Gorganite
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Hello everyone, I was wondering if you would all be able to help me in regards to history essays at university.

One of my lecturers keeps saying to incorporate historiography into my essays which will help boost my marks significantly. But the thing is I'm not too sure how to do that properly. I have my exams coming up and I really want to do well in them.

In regards to historiography I have an example. So one topic I am choosing is the origins of the cold war. I would list the different reasons for the proposed origins of the cold war and I would use quotes from books that I have read to back my points, from John Lewis Gaddis for example.

But this always gets me a 2.2 or in my recent essay a low 2.1

I have tried to go and see the lecturers but none really help at all, so I'm hoping someone will be able to.

Thanks
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Buonaparte
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Not a history student, but I would assume you analyse their sources, methodology and political stance instead of just quoting them. That way you can assess the accuracy of their claims.
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by Gorganite)
Hello everyone, I was wondering if you would all be able to help me in regards to history essays at university.

One of my lecturers keeps saying to incorporate historiography into my essays which will help boost my marks significantly. But the thing is I'm not too sure how to do that properly. I have my exams coming up and I really want to do well in them.

In regards to historiography I have an example. So one topic I am choosing is the origins of the cold war. I would list the different reasons for the proposed origins of the cold war and I would use quotes from books that I have read to back my points, from John Lewis Gaddis for example.

But this always gets me a 2.2 or in my recent essay a low 2.1

I have tried to go and see the lecturers but none really help at all, so I'm hoping someone will be able to.

Thanks
:beard:

You need to talk about the reliability of what other historian's have said, what their biases might be, and things you need to consider when writing history. This is more than just using quotes - you need to critically assess other historian's works and methods: what are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? Is their new evidence that contradicts their theories? Is there evidence that they have missed out? Historians don't exist in a vacuum, so what cultural and social influences and biases have influenced their work? What school of thought do they belong to?

Do you have a core module on historical methods or historiography? This module will be so essential to getting your head around historiography and getting access to high marks. I know so many history students who hate the historical methods module because it's more dry and theoretical, but it's key so don't skip any of it.
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Gorganite
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(Original post by Buonaparte)
Not a history student, but I would assume you analyse their sources, methodology and political stance instead of just quoting them. That way you can assess the accuracy of their claims.
I do that too. I either show reasons why I support them or criticise. But maybe I don't go into much detail for that?
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by Gorganite)
I do that too. I either show reasons why I support them or criticise. But maybe I don't go into much detail for that?
What are the reasons you give for supporting or criticising them? :beard:
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)



Do you have a core module on historical methods or historiography? This module will be so essential to getting your head around historiography and getting access to high marks. I know so many history students who hate the historical methods module because it's more dry and theoretical, but it's key so don't skip any of it.
It's sounds the most interesting bit to me
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
It's sounds the most interesting bit to me
It was my favourite module probably :woo:
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
It was my favourite module probably :woo:
We are both seekers of the truth :yes:
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Gorganite
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
What are the reasons you give for supporting or criticising them? :beard:
For instance, if a historian said something which I don't agree with I will usually try and find something which contradicts this arguement. Perhaps I need to go in more detail with it. I would show one of the essays I did to you but I don't know if that is allowed
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by Gorganite)
For instance, if a historian said something which I don't agree with I will usually try and find something which contradicts this arguement. Perhaps I need to go in more detail with it. I would show one of the essays I did to you but I don't know if that is allowed
So for example (this might not be the best example but I hope it gives an idea )....

Finding something (B) that contradicts (A) is level one.

Level two is critically assessing if B might be more reliable, or less reliable, than A.

Level three places both A and B into the wider historiographical contexts, as well as assessing strengths and weaknesses.

Does that help at all? You need to be a bit meta I think. :beard:

Hopefully there is someone who can explain this more clearly :lol:
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Gorganite
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
So for example (this might not be the best example but I hope it gives an idea )....

Finding something (B) that contradicts (A) is level one.

Level two is critically assessing if B might be more reliable, or less reliable, than A.

Level three places both A and B into the wider historiographical contexts, as well as assessing strengths and weaknesses.

Does that help at all? You need to be a bit meta I think. :beard:

Hopefully there is someone who can explain this more clearly :lol:
Aah yeah that makes sense. I get it. But what do you mean wider historiographical contexts? Do you mean how it fits into the debate of the topic you are talking about?
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by Gorganite)
Aah yeah that makes sense. I get it. But what do you mean wider historiographical contexts? Do you mean how it fits into the debate of the topic you are talking about?
Yes

Historiography is the study of the methods of writing history - what is a good source? How do we chose what to study? How can we know what we know? Is there such a thing as an objective historical truth? What is the purpose of writing history? Should history be 'scientific' and objective, or is it okay to be subjective?

Ideas about these things have changed over time and different historians generally fit into schools of thought within history. More often than not, historigraphical schools of thought have been heavily influenced by their historical context or other prominent thinkers of the time. When you're writing your essays you need to show awareness of the historiography of the topic.
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