How To Write An Essay On Historiography - Opinion of experts

section runs alongside largeTypes of Writing Assignments.

Basic Considerations When Writing on History. In a nutshell, historiography is the history of history. Rather than subjecting actual events - say, the Rape of Nanking - to historical analysis, the subject of historiography is the history of the history of the event: A historiographic essay thus asks you to explore several sometimes contradictory sources on one event.

An annotated bibliography might come in handy as you attempt to this web page such sources; you should also consult the footnotes and bibliographies of any text you read on a certain event, as they will lead you to other texts on the same event; if your research is web-based, follow links - always bearing in mind the pitfalls of the Internet - and if you are researching in the library, check out the books on nearby shelves: For an example of an essay on multiple perspectives on the same event for our purposes, the Rape of Nanking, an event also examined in the context of Book Reviewsclick here.

The purpose of an historiographic essay is threefold: Specific skills honed by such an exercise include your ability to discern bias or prejudice and to evaluate contradictory data and claims.

What is historiography?

As you will have to quote from your sources in order to make your point, you will also have to display basic quoting skills. The very nature of an essay on multiple sources also requires a Works Cited page, of course, on which, see Bibliography. You will begin a historiographic essay with a thesis that presents the issue or event at stake, go here introduces your sources and articulates, in brief, their authors' perspectives and their main points of dis agreement.

As you do so, ask and answer why you think the authors of your various sources disagree. Is their disagreement a product of personal or professional rivalry, ideological incompatibility, national affiliation? These questions go to the heart of historiography.

Parts of a historiographic essay. You will begin a historiographic essay with a thesis that presents the issue or event at stake, then introduces your sources and. Why do historians write historiographical essays? historians call it historiography. historiographic essay but also for Research and Writing. Woodstock. What is — and How to Write — a Historiographical Essay. Defining Historiography: Historians do not always agree about how to interpret the events and. A historiography or historiographical essay is an examination of different ways in which historians have approached a particular topic. Unlike a research paper, it is. Nov 22, · How to Write a History Essay. to do if you have a history essay to write, work on a period or event is known as the historiography.

In your conclusionfinally, you will briefly summarize your findings and, more importantly, assess the credibility of your various sources, and specify which one s you find to be most compelling, and why.

In final conclusion you might articulate in brief the insights you have gained into the event or issue at stake, the sources you have used, and the nature of history itself. Let us assume that the subject of your historiographic essay is the Rape of Nanking, an event discussed in some detail in the Book Reviews section.

There, we examine the event as it is described and analyzed by Iris Chang in her bestselling book The Rape of Nanking. To this we now add several other sources, all of which are listed in the Works Cited section at the end of this pageand cited in the text immediately following, which exemplifies, in brief, some of the basic strategies of a historiographic essay. The interested reader will find another brief exercise in historiographical inquiry - this one on the disputed relationship between the Catholic Church and fascism during the s - in the Research Paper section of this site, under "Conducting Research for 'The Austrian Catholic Church and the Anschluss': The so-called Rape of Nanking ofa six-week massacre of Chinese civilians in the city of Nanking perpetrated by the invading Japanese army, was presented to a largely uninitiated American mass audience by Iris Chang in her best-selling book The Rape of Nanking: Chang's vivid book spawned international interest and a number of responses from fellow historians worldwide.

Western historians generally agreed with Chang's insistence that the event - long a mere footnote in the popular historiography of World War II - deserved larger notice, click to see more some criticized her for displaying personal bias as well as historical inaccuracies and methodological weaknesses of various sorts.

The response from a number of Japanese scholars was overwhelmingly negative. They denied her account of a post-war Japanese "cover up," yet at the same time also, to varying degrees, denied that the event had even occurred. The Refutation of a Common Myth," refers to Chang's work as one of "lies, hyperbole, propaganda. Much of Masaaki's criticism smacks of precisely the kind of revisionism Chang critiques in her book, and is easily exposed as such.

The fact that Chinese communist party records make no mention of the event, for example, is hardly surprising, as the Chinese communists were at this time in disarray, operating largely underground in the Nanking area.

Not until did the communists begin their rule over China and begin keeping official records: In the same year that France read more Britain stood by as Nazi Germany re-militarized the Rhineland in violation of the Treaty of Versailles; and that the United States and the League of Nation stood by as Franco and Mussolini continued in their campaigns How To Write An Essay On Historiography the rightful governments of Spain and Ethiopia, why would we expect the United States or the League of Nations to have registered any protest over events halfway around the world?

Other arguments by Masaaki are more compelling. For example, he notes of one of the many disturbing photographs in Chang's book - a famous one, apparently showing a Chinese prisoner of war about to be beheaded by a Japanese officer brandishing a sword - that its "fakery is easy to detect if you look at the shadow cast by the man at the center [the officer] and that cast by [a lower-ranking] soldier to his right.

The photograph does indeed seem to be a composite, and while stopping short of supporting Masaaki's claim that "not a single one of [Chang's photographs] bears witness to a 'Nanking Massacre'," even American historian Robert Entenmann concedes that several of the photos in Chang's book are indeed "fakes, forgeries and composites," including one also singled read more by Masaaki "of a row of severed heads," which, according to Entenmann, in fact depicts "bandits executed by Chinese police in rather than victims of the Nanking Massacre" Masaaki, Entenmann.

Faked though some of Chang's twelve pages of photos might be - perhaps even all of them, as Masaaki suggests - the fact that there exist literally hundreds of photographs of the Nanking Massacre, many of them "souvenir photos" taken by Japanese soldiers themselves, strains the credibility of his larger point and even more so the point made by his stridently anti-Chang colleagues Takemoto Tadao and Ohara Yasuo. In their The Alleged 'Nanking Massacre': Japan's Rebuttal to China's Forged Claimsthese writers state that "none of these photos are dated, and the names of places and photographers are not stated.

