@Non Pol.sci candidates: Even for General studies (Mains), some of this modules are important e.g. EPS-07, MPSE-001 etc. for IR/Diplomacy. Read the index and download accordingly.
@Pols. sci. candidates: Prepare according to the UPSC syllabus topics, Not all IGNOU BA, MA PDFs are important for exam.
- Essential (Free) softwares and instructions
- Download links
- Modules not included
- Index: BA Political Science
- EPS-03 Modern Indian Political Thought
- EPS-06 Government and Politics in East and South East Asia
- EPS-07 International Relations
- EPS-09 Comparative Government and Politics
- EPS-11 Political Ideas and Ideologies
- EPS-12 Government And Politics in India
- EPS-15 South Asia – Economy Society and Politics
- Index: MA Political Science
- MPS-001 Political Theory
- MPS-002 International Relations- Theory and Problems
- MPS-003 India Democracy and Development
- MPS-004 Comparative Politics- Issues and Trends
- MPSE-001 India and the World
- MPSE-003 Western Political Thought (Plato to Marx)
- MPSE-004 Social and Political Thought in Modern India
- MPSE-006 Peace and Conflict Studies
- MPSE-007 Social Movements and Politics in India
- MPSE-008 State Politics in India
- MED-002 Sustainable Development- Issues and Challenges
- MED-008 Globalisation Environment and Development
- Official UPSC Syllabus Pol.Sci. Paper 1
- Official UPSC Syllabus Pol.Sci. Syllabus Paper 2
Essential (Free) softwares and instructions
- Majority of these PDF files provides direct copying of text. => That means you can use Mrunal’s autonotemaker to quickly make notes and mindmaps out of it, just use mouse cursor to highlight a particular line /phrase and my software will copy its text in a separate file. for more instructions click me
- Foxit PDF reader. (necessary prerequisite for using Mrunal’s autonotemaker) click me
- 7-zip (for unzipping the files) click me
|IGNOU BA Political Science||Click ME|
|IGNOU MA Political Science||Click ME|
|Last 34 year’s official UPSC question papers for Political Science (1979-2012)||Click ME|
|Political science material from||Click ME|
|Lectures IGNOU||Click ME|
|Lectures UGC||Click ME|
Modules not included
Following modules from MA Political science, not included in above zips, reason: they’re not explicitly mentioned in the official UPSC syllabus,
- MPSE-002 State and Society in Latin America
- MPSE-005 State and Society in Africa
- MPSE-009 Canada- Politics and Society
- MPSE-010 Dissertation
- MPSE-011 The European Vision in World Affairs
- MPSE-012 State and Society in Australia
- MPSE-013 Australia’s Foreign Policy
However, if you want to download them, just goto following link:
Index: BA Political Science
EPS-03 Modern Indian Political Thought
- Colonial Intervention in Society, Economy and Polity
- Modern Indian Political Thought – Issues and Approaches
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy
- Justice M.G. Ranade
- Gopal Krishna Gokhale
- B.G. Tilak
- Sri Aurobindo
- Bhagat Singh
- Colonialism, Caste Order and Tribal Movements
- Jyotiba Phule (1827-1890)
- E. V. Ramaswami Naicker
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
- Anti-Colonial Tribal Movements In India
- Swami Dayanand Saraswti, Swami Vivekananda and V.D. Savarkar
- Sir Syed and Ahmed Khan, Mohammad Iqbal, M.A. Jinnah and Abdul Kalam Azad
- Concept of Swaraj, Satyagraha and Critique of Western Civilization
- Sarvodaya and the Gandhian Alternative
- Gandhian Social Reform – Bhudan Movement
- Jawaharlal Nehru
- Subhash Chandra Bose
- Political Thought of JP and Narendra Dev
- Rammanohar Lohia
- Communists and the Indian National Movement (1925-47)
- M.N. Roy – Marxism and Radical Humanism
- Contemporary Marxist Thinking (Indian)
- Nationalism and Social Revolution – An Overview
EPS-06 Government and Politics in East and South East Asia
- Introduction to the East Asian Region
- Introduction to the South-east Asian Region
- Indians in South-east Asia
- Chinese in South-east Asia
- Revolution and Ideology
- Economic and Political Reforms
- Foreign Policy
- Historical Context- Nationalist Upsurge and Rise of Capitalism
- Politics- Structure and Processes
- Foreign Policy
- Evolution of Modern Korea
- Patterns of Political and Economic Development
- Foreign Policy
- Patterns of Economic Development in Southeast Asia
- Patterns of Political Development in East and Southeast Asia
- Ethnicity and Nation-Building
- Dynamics of State and Civil Society in East and Southeast Asia
- Regional Co-operatian with Special Reference to ASEAN
EPS-07 International Relations
- Why Study International Relations? Scope and Approaches
- Some Concepts – Imperialism, Nationalism, Fascism, Revolution
- Some Concepts – State System, Power, National Interest, Security
- World War I – Clauses, Events and Consequences
