Teaching > RWU
HP224 Preservation Research Fall 2002 >
A Short Guide to Writing About History
Marius, Richard and Melvin E. Page. A Short Guide
to Writing About History, New York: Longman, fourth edition,
The Essay In History
|Marius, Richard and Melvin E. Page. A Short Guide
to Writing About History, New York: Longman, fourth
edition, 2002 [Find on Amazon]
- Have I narrowed my topic sufficiently?
- Do I have a clearly stated argument?
- Are my ideas on the subject clear?
- Have I told a good story?
- Is the evidence on which I based my essay clear?
- Have I documented my sources?
- Do I write dispassionately and acknowledge other opinions?
- Do the first and last paragraphs of my essay mirror each
- Is my essay written clearly, using the common conventions
of written English?
- Have I written with my intended audience in mind?
Thinking About History
- On what basis can I be certain this source is genuine?
- Is the information truly plausible?
- Am I confident the source is trustworthy?
- Are the details contained in the source accurate?
- Do I have any corroborating evidence?Modes of Historical
- Do my descriptions reflect sensory experience?
- Are the descriptions relevant to my essay’s purpose?
- Are the impressions and emotions I evoke common enough
to be recognized?
- Have I based my descriptions on sound evidence?
- Have I avoided stereotypical descriptions in favor of
more accurate ones?
- Why am I telling this story?
- What happened, and when did it begin and end?
- Who or what caused it to happen?
- Who were the major characters in the drama?
- What details must I tell, and what can I leave out?
- What is the climax of the story?
- What does the story mean?
- Is the explanation really necessary?
- Have I provided a context for this analysis?
- Do I define the essential terms?
- Have I clearly identified the crucial causes and/or significance?
- Are my inferences credible and plausible?
- Have I clarified the meaning of what I am explaining?
- Is the subject worth arguing about?
- Have I gathered enough evidence to make an argument?
- Do I represent the views of my opponents in a way they
would consider fair?
- Have I developed my argument logically?
- Is my use of evidence accurate and related to my argument?
- Have I tried to prove too much?