Interview with President Edward Ayers, Ph.D.
It is no surprise that college writing differs from writing in high school, but many students who take history courses find that writing for history is difficult. University of Richmond President and Professor of History Dr. Edward Ayers is both a respected historian and a professor who teaches history in the classroom. He also works with University of Richmond's Digital Scholarship Lab to explain history in new ways with modern technology. Here he provides some helpful ideas for how to improve history papers:
If you keep these things in mind while writing a history essay, they will help you to convey your argument clearly and to add your own thoughts to historical debates. Here are interviews with Dr. Edward Ayers that help to explain how to write well for history, tips for beginning writers studying history, how to think like a historian, what historiography is, how to write good historiography, and what to think about when creating a historical multimedia project. Key points from each interview follow the video.
Writing for History
"The main thing that makes history, history, is that it can have any form, but it has to be true to an authenticated documentary record."
"History writing has to have a point."
Tips for Beginning Students
"Write what you want to write, and write it as well as you can."
Thinking like a Historian
"Thinking about history like a historian is thinking about context, and thinking in time."
"Historiography is the history of history, the history of writing about history."
"Patience is the best way to write as efficiently as possible."
Historical Multimedia Projects
"My advice would be to actually think about media as a form of film criticism or analyzing a complex object."
"History is the record of everything that happened before today, and it can be told in any way."
"Use your imagination."