My goals for my first year seminar on World War I (ENGL 54.002 The War to End All Wars? The First World War and the Modern World) are very simply stated–and rather daunting to achieve. I want my students to learn about the War (of course), with a special focus on how it was experienced and processed on the individual level. But I have two further goals: to introduce my students to research methods in the humanities and to give them the sense that they are participating in a wider conversation, not something that just happens in a classroom. I am trying to keep the introduction to research methods fairly simple. After all, my students are in their first semester in college. Basically, they are going to learn how to use the library: how to search for and find a book; how to distinguish between primary and secondary documents; how to begin to evaluate the reliability of various sources; and how to use electronic databases. This work will culminate in an annotated bibliography on a particular topic–and, finally, an in-class presentation on their research, which will also form the basis of a 12-15 page paper. My GRC, Katie Walker, will join me in helping students navigate these waters. To give them the sense of the wider conversation, my students will attend six of the events that are part of the campus-wide World War I Centenary Project. I hope they will get some idea of the way scholars, artists, and others continue to think about World War I and engage with its multiple legacies. I’ll return to this blog in December and let you know whether I think the course met these goals.