Historiography thesis

Making sense of what has been written on your topic. Before doing work in primary sources, historians must know what has been written on their topic. They must be familiar with theories and arguments—as well as facts—that appear in secondary sources.

Historiography thesis

Jeremy Popkin Hints for Writing a Historiographical Essay A historiographical essay is an essay which analyzes the way a single historical topic or issue is treated by a number of authors. A historiographical essay is usually problem-centered, unlike a book review, which is centered on a single publication even though a book review does normally make some reference to other works related to the book being discussed.

For example, a historiographical essay on Historiography thesis resistance during the Holocaust might look at the differing definitions of resistance offered by Hilberg, Bauer, Gutman and Paulsson, their differing conclusions about the extent of such resistance, and their opinions about its impact.

In addition to pointing out areas of agreement and disagreement in the work on this subject, a good historiographical essay should discuss the reasons for these differences and their implications for the understanding of the subject. Whereas book reviews usually deal with full-length books, historiographical essays are more flexible and often discuss articles as well as books.

There is no single formula for organizing a historiographical essay. Like all interpretive and argumentative essays, a historiographical essay should have an introduction defining its subject and offering a preview of the following argument, and it should end with a conclusion in which you look back over what you have said, summarize your most important findings, and leave the reader with a significant thought to carry away from the piece.

The introduction and conclusion should be separate paragraphs or sequences of paragraphs; if you combine them with paragraphs that are really part of the body of your paper, you have probably not devoted enough time and effort to them. In between, however, there are several different ways to organize your material.

History of historiography

The best approach will depend on the nature of the issue discussed in your readings and the nature of the readings themselves. Some of the various approaches that are possible are: This usually works best if you are comparing a series of more or less comparable secondary works that deal with closely related questions and that show a clear evolution of viewpoints over time.

Such essays usually begin by discussing a fundamental book that set forth important theses on a historical topic and then looking at subsequent publications that challenged those theses, perhaps substituting a new general interpretation that was subsequently revised in its turn.

In an essay of this sort, you tend to treat each successive publication as a response to the earlier ones; your job as historiographical analyst is to show how this conversation among historians proceeded and what ending point it finally reached.

In such an essay, you would usually discuss each book in turn, normally in chronological order. In this case, it may make more sense to present the major interpretations of a problem as examples of competing historiographical or ideological approaches.

Department of History

In this case, the chronological order in which works appeared may be less important, since you may be suggesting that different interpretations have co-existed with each other over time, rather than one replacing the other.

Here your emphasis would be on explaining the logic of each explanation and its strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes one constructs a historiographical essay by treating the different works you read, not as competing attempts to explain a single central problem, but as different perspectives that add up to a larger whole.

This type of essay would be appropriate, for example, if you were examining different types of primary sources, as we did in the readings on the experience of Jews in the Polish ghettos. It would make more sense to talk about the different kinds of information one can extract from each of these sources, and how they may complement or undermine each other.

While such an approach would be natural in dealing with primary sources, it may also be used in discussing secondary literature. A completely different approach would start by defining several issues or themes that are found in all the books you have read, and then discussing each issue in turn, comparing and contrasting what each of your authors says about it.

In an essay on Jewish resistance, for example, rather than proceeding book-by-book, you might decide that the important issues are the way in which different authors define resistance, the motives they attribute to resisters, and the way in which they measure the success of resistance efforts.

In this case, your discussion of any one book will be broken up into sections dealing with the way your themes are treated in it. As these remarks indicate, a historiographical essay may look somewhat like a series of separate book reviews strung together or, in the case of the thematically organized review, several book reviews combined in a blender.

Try not to think of your historiographical essay in these ways, however. The success of a historiographical essay depends on showing how the materials you are discussing relate to each other, rather than just evaluating each one on its individual merits.

What does it say that is new? Does it make its point clearly?If the purpose of the historiography is to determine an agenda for a research and writing paper (), and if you determine in advance that sufficient primary sources are available and accessible to meet the.

Historiographic Essay Manual, 29 August The.

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History senior thesis survival guide. Home; In both of these bibliographic databases, "historiography" is a Subject. For example, in AHL, to find historiography on the American Civil war, do a Subject search for: civil war historiography.

Annual bulletin of historical literature.

Historiography thesis

Historiography definition is - the writing of history; especially: the writing of history based on the critical examination of sources, the selection of particulars from the authentic materials, and the synthesis of particulars into a narrative that will stand the test of critical methods.

Here’s an example of a thesis statement for a historiographical essay: The historiography of the American Revolution can be primarily seen as a shift between various Whig and Progressive interpretations.

Historiography thesis

Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians have studied that topic using particular sources, techniques, and .

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Historiography - Wikipedia