History requires research, and historians often use primary and secondary sources to uncover gaps in knowledge, unsolved problems, or suspect explanations. Secondary sources also allow historians to identify archives. Primary sources, however, are often inaccessible or incomplete. Writing history also imposes several different demands than writing a novel, literary criticism, or sociology article. Listed below are some tips for writing a history article. Hopefully, you’ll find this article helpful.
First, define history. In the most general terms, history is the concatenation of events. The causes, events, and people involved are important factors. While historical events may have been influenced by external forces, such as governments, private individuals, or natural disasters, people are the primary actors in history. Understanding history requires understanding of these actors. There are two basic types of actors: the historical record and the narrative. Both primary and secondary sources have their own unique characteristics, and they contribute to an understanding of the past.
First, history is messy and unreliable. The history we study is based on human values, and there are no hard and fast rules. Evidence is often fragmentary and imperfect, and individual books and articles may clash. Eventually, consensus emerges through high-quality textbooks. However, historians are often subject to their own egos and perspectives, which may make them less than objective. In this way, they may not be able to reflect the real world objectively.
Second, history can be a science of the mind. Collingwood’s definition of history stated that history is a science of the mind, and Walsh appears to accept this view. A historian’s key intellectual task is to reconstruct reasons that actors had at various points in history, as well as the conditions that led them to have those reasons. Thus, historians need to use tools that facilitate the interpretation of meanings and reasons. Hermeneutic philosophers also argued that interpretation is a critical element of history.
In addition to its linguistic and cultural properties, historians must be able to write clearly and accurately. The task of composing a history is made easier by varying types of research. Narrative historians must also be able to filter out ambiguous motives and uncