Writing A Historiography Paper

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Within upper level courses, students then move into another level of explanation, where they read intensively on a topic and provide their Therefore, historiography can be described as “the history of history.” What this means in practice is an exploration of a specific topic, and how historians have explained events or people over time, how their explanations have changed due to their own worldview and/or ideological bent, due to re-interpretation of previously-viewed sources, due to the availability of new sources, previously unexplored, and/or due to the application of different questions and/or methodologies to sources.

Revision of prior interpretations of the past is an implicit and important element of historiography.

Related acts of academic dishonesty include submitting under your own name papers borrowed, purchased, or stolen; and submitting a paper for which you have already received credit in a different course.

The following websites offer excellent guidelines as to what constitutes plagiarism, and how to avoid it: Plagiarism is one of the very worst acts of academic dishonesty.

There are several useful strategies for coming up with a topic.

The easiest way is to choose one of your assigned readings.

 All word-for-word quotes are placed in quotation marks and receive full documentation, either in the form of an in-text parenthetical reference (for those using MLA) or a footnote (for Chicago).  If you paraphrase or summarize another person’s ideas, interpretations, or arguments, you must provide documentation identifying your source, either in the form of a reference (for MLA) or a footnote (for Chicago).

Basic rule of thumb: if an idea didn’t come out of your head, it requires documentation.

Process: uses footnotes to identify the sources of quotes, listed at the bottom of each page of a paper.

Upon their first reference to a given source, footnotes list full bibliographical information and, in subsequent notes to the same source, a shortened version of the same information.


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