The autumn semester Research Course takes place over the month before the beginning of the Oxford term. This course will allow you to research a topic of your choice from any area of European history or culture in the period up to c.1750.  Your task is to select a relevant source (or sources) for analysis. This could be a text, an image, a building, or a small group of any of these. You will formulate a research question and write a 6,000 word essay. Some classes and field trips will help to get you thinking. Once you have identified the area you wish to work on, you will have weekly one-to-one meetings with an individual supervisor, who will also read and comment on your final draft. This project will help you with your tutorial writing later in our programme. It will also help you develop the research and writing skills needed for senior theses, graduate work, and similar challenges ahead.

There is no obligatory preparatory reading for this course. Anything written in Europe before c.1750 that captures your imagination would be worth looking at. You can work with texts in translation. If you do wish to work in a language other than English that is welcome, too, but this will not automatically receive a higher grade. There is no textbook for this course, and you will not be under any obligation to purchase any volumes (although you may wish to do so). The resources of the Bodleian Library, Keble College Library, and the Feneley Library will almost always suffice.