Writing History Essay Level

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Get a good general stylebook and keep it by your side as you write. Historical analysis is critical; it evaluates sources, assigns significance to causes, and weighs competing explanations.

”) Once you have laid out your thesis, don’t forget about it.

(The scandal did not become public until after the election.) If you write, “The revolution in China finally succeeded in the twentieth century,” your professor may suspect that you haven’t studied. What would you think of a biographer who wrote that you graduated from Hamilton in the 1950s?

Your professor may allow parenthetical citations in a short paper with one or two sources, but you should use footnotes for any research paper in history.

Competent historians may offer different interpretations of the same evidence or choose to stress different evidence. Who exactly needed freedom, and what did they mean by freedom?

Assignment Of Patent - Writing History Essay Level

You will not find a single historical Truth with a capital “T” on any matter of significance. Here is a more precise statement about the French Revolution: “Threatened by rising prices and food shortages in 1793, the Parisian pressured the Convention to institute price controls.” This statement is more limited than the grandiose generalizations about the Revolution, but unlike them, it can open the door to a real analysis of the Revolution.

If you write, “Napoleon abandoned his Grand Army in Russia and caught the redeye back to Paris,” the problem is obvious.

If you write, “Despite the Watergate scandal, Nixon easily won reelection in 1972,” the problem is more subtle, but still serious. Remember that chronology is the backbone of history.

Don’t push the distinction too far, but you might think of summary and analysis this way: are the stuff of summary; how, why, and to what effect are the stuff of analysis.

Many students think that they have to give a long summary (to show the professor that they know the facts) before they get to their analysis.


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