1. There’s a chapter for every common genre of history essay, including response papers, exam essays (short answer IDs and long analytical essays), primary source essays, historiography and imaginative essays + research and thesis-type long research papers.
2. It’s not the usual list of do’s & don’ts, as if the only reason students aren’t writing clearly is that no one told them to “be clear.” I use my training in composition studies to teach what clarity is & how to revise toward it, as well as all the other writing choices.
3. It covers research tools and methods and of course plagiarism, but instead of rules & links that go quickly out of date, it explains WHY citation practices are they way they are, how finding aids work, and how to navigate the constant changes.
4. It’s about reading as much as it’s about writing.
5. It contains all the quick-reference basics you need alongside theory and vocabulary of how history works, how historians think–and how all of that integrates into communicating clearly and convincingly in writing.
6. The book teaches writing as a practice of thinking and communicating critically. This goal, made more specific for each essay, drives all writing choices. I provide students with a rich toolbox to make their own choices to meet their goals & find their own voice.
7. There is also a companion website for instructors w/ FAQ, skeleton syllabi, exercises & rubrics. Instructors should not be reinventing the wheel w/ every course, especially not TAs & adjuncts who currently shoulder the bulk of this burden. https://global.oup.com/us/companion.websites/9780190271169/
8. History is as much a writing field as literature, yet we too often can’t fit writing into already packed courses &/or lack the training to do so well, while we bemoan student writing skills. I wrote this book because I needed it & nothing like it existed yet. Now it does.