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Independent Project

Historical studies

History 4950 is the Independent Project required of all students who major in Historical Studies (the course also is open to co-majors and non-majors).

Normally, the project will be undertaken during the last semester of a candidate's study. Candidates will complete the project in one academic term. Students wishing to do the project will notify the Program Chair as to their intentions, before the end of classes during the semester prior to taking History 4950. At that time, they will discuss what they would like to do. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate the student's interests. Proposals, however, must be feasible given the time constraints of one term, the availability of sources, and the relevant knowledge of the faculty. Each student will be assigned a principal supervisor as well as a second reader; the student should meet with his/her principal supervisor on a regular basis throughout the semester.

HIST 4950 is the "flagship" course of your Historical Studies degree. It is highly desirable that you do well and our faculty will do everything they can to help you succeed.  Copies of outstanding HIST 4950 papers are available upon request, as a guide to the quality of research and writing expected of you.

Please note: All students enrolled in the course are required to attend an information session in the first week of the semester (time and date t.b.a.). 


A. The finished paper will be between 5,000 and 7,500 words in length.

B. The research base will be equivalent to 15 books, although it may take other forms than traditional printed sources (with the supervisor's approval). Where and when appropriate, students may be encouraged to consult primary sources; this, however, is not a course requirement per se.

C. During the first week of the semester, students will meet with their assigned supervisor to discuss their topics, as previously submitted to the Program Chair, and to begin the immediate preparation of the formal proposal and annotated bibliography.

D. Students will submit a formal thesis proposal supported by an annotated bibliography to their supervisor by the end of the second week of the semester, or the first drop date of the semester, whichever comes first. Samples of these assignments are available upon request.

E. A detailed working outline of their project with an introductory paragraph will be presented to the supervisor by the end of the fifth week of the semester.

F. Students will hand in a full first submission of their project in the ninth week of the semester (remember that this is not your first draft but should be as complete and as polished as you can make it; treat it like your final submission!).

H. Students will give an Oral Presentation based on their first full submission in the tenth week of the semester. They will receive written comments on this oral presentation through their supervisor no later than three days after the presentation.

The final paper will be due no later than the last day of classes during the semester.   

All HIST 4950 papers are archived in the Grenfell library.  Students will have the opportunity, if they choose, to make editorial changes upon receiving comments to their final paper before they get reprinted for archival purposes and public distribution.


Please note that each assignment noted below will be accepted only if it meets the standard required at this level, as determined by your supervisor.

Formal thesis proposal and annotated bibliography
(if the supervisor deems the assignment to be unacceptable, the student will have one chance to revise and resubmit the assignment)
Detailed outline with introductory paragraphs10%
First submission of the paper15%
Oral presentation15%
Finished paper 60%


Failure to meet any due date without showing due cause will result in a penalty of 5% for the first day and 2% for each calendar day up to a maximum of 6 total "late days," after which a grade of zero will be awarded for the assignment in question.  Students must advise their supervisors in advance of any delays in submission.

The grade for the final submission of the paper will be determined mainly by the supervisor, in consultation with the second reader.

Chair, Historical Studies

Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland
20 University Drive, Corner Brook, NL
A2H 5G4, Canada

Office: AS332T
Phone: (709) 637-2191