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Make Your Case

Make Your Case

Author: Sophia Tutorial

Understand how to use historical evidence to build a strong case.

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what's covered
In this lesson, you will begin to think about how you will make your final argument. Although history is simply what happened in the past, not everyone agrees on the significance of every event or why those happened as they did. Not everyone agrees on what lessons we can learn from history or how we can use those lessons. The most important job of a good historian is not to tell us what happened. The most important jobs for historians are to help us interpret what happened, give it meaning, and figure out how we can use it to make our lives now and in the future better. Specifically, this lesson will cover:
  1. Make Your Case
  2. Presenting to Win

before you start
How can you build a stronger argument?

1. Make Your Case

In this challenge, we’re going to look at how to take your presentation to the next level. This involves building a strong argument and using your sources to answer your research question.

In previous units, you read about historical arguments. Remember, a historical argument needs to make a claim or take a position about the past that is supported by evidence. When you answer the question you chose for your presentation, you’re making a historical claim. When you support the reasoning behind your answer with credible and relevant sources, you’re providing evidence to back up your claim.

As you read earlier in this course, it’s important to choose sources that are credible and relevant. It can also be helpful to choose different types of sources (a combination of images, written documents, firsthand accounts, and/or official data). By including different types of sources, you’re using corroboration — building a strong case by proving that the conclusion you’ve drawn is supported by information from different accounts. Your argument and your sources will be the building blocks of your presentation.

Here are some tips to help you build an argument to make your case.

Tips for Building an Argument Description
Be Selective You only have so much space and time in a presentation. When you’ve researched your topic thoroughly, you have a lot of information to choose from—so you should be selective about the sources you decide to summarize and quote. Choose a few compelling examples that directly support the main points you’re making. Finally, be sure to include any sources you’ve used to inform your presentation in your source list.
Make the Connection Primary sources provide essential support for historical arguments. You might choose to include a compelling quotation from someone who lived through an event, for example, or a statistic that shows the big picture about how that event affected the population. You’ll probably also want to include historical images in your presentation—they’re primary sources, too. No matter which type of primary source you use, remember to use your own analysis to connect it to your main idea.
Practice Your Argument Before finalizing your presentation, be sure to test it out. Saying your ideas out loud can help you get a sense of how they fit together. Can you summarize your argument in one or two sentences? If you record your presentation and listen to it, can you follow your own argument? Practicing your presentation in front of a mirror or with friends and family is a great way to plan out what you want to say and make sure it flows naturally.

terms to know

Closely connected or appropriate to what is being considered.
Building a strong case by proving that the conclusion you’ve drawn is supported by information from different accounts.

2. Presenting to Win

In this challenge, you will learn how the evolution of technology has changed communication throughout history. Check out this Sophia Story to see how two Atlanta realtors are leveraging today’s technology to communicate their way to success.

Now it’s time to dive into the history of communication technology and see how inventions from the television to the computer have affected the way the world communicates today.

In this lesson, you learned how to use historical evidence as effectively as possible to make your case. It is important to focus on credibility, relevance, and corroboration when selecting evidence the most compelling evidence to build an argument and support your case.

You also viewed an example of professionals presenting to win by using communications tools and technology that connect with their clients.

Best of luck in your learning!

Source: Strategic Education, Inc. 2020. Learn from the Past, Prepare for the Future.

Terms to Know

Building a strong case by proving that the conclusion you’ve drawn is supported by information from different accounts.


Closely connected or appropriate to what is being considered.