Top publishing award for essential history book

  • Date

    Wed 14 Feb 18

Dr Tracey Loughran

Dr Tracey Loughran has won a prestigious PROSE Award for her student textbook which has been described as a “sophisticated guide to the pleasures and perils of historical work” that “should be read by every student embarking on a history degree.”

Dr Loughran, of our Department of History, was the winner in the Textbook/Humanities category of the annual awards presented by the Association of American Publishers’ (AAP) for her book A Practical Guide to Studying History: Skills and Approaches.

A Practical Guide to Studying History helps students successfully transition from school or college to studying history at university level. It reflects our Department of History’s commitment to engaging students in lively debate from day one.

It explores key historical concepts, examines how history is used in diverse non-academic contexts, and provides guidance on key study skills.

Dr Loughran said: “It’s fantastic that the student-centred approach that is the guiding force behind this book, and that animates our history teaching here at Essex, has been recognised on the international stage. It’s great to see that the Essex spirit can influence undergraduate historians across the globe!”

She added: “The PROSE Awards recognise distinguished professional and scholarly, reference works, journals and electronic content. The awards are judged by peer publishers, academics, librarians, and medical professionals, and are given to landmark works in different fields. This award demonstrates that scholars at the University of Essex are shaping teaching practice at the highest level.”

Essex's Dr Matthew Grant also contributed to the book, writing a chapter on history and policy. 


A Practical Guide to Studying History should be read by every student embarking on a history degree. It offers a challenging, comprehensive and stimulating introduction to what historians do, to why and how they do it.”
Ultán Gillen, Teeside University

“This is the book I’ve been waiting for: a lively, engaging, sophisticated guide to the pleasures and perils of historical work. It introduces key approaches to history, gives practical guidance on research, sources and essay writing, and reminds us that there is no single roadmap into the past but rather a range of routes and pit stops. It is inspirational stuff.”
Matt Cook, Birkbeck University of London

This lucid and engaging guide to producing and consuming history should be required reading for history undergraduates (and their teachers). In clear and accessible prose, it explains the latest methodological approaches and debates and serves as a practical handbook to reading, researching, and writing history.”
Tara Zahra, University of Chicago