Skills Goals for Seventh-Semester (Senior) History & Art History Students

The faculty of the History & Art History department hopes to develop these skills in history students during the first three years of study and through the senior year. These skills should prepare students for senior-level work and should develop further in the senior thesis seminar.

Document Analysis

  • Ability to distinguish between a primary and secondary source
  • Ability to place document in historical context
  • Ability to examine imaginatively the historical record by taking into account the historical context in which records were created and by comparing the multiple points of view of those on the scene
  • Ability to identify the central point(s) of a document

Research Skills

  • Ability to utilize Web Cat, Juniata’s databases, and WorldCAT in the construction of a bibliography
  • Ability to manage notes in preparation of a research project
  • Ability to prepare an annotated bibliography
  • Knowledge of the purpose and importance of citations, and know where and when citations are required.
  • Ability to use the Chicago Manual of Style footnoting and reference guidelines.
  • Ability to assess the value of a web source
  • Ability to state the difference between scholarly and non-scholarly sources
  • Ability to identify the central argument of a secondary source


  • Ability to write an argumentative research paper of any required length up to 20 pages
  • Ability to marshal solid evidence in support of their theses
  • Ability to write a thesis statement
  • Consistent use of topic sentences
  • Ability to edit a first draft for grammar and style
  • Ability to prepare an outline
  • Ability to critique and edit the writing of a fellow student
  • Ability to write in different genres (historiographic, biographic etc.)

Research Presentations

  • Ability to make a 10-20 minute oral presentation without reading a prepared text
  • Ability to prepare and discuss a power-point presentation
  • Ability to lead a short class discussion

Thinking Historically

  • Ability to look closely at historical explanations and identify the assumptions (stated and unstated) of the author(s) and assess the strength and completeness of the evidence presented
  • Ability to identify and analyze a scholarly debate in the secondary literature
  • Ability to identify different genres of historical writing
  • Adherence to ethical standards of the historical community

Professional Preparedness

  • Ability to prepare resume for different situations
  • Knowledge of which standardized tests are appropriate for which careers
  • Ability to prepare for a standardized test
  • Ability to research graduate and professional programs and prepare a personal statement