Lepore writes, “War is a contest of injuries and interpretation.” What does she mean by this,
and how does this idea play out in The Name of War?
What are the elements of identity that are so important to the Wampanoag and the English, and
why are these things so important?
What does this book teach us about the power of the written word?
Should we think of this as a civil war? These people were all subjects of the King of England who
had lived harmoniously and closely for decades, then proceeded to engage in a vicious, very personal style of war.
Keep the questions in mind while you read the book. Ideally, you want to mark passages in the text that seem relevant to the questions. The focus of the book papers is up to you. You can either answer the above questions, or you can decide to pick a different topic that interests you in the book. But again be sure to pick a topic that is broad enough. Stay away from topics that don’t allow you much space for exploration.
Your book papers should have a clear thesis statement, an introduction, an argument that offers proof of your thesis statement, and a conclusion. You should try to offer specific evidence from the book to support the claims that you are trying to make in your paper. But you should also try to step back and fit the book into a larger historical context. This means, you should consider how the book tells us something more general about the time period in which the events took place.
Be sure to properly cite the book or any other materials you use. When giving quotes or examples in from the book, you can just have it followed by a citation in parenthesis [Lepore, p. x]. If you cite any other sources, you should give the author, title, publication information, and page number. Again, you can either do this in parenthesis or as a footnote.
As you start writing, make yourself an outline. Be sure to put your thesis statement into the introductory paragraph. The thesis should address the “what, how, and why.” A thesis statement such as “King Philip’s war is important” is weak. We don’t know why it’s important, what we learn, what matters, etc.
Be sure to prove your thesis statement in the body of your paper. Your outline should reflect your thesis in that it should address all the points you would need to discuss to prove your point. Never discuss more than one topic per paragraph and try to construct strong topic sentences – kind of mini theses that introduce each paragraph to the reader.