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Historiography- Celia, A Slave (Gamez): Home

Writing a Historiography for Celia, A Slave

What is a historiography? Simply stated, a historiography is an analysis of the interpretations of a specific topic written by historians. The main purpose of a historiographical paper is to analyze the scholarly work of other historians on a certain subject. A historiography does not analyze the subject itself.

Library Research Process: Your research is going to take time so make sure to plan accordingly. Before beginning your research, brainstorm topics from Celia, A Slave and select a topic that interests you the most. Next, begin researching using reliable and authoritative library resources. As Dual Credit students, you have access to a wealth of information. You may use AHS and EPCC library resources in your research. Begin your research analysis by reading books, journal articles, and periodicals on your topic. Read each piece thoroughly and think about how the historian addresses his/her position or stance on the topic This is what you will be analyzing. Cite the article and write an annotated summary in NoodleTools. Re-read the article and take notes using the notecards in NoodleTools. After you have completed your library research, organize your notecards into an outline which will help you draft your historiography essay.



You may use these research database articles to help you get you started on your research:
Reference sample: Celia from West"s Encyclopedia on American Law (US History in Context)
Scholarly journal sample: "Mad" Enough to Kill: Enslaved Women, Murder, and Southern Courts from The Journal of African American History (US History in Context)
Periodical (newspaper) sample: Missouri v. Celia, a Slave: She Killed the White Master Raping Her, Then Claimed Self-Defense from The Washington Post (US History in Context)

What Can I Use For My Research?

  • Book Reviews: Use a book review for quick analysis of an author's work. Book reviews provide insight of how the reviewers (usually other historians) react to the author's thesis/ or argument.

  • Books: Books are essential in research because they provide in depth background knowledge. When reading a history book, think about how  the author builds their argument and what do they indicate is the most important part?

  • Magazines/Newspapers: These generally are easier to read and understand. The trick is to figure out the importance of the article to the field as a whole. Quick tip: Look to see if the article is frequently cited by other authors writing about a similar subject.
  • Scholarly Journals: Use scholarly journals as the gold standard when you need original research on a topic Scholarly journal articles are essays written by scholars and/or subject experts, The articles published in scholarly journals go through a "peer-review" process. In other words, the articles are checked by a panel of academics and other experts in the field before the work is published. Thus, the articles are reliable and authoritative Use scholarly journals to support your research with factual documented information.
  • Reference: Reference materials are generalized sources that cover a specific subject, They are organized alphabetically and are often in sets or volumes.These are great starting points for fact-finding, getting background topic information, learning of key events and individuals, or starting a research paper/projects.

Helpful Tip: Read through a book's and/or journal article's bibliography as a research launch pad to locate additional resources.

Research Steps

Step 1: Choose a topic
Step 2: Research using reliable and authoritative resources from AHS and EPCC Libraries
Step 3: Develop an annotated bibliography using NoodleTools (Chicago style format)
Step 4: Re-read and take notes while evaluating the authors' stances as your are reading
Step 5: Organize your notes and create an outline using the X-123-Y thesis model
Step 6: Write the first draft of your historiography essay using your outline and notes in NoodleTools
Step 7: Revise and edit your historiography essay- have a friend or teacher provide constructive feedback
Step 8: Write the final copy of your historiography essay