Historiographical Essay Example

Thus, if you are reading a number of works on the same subject, your task is to compare the works you have been reading in terms of when they were published to establish who is bringing something new to us and who is simply repeating established material.

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Sophie Levant is a freelance writer based in Michigan.

Having attended Michigan State University, her interests include history classical music, travel, and the German language.

Keep in mind where the author has come from, the time and context they wrote in, and their approach and methods.

This will better help you understand their arguments.

For example, if a historian of a war writes his/her account from the point of view of only one of the participants, using archives from only that country, you might note the problem and suggest archival research in the other country.

Another historian might write up an analysis of an urban revolt on the part of the poor, using police and newspaper records, but neglect to analyze the policies which provoked the revolt in terms of what the policymakers hoped to accomplish and how they perceived the poor before and after the violence.Throughout the course of your studies, you may be asked to write a historiographical essay.Concerning itself mainly with secondary sources, a historiographical essay discusses the body of research, debate and discussion on a particular historical topic.If your assignment calls for you to read a number of works dealing with the same topic, you may see that over time one authors work tends to be basic and others merely use it, without adding anything to our understanding.Ideally, each historian is supposed to master what has been done by other historians before him/her and add something new, so that, depending upon when one wrote, one added something that was not there before (although it may then become something well known afterward).Next, gather your notes and examine how each view contributes to and shapes the discussion.What or who does each author agree or disagree with and how? Is scholarship on the subject lacking or has it run its course? Once you have your notes, you can begin writing your paper.Your introduction should include the historical topic you are exploring.The rest of the paper will evaluate the body of work you have read in order to present a cohesive picture of opinions and debate.So, how do you actually write a historical argument?It depends on what kind of historical writing you're doing.


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