Description: Students will write an historiography paper on a subject of their choosing, with approval by the professor. An historiography paper examines the literature on a topic, not the topic itself. Students will collect sources on their topic, and will apply tools of historiographic analysis to those sources. These include, but are not limited to:
Finding the relationships between the sources
Identifying the primary ideas and salient features of each work
Discerning the scholarly worth of sources based on clear criteria, such as cogency, support of thesis, use of sources, etc.
Identifying the biases, weaknesses, and limitations of
sources as well as strengths.
Sources: Students should use a minimum of eight
(8) sources, with a mix of books and journal articles where possible. Sources
ideally should be peer-reviewed scholarly works. Peer review is a process by
which scholars from a particular field review a work before it is published to
determine if it meets the standards of that field and whether it adds anything
new to the field. Generally speaking, any book or journal published by a
university press is peer reviewed. Many commercial publishers also publish
peer reviewed work as well. Journals will often state that they are peer
reviewed - look on the page that has their address, editor's name, and the
like. A good source of peer reviewed articles is
(This is a subscription service. It's free from any computer on campus.
Contact the library about off-campus access.) For commercially published
books, if they have lots a footnotes and were published by professors, 99% of
the time, they've been peer-reviewed. Any unusual sources not clearly meeting
these guidelines, such as journalistic works, should be approved by the
Length: This paper should be 8-12 pages long,
using standard format (one-inch margins, Times New Roman 12 point).
Title Page: You should have a title page that includes your name and contact information
Body: Standard format (one-inch margins, Times New Roman 12 point)
Style: For questions of style, consult the MLA handbook
or other standard style manual
All papers must have footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical citations.
Use a standard citation system. I recommend MLA, Turabian, Chicago, or APSA.
All papers must have a bibliography citing all sources
used in the paper. Use the bibliographic style appropriate for your
Grading - see the Rubric