How can I write an academic essay about Adolf Hitler? What are reliable sources?

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Hitler is a fine choice for an academic essay!  Adolf Hitler is one of the most studied and analyzed figures of WWII, so it will not be hard to find resources.  You may want to look at smaller aspects of his life, since a complete biography would take volumes and would probably not meet your assignment requirement.  My advice would be to look at how Hitler was able to influence WWII.  If possible, try to find some speeches by Hitler translated into English if you do not speak German.  These can be primary sources--sources from that time period.  Remember, though, as you read these sources that they may have bias and not give an overall view of the period but rather, Hitler's perception of the war.  Next, look at secondary sources--there are many good WWII historians out there--Mark Mazower's Hitler's Empire:  How the Nazis Ruled Europe is a good choice.  Of course, there are many books about WWII and the European theater, so you may want to limit yourself to Hitler's invasion of Poland, France, or the Soviet Union.  

The main thing that you have to do is to maintain a clear thesis--this is the point you are trying to make about Adolf Hitler and how his actions were influential historically.  Also, keep in mind your page or word limit, and do not exceed these parameters.  

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Since Adolf Hitler is one of the most infamous heads of state to have lived in modern times, there is naturally an abundance of information available about him.  Depending on the assignment, it will likely be helpful to focus on one specific piece of Adolf Hitler.  For instance, you might just focus on his war tactics, his psychology, or his powers of persuasion over the German people.  Since there is an abundance of information available on Hitler, you may overwhelm yourself if you do not focus on something more specific than simply Adolf Hitler.

Generally, after selecting a topic, you will write approximately six full paragraphs about the topic.  You will start with an introduction that discusses what your paper will be about, then you will organize the body of your essay into four or more additional paragraphs.  Each paragraph should start with a sentence that discusses what that paragraph is asserting, and then supporting details should finish each paragraph.  Once all four paragraphs of the body are complete, you will write your concluding paragraph (conclusion), which sums up your work and briefly restates the assertions made throughout the academic essay.

In terms of reliable sources, you will want to consider the following pieces: accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency and coverage.  Accuracy can be measured in several ways.  Consider whether or not there are sources listed for the information.  Are there spelling and grammar errors riddling the source, or is it clear that the information has been edited?  After you consider the accuracy of the resource, consider pieces that fit under authority.  If the source has authority, the author is credible, the organization giving the information is doing so without bias and readily takes credit for its work, and the author and organization are qualified to write on the topic.  Then consider objectivity.  Does the sponsor of the page have an agenda or a commercial interest?  Are there clear biases in the information?  After objectivity, consider currency.  Information may change over time, so consider when the information was written and updated.  Some information does not change frequently, such as information about the Revolutionary War, but information about ISIS changes frequently as the organization is in existence today. Last, consider coverage.  Is there enough information in the source?  Is the topic covered in depth and did the author complete the information?

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