Fall 2022 - HIST 400 D100

Methodology (4)

Class Number: 3948

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 6229, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Admission to the honours program in history.



An advanced seminar on historical methods. Focuses on the identification and analysis of sources in preparation for writing the honours essay.


Photo by John Towner on UnSplash

Photo credit: Photo by John Towner on UnSplash

CONTENT: We are a story-telling species, have been for at least 100,000 years, and we have mastered many narrative strategies from cave painting to Tiktok. The discipline of history is among the most peculiar of these narrative forms, yet also one of its most important. Its combination of literary presentation with rigorous fealty to empirical evidence has made it particularly influential and peculiarly resilient, especially in an era when the term “alternative facts” guides so much public discourse. This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of the historical discipline via a term-long research project that builds out from autobiography to family to national history. Students will think and talk about evidence, author, audience, voice, and narrative, and they will write first drafts of their own families in the context of Canadian history.

STRUCTURE: The seminar will meet weekly to discuss readings, resources, research, documentation, and writing. Because of the idiosyncratic nature of the term project, each student will write a single-authored final paper as well as interim drafts on each generation and context during the first half of the term. Meetings in the second half will taper as students work on full and revised drafts, working much more in groups and with the professor. The final draft is due the last week of the term.


Group working


  • 1st Gen 5%
  • 2nd Gen 5%
  • 3rd Gen 5%
  • Context 10%
  • Peer Review 15%
  • First Draft 20%
  • Final Draft 40%



Strunk, William Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style. New York. Pearson Longman, 2009.

Weekly readings available via SFU Electronic Journals and Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


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