Essaying past jim cullen

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Essaying past jim cullen

Introduction Essaying the Past: Essaying the Past is a useful, relatively clear guide on how to write and frame a history essay or research paper, with a structure which easily allows the reader to dip in and out of the book.

Its clear prose makes it much more accessible to younger students, and removes ambiguity over what the author is saying.

However, this accessibility raises questions about the primary target audience of the book. Style A particularly useful aspect of this book is the style in which it is written. There are a variety of references relating to widely known persons to help Cullen illustrate his point.

And secondly, it alleviates the problem of choosing an example accessible to all students. The sheer range of history means that different schools and universities may cover entirely different topics, and to give a particularly historical example in a relatively difficult chapter would potentially alienate students who did not understand the content.

However, there are some examples which are questionable choices within the guide. Though the rest of the chapter was interesting, the lengthy example served only to slow down the pace of the book.

However, as mentioned, the majority of examples provided are relevant to either history or wide popular culture. Also useful is the way in which Cullen gets his point across. Using an informal style is beneficial, particularly for younger or more nervous students, as it creates a form of collective identity whilst also being strangely personal: Together, these elements help create a style of writing which makes a very readable book.

As he himself recognised in the introduction, it is designed to have multiple entry points, so that a student who wants to focus primarily on how to research an essay can direct themselves to the relevant chapters.

This is useful, as it ensures all chapters are focused on the topic they say they are about, which is not always the case with historical literature.

It also helps to make the book less daunting to a newcomer; they can stick to what they need to read, rather than perusing the whole book. This is furthermore helped by the fact that each chapter is relatively short. There are none of the fifty-page chapters all too common in some works of history.

Instead, the page book is split into sixteen chapters, plus an introduction, conclusion and various appendices, helping to keep the focus throughout. Cullen is aware of his target audience, and understands that long chapters are unappealing to both the nervous and those with a short attention span.

This style also aids the flow of the book. It was easy to get drawn into the book and read large chunks at a time. The easy flow, complete with clear prose, allows the reader to remain fully focused on the purpose of the book, rather than translating stilted jargon.

However, chapters fourteen and fifteen appear to make extremely similar points; it was difficult to see the purpose of keeping the topics separate — in fact, it actually made the subject matter more confusing, if anything.

Accessibility It is clear from the above comments that the book is extremely accessible to almost all readers. And yet in this lies its biggest flaw: Many of the points discussed in the book — from historiography, to the Annales School, to questions of historicism — are relevant only in the study of history at university level.

And yet, were a university student to read this, it is likely that they would switch off early on, due to the explanation of certain concepts, such as the distinction between primary and secondary sources, which, to them, are self-explanatory.

Essaying the Past : Jim Cullen :

A final point is that it was felt that the book was designed primarily for an American audience. Whilst the matter of structuring an essay, and formulating a thesis statement, are relevant for British students, the concepts of designing an essay question and actively searching for a wide variety of sources become applicable only towards the very end of the secondary school experience.

Indeed, even at university it is often only the dissertation topic which is wholly a self-driven piece of work, from idea to question to end result. The structure allows the reader to dip in and out at leisure, and the short chapters help keep the book fast-paced.

Overall, should some examples change, and the author assess his target audience, it is likely that the book would be an excellent tool for history teachers and students in a secondary school.Essaying the past cullen.

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Essaying past jim cullen

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Review of Essaying the Past: How to Read, Write and Think about History, by Jim Cullen (Wiley-Blackwell, , third edition). Disclaimer: an e-book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a review, though this has in no way influenced the review’s content.

Essaying the Past: How to Read, Write, and Think about History, 3rd Edition. Jim Cullen. ISBN: pages. December , Wiley-Blackwell.

View Previous Edition of This Title. Read an Excerpt Jim Cullen teaches history at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York. He was previously a Preceptor in the Expository. Essaying the past jim cullen.

Essaying past jim cullen

November 11, Essaying the past jim cullen. Plc delta dvp 24essay berlusconism and italy a historical interpretation essay short essay on junk food should be banned in schools english paper 1 essay lengths our culture and tradition essays gosper glider gun synthesis essay essay cultural imperialism human a.

Part research manual, part study guide, and part introduction to the study of history, Essaying the Past guides the reader through the nuts and bolts of producing good historical prose, offering key . Praise for the first edition: “There's a level of sophistication in Essaying the Past that is disguised by its utterly clear and engaging style.

Jim Cullen tells students just what they need to know to write about the past.”Price: $

Essaying the Past: How to Read, Write and Think about History - Jim Cullen - Google Books