Historical Writing


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How to write a historical essay

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Historical Writing

  1. 1. Historical Writing<br />
  2. 2. Prewriting<br />Plan and Create a thesis and a brief outline highlighting your main arguments and historical evidence. <br />
  3. 3. Introduction: <br />Give historical context to the topic. <br />Identify any key terms in the question, such as, totalitarianism, nationalism, ideology, and so forth. <br />State your thesis at the end of the first paragraph. <br />The thesis should have three main components to support your argument. It should also be thematic and not just a list of events or people. <br />
  4. 4. Thesis Statement<br />Must directly answer the question and take into consideration all components<br />Subject + argument/point of view/opinion<br />
  5. 5. Historical Context<br />Context is understood as the events, or the climate of opinion, that surround the issue at hand. <br />Used to understand its urgency, its importance, its shape. <br /><ul><li>What needs to be identified that happened before, leading up to this event, individual or activity?</li></li></ul><li>Analysis<br />To analyze is to break down the whole in order to assess the nature of something. <br />Analysis is to process as a method of studying the nature of history or of determining its essential features and their relations and proportionality. <br />
  6. 6. Body Paragraphs: <br />The topic sentence should link back to one component of your thesis. <br />You should provide detailed historical evidence to support your thesis. <br />All evidence should have an approach and incorporate analysis. <br />Include critical commentary for each evidence presented. English “chunk” method <br />
  7. 7. Conclusion: <br />Address any major counter-arguments, challenge the assumptions in the question, and summarize your main arguments. <br />Your last sentence should be thoughtful, reflective, and interesting.<br />
  8. 8. Important Reminders<br />State at least five relevant dates in your essay to demonstrate a sound grasp of chronology.<br />Identify all the key leaders related to the topic and their titles.<br />Explain and analyze historical interpretations (historiography) in relation to your question.<br />Answer the question as it is stated. <br />Always use academic language.<br />
  9. 9. Historiography<br />Historical interpretation<br />1) when did they write and what access to evidence did they have? <br />2) where are they from and does this effect their view? <br />3) what is the ideological background that shaped their worldview? <br />
  10. 10. Historiography Evaluation & Integration<br />What happened? <br />Who was responsible? <br />Where did this event happen? <br />When or in what order did things happen? <br />Why did they happen? <br />What have other historians said about the event? What mistakes did they make that I can now correct?<br />
  11. 11. Historical Evidence<br />Supports all thesis statements (assertions, explanations, interpretations) with specific, warranted evidence (examples, illustrations, concrete historical actions). <br />Establishes direct links between events of the past and the writer&apos;s interpretation of those events. <br />Draws evidence (supporting examples) from ALL the required readings. <br />Includes appropriate primary source (firsthand) direct quotations. Persons quoted clearly identified. <br />Includes statistical evidence, especially when making social or economic arguments (raw numbers, percentages, charts, graphs). <br />