Assessment Content

Historians assess histories. In this assignment, you develop a prompt designed to elicit a 1000-word analysis of a medieval subject (from the course term list). Administer that to a Generative Text Artificial Intelligence (AI). After at most three refinements, assess the output as a work of history. Justify this relying on two published works of scholarship from the university library.

The Tool: Generative AI arouses equal amounts of excitement and fear in schools, universities, and broader society. There are text, image, and video generators, drawing upon extant digital works (only some with the authorization of the copyright owners). Some champion or warn about these tools as a total replacement for human work. Others caution about the creativity of these AIs, churning out “hallucinations” that seamlessly integrate invention with authenticity.

Approved Generative Text AIs (all with free options):

If you wish to use an alternative Generative AI, that option must be confirmed in advance by the professor.

The Tasks: Your work begins by generating a prompt about your subject and asking that of your chosen AI, administering any necessary refinements, until you’ve produced a short work of AI-generated history. You may want to look at some of the scholarly sources in the library to help inspire your prompt or you may save these for later. If you try “Write me an essay on William the Conqueror”, you may get only an apology (some AIs won’t generate suspected schoolwork). You likely will want to improve the initial version – maybe request a bibliography or for a better historical argument than was teased in the first version. Stop at three refinements. [Copy/download every prompt and all the output to a separate file that you will submit with your assessment.]

Assess this AI history’s treatment of your subject using two reputable works of history from the university library (e.g. an entry from the Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages or works located using the Omni catalog, Iter, or Historical Abstracts). Consult our History Research Guide for more ideas. Judge the quality of the argument, its specificity, and use of evidence (including any references), as well as the accuracy. What, if anything, does the AI history do well? What are three ways this history can be improved? What part is problematic? Why? No notes are needed when referring to your AI-generated material (so ensure that you attach that file).

Your assessment should be about 750 words of text along with a Chicago Manual of Style notes/bibliography. Add the library permalink for each library item. Include the Generative AI that you used in your bibliography as per the “Website” model:

N: 9. ChatGPT, accessed August 25, 2023,

B: ChatGPT. Accessed August 25, 2023.


  5 Superlative 4 Excellent 3 Satisfactory 2.5 Sufficient 0-2.5 Sub-par
Criterion 1: Historical Substance Your historical prompt and its refinements show an informed sense of the subject. Your supporting research materials are all excellently chosen, regularly employed to support your assessment, and precisely documented. Your historical prompt suggests some background research and any refinements clearly improve the output. You have repeatedly drawn from good research to support your claims. All required references follow the citation guide Your prompt is appropriate if not always precisely focused. Prompts may not be much refined (or in a way that focuses the outcome). Library sources may be poor, insufficient, little-used, or not well-documented. Your prompt is very general and either is not refined or changes do not focus on the historical output. Library sources may be entirely missing, poorly chosen, and/or the documentation may not be sufficient. Your prompts or the output are missing or obscured. The prompt is little more than the subject with no or poor refinements. Library sources may be absent. Documentation has major problems or is entirely absent.
Criterion 2: Historical Analysis Your historical analysis is a marvel, showing both a precise sense of what is shown in the scholarly sources as well as in the AI history you critique. Your text asserts the argument of your own assessment and relates that to your three required sources. You make it clear how well, by your standards, history has been performed by prompt and AI generation. This assessment explains how that stands up to the library materials you use. Your own viewpoint is distinct and well-informed. This assessment has some but not all of the required elements: a clear articulation about the level of historical excellence achieved in the AI exercise, how this is shown in relation to the scholarly library materials on the subject. This assessment struggles on the expected elements of analyzing the AI generation with regard to what is shown in the library materials as well as making a clear and well-supported argument regarding the strengths and weaknesses of this creation. This assessment may only describe the history or histories, whether in full or in part. The assessment does not sufficiently incorporate the library sources or AI generation into the assertions and analysis.

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