- Bolshevik Revolution and its Impact
- World War II – Causes and Consequences (Emergence of Super Powers)
- Cold War – Meaning, Patterns and Dimensions
- Non-Aligned Movement
- Arms Race and Nuclear Threat
- Disarmament and Peace Movement
- Colonialism & Patterns of National Liberation Movements
- Features of Third World States
- The Gulf War
- Distintegration of the Socialist Bloc
- Perspectives on the Changing World Order
- Restructuring of the U.N. System
- Globalisation of the Economy – IBRD, IMF and WTO
- Regional Organisations – European Union, ASEAN, APEC, SAARC, OIC and OAU
- Environment and Sustainable Human Development
- Human Rights and International Politics
- Ethno-National Conflicts-Patterns and Dimensions
- International Terrorism
- Revolution in Communication Technology
EPS-09 Comparative Government and Politics
- Nature, Scope and Utility of Comparative Study of Politics
- Comparative Method and Strategies of Comparison
- Institutional Approach
- Systems Approach
- The Political Economy Approach
- Ideology, Social Bases and Programmes of National Movements
- Patterns of Anti-Colonial Struggles
- Dynamics of State Formation in Colonial Era
- Social Structures and Stratification
- Class Formation
- Social Bases of State Power
- Development Strategies
- Modes of Classification of Political Regimes
- Democratic and Authoritarian Regimes
- Civilian and Military Regimes
- Secular and Theocratic Regimes
- Organs of Government – Executive, Legislature and Judiciary
- Unitary and Federal Systems – Patterns and Trends in Federal Systems
- Party Systems
- Pressure Groups
- Electoral Process
- Trade Union Movement
- Women’s Movement
- Human Rights Movements
- Globalisation- Background and Features
- Impact of Globalisation on Developing Societies
- Globalisation and the Response of the Developing Countries
EPS-11 Political Ideas and Ideologies
- Understanding the Political
- Theorising the Political
- The Need for Political Theory
- Conceptions of Political Theory
- Political Arguments and Conceptual Analysis
- Indian Political Traditions
- The Confucian Tradition
- Arabic-Islamic Political Traditions
- Greek and Roman Traditions
- Western- Liberal and Marxist Traditions
- Meaning and Nature of the State
- State, Civil Society and Community
- Power and Authority
- Political Obligation and Revolution
- Rights and Citizenship
- Direct and Participatory Democracy
- Representative Democracy
- Socialist Democracy
- Individualism and Communitarianism
- Gandhism (Dharma, Swaraj, Sarvodaya and Satyagraha)
- State and Globalisation
- Disadvantaged and Affirmative Action
EPS-12 Government And Politics in India
- The Consequences of Colonialism
- Responses of Indian Society
- National Movement
- Emergence of New Classes
- The Making of Indian Constitution
- Basic Features
- Vision of Social Transformation
- Rights and Citizenship
- What it Means to be A Parliamentary Democracy
- Bureaucracy in India
- Nature of Indian Federalism
- Special Provisions for North-East, J&K, Etc
- Issues in Conflict and Cooperation in Indian Federalism
- Autonomy Movements and State Reorganisation in India
- Local Self-Government Institutions- Rural and Urban
- Nature of Party System in India
- National and Regional Parties
- Caste, Class and Politics in India
- Coalition Politics
- Workers and Peasants
- Globalisation and Liberalisation
- Secularism and Communal Challenge
- Democracy in Search of Equality
- Crime, Repression and Terror in Indian Politics
EPS-15 South Asia – Economy Society and Politics
- Struggle for Independence and Nationalism in South Asia
- Human Development Profile
- India in the Global Power Structure
- India in the Global Economic Order
- India and its Neighbours
- Political Structures and Processes in Pakistan
- Economy and Society in Pakistan
- Military in the Politics of Pakistan
- Political Structures and Processes in Bangladesh
- Economy and Society in Bangladesh
- Political Structures and Processes in Nepal
- Economy and Society in Nepal
- Economy, Society and Politics in Bhutan
- Political Structures and Processes in Sri Lanka
- Economy and Society in Sri Lanka
- Ethnic Accommodation in the Politics of Sri Lanka
- Economy, Society and Politics in the Maldives
- Human Rights
- Civil Society
- Challenges to Managing Pluralism in South Asia
- Liberalisation and SAPs
- Globalisation and the State
- Poverty Alleviation and Rural Development
- Dynamics of South Asian Security
- Nuclear Issues
- Resolution and Management of Conflicts
Index: MA Political Science
MPS-001 Political Theory
- What is political theory and why Study it
- Idea of Duty
- State and Civil Society-
- Power and Authority
- Legitimation and Obligation
- Civil disobedience and Satyagraha
- Political Violence
- Classical Liberalism
- Welfare State
- Marx,Lenin and Mao
