Historical Context

In Module Five you worked on exploring how historical contexts impact specific arguments about historical events and affect the way historians do their job.  You should keep this in mind as you continue to shift through secondary sources for your second major project. 

You will also want to continue thinking about how primary sources relate to secondary sources.  How can you most effectively incorporate a primary source into your project?  When historians compile a project that incorporates both primary and secondary sources, they use primary sources to reinforce their main points.  In your project, the secondary sources that you use to answer your research question/develop a thesis statement must be supported with primary sources that reinforce that thesis statement.

Doing this correctly and effectively TAKES A LOT OF TIME.  I encourage you to find as much time as you can over the next week to work on Project 2 because a good deal of the assignment—one that should end up running to several pages as a Word document—requires you to get deep into the primary and secondary sources for your chosen topic.

As part of Project 2 you will need to write an Introduction paragraph. Nobody hates writing introductions more than me.  They are truly the most frustrating part of historical writing for me.  I often write an entire article or book chapter and hold off writing the introduction to the end.  You will not have the chance to do that so the best thing you can do is be as familiar with your sources as possible.  Your Introduction should lay the groundwork and historical context for your paper.  The LAST SENTENCE should be your thesis statement.  And, yes, your thesis statement should be only one sentence that clearly states the answer to your research question.

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