Tutt Library Research Guides
Writing, and Researching for History: A Guide for College Students (Brunswick, ME: Bowdoin College, 2004).
Preparing a research paper for a college-level history course:
The site includes many links covering how to accomplish these steps.
(Patrick Rael, Bowdoin College)
The First Proposal
Starting a Bibliography
organize by : chronology, theme, geography or typology
Project Assessment and Rewriting the proposal
Annotated Bibliography (summary, informative, evaluative or combination)
The Research Proposal
A good historian does not adopt a thesis until quite late on in the process of preparing a paper.
Always write in the past tense: this is, after all, history.
Start strongly. Usually the first paragraph should introduce the argument.
Marshall evidence to support your thesis.
Finish storng - the conclusion should reinforce the persuasiveness of your whole argument.
1. Is your evidence a primary source or secondary source?
2. What are the author's sources? That is, what does he/she know, and how does he/she know it? If a primary source, was he/she an eyewitness?
3. Does your author acknowledge his/her sources?
4. Is the chronology accurate?
5. Is there evidence of bias in your author?
6. What assumptions does he/she make about the subject?
7. On what premises does he/she base the argument? Are they logical and consistent?
8. Is the information in your source corroborated elsewhere? Can you check the facts easily?
9. Why is your author writing -- ie, to inform, to persuade, to make an apologia?
10. Is your author aware of other viewpoints?