- Lukacs, Gramsci and the Frankfurt School
- Gandhism and Pacifism
- Communitarianism and Civic Republicanism
- Political Theory in a Globalising World
MPS-002 International Relations- Theory and Problems
- Realist and Neo-Realist Approaches
- Liberal and Neo-Liberal Approaches
- Marxist and Other Radical Approaches
- Neo-Radical Approaches
- Post-Structuralist and Post-Modernist Approaches
- Feminist Approaches
- Environmental Approaches
- Worldviews from Asia, Africa and Latin America
- End of Cold War
- Post-Cold War Issues
- Emerging Powers
- Regional Groupings
- International Inequities
- Elements of International Economic Relations
- Management of International Relations
- India in the New Global Order
- Right to Self-Determination
- Nuclear Proliferation
- International Terrorism
- Role of Science and Technology in International Relations
- Inequality among Nations
- Global corporatism and state Sovereignty
- Human Rights and International Trade
- Changing Nature of American Power
- China as an Emerging Power
- Emergence of Central Asian Republics
- Ethnic Resurgence and ‘Identity’ Wars
- Aboriginal-Indigenous Movements
- Displacement of population- Intra-state and interstate
- Transnational Movements- Cultural and Civilization
- Role of NGOS
- The Concept of Justice in International Relations
- Human Security
MPS-003 India Democracy and Development
(It is a common course offered under IGNOU’s MA Socio and MA PubAD programs too, and provides lot of useful fodder material for General studies as well.)
- National Movement
- Development Models
- Constitution And Social Transformation
- Political Economy
- Economy-Structure And Growth
- Bureaucracy, Police, Army
- Self Government
- Political Parties
- Workers And Peasents
- Interest Groups
- Caste, Regligion, Language
- Civil Society
- Human Development
- Regional Imbalances
- Economic Reforms
- Religious Politics
- Democracy And Development-Assessment
MPS-004 Comparative Politics- Issues and Trends
- Comparative Politics- Nature, Significance and Evolution
- Comparative Approaches and Methods- System, Structural, Public Policy
- Comparative Approaches- Political Economy, Dependency and World Systems
- Theories of State
- State in Developing Societies- Asian, African and Latin American Experiences
- State – Civil Society Relations- Evolving Patterns
- Globalisation and State
- Regional Integration and State
- International Organisations and State
- Transnational – Multinational Corporations and State
- Nationalism- Approaches
- Forms of Nationalism
- Anti-Colonial Movements
- Nationality and Self-Determination
- State Building and Constitutionalism
- Ethnicity Politics and State
- Politics of Community Identities
- Ethnic Movements
- Political Regimes
- Military in Politics
- Federalism- Patterns And Trends
- Parties and Party Systems
- Interest Groups, Pressure Groups And Lobbying
- Poverty and Human Development
- Gender and Development
- Science, Technology and Politics
- Decentralisation and Participation
- Human Rights
MPSE-001 India and the World
- Evolution of India’s World-view
- Approaches to the Study of India’s Foreign Policy
- Objectives and Determinants
- Decision marking Institution
- Policy Development Process
- India’s Foreign Policy- An Overview
- U.S.A.European Union
- Russia, China and Japan
- India and its Neighbours
- India and South East Asia
- India and Central and West Asia
- India, latin America and Caribbean
- India-Africa Relations
- Politico-Security Issues-
- Economics Issues
- Social-Cultural Issues
- Political and Diplomatic Issues
MPSE-003 Western Political Thought (Plato to Marx)
- Significance of Western Political Thought
- St. Augustine & St. Thomas Aquinas
- Niccolo Machiavelli
- Thomas Hobbes
- John Locke
- Jean Jacques Rousseau
- Edmund Burke
- Immanuel Kant
- Jeremy Bentham
- Alexis de Tocqueville
- J.S. Mill
- George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
- Karl Marx
MPSE-004 Social and Political Thought in Modern India
- Pre-Modern Socio-Religous Political thought in India- The Diverse Strands
- Orientalist Discourse and Colonial Modernity
- Salient Features of Modern Indian Political Thought
- Early Nationalist Responses- Rammohan Roy, Bankim Chatterjee Saraswati Phule
- Moderates and Extremists- Dadabhai Naoroji, MG Ranade and BG Tilak
- Hinduism- Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo Ghosh
- Hindutva- VD Savarkar and MS Golwalkar
- Muslim Thought- Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, MohaIqbal, Maulana Maudoodi and Jinnah
- Nation and Identity Concerns- EV Naicker, Nazrul, Pandita Ramabai, Jaipal, Kahn Singh
- MK Gandhi
- Jawaharlal Nehru
- BR Ambedkar
- Rabindranath Tagore
- Communist Thought- MN Roy and EMS Namboodiripad
- Socialist Thought- Rammanohar Lohia and jayaprakash Narayan
