Write a historiographical essay
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Essay #1 Instructions:
The purpose of the first essay is to teach you about the concept of historiography. Historiography is a history of history (Links to an external site.). Any particular event or era, person or place, has been treated by historians in different ways across time. Since historians are people, they are heavily influenced by several factors; especially the following: 1) where they were born and raised 2) the times in which they were born and 3) the university where they received their doctorate (Ph.D.)
As 21st century students, you must know not only “what happened” in history, but also to critically consider how a particular history – in book or media form – is being presented by the historian that wrote it.
For Essay #1, you will be required to write a historiographical essay. Don’t worry, it will be fun. Maybe a little weird at first, but I am confident you will get into the groove of it in no time.
Here are the STEPS:
1. You need to figure out what “historiography” is. City University of New York has an excellent web site about Writing on History (Links to an external site.). Please explore this site as it contrasts the different ways history is written. Pay attention to the section of “Types of Writing Assignments,” and pay even closer attention to Historiographical Essays (Links to an external site.). This section will explain very clearly what is expected in a historiographical essay.
2. You will read the historiorgraphical article that focuses on the different historical interpretations of The Great Depression by Michael Bernstein (Links to an external site.). This is not a simple article to read — give yourself some TIME to read it and understand it. Notice that this article was published in 2001.
3. You will ponder the following: Any historical event can be interpreted differently by professional historians at different times. In the Great Depression article, the author talks about how different historians interpreted the causes for the Great Depression at different times and there have been a variety of different explanations as to why the Great Depression happened. Remember: Historians are very, very much influenced by 1) the place they were born and raise 2) the political, social and cultural views they developed while going to college to get their very advanced degrees in history and 3) the times in which they live.
4. Your essay will answer the following question: “Pretend you are Michael Bernstein and you are now in 2020 continuing to write the article The Great Depression (Links to an external site.) by Michael Bernstein (Links to an external site.). Which TWO history books on the Great Depression would you include to continue the article? Why did you choose these books? And what is the historical perspective of their authors?
Here are some HINTS:
NEITHER book should have been written or published before 2001
USE books that have a university press as the publisher, such as Harvard University Press, Columbia University Press, or Duke University Press.
READ biographies about the authors to discover more about their historical perspective
READ some scholarly books reviews — book reviews found in JSTOR — to see what historiographical themes the authors explore
THINK about the times in which the authors lived and what may have influenced their thinking
USE your analytic abilities to argue why you included the books you did and why you think they are the more important “modern” books on The American Revolution
Here is a list of possible books for your to use from a World Cat bibliography I created to assist you (Links to an external site.). However, I have thrown a few ringers in this list, so use with caution!! Also, I strongly encourage you to go beyond the confines of this bibliography. I do not want to see everyone using all the same books!
Here are the RULES OF ESSAY CONSTRUCTION. In other words, how I want the essay to be put together:
1. Your essay will be NO LESS than 1,000 words (3 pages)
2. You will use the following font and font size: Times New Roman 12 pt
3. You will use the following page margins and spacing: 1 inch all the way around (top, bottom, left, and right). Double space your sentences.
4. Please put your name in the header.
5. Please put page numbers in the footer.
6. You will NOT use long quotations. At all.
7. You will put together an Works Cited page that follows some type of style guide. (NOTE: The words on this page DO NOT count towards the total word count of the essay!!!)
8. Do NOT, do NOT, do NOT plagiarize your essay. I will be using a TurnItIn dropbox which checks your paper against all other papers and and books out there. If you lift and copy content, it will know. YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE AN ORIGINALITY SCORE OVER 10% for this paper!!!!