Prepare 9: Reading a Journal Article

Why we are doing this

  • This week’s work is to prepare you to read professional history articles, which have a different form than the background sources you’ve read thus far. Professional journal articles are published only after other experts in the field agree the article meets the standards of historians. Thus, journal articles are better secondary sources than open-web articles or background readings in encyclopedias.

  • The SIFT process helps you understand credible sources. The next step in your education is to learn to distinguish quality sourcres from just credible sources. Wikipedia is often credible, but not high quality. JSTOR and Project Muse are databases in our Normandale library that host quality journal articles. Using quality sources distinguishes college-level work from high-school level work.


Please answer in complete sentences.

  1. What are the credentials (reasons we might trust as an expert) of James E. Montgomery, author of "Ibn Fadlān And The Rūsiyyah?"
  2. If you were to teach another student about how to read a history article, you’d need to help them understand what the different parts of an article contained. What are the parts (or sections or components) of the article "Ibn Fadlān And The Rūsiyyah?" Which part of the article do you find most useful for understanding the history of the Rūsiyyah?
  3. We read history articles for content, not for pleasure. So, we always read looking for a main idea, or thesis. A thesis is the main point the author wishes their audience to understand. A thesis is NOT a topic, or subject. This article is about "Ibn Fadlān And The Rūsiyyah." What is the thesis (main argument, idea, central idea) of the article?