MPSE-006 Peace and Conflict Studies
- Peace and Conflict Studies- Nature and Scope
- Conceptual Analysis of Peace and Conflict
- Nature and Forms of Conflict- Intra-state, Inter-state and Global
- Theories of War
- Types of War- Conventional War, Limited War and Nuclear War
- Types of War- Revolutionary Civil War, Guerrilla Insurgency Insurgency, Proxy Asymmetrical Terrorism
- UN System- Pacific Settlement of Disputes
- UN System- Peacekeeping, Peacemaking and Adjudication
- Disarmament and Arms Control
- Confidence Building Measures
- Conflict Management and Conflict Resolution
- Functional Approaches and Regionalisrn
- The Gandhian Approach
- Human Security
- Peace Research and Peace Movements
MPSE-007 Social Movements and Politics in India
- Social Movements- Meanings, Significance and Importance
- Approaches to Study Social Movements- Liberal, Gandhian and Marxian
- Classification of Social Movements Including New Social Movements
- Democratisation and Changing Nature of Indian Society
- Globalisation and Social Movements
- State, Market and Social Movements
- Dalit Movement
- Backward Class Movement
- Ethnic Movements with Special Reference to Tribals
- Women’s Movements
- Regional Movements
- Religious and Communal Movements
- Agrarian Movements
- Working Class Movement
- Fisher Folks’ Movement
- Environmental and Ecological Movements
- Social Movements and Democracy- An Assessment
MPSE-008 State Politics in India
- Development of State Politics in India
- Frameworks for Analysis
- Nature of Indian Diversities and Nationalist Responses
- States in the Constitutional Scheme
- Development of State System
- Elections and Electoral Politics
- Political Parties and Party Systems
- Patterns of dissent and Protest Movements in Indian states
- Developmental Issues and Regional Disparities
- Agrarian Transformation and Land Reforms
- Industry and Labour
- Globalisation and Liberalisation- Implications for State Politics
- Inter-state Disputes- Water and Territorial Boundaries
- Patterns of Communal Politics
- Assertion of Dalits and Backward Castes
- Linguistic and Ethnic Minorities in State Politics
- State Autonomy Movements in India
MED-002 Sustainable Development- Issues and Challenges
- What is Sustainable Development
- Parameters of Sustainable Development
- Approaches to the Study of Sustainable Development
- Issues and Challenges
- Natural Resource Exploitation
- Patterns of Industrialisation
- Global and Regional Dimensions
- State Initiatives
- Regional Initiatives
- Global Initiatives
- Community Knowledge
- Cooperation and Partnership
MED-008 Globalisation Environment and Development
- Environmental Dimensions of Globalisation
- Environmental Calamities
- Man-made Disasters
- MNCs, TNCs and Developing Countries
- International Summits and Declarations
- International Environmental Laws and Agreements
- Role of the United Nations Agencies
- Environment in Multilateral Perspectives
- South Asian Response to Environmental Concerns
- Non-Governmental Agencies Initiatives
Official UPSC Syllabus Pol.Sci. Paper 1
Political Theory and Indian Politics:
- Political Theory: meaning and approaches.
- Theories of the State: Liberal, Neoliberal, Marxist, Pluralist, Post-colonial and feminist.
- Justice: Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its communitarian critiques.
- Equality: Social, political and economic; relationship between equality and freedom; Affirmative action.
- Rights: Meaning and theories; different kinds of rights; concept of Human Rights.
- Democracy: Classical and contemporary theories; different models of democracy – representative, participatory and deliberative.
- Concept of power, hegemony, ideology and legitimacy.
- Political Ideologies: Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism and Feminism.
- Indian Political Thought : Dharamshastra, Arthashastra and Buddhist traditions; Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M.K. Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, M.N. Roy.
- Western Political Thought: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt.
Indian Government and Politics:
- Indian Nationalism:
- Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle: Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha, Non-cooperation,
- Civil Disobedience; Militant and revolutionary movements, Peasant and workers’ movements.
- Perspectives on Indian National Movement: Liberal, Socialist and Marxist; Radical humanist and Dalit.
- Making of the Indian Constitution: Legacies of the British rule; different social and political perspectives.
- Salient Features of the Indian Constitution:
- The Preamble, Fundamental Rights and Duties, Directive
- Principles; Parliamentary System and Amendment Procedures; Judicial Review and Basic Structure doctrine.
