Press Release: Historiography Edition

Shelley Rose

Close up of typewriter with "Press Release" on the page

“Press Release” by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

This press release assignment can be used alone or as a planning assignment (formative assessment) for the Historiography UnEssay. It is intended as a brief, intense writing exercise for a general audience to have students practice career readiness skills such as communication and application of information technology.


  1. Choose a historian or historical publication/project that had a significant impact on the discipline of history. For example, Joan Wallach Scott’s pioneering 1986 article, “Gender as a Useful Category of Analysis” in the American Historical Review.
  2. Write a press release around 500-800 words (notes not included). You may use any formats supported by Pressbooks and H5P.
  3. Include your analysis of why this historian and/or publication is important to the field of history & which subdiscipline(s) it belongs to. Pitch it to a general audience.
  4. Be sure to include the elements in the blue box in your press release and remember the sourcing and historical thinking skills outlined by the Stanford History Education Group at SHEG Chart

Inspiration for this assignment came from concluding comments by historian David Perry in Drafting the Past Episode 10, “David M. Perry Writes Out Loud.

Elements of a Press Release

Elements of Your Finished Press Release

Include the following sections in your press release:

  • Historiography Connections
  • Geographic Coverage
  • Citation for First Edition/Printing (Chicago Style)
  • Press Release (the analytical text of the press release, or the video and transcript, 500-800 words)

Sample formats for your press release



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