Historiography Reports

The three historiography reports you write over the course of the semester present an opportunity to practice the skill of deconstructing the argument of a historian into its component parts to enable us to better understand how he or she approaches the issues at hand. In addition, it encourages you to think about how class readings contribute to a broader conversation in the literature on the economy of the Atlantic world.

On a week when there is a report option, you should select one of the articles assigned for that week (Note: you should not select one of the books). Each report should be approximately one page (i.e., 250-300 words), and include the following sections:

  1. Thesis: State the thesis of the article in your own words in 1-3 sentences.
  2. Argument: List the main arguments that the historian presents to advance his or her thesis. You may use bullet points, but you should write in complete sentences.
  3. Evidence: What sources of evidence does the author use? How does the author use them to support the argument of the essay?
  4. Historiographic Contribution: How does the essay contribute to the secondary literature on its specific topic? How does it contribute to understanding the economy of the Atlantic world?
  5. Critique: In 2-3 sentences, offer a brief critique of the author’s argument. You may consider the effectiveness of the argument overall, the use of evidence, and/or the significance of the argument for the secondary literature.
Each week that a report is due, you should submit it online to the course Blackboard site by 12:30pm on the Thursday it is due. In addition, you should bring a hard copy of your report to class that day so that you can use it during our discussion.
Be sure to double-check the syllabus for the possible dates. Everyone must submit a report on Thursday, September 25, and there are five options available for you to complete the remaining two reports.

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