Skip to Main Content

HIST 121: United States History to 1877 (Becker, Spring 2024)

Assessing an Article

Look at this article I found in Historical Abstracts, the main database for finding peer reviewed articles on European History. 

Questions to consider:

  • What is the Topic?
  • What is the Argument?
  • What are the sources?
  • How does it challenge existing publications on the topic?
  • Who is the author?
  • Where & when was this published?


Every peer reviewed article should have an author, title, publication date, topic, argument, sources, and historiographical argument [how it fits into the wider field].  You could summarize an article in 2 sentences if you wanted:

In the year article/book "Title," Author studies Topic, arguing Thesis. Using Sources/methodology, Author challenges existing literature by unique aspect of work.

In the 2001 article "Finding the People's War," Geoff Eley studies depictions of World War II in British films during the second half of the 20th century, arguing these materials created an important popular national mythology that provided cultural stability during an otherwise uncertain political era. Building upon a large body of literature that studies the influence of film in shaping British culture, Eley uniquely compares WW2 films of the radical 1960s with their conservative counterparts in the Thatcherite 1980s, further arguing that the overall effort to create a shared national methodology remained consistent regardless of the predominant political climate. 


It may also be worth noting that Eley is primarily a historian of Nationalism, which may be why he's interested the topic of national identiy.