History Major Learning Outcomes

1. Seek, find, evaluate and utilize primary sources and secondary historical literature; develop and articulate persuasive arguments based in historical evidence both orally and in written work

Primary sources are sources that are directly from the source. For example, if one was researching lives of the workers at a meat factories in Chicago of the early 1900s, then a diary of a butcher of the factory would be a primary source. Secondary sources are papers and research articles about the topic. By continuing on with the example, a secondary source for it would be a book review of a collection of letters from the butcher to his family. By identifying the difference of the sources, one can fully develop their argument and use them to support it. It is also fun to find sources. They can be found in the strangest places. In my reflection about my Senior Seminar for History, I comment on how I found most of the primary sources I used for my paper.

2. Develop and articulate persuasive arguments based in historical evidence both orally and in written work

I have had many history classes which have lead me to be able to find a thesis, an argument, and be able to support that with primary and secondary sources. All of those classes led up to my Senior Seminar, the crowning achievement of my historical time at Agnes. Here is a reflection on my Senior Seminar.

3. Apply knowledge and critical interpretation of the past to an understanding of crucial aspects of one’s own cultural and historical background as well as the backgrounds of others

The past and what happened formed the present into what it is today. Without those events, the present may be vastly different. By learning the past, we can identify how the present was formed and what would be the best way to improve it for the future. Patterns shape the world, and we need to study them to keep history from repeating itself. While I felt a bit isolated from me senior seminar class as I described in this reflection, I know we all share a love for history and they would agree with me that history is made up of people, we form it and it is our duty to remember it and share it.

4. Describe and analyze current developments within historical contexts

My favorite history professor, Professor Kennedy, is amazing. She is an incredible professor in that she connects the past to the present. Whenever something major happens in the news that relates to the class, she brings out the newspaper clipping and talks to the class about it. From her I have learned to connect the past with the present and see the patterns. This skill has helped me complete my Senior Seminar, a reflection of which is found here, and allowed me to become the historian that I am today.

5. Apply the results of research, writing and speaking experiences within the major, along with experiential learning and career investigation opportunities (internships, externships, seminars or workshops conducted by history faculty and alumnae) to career planning and graduate school and job applications.

My history experience at Agnes has been amazing. I love learning about history and being with other people who love the subject. Despite my trouble with connecting to people, which reflections of that can be found here and here, I love humans. Humans are intelligent and passionate. Those traits appeared in everyone that I met within the History department.

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