- Principal Organs of
- The Union Government: Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature and Supreme Court.
- Principal Organs of the State Government: Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature and High Courts.
- Grassroots Democracy: Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroot movements.
- Statutory Institutions/Commissions: Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, Finance Commission, Union Public Service Commission, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National
- Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women; National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Minorities, National Backward Classes Commission.
- Federalism: Constitutional provisions; changing nature of centre-state relations; integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.
- Planning and Economic Development : Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives; role of planning and public sector; Green Revolution, land reforms and agrarian relations; liberalilzation and economic reforms.
- Caste, Religion and Ethnicity in Indian Politics.
- Party System: National and regional political parties, ideological and social bases of parties; patterns of coalition politics; Pressure groups, trends in electoral behaviour; changing socio- economic profile of Legislators.
- Social Movements: Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements.
Official UPSC Syllabus Pol.Sci. Syllabus Paper 2
Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics
- Comparative Politics: Nature and major approaches; political economy and political sociology perspectives; limitations of the comparative method.
- State in comparative perspective: Characteristics and changing nature ofthe State in capitalist and socialist economies, and, advanced industrial and developing societies.
- Politics of Representation and Participation: Political parties, pressure groups and social movements in advanced industrial and developing societies.
- Globalisation: Responses from developed and developing societies.
- Approaches to the Study of International Relations: Idealist, Realist, Marxist, Functionalist and Systems theory.
- Key concepts in International Relations: National interest, Security and power; Balance of power and deterrence; Transnational actors and collective security; World capitalist economy and globalisation.
- Changing International Political Order:
- Rise of super powers; strategic and ideological Bipolarity, arms race and Cold War; nuclear threat;
- Non-aligned movement: Aims and achievements;
- Collapse of the Soviet Union; Unipolarity and American hegemony; relevance of non-alignment in the contemporary world.
- Evolution of the International Economic System: From Brettonwoods to WTO; Socialist economies and the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance); Third World demand for new international economic order; Globalisation of the world economy.
- United Nations: Envisaged role and actual record; specialized UN agencies-aims and functioning; need for UN reforms.
- Regionalisation of World Politics: EU, ASEAN, APEC, SAARC, NAFTA.
- Contemporary Global Concerns: Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice, terrorism, nuclear proliferation.
India and the World
- Indian Foreign Policy: Determinants of foreign policy; institutions of policy-making; continuity and change.
- India’s Contribution to the Non-Alignment Movement: Different phases; current role.
- India and South Asia:
- Regional Co-operation: SAARC – past performance and future prospects.
- South Asia as a Free Trade Area.
- India’s “Look East” policy.
- Impediments to regional co-operation: river water disputes; illegal cross-border migration; ethnic conflicts and insurgencies; border disputes.
- India and the Global South: Relations with Africa and Latin America; leadership role in the demand for NIEO and WTO negotiations.
- India and the Global Centres of Power: USA, EU, Japan, China and Russia.
- India and the UN System: Role in UN Peace-keeping;demand for Permanent Seat in the Security Council.
- India and the Nuclear Question: Changing perceptions and policy.
- Recent developments in Indian Foreign policy: India’s position on the recent crisis in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with US and Israel; vision of a new world order.
For more downloads, visit Mrunal.org/download
Online Course Strategies
1) Prove you are not a dog (be a presence)
2) Don’t lecture — talk
3) First two weeks critical
4) Create meta-videos (how the course works; technologies to be used)
5) Think Fluid – length based on topic and audience attention (20 minutes)
6) Think scaffolded assignments (even for interaction)
7) Give lots of feedback (even canned)
8) Redundancy and Remindancy
9) Make contact
10) Establish your comfort zone for contact and keep it.
11) Be playful
12) Be visual
HISTORY ASSIGNMENTS /
A good first assignment –for all online courses– is to have students do introductions. They can be general “tell others in the course about yourself” or have a more specific set of questions that elicit students’ interests and prior knowledge of the course subject. The students can post in an Angel or Desire2Learn forum so that the introductions can be read by the class but not made public. Online courses often see attrition due to lack of a sense of being part of a class. Having students do simple things like introductions, explaining their interests in history, or their interests in the specific topic of the class helps them to feel more connected.
The first two weeks of the course are critical for class retention, and often having “canned” encouraging emails sent out regularly in the first few weeks can be of great value. A generalized response to the introductions that can either go to the whole class or personalized with a reference to a few words in the introductions (in smaller classes) can greatly help.
In general, having a number of short forum assignments at the beginning of a course can be quite beneficial. For these assignments, you can have a portion of the class post a brief response to a reading, a review of a web site, a response to an issue, and so on, while others in the class comment on the responses.
