Once in seminar, I divide my students into small groups, giving each a set of notes, along with the corresponding hidden book. The students then have about 20 to 30 minutes to produce an outline of the text in as much detail as possible. What can they tell me about its subject and scope, including the time period it covers? What about the author’s use of sources? What do the notes suggest about the kind of historical approach at work in this book? Are there any indications that the author is using a particular theoretical model or framework to think through specific research questions or problems? What do students imagine the title of the selection to be? When was it written? What other guesses are they willing to venture about the historian whose notes they’ve been assigned?
Read more about historian Roxanne Panchasi’s focus with her students on citations: Cite Specific: Analyzing Endnotes to Teach Historical Methods