What is the major claim or thesis of the book or article, History

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1. What is the major claim or thesis of the book or article? (This means that the author has 1) to tell what happened (the 5 Ws); 2) explain how or why. In historical writing this is what the thesis should achieve.)

2. Is the information supported by evidence? Take a good look at the footnotes or endnotes. What kinds of sources did the author use? What other sources might have been used? (Be specific: not just lots of books and information but what sorts: diaries, court records, et cetera.)

3. What are the primary assumptions on which the author bases the argument's main claim? Do you agree with those assumptions? o [To help you to identify them, assumptions have these features • Hidden or unstated • Taken for granted • Influential in determining the conclusion • Necessary, if the reasoning is to make sense • Potentially deceptive]

4. What is the bias (perspective) of the author? (Motive can be a clue here.) 5. Where is the argument vulnerable, weak, or thin? What other interpretations of the author's evidence are possible?


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