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American Revolution: Historiography

For student taking Dr. Gene Smith's American Revolution class.

Subject Guide

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Robyn Reid
she / her
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Librarian for: Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Communication Studies, Education, Geography, History, Military Science, Political Science


To read more about the evolution of historical thought, check out:

Gilderhus, Mark T. 2000. History and historians: A historiographical introduction. Upper Saddler River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

To analyze secondary history sources for your historiography papers, ask yourselves the following questions:

  1. Who are the authors? When and where did they write their histories? What might have influenced their writing?

  2. What is the topic of each history? What questions are they trying to answer? Summarize the thesis of each history in your own words. What are they trying to argue or prove?

  3. What kinds of evidence does each use to support their argument?

  4. What does their evidence and argument tell us about how they saw the world? What drove history in their view? What caused things to happen?

  5. Do they logically interpret the evidence in your opinion? Why or why not? Are these histories equally valid and accurate?

Questions taken from:
Hoefferle, Caroline. 2007. Teaching historiography to high school and undergraduate students. OAH Magazine of History21 (2): 40-4.