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What do you do with a topic when you've chosen it?
- Be sure you can find multiple primary sources and critiques of them. Remember: you are writing an historiographical paper. Analyzing your sources is a major part of your paper.
- Treat your topic in an interesting way so that you can state a thesis and prove or disprove it. Take a developmental or comparative approach, not a simple descriptive approach.
- How did something change over time? For example, you might compare a political issue at the beginning of the Empire (Augustus) with the same issue in a later century. To narrow this topic, you might research the changes in laws about voting rights.
- Compare the treatment of the topic in different countries or cultures. For example, you might compare the occurrence, diagnosis, and treatment of malaria in Rome and Greece in the first century C.E.
- Examine how two writers treated the same topic in different ways. For example, what did one author say about barbarians compared to how another author treated barbarians?