The key is to not feel obligated to grade or read all of the responses, but treat them more as class discussion and participation. “Spot” reading of the responses can help instructors to see how well students are understanding materials and help to catch those students (and prod them with an email or two) who are not participating.
However, one does need to balance and not be too burdensome with participation assignments; nor have too small of a window for responses.
Both Angel and Desire2Learn have good discussion (forum) platforms (On the whole, D2L is less clunky in all respects and much faster than Angel). But you can also use online resources for class interaction such as Piazza (https://piazza.com/).
To encourage collaborative writing. Instructor can identify a series of themes. Number of themes could depend on number of students enrolled in course. Ask students as a group to compile a Wikipedia or blog entry on theme of choice.
You could let students know that the assignments could possibly be used to contribute towards an electronic reader, or a resource-based reader on a public history site maintained by the department. Or they can post on a public blog. Entries can be of any length but generally group blog posts tend to work well at 500 – 750 words. They can be more formal and include citations and bibliography at the end.
Blog posts, individually or as a group, form or informal, can be a great way for students to turn in work or participate in the class. While you can have students sign up for and blog on your course site, a simpler and better solution is to have students use any one of a number of free blog services (http://sixrevisions.com/tools/top-free-online-blogging/). Students can use tools like WordPress.org, for example, to create their own blog (http://wordpress.org/) (individual or group) that focuses on an historical theme, event, movement, person, etc.
While many see Wikipedia as a dubious resource, historians can use this to their advantage by having students work on an entry on either a new topic or a more established topic. The class can set about trying to improve the accuracy and historical fullness of particular Wikipedia entries.
Scaffolded assignment using Google Docs (http://googleapps.msu.edu). One trick that I have found that has made commenting on student work and allows me to avoid Angel dropbox, is to use the MSU instantiation of Google Docs. Students share a particular Google Doc with me and post their work in it. When work is due, I can go to the Google Doc and write comments.
This also allows one to scaffold assignments, break them into manageable parts. Students can, for example, start by collecting sources in the doc; they can then do reviews of the sources; They can then do a draft of an assignment; they can then review a fellow student; and then finally do a final draft. Any one stage of a scaffolded assignment can be graded or commented upon or simply checked off for being done.
Students can work in groups. Almost any assignment can be broken into parts. Scaffolding assignments helps to keep students engaged by giving them more manageable tasks. It also helps one to avoid getting paper mill work – plagiarism.
More Assignments. Any of the following could be formulated for forums, blog posts, scaffolded assignments, or more traditional drop box Word docs.
Article review. Instructor identifies a series of themes. Students are asked to find an article that meets specific scholarly criteria, as identified by instructor (e.g published in reputable journal, draws on primary source materials or draws on both primary and secondary sources, is at least 10 pages in length excluding the bibliography, etc. etc.). Write a 1 or 2 page review that includes a short summary, and a critical analysis that draws in other readings from the course.
Archive Review: Identify an online archive for review, as in the following example from http://historymatters.gmu.edu/search.php?function=find&start=31
For a class, students can look at topic specific archives or find within larger archives, materials appropriate for a particular class.
As per this example, students can be asked to use selected narratives, interviews, footage, or images to construct a “document-based question” for fellow students to answer
Been Here So Long: Selections from the WPA American Slave Narratives
These three lessons use the American Slave Narratives gathered between 1936 and 1938 by journalists and other writers employed by the Federal Writers Project, part of the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration (WPA).
The site supplies 17 narratives for student use and also provides information on online and printed sources for additional narratives (approximately 2,300 were collected). The lessons ask students to explore the slave narratives to gain an understanding of the experiences of African Americans in nineteenth-century America and to consider the nature of oral history and personal narratives as historical evidence.
One lesson requires students to use selected slave narratives to construct a “Document Based Question” for fellow students to answer. The lessons are accompanied by an essay on “The Ex-Slave Interviews in the Depression Cultural Context.” This activity comes from the New Deal Network Web site.
Using primary source documents, examine the impact of particular historical events / episodes on people’s lives. Rich online archives provide excellent resources for setting students up to do “historical work” of digging into archives. Alternatively, sets of primary documents can be assembled online and ask students to support or refute particular stances with evidence from the documents. A particularly rich example of this can be found with the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History (http://canadianmysteries.ca/en/index.php)
Identify a significant event or publication in your discipline. Have students ascertain the important people, impact, etc., involved by consulting a variety of library resources. Probably a good idea to keep the event/publication broad: The lunar landing, discovery of penicillin, Silent Spring, the rock opera Hair, the advent of the assembly line, etc. Suggested library resources will depend on the event, but lends itself neatly to reference tools. (Adapted from Term Paper Alternatives. http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/PaperAlternatives.html)
Liberal and Conservative
Contrast two journal articles or editorials from recent publications reflecting conservative and liberal tendencies. (Consult Cannell Library’s handout, “A Selective List of Liberal and Conservative Periodicals.”) It might be interesting to carry out this exercise again using publications from the late 1960s.
