This is the first half of a two-semester-long mandatory introductory seminar for first year International History department PhD students, which Prof. Nicole Bourbonnais and I co-teach. It has four parts. Weeks 1-3 address 'the fact' and the stuff of history writing, i.e. primary sources. Weeks 4-8 cover conceptual questions: space; scale and unit of analysis; periodization; causation; and structure & agency. Weeks 9-13 are dedicated to historiographic approaches and turns. Last, in week 14 we discuss an important academic skill: how one writes a critical review essay.