How Do I Write A Historiographical Essay For A University Course?


12 Answers

Christopher Adam Profile
Most students taking third or fourth year courses in history will be asked to write at least one historiographical essay. The methodology for such a paper can be very different than that used when writing regular research papers.

First, it is important to note that the term "historiography" refers to the actual process of writing about history. In a historiographical paper, the student is not supposed to simply examine what happened during a specific period in time, but must rather discuss how historians have interpreted specific events, people or trends of the past and must then explore the major debates and arguments that arose among professional historians.

A regular history of the Holocaust, for example, could explore the nature of German anti-Semitism and concentration camps in Europe, but a historiographical approach would have to take a look at how other historians explored this topic in their books and articles, and highlight major differences of opinion, or specific schools of thought.

When writing a historiographical essay, one's research is based largely on secondary sources--that is to say, the works of other historians. It is best to consult bibliographies at the back of major books and articles on the topic in order to get a better idea of the literature and to ensure that one is not missing a major scholarly work from the analysis.

It is also very important not to simply list historians and what they have written about a given topic, but to compare and contrast the arguments of all major scholars in the field and then place them in specific categories, according to their approach and historical conclusions.
thanked the writer.
Jill Polentski
Jill Polentski commented
What I find is the most difficult thing in writing a historiographical essay is choosing relevant sources. Nowadays many and me included write essays using online databases or just simply google to find some article or books on the topic because we are too lazy to go to the library. But here's the problem - not all sources are truthful and unbiased. Since we write history, it may differ from what actually happened. That's why to write an essay that depicts an event as close to what actually happened as possible. Although it's quite hard since you never know the truth. But checking a couple of sources and comparing them could give some insight into the topic and you can make your own conclusions. Additionally, special attention should be paid to the format. The article at provides general tips on ssay format. And at there's a good point about correct balance which is more space for important issues, less space for less important.
Chips Ters Profile
Chips Ters answered

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Arif Hasan Profile
Arif Hasan answered

Throughout the course of your studies, you may be asked to write a
historiographical essay. Concerning itself mainly with secondary
sources, a historiographical essay discusses the body of research,
debate and discussion on a particular historical topic.

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Ray Dart
Ray Dart commented
Take a look at the samples, stiff and awkward and lacking "readability" punctuation. There are even some grammatical mistakes.
Yo Kass
Yo Kass commented
I suspect he may be a spammer Ray, as he's the fourth person to link to the same website in the past day.

Anyway, I've removed the link and suspended the account for now. Thanks for keeping an eye out!
Karl Sagan Profile
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David Johnson Profile
David Johnson answered

Here for you 3 main steps. Hopefully, my piece of advice will help you. To figure your question out.  Step 1

Settle on a topic. If you are writing this essay for a class, you may be assigned this. Otherwise, you will have to create your own. Make sure it is clearly defined, arguable and has substance.

Step 2

Collect your secondary sources. In general, the works should be no more than 30 years old. It is important to get as many books as you possibly can on the topic to facilitate a more detailed, varied and complete essay.

Step 3

Begin to read. It will take you forever to read each and every book through, so read strategically, using the index to point you toward information that is relevant to your topic. And if you do not mind, I may suggest you  go to the service where you will be assisted with it by the professional writers. Check what can be done at Marvelous essay service.

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Hanna Whilson Profile
Hanna Whilson answered

If you want to write this essay by yourself, it is better to find out more about the format first. Then you will need to do analysis, work on methodology, literature review and findings. It has to be noted, most students face issues with essays or disserattions, so it is common today to use a writing service. Personally I did this way as I couldn't finish my work in time. In case you are interested, here is a link

fred gomes Profile
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