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Researching a Historiography

This guide will provide you with information on researching for a historiographic essay, guide you to Pace resources to use for research and link to additional resources that may be helpful in completing your assignment.

What is a historiography?

This guide will provide you with information on researching for a historiographic essay, guide you to Pace resources to use for research and link to additional resources that may be helpful in completing your assignment. 

B & W image of carved people standing in line 

(Image from Pixabay)

What is a historiographic essay? 

"Historiography is the study of how history is written.

No single scholar’s approach is “correct” or unimpeachable, because no matter how much he or she tries to treat the subject at hand in a fair and unbiased manner, the final product is invariably shaped by political agendas and pressures, contemporary trends in academia, limitations of resources, and the inherent subjectivity of critical analysis....

A historiographical essay is one which summarizes and analyzes historians’ changing arguments and interpretations of a historical topic."

(From https://www.agnesscott.edu/writingandspeaking/handouts/f12-historiographical-essays_rev.-2018.pdf

Search Strategies

In the left side navigation, you will find links to both Pace and web sources to start your historiographic research. Below are some search strategies to consider to organize your information and effectively find sources. 

 

1. Select a topic that you are interested in and that isn't so well known that you will have trouble finding all major perspectives or contributing your own perspective. See more at the following link about selecting a topic: 

https://facstaff.bloomu.edu/lstallba/_documents/histori_essay_manual_fall2011.pdf

2. Review your course notes, bibliographies provided in class, course textbooks, etc. to find existing historiographies or research perspectives on your topic. You may already have these sources without having to search. 

3. Search for historiographies on your specific topic. You can use searches like the one below in databases by entering "historiography" as a search term and selecting "Subject Terms" in the drop down to the right. In the second search box, enter keywords representing your topic. If you have a specific phrase, put quotation marks around it to give the database help in targeting your subject and bringing back relevant results. 

Boolean search boxes for historiography & "civil rights"

4. Find additional writings and perspectives on your topic: 

a) As you find sources in bibliographies that you already have, you can use the Pace website to search for those sources in a targeted way. This video can show you how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNkW41QL6lA&feature=youtu.be

b) Search the databases using keywords related to your topic area to find additional articles, dissertations, books and perspectives. 

 

(Strategies adapted from: https://guides.library.utoronto.ca/c.php?g=251945&p=1675916