented in the source?
  • what can the source tell us about contemporary attitudes to those forms of violence?
  • what are the advantages and disadvantages of the source for an understanding of violence in early modern Europe?

Examples of topics could include:

  • selecting a play (such as Shakepeare's Hamlet but not Titus Andronicus) or a novel (such as Christoffel's Simplicissimus) or other literary work.
  • selecting a series of legal documents (such as the trials published in Cohen and Cohen's Words and Deeds in Renaissance Rome though not the one studied in the seminar).
  • selecting a group of images by a particular artist or by different artists. In addition to the questions above, you might discuss why did the artist choose that form? and what role did patronage play in their creation?
Podcasts and Videocasts

The podcast or videocast is to be posted on MyPortfolio. NB Please ensure that you set MyPortfolio to give access to Warwick staff. You can use it to answer a seminar question or you can agree another question with your tutor. The spoken content should be 2000 words. NB Please submit a Word document with a URL link to the podcast or the videocast via Tabula by Week 10. The Word document should include the full text of the podcast or the videocast (including the word count) together with footnotes and bibliography, correctly formatted according to the MHRA style guide.

For podcasts, we recommend that you use Audacity software, which you can download here. For advice on using Audacity, see here.

For videocasts, we recommend that you use wevideo software, which you can download here. Please email me and I will send you the password. For advice on using wevideo, please see this guide.

For a podcast or a videocast, the “organisation… presentation and appropriate skills” expected will be slightly different to those within an essay. In addition to the standard assessment criteria, markers will consider your:

  • Preparedness: to what extent does the argument come across as prepared? You don’t have to read from a script, but you do have to know the direction of your argument – if rehearsal is obviously lacking, this will count against you.
  • Clarity of speech: Can the listener understand each word distinctly? Are you using full sentences all of the time? Is the vocabulary appropriate for an academic podcast?
  • Media skills: Have you edited the podcast/videocast appropriately, for instance by removing long silences (and even fillers). If using images and/or video: are they appropriate, what do they add to the vocal presentation?
Digitalised Source with Comments

This involves a written commentary of digitalised text (including databases) and/or photos and/or videos of primary sources. It should include a discussion of the digital presentation of the source(s). It should also should include footnotes and bibliography, correctly formatted according to the MHRA style guide.


For assessment by blog, 5 x 400-word blog posts are required. The blogs are to be posted on MyPortfolio. They should be posted in Weeks 2, 4, 7, 8, and 10. You can use the blog to answer seminar questions. NB Please submit a Word document with URL links to each blog post via Tabula by Week 10.

The word limit for each post is 400 words, excluding notes. As these posts are very short, make sure you choose something specific enough to cover fully in the word limit. Also ensure that you include references to historical analysis and scholarship.

Blog posts are not academic essays. While they should still be written properly, with full sentences and correct grammar, remember that you are writing for a public audience. Therefore keep your language simple and avoid historical jargon.

You should also keep your paragraphs short and snappy, and include images (or video) to break up the text.

You should still reference your sources, but you can embed relevant links in the text itself if you are using websites (use full footnotes for other sources). You do not need a bibliography.

Oral Participation

This will be assessed across all seminars. It will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Attendance - Marks will be deducted for unauthorized absences.
  • Preparation - Evidence shows preparation for the seminar (has prepared notes and/or recalls the readings without the use of the open text).
  • Engagement - Quality of engagement is active, respectful and inclusive.
  • Initiative - Questions asked focus, clarify and summarize discussion.
  • Response - Quality of response reflects knowledge, comprehension and application of the readings.
  • Discussion - Quality of response extends the discussion with peers and reflects analysis, synthesis and evaluation.