Historical Research & Writing Workshop

Historical Research & Writing Workshop


About this course

Recommended Ages: 13-17

Start Date: October 4, 2022. Class consists of 4 lesson plans. There are 4 weeks of lesson plans with a week in between each to focus on writing. Students also have an additional 3 weeks after the last lesson is posted to complete the course. No live classes — do the lesson plans on YOUR schedule. As this class involves peer participation, it is best if the student can keep up with their work each week and not get behind.

Price: $60

Space Available: 

In this writing workshop we will be taking an in depth look into writing, with a specific focus on the historical side. The student will be responsible for composing their own research paper based on the event, person, item, idea, etc. from history of their choosing. We will spend the course learning how to build a piece of historical writing from an idea into a well polished essay.

The beginning of the course will focus on choosing a topic and learning to use sources effectively. From there we will build our research skills and learn some of the basics of good paper writing. Grammar and spelling will take a backseat to structure and solid presentation of evidence and ideas. The end of the workshop will be based around working with peers to solidify their research. Assignments will reflect the step in the research process that we are learning each week. As this is a writing class, more emphasis will be placed on the discussions than on the quizzes. Come prepared to do some writing!

While the course is described as a writing course, it should be noted that research makes up the bulk of the course. Students will be expected to participate in discussions with their instructor and their peers. However, how they present their research is entirely up to them. A paper is not the only way to present research! Documentaries, video presentations, PowerPoints, even movies could be all considered ways to present the research.

We will be focusing on historical research throughout this class, and I encourage the students to choose from any of a variety topics that interest them. I want them to walk away more knowledgeable on a topic that intrigues them. On top of that, we will build upon writing skills that will be necessary if the student is interested in pursuing history or writing at a collegiate or AP level. By the end of the workshop I hope each student can walk away with a piece of well constructed research that they can be proud of. This class will also provide an excellent foundation for any future history courses.

This is an academically advanced class, and not recommended for most children under 12 (but we trust that you know your child’s abilities better than we do!).

LESSON PLANS: This is an 8 week class (4 lesson plans, with a week in between each to focus on writing). Students have 2 weeks after the last class is posted to complete all work. Weekly lesson plans are posted on Tuesdays by 5pm Pacific Time. There is no “live” component to this class, which allows students to work at their own pace. This is a great option for busy students who need to work on their own schedule, and students who live all over the world and can’t easily coordinate time zones. Lessons will cover the relevant information in depth. They will be on the shorter side, as the focus of the course is on student-instructor interaction and peer-to-peer interaction.

Lesson plans are a combination of power point, graphics, video, and audio. Each slide is fully narrated for students who prefer to hear material read to them. There is no textbook for this course.

DISCUSSION:Discussions are important for peer review and interaction. They also help students work along the process with personal interaction from the instructor. Discussions will take the place of the typical Quiz grade in my courses and will build up a large portion of the final grade. We also offer an “open talk” forum where students can have fun getting to know their classmates!

ASSIGNMENTS: Assignments will be focused on building upon the student’s research topic. There are steps needed for research, and assignments are focused on those steps.

QUIZZES: Online quizzes are available each week as a tool for students to see how well they understand the material. Format is generally multiple choice, matching, true/false, and fill in the blank. Little to no focus will be on the quizzes. They help with some of the terms, but for the most part emphasis is put on working with the concepts

GRADES: All students will have access to our online learning system where they can view their lesson plan and assignments, take optional quizzes, access our discussion boards, submit assignments, and view instructor feedback on those assignments. You have the option of having your student’s assignments graded or not. In a given semester, you choose whether you want all or none of that student’s classes to receive grades (for example, if they are taking 3 classes, all 3 classes must be either graded or not graded). You can change the option the following semester. Graded students will be required to take the weekly quiz and will receive a number grade for their assignments in addition to feedback. They will also receive a final report card that you can print and keep for your records. Please note: All quizzes and some homework assignments that require an online “quiz” like entry will receive a grade.

TIME: In general, expect 1-1.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time).

Week 1 – Topic: The first week will be spent choosing a topic. We will cover some popular periods in historical writing and some of the academic work that has been done on them. From there we will discuss the steps in formulating an academic topic for research. This includes making a topic concise enough to fit the amount of time and length of the paper. It will conclude with beginning to formulate a working argument to lead into the research.

Week 2 – Source Work: Week two will start the research into the topic that the student chose in the first week. We will learning how to work with primary and secondary sources. These sources make up the backbone of all historical research. Much of this week will be focused on working with a variety of sources from across the history of the world. The source work will then be applied to their topic, and they will have the chance to work with their own sources. We will also work on formulating a thesis out of their argument from week one.

Week 3 – Writing an Effective Paper While this week specifically mentions writing, just assume writing is a blanket statement for however the student presents their research. This week will focus on taking the students’ evidence from the sources and applying it to their arguments. Then we will focus on building effective introductions and conclusions, as well as structuring their evidence and arguments into effective historical writing. This week will conclude with the students developing a working introduction to their research and arguments.

Week 4 – Peer Editing and Finalizing Research The final week is a focus on the process of peer review and turning a rough draft of research into a polished piece of academic writing. This week will be highly interactive between the students, and everyone is highly encouraged to participate. Over the last few weeks the course is open, we will work on polishing their research. Their finished piece of research will be turned in on the last day of the workshop.


Our course begins with the first step for generating great user experiences: understanding what people do, think, say, and feel. In this module, you’ll learn how to keep an open mind while learning.

Total numbers of students in course