Essaying the Past: How to Read, Write, and Think about History

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Wiley, Nov 17, 2020 - History - 240 pages

Learn to craft the perfect historical research paper with this approachable and practical guide

Essaying the Past: How to Read, Write, and Think about History, 4th Edition continues the tradition of excellence established by the previous editions. Equal parts research manual, study guide, and introduction to the study of history, this book teaches readers how to write excellent historical prose with approachable strategies and actionable tips.

Noted teacher and writer Jim Cullen has created an invaluable resource for novices and experts in the field of historical study, offering practical insights into determining how questions should be framed, developing strong introduction and topic sentences, choosing evidence, and properly revising your work.

Essaying the Past includes six appendices covering the major issues facing students today, including the pitfalls and temptations of plagiarism and the role of the internet. It also contains an annotated case study outlining one student’s process of writing an essay and demonstrating the application of the concepts contained within the book. Essaying the Past covers topics including:

  • How to think and read about history and ask the right questions about what you’re reading
  • The three components of crafting a compelling argument
  • How to deal with counterarguments and counterevidence
  • How to properly construct a bibliography and insert footnotes
  • How to assess the credibility of online resources

Perfect for students taking surveys or courses in methods or historiography, Essaying the Past also belongs on the bookshelf of anyone with even a passing interest in studying, researching, consuming, or writing about history.

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About the author (2020)

JIM CULLEN, PHD, received his doctorate in American Studies from Brown University and is the author of many books and anthologies. His articles and reviews have appeared in prestigious publications, including The Washington Post, USA Today, CNN.com, the Journal of American History, and the American Historical Review. Jim has taught at Harvard University and Sarah Lawrence College and is a member of the faculty at the Greenwich Country Day School in Greenwich, Connecticut.

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