(Adapted from Term Paper Alternatives. http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/PaperAlternatives.html)
Popular and Scholarly
Provide students with a popular and a scholarly article on the same topic. (Or, alternatively, have students locate two articles on their own.) Students will use a prepared checklist to analyze the two types of publications and learn the distinguishing characteristics.
Popular and Primary
Students will find a short article in the popular press and locate the original research article [primary source] on which the popular article was based. Students will analyze the relationship between the popular article and original research, and critique the popular article with regard to its accuracy.
Update the Literature
Ask students to update a literature review done about five years ago on a topic in the discipline. They will have to utilize printed and electronic resources to identify pertinent information.
Update a Web Directory
Students will select a topic directory from the Cannell Library web site. Students will look at each of the recommended sites, then locate five more sites on the same topic that they determine should be added. For each site they recommend, students will complete a web page evaluation worksheet and write a short evaluation. Alternatively, students can locate their own directory to update, rather than using one from the library’s page.
Analyze Case Studies
Bring in case studies for students to read (for example, I will put a case example of sexual harassment on an overhead). Have students discuss and analyze the case, applying concepts, data, and theory from the class. They can work as individuals or in groups or do this as a think-pair-share. Consider combining this with a brief in-class writing assignment.
Mini-research Proposals or Projects
Have the students work on designing a research study on a topic from the class. In some situations, you may be able to have them collect data during class time (observe some situation or give out some short surveys) or you may have them doing this as part of an outside-of-class project. Either way, have students present their research in a class research symposium similar to what we do at professional meetings. Invite other faculty and students.
Analyze Information Sources
Have students locate three sources—one an article published in a popular magazine, one an article in a refereed scholarly journal, one a web site—and have them analyze the sources in terms of language used, evidence presented for claims, qualifications of the author, and purpose.
This one uses the New York Times Historical database. Have students select a topic or an issue and examine it across time by locating articles in the New York Times for this year, 25, 50, 75, and/or 100 years ago. In addition to gaining an understanding of the shifts in language (and the need to brainstorm keywords) students can study the different approaches to the issue and the ways in the issue reflect the values and assumptions of the time. This exercise can be expanded by having students expand their knowledge of the different time periods with chronologies and other reference books.
Create an AnthologyUsing the book catalog and databases, have students compile an anthology or reader of works on a theme or topic. Students will write critical introductions to the selections they have chosen. This exercise is good for teaching providing students practice with selecting particular sources out of many and relating pieces to a whole.
(Adapted from http://www.gustavus.edu/oncampus/academics/library/
Compile an anthology of readings by one person. Have students include an introduction with biographical information about the author, and the rationale for including the works [justify with reviews or critical materials].
Secondary Source Comparison
Provide the class with primary sources that recount an event that is open to more than one interpretation. Then have students locate and critique secondary source explanations of that event. Have students examine differences in secondary sources and relate these to their own interpretation of the available evidence. (Students are often surprised to find secondary sources tell the same story differently.)
Document an Editorial Have students examine an editorial and discuss what evidence would need to be provided to turn it into an academic argument for a scholarly audience. Have the class locate and analyze evidence and write a response to the editorial based on their new knowledge.
Glossary Exercise Have students maintain a list of words related to the topic of the class (from lectures, the textbook, readings). Using words on the list students create an annotated glossary, for which they provide documented definitions for each of the words. The instructor can set a minimum number of words and sources (i.e. forty words from at least 10 different sources). Sources can include general and subject-specific dictionaries, people, web sites, a whole book on the topic, an article on the topic, etc.)
One of Kitty’s favorites from an Intro to Research Class
Prepare an annotated bibliography of books, journal articles, and other sources on a topic. Include evaluative annotations
· produce the annotated bibliography in the form of a web page
· Have students work in groups to compile a large annotated bibliography and present/defend their selections to the class.
Topic Across Sources
Select a topic and compare how that topic is treated in two to five different sources.
Analyze the content, style, and audience of three journals in a given discipline.
Locate primary sources on/or near the date of your birth. You may use one type of material only once, i.e., one newspaper headline of a major event, one quotation, one biography, one census figure, one top musical number, one campus event, etc. Use a minimum of six different sources. Write a short annotation of each source and include the complete bibliographic citation.
Web Site Evaluation
Students select a web site and evaluate it using a checklist, such as the W5 for W3 web site evaluation and checklist. As a variation, have students locate three websites on the same topic, and after completing the worksheet, have them write a short paper describing each site and ranking them in order of quality.
