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HIS 4335 - European Womens History Since 1200: Featured Resources

Asking Good Research Questions

   Asking a good question helps you develop a good thesis statement. But what makes for a "good question"? Prof. Patrick Rael, in the History Department at Bowdoin College in Maine, presents the case that formulating a good question "determines the task [of] the author . . . ." and provides the reader with cues to look for in the author's argument, how to evaluate the argument, and a means to judge if the author is successful or not.(Rael, Patrick. “What Happened and Why? Helping Students Read and Write Like Historians.” The History Teacher 39, no. 1 (November 1, 2005): 23–32.). He identifies 6 questions you will want to keep in mind while reading for your paper and then use these questions in planning your paper:

  1. What is the historical problem under consideration?
  2. What kind of historical problem is it?
  3. What are the premises underlying the central question?
  4. What "road map" is the author following in developing the argument? Can you identify it? Is the author sticking to it?
  5. What solution does the author propose for the problem?
  6. How does the author develop the argument leading up to the solution?

I recommend you take a look at the full article (search for the title in OneSearch), but tease out these questions in relation to your own topic for this class.


Top 7

The list below represents the most important scholarly sources to use in locating scholarly journal articles on women in history (or art or religion) in Europe.  These will be your "go to" sources and may also be listed on other pages of this guide.


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