Students will prepare a substantial piece of original scholarship based on substantial research in primary sources. Working on an individual basis with a faculty member, students will engage in reading, discussion, drafting, and revision to develop a deep understanding of how historians develop a research topic, conduct research and evaluate evidence, and apply secondary and theoretical materials to produce analytical, argumentative scholarship. The course will culminate in a public presentation of the student’s research. Topics will be developed based on student interest, in consultation with a faculty member. Independent study projects may take the form of a traditional research paper of at least 15 pages or a physical or digital exhibit of equivalent substance. Students wishing to apply for Honors must complete both HIS 500 and HIS 501. Honors projects may take the form of a graduate-level research paper of at least 35 pages or a physical or digital exhibit of equivalent substance. Students are advised to consult with faculty mentors in the spring prior to their senior year about the feasibility of proposed topics. HIS 500 or 501 replaces HIS 400 and may only be taken with departmental approval and are open to junior and senior history majors and minors who have completed HIS 290.