As requested, I am giving you broad guidelines for your final presentation and report. These are meant to be expansive enough to give you the freedom to craft your presentation to your needs, but narrow enough to help you present your topic in a “orthodox” proposal format.
The presentation should consist of four sections.
1. The question.
What is the question you are seeking to answer? The main question should be presented as a question, not as a thesis or answer to the question. You may also want to include subordinated questions that come under the aegis of the main question. This sections should be short.
What literature exists on this topic? This does not need to be terribly specific. In your actual thesis proposals, it will be. But for the sake of this exercise, since it is an oral presentation, you should give a general sense of the historiography (ie. some authors argue this, others argue this; historians have focused on this problem as an example of this; newer work in this other field could be used to inform studies of this; etc.). This section should also be relatively short.
What is the methodology you expect to use to investigate this question, and what are the sources or kind of sources that will allow you to answer it? You should tie this to a specific methodology. We’ve covered a number of them this semester, but there are others. You should choose the methodology best suited to your project. This section should be longer than the first two, but not as long as the next.
4. A preliminary hypothesis
Given what you know about the topic, what would you hypothesize as your answer. This should give a specific, if hypothetical, answer to the question you posed at the outset. This should allow you to illustrate how you’ll use your methodology to answer the question and how that will fit into the historiography that you’ve outlined. This should be the longest section.
The report should cover the four sections of the presentation and include a bibliography that covers the historiography and primary sources you have uncovered.
The report can be in one of two forms: the actual presentation written down or a detailed outline. I would suggest that it would be better to do both: have a written version but give your presentation from an outline, but I will accept either form.
As you requested, this is an exercise that not only allows you to get a head start on your thesis proposals, but it also allows you to work on your formal presentation skills. Therefore, you will be graded on both the content of the proposal and the presentation itself.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing and hearing some fantastic work!