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Prepare: In order to successfully complete this week’s assignments, read the following chapters from the text, Essaying the Past: How to Read, Write, and Think about History:

 

  • Chapter 5: Search Engines, Research Ingenuity
  • Chapter 6: How to Read a Book without Ever Getting to Chapter One
  • Chapter 7: Analysis: The Intersection of Reading and Writing
  • Chapter 8: Making a Case: An Argument in Three Parts
  • Appendix E: Web of Lies? Weighing the Internet

 

Reflect: A strong history paper is driven by an analytic thesis statement. An analytic thesis will let the reader know the argument you intend to make and is a definite assertion of your answer to a question. It should present a precise claim, which you can then support with specific evidence from primary source texts and relevant scholarly sources.

 

The thesis addresses these issues:

 

  • What is your point?
  • What are you trying to prove?

 

A good thesis has the following characteristics:

 

  • It is analytic, rather than descriptive. It explains how or why what you are asserting is important.
  • It is precise. A statement so general or so “safe” that it fails to present a strong position is a weak thesis.
  • It is something worth arguing about. Read your thesis and ask yourself, “so what?” Why is this claim significant?
  • It is clearly and convincingly supported by the rest of the essay.

 

Write: Consider the definition of a strong, analytic thesis statement presented above. In your initial post of at least 250-300 words:

  • Explain the historical context most directly relevant to your chosen topic.
  • Describe potential sources that are relevant to your chosen topic.
  • Present your preliminary analytic thesis statement.
  • Support your work by providing properly-cited references to at least two sources you plan to use in your paper.
Explain the historical context most directly relevant to your chosen topic
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