Wednesday, February 20, 2008

HIST 3425 -- research paper assignment

HIST 3425
Medieval England

Second term research paper based on PROME

The last written assignment for this course is easy to describe. You will write an 8-10 page research paper based primarily on material from PROME.

The two easier choices of topic are these:

1) Using the Parliamentary Roll (PR) you investigated earlier, you will explain the historical and political context of the roll, and how the roll sheds light on the English politics of the time.

2) Using some topic raised in your PR, investigate that topic across the PROME collection, using more than one PR and by means of the built in search engine, plus secondary sources. Write a research paper based on your work. Note: you
can legitimately restrict your time range to one century or one or two reigns. When I graded your previous PROME assignment I wrote on it suggested topics that I found in your summaries. You can certainly come up with your own.

Another possibility:

3) Investigate a new PR or topic that did not come up in your chosen PR. There are a number of good PRs that no one read. Also some major events did not get touched on. For instance, numerous 14th and 15th century monarchs were deposed, and parliament was usually involved. Some good topics could come out of those PR accounts.

My apologies for not being able to post this on the NU web site: tech problems.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

HIST 3425, preliminary assignment, second term

If by some odd chance, some of you Medieval England students are looking here during the holiday, rejoice! I have finally posted the first part of the 2nd term assignment, which involves looking at the Parliamentary Rolls of Medieval England at the NU library site and using the record of one parliamentary sitting to answer a few basic, but not necessarily easy questions.

I had hoped that we could discuss this assignment on Monday, but that is looking less likely. Parts of the NU net are down, which makes PROME unavailable at the moment. Nevertheless, have a look at the assignment and especially what I have done with it.

What have I done?

I quickly realized that you students would have a very hard time extracting even the basics from these records. The modern English translations don't provide easy explanations of what legal terms mean, for instance, and though each parliament has an introduction by modern editors, I'm willing to bet that with just the background you have now, those introductions won't help much -- at least the first time through.

So what I did was add to the assignment sheet my own answers for the questions, based on the parliamentary roll for the April 1384 meeting. I actually found it pretty difficult to do this. I had to read the roll twice, and after that it took most of an afternoon to write up my answers (which include extensive quotations from the April 1384 roll).

Even if PROME continues to be unavailable, download and print out the assignment sheet and have a close look at it.

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