Historical Hack: Historical Arguments

What you’ll learn to do: evaluate historical arguments and thesis statements, explaining how they are constructed

Argument map with a question in the center about whether EU Member states should produce shale gas. Both sides show arguments for and against.

Figure 1. An argument map showing the supporting evidence as to why shale gas production could be both good or bad.

In this section, you’ll learn about arguments—not the kind you might have with a friend about the best fast food restaurant, but the kind you see in academic writing. Arguments are statements that take a stance. They form the basis of historiography, as historians use facts and sources to create a historical argument, to make sense of how or why things happened.