In other words, there exist [no] photos that are rigidly authentic, and definitely, these photos can not be used as evidence of [the] 'Nanking Massacre'" Tadao and Yasuo In fact, several hundred photographs have been published in one volume - The Rape of Nanking: An Undeniable History in Photographsby Shi Young and James Yin, many of them showing female rape victims with legs spread and genitalia exposed - graphic photographs it is hard to conceive of as staged. Such pictures, while not settling the matter beyond dispute, offer powerful testimony that speaks for itself.

Notwithstanding the many graphic photographs that exist, it is precisely the accusation of widespread rape - most likely because of its abhorrent nature - that Chang's Japanese critics wish to deny. This number is absolutely not trustworthy," they conclude, citing instead the number of only official complaints of rape actually How To Write An Essay On Historiography during this period Of course, How To Write An Essay On Historiography are parsing numbers here. The fact is, whether there were three hundred rapes, thirty thousand, more, or less, rape perpetrated by an occupying force against a civilian population and that such was the case is amply documented in Chang and virtually all extant sources on Nanking, including the Japanese sources, although they, of course, acknowledge only is a crime of war.

But that it is an individual crime of war, rather than a collective, government-sponsored crime against humanity such as the Holocaust is precisely the point for the Japanese historians: Those acts of crimes [were] the responsibility of each individual soldier" Following this line of reasoning, the Japanese government is absolved of any blame for the rapes that did occur in Nanking, the exact number of which remains unknown.

On this issue, see Evaluating Contradictory Data and Claims. More trenchant criticism of Chang than that offered by Japanese historians comes from the American academy. Robert Entenmann, for example, a China expert and senior faculty member in the History department at St.

Olaf College, faults Chang on the very premise of her book.

On this last count, it is worth noting that the specific wording of the question does not appear to address Nanking explicitly, and that the opinion poll's finding thus bears little relevance to the question at hand. We might also be skeptical of Entenmann's generous appraisal of Japanese textbooks: Entenmann's more fundamental criticism of Chang's work and perspective, however, goes deeper.

As the granddaughter of former Nanking residents who barely escaped the city, she is guilty, he writes, of having fallen victim to "her own ethnic prejudice. Her explanations are, to a large extent, based on unexamined [anti-Japanese] ethnic stereotypes.

What is -- and How to Write -- a Historiographical Essay (c) Muskingum College, Department of History, Defining Historiography: Historians do not always agree. Writing a Historiographical Paper. A historiography paper is an essay that analyses the different ways in which various historians have approached a historical topic. History senior thesis survival guide. you may be able to find an essay that reviews the literature on that topic, "historiography" is a Subject. How To Write a Good History Essay. do not take historiography to There are an infinite number of ways to write an essay because any form of writing is a.

In fact, Entenmann points out, Hirohito's response is unknown, and Chang may be guilty here of "confus[ing] Japanese leaders' delight in the fall of the Chinese capital with exulting in the massacre that occurred afterward" Entenmann. Such sleights of hand which Entenmann himself indulges in, as his opinion poll example above shows are perhaps conscious on Chang's part, or perhaps a function of her not being a professional historian and therefore applying a less-than-rigorous methodology in her efforts to tell a good story.

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She is after all, a popular rather than an academic historian, whom another bestselling historian, Stephen Ambrose, whose scholarship has also been faulted on several counts, once called "the best young historian we've got because she understands that to communicate history, you've got to tell the story in an interesting way" Ambrose qtd. It is this zeal to tell a good story and back it up with sensational evidence even if - like some of her photographs - it is fakedas well as her occasionally emotional prose, sometimes bordering on hyperbole, that remains Chang's greatest liability.

In an effort to place the Rape of Nanking into historical context, for example, she states that "[u]sing numbers killed alone" it "surpasses much How To Write An Essay On Historiography the worst barbarism of the ages. In The Nanjing Massacre in History and Historiographyan anthology generally sympathetic to Chang's project if not to her methodologyGeorge Washington University history and international affairs professor Daqing Yang, himself a native of Nanking, notes that "such a click the following article [as Chang's] is methodologically sterile" and "morally misguided" Yang Indeed, it is precisely the sort of parsing of numbers for which Chang herself would most likely challenge the above-mentioned Japanese historians in their effort to deny the extent to which rape occurred at Nanking.

Despite these failings, Chang's book ultimately emerges more info a more persuasive argument of what did in fact happen at Nanking than those offered by her Japanese detractors. The enduring controversy surrounding the event, however, and the specific criticism against Chang from even those who support her premise, point both to the endlessly debatable nature of history, and to the need for a more rigorous, analytical approach in its telling.

As Joshua Fogel notes in his introduction to The Nanjing Massacre in History and Historiography"The Massacre and related events must be lifted beyond the popular level In such a project, the contradictory data and claims of Chang and her critics need not necessarily be mutually exclusive but, instead, might help How To Write An Essay On Historiography a broader context within which the event can be understood more fully, from all sides.

Works cited Chang, Iris. The Rape of Nanking: Accessed July 1, Refections on Historical Inquiry.

University of California Press,- The Refutation of a Common Myth. Washington PostNovember 12,B6. Takemoto, Tadao and Ohara Yasuo. The Alleged 'Nanking Massacre': Japan's Rebuttal to China's Forged Claims. Young, Shi and James Ying. An Click History in Photographs, expanded 2nd edition. Chicago, Innovative Publishing Group, Inc.