Text and Citation Analysis of Undergraduate History Methods Papers
Kimberly Breuer, PhD
Assistant Professor in Practice
Coordinator of Online Learning
Department of History, College of Liberal Arts
My project explores the possible use of text and citation analysis as a means of evaluating writing skills and citations in an upper division History research and methods course. HIST 3300 is the only upper division course required of all History undergraduate degree plans and is typically one of the first upper division courses taken by majors. HIST 3300 is also tracked for departmental Unit Effectiveness purposes.
This project will evaluate several text analysis software (free or trial) to answer the following questions: Is text and citation analysis a useful tool for evaluating student writing; can we analyze papers for language skills/grammar, cohesion, sentiment, complexity of argument, and citations? Are the results of text and citation analysis useful for unit effectiveness purposes: Are there any discernable patterns for those students who produce papers with greater complexity and more scholarly citations (hours in major, where students completed lower division history coursework (UTA, transfer, examination credit), GPA (in major and overall)? Is there a “best pathway” for student success (should students take 3300 earlier or later in their coursework)? Does success/failure in 3300 predict subsequent GPA/student success? Do the results point to curricular changes needed to improve research and writing skills text analysis of method papers?