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History Insights titles may fall into one or more of the following categories: topics focusing on a specific area, theme, event or person, for example The Russian Revolutions, The American West or Hitler; broader surveys such as Europe 1789-1849; methodological texts, such as on the use of interpretation of documents, oral history, economic history and biography; interdisciplinary studies, such as History and Literature, History and the Environment, History and Medicine, History and Philosophy. In interdisciplinary titles, one or two case studies might be incorporated to complement an overview study of the whole field. Alternatively, the title could take a single topic such as the Enlightenment and deal with it in an interdisciplinary way.
History Insights Guidelines:
Each History Insights text will be about 25-30,000 words in length (about 80 to 100 pages) and is likely to include the following sections:
- An outline or framework of the topic/period dealing with the historical background, events, people and movements. In other words, this should be about what occurred.
- A section, probably a small one, on the methodology of the subject, if appropriate, dealing with the problems of social history, or of using film and other visual sources.
- A section on issues and debates. This is likely to be the central and weightiest section. It should examine concepts and factors, and challenge the readers to analyse particular problems of interpretation and discussion of evidence and theories. Thus, as well as providing an authoritative view it should ask questions for the readers to answer. The section should clarify complex issues, but without simplifying them, and it should stimulate readers to achieve a deeper understanding of the main themes and topics. It should act like a vortex bringing students into an ever greater understanding of the events.
- If considered necessary, some document or source analysis. Authors have to ensure that they have permission for using sources and permission fees, which they would have to pay, can become prohibitively expensive.
- An Annotated Bibliography which should normally offer some critical comment on important books and source collections. It should normally not be longer than two pages and include no more than 25 key items. It is unlikely that the undergraduate and sixth-form market we are aiming at would require more.
In some cases they might be a chronological table at the start or as an appendix, and sometimes a biographical summary of 'who's who' might be useful. Maps, tables and illustrations might be given when and where appropriate.
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