In “A pocket guide to writing in history.
” Mary Lynn Rampolla provides readers with a concise yet comprehensive coverage of every step of the research and writing process. Some of the material Rampolla covers in this short guide is writing techniques, such as knowing the right sources to utilize, examples include; Whether deciding to use a primary or secondary source. Rampolla discusses the importance of actively reading material stating; “As you read in history, you must accomplish several tasks. Obviously, you need to understand the content, but you must also evaluate its usefulness, analyze its significance, and synthesize all of your reading into one coherent picture of the topic you are studying.” Rampolla then moves on to describing the writing process, explaining the ins and outs of creating a research paper, as well as the essential foundations of effective writing.
This short guide introduces the reader to the basic elements of writing a history essay: developing a thesis, using evidence to construct an argument, organizing material effectively, and writing clearly. Towards the end of the book the author goes over how to properly gather information for a research paper. Includes information on avoiding the use of plagiarism. Reading this book provided me with important information regarding the formation of a thesis statement in writing. Since the thesis is the central idea that drives a history essay, it is important that you understand exactly what a thesis is.
According to Rampolla a thesis is not a description of your paper topic, a question, a statement of fact, or a statement of opinion, although it is sometimes confused with all of the above. Rather, a thesis is a statement that reflects what you have concluded about the topic of your paper, based on a critical analysis and interpretation of the source materials you have examined.