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African Women’s History

Analytical Essay

Begin by selecting subject matter that falls within one of the broad categories listed in the syllabus. Narrow it down to a manageable topic that will form the basis of your essay.

Keep the following notes in mind as you work on the exercise:

  1. Be sure your topic is historical.
  2. Read as much as you can on your topic. What have others written on it? What conclusions have they reached? Do you agree or not? Are there issues that they have not explored? Do these works bolster or challenge your position? What is your response to them?
  3. What questions are guiding your research? (In addition to questions you may already have about a given topic, you may develop others as you study primary and secondary sources).
  4. Identify AT LEAST TWO primary sources to use in your essay but you may use more if you wish. As you work with the sources think about them critically as we have discussed in class. This is all part of analysis.
    Cite all your sources using the Chicago Style which is the preferred method for history: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/01/
    Be sure to click on the tabs on the side of the above website for specific examples.
  5. Develop an outline for your essay. What is your argument? What points and examples are you going to use to defend it? Is there an issue or question that your research has left unanswered? Be sure to mention it towards the end.
  6. Visit the library and seek research assistance from library staff if need be.
  7. Consider visiting the Writing Centre for technical guidance as you prepare your drafts.
  8. Study handouts on Canvas under ‘Modules’ on creating a proper thesis statement and on how to paraphrase properly to avoid plagiarism).
  9. Your essay should be 8 pages long. I shall accept a minimum of 7 pages and a maximum of 10 pages. Material beyond the tenth page shall not be read.
    Script should be Times New Roman, pitch 12 within one inch page margins.
  10. Enjoy the exercise: it gives you a lot of room to explore and develop a topic.

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