Historiography is the history of writing on a particular topic.The historical source under review is usually secondary, that is, it is about an event in history that the author has contributed some new information.1 Biographical information about the credibility, and expertise of the author must be taken into consideration.
Education, class, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and political or religious affiliations may affect the authors expertise, bias, or interpretation. Does the author present new information or evidence?
Is the author an authority or qualified to write on the subject. Does the author raise new issues or leave unanswered questions for other scholars?
Many of us had never written a critical book review for history, and not all of us were history majors.
A number of students dropped out of the course after writing their first critical book review in history simply because they did not know what was required and did not conduct the research to find out.
Good historical writing is also about creating something new.
Combine these two and you have, an argument about a new historical perception.
On being required to write my first critical book review for an upper level history course I was filled with questions as were many of my peers.
I was aware that the discourse is different between disciplines and that each discipline has its own unique requirements.
How does this book differ from the general understanding of the topic or time?
Rhetoric is the art of argument, and good historical writing is always argumentative.