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Make a point of using evidence with attention to specificity of time and place, i.e.
Apricota, Issue 1: 64-5; Spring 2018 “The Luminosity of the Nose” Edward Lear and the disco ball. “Maps, Bodies, States” An essay on cartography and national identity, commissioned in connection with the run of John Guare’s A Free Man of Color. “Insular Visions: Cartographic Imagery and the Spanish-American War” (with R.
Cabinet, Issue 64: 84-91; Summer 2017 [Feb, 2018] “Reambiguation” Neuroscience and Hollywood special effects – Greebles and greebling.
" Obviously, you cannot write a good paper if you haven't done the readings, so be sure to keep up.
Remember however that merely "reading everything" doesn't guarantee you'll do good writing.
In effect, it is a way of saying: "If you don't accept my thesis, you can check the evidence yourself." If your instructor is unclear about your argument, he or she may very well go back and check how you are using your original sources.
By keeping your notes accurate your argument will always be rooted in concrete evidence of the past which the reader can verify. Be aware also that "historical" writing is not exactly the same as writing in other social sciences, in literature, or in the natural sciences.Equally, quotes, dates, and lists of details mean nothing by themselves.Your task is both to select the important "facts" and to present them in a reasonable, persuasive, and systematic manner which defends your position.Reading the past principally in terms of your own present experience can also create problems in your arguments.Avoid grand statements about humanity in general, and be careful of theories which fit all cases.Though all follow the general thesis and evidence model, historical writing also depends a great deal on situating evidence and arguments correctly in time and space in narratives about the past.Historians are particularly sensitive to errors of anachronism—that is, putting events in an "incorrect" order, or having historical characters speak, think, and act in ways inappropriate for the time in which they were living.Begin reading (or re-reading) your texts or documents.Students often ask: "How can I give you a thesis (or write an introduction) before I have done all the reading?A good critical essay acknowledges that many perspectives are possible on any question, yet demonstrates the validity or correctness of the writer's own view.To make a good argument you must have both a strong central thesis and plausible evidence; the two are interdependent and support each other.