Teach the Class
Each student in the class is given responsibility for dealing with a part of the subject of the course. He or she is then asked to 1) find out what the major reference sources on the subject are; 2) find out “who’s doing what where” in the field; 3) list three major unresolved questions about the subject; 4) prepare a 15 minute oral presentation to introduce this aspect of the subject to the class.
Follow the Policy
Have students follow a particular foreign policy situation as it develops. Who are the organizations involved? What is the history of the issue? What are the ideological conflicts?
Internet & Search Engines Choose a topic of interest and search it on the Internet. Cross reference several search engines. Select and evaluate x number of web sites; select a specified number to include on an annotated bibliography. As with a research paper, students will have to narrow and broaden accordingly. Students summarize the experience by describing the experiences in different search engines, overall coverage of the topic, best keywords, etc.
(Adapted from http://library.ups.edu/instruct/assign.htm)
Write Your Own Exam
Write an exam on one area; answer some or all of the questions (depending on professor’s preference). Turn in an annotated bibliography of source material, and rationale for questions.
All But the Research Paper
Conduct the research for a term paper. Do everything except write it. Students submit a clearly defined topic, an annotated bibliography of useful sources, an outline of a paper, a thesis statement, and an opening paragraph and summary.
Examine Coverage of a Controversial Issue
Examine the treatment of a controversial issue in several different sources such as newspapers, books, magazines, scholarly journals, and web sites. Write a paper that presents a balanced point of view on the issue or ask the students to take a position based on the information.
Purpose: Gives them experience in locating different kinds of sources and selecting from a large volume of references. Emphasizes that there are multiple perspectives on any issue and stresses the importance of making informed decisions.
Finding Supporting Information
Give the students an article to critique. Have them locate two sources (other articles, web sites) which support (or not) the points made in the original article. Purpose: Gives the students an opportunity to understand the importance of using more than one source when gathering information.
Have students choose any issue that has been the subject of protest or propaganda at any time in the past 500 years in any part of the world. Then write a paper detailing the issues of the protest/propaganda, putting the issues in the context of some sort of text or object. The text/object can be a film; a literary or musical work; a poster; a pamphlet; a sculpture or painting; a building; a symbolic act; or a historical moment. The overarching questions to address in the paper are: What historical forces — technological, political, cultural — brought this protested issue or point of propaganda to a critical point at the moment you are looking at?
What are the specific arguments being raised in the protest or propaganda? How does your object/text embody these historical forces and detailed arguments?
(World Civilizations Prehistory to 1500 assignment, from http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/courses/
Create a Pathfinder
Students select a topic and create a guide to researching the topic. The pathfinder is not an exhaustive list of source, but the steps on could follow to locate information in a variety of sources, plus a sample of sources each resource would yield. This assignment will help students understand the organization of traditional reference information as well as Internet reference information and its organization. . The pathfinder would include the following: Topic & summary; Subject Headings; tools (book catalog, indexes, newsgroups, etc.) with two sources from each.
Students research a topic and present it as a poster which other students will use to learn about the topic. Provides the opportunity to conduct a search and forces the students to express the important points succinctly.
(Adapted from http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/courses/sample_assignments.html)
Journals in a Discipline
Assignment: How many journals are published in a given field? Identify [with professor’s help] journals “basic” to the discipline. Compare and contrast them. Analyse their content, tone, audience and impact. Purpose: Emphasizes the importance of journal literature. Makes the point that journals differ in approach and perspective.
Finding Suitable Information
Assignment: Give the students a set of Web pages to look at. Have them note any reasons why these pages are, or are not appropriate for university level student research or for in-class use.
Purpose: A source that is useful in one instance, may not be useful in all instances. Either scholarly or popular sites might be appropriate depending on the requirements of the class assignment.
Museum exhibit design (with artifact list, visitor walk-through plan, keyed to mission statement of an existing museum
Local history or heritage walk analysis.
Grant proposal or funding request for a history-related project
Design public lecture series on an issue related to the course (select speakers, topics)
Document-based exercise requiring an inventory of a document set, generating 3 questions from the set, then developing an essay to answer one of those questions using the docs
Design a traveling trunk, including artifact list, lesson plan
Plan an oral history collection project for a local nursing home, assisted care facility, veterans hospital/home
Sketch an article proposal for a major national publication (one student wrote the precis for an article on native american graves and repatriation issues to be submitted to THE ATLANTIC).
Choose an issue and imagine 10 primary sources that would constitute “smoking gun” evidence for researchon that issue, then compare/contrast those imagined sources to 10 existing sources.
map an issue. One student in a western civ class I taught drew a map of the Roman empire based on two variables: the sources of animals for the games and the sources of hard coin, and actually found some (perhaps coincidental) correlations with the Roman road system.