What is a Histographical Essay and How to Write One ?

When a historiographical issue or a topic is discussed in an essay, it is known as a Histrographical essay. The essay analyses what the different authors have to say about a specific topic. 

A historiographical paper can also be said as a problem-centered paper and not a review paper. For example, a historiographical paper can share insights on the life of the Jews as stated by different authors such as Bauer, Gutman, and Hilberg at the time of the Holocaust. The different authors may present different insights on the same and also present their opinions on this topic. 

A historiographical essay can present a point in favor or against a topic. The essay can also present the reasons for differences as well as the implications of the area presented in the essay. To be precise, it can be said that these essays are written to present historiographical issues or events from different perspectives by taking help from different sources. The essay is also a means to display how the writer is able to research the different sources of information and collect information from them. They also demonstrate and display the critical reading skills of the writer as they find out if the resources that they have found are in favor of or against the facts that they have presented. 

Essay Outline

The very first thing that you need to do at the time of writing a historiographical essay is to select a topic. You should make sure that the topic that you have selected is unique and interesting for the readers. Once the topic of the research paper is selected, make sure that you research it extensively so that you have all the crucial information about the topic. It is also advised that you frame your historiographical essay as per the framework that is provided below.

    • Introduction: This section is the initial section of the essay and thus must clearly present your main idea of the topic. This is also the place where you have to present your historiographical thesis statement. Here the author’s perspectives can also be mentioned along with the main points of the arguments.  
    • Body: This is the main part of the essay where all the arguments are presented in different paragraphs. All the claims regarding agreements and disagreements are mentioned in this section of the essay. Each of the main ideas that you present can be mentioned in a separate paragraph. It is advised that all these points must be mentioned after a careful analysis. You also have to find out why the different authors disagree with the points that are presented in the essay. The disagreement can be a result of differences in ideologies, personal rivalries, or any other reasons. 
    • Conclusion: The last section of the essay is the conclusion. Here you have to present a summary of the findings when you assessed the different sources. You can also specifically mention the most compelling sources in this section. This section can also mention a brief about the primary insights that you have found in the email.

Steps to writing a Historiography Essay  

Before you start to write your first historiographical paper, it is better to understand all the steps of developing it. 

Step 1: Select a historiographical topic

The very first thing you need to do is to select an interesting topic for the paper. It is better to get it approved by the professor. One of the ways to develop a compelling essay is to choose a topic that is highly interesting and grabs the attention of the readers immediately. 

Step 2: Research your Topic

Choosing a topic that sounds interesting will not do all the job. You also need to research well about it. Here you have to find out what the different authors have to say about the topic. You are required to examine the different arguments and opinions of the different authors at this stage. You also need to make sure that you use some of the most credible sources at this stage. These include books, credible websites, and databases. 

Step 3: Information Analysis

Now that you have collected all the information that you need, it is time to analyze all the information and evaluate the credibility of all the sources that have been used to collect this information. This is the time when you need to write down things and make notes for the same. If the collected information does not match your topic or is not aligned, make sure that you collect the right information that can be used in the best possible manner. You need to make all the necessary connections at this stage.   

Step 4: Organize the paper and develop a framework

This is the time when you make the best use of the outline that you have developed at the beginning stage. You need to organize your ideas here. You must make sure that your essay follows a formal layout. Also, decide where you need to arrange all the information that is collected at the time of research. It is a good practice to add good and relevant examples at this stage to make it strong. 

Step 5: Develop a draft

At this stage, start writing your paper and develop an initial draft. If you do not have an idea to develop the introduction, you can start with the thesis statement and with the body part of the essay. At the time of developing the body section of the paper, you have to divide it into different paragraphs. Each of them must mention a different idea or a concept. Mention the work done by the different historians as per the flow of the topic or as per the events that have taken place in history. 

Step 6: proofread and edit

Once all your draft work is completed, it is time to make quality improvements. Revise what you have written and check whether it follows a logical flow. Also, check if the developed content has grammar and punctuation mistakes. Here you also need to check that none of the content that you have developed is plagiarized, as this can be a criminal offense in the area of academics. 

Towards the end, it is best advised that you go through some examples to get familiar with these types of essays. These will help you build a framework and get you a better understanding of what a histrographical essay must look like.