Writing A Good History Paper

Writing A Good History Paper-66
Rather than printing a transcription of the letter, I just paraphrased it into my own words. You don't need to give us everything you know all at once. Here is a quote from a letter that I used to end a chapter in a family history: Now, be honest. Even if you were late to pick up your kids from school, wouldn't you turn the page for a peek at Grace's answer?And, of course, in the actual narrative, I inserted a footnote and gave the citation for the letter. So who was the other wise person who thought that a family history had to end when everyone in the story died?

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Reel the reader in with an exciting, happy, or tragic event, or a conflict.

If you have letters, diaries, or an interesting record, you can open by quoting that source.

Most published genealogies aren't meant to be read. The ones with just names, dates, and places, some of them no more creatively done than printing out computer databases.

Keep in mind that no one's family history is compelling and interesting, until you make it compelling and interesting.

Writing your family history so people will want to read it is not all that difficult.

You can write a completely factual account of your family, fully documented, yet as readable as a novel.I don't know who came up with the brilliant idea that a family history had to begin with, "Samuel Martin was born on 3 March 1849 in a log cabin in Illinois." Good grief. Instead, use the same writing technique that fiction writers use: start in the middle of a story, then flashback and tell the reader how we got to that point.After I've thoroughly researched a family, I look for the most interesting aspect of their lives and open my narrative there.As you read fiction, pay attention to how the author opens the story, how he or she keeps you reading, and how the story ends.You can apply just about any fiction writing technique to nonfiction writing.Now you can write a compelling family history, too.Sharon De Bartolo Carmack is a Certified Genealogist, executive editor of Family Tree Books (formerly Betterway Books), contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine, and the author of eight books, including A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors.(the newsletter of the Genealogical Speakers Guild); and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. It is about two teenagers on the brink of failing high school, unless they ace their final history exam. The protagonists acquire a time machine that allows them to travel through different eras of history.But remember: You are writing nonfiction, so you have to write your family history within the confines of fact.Here's an opening example: See how I plunged us right into the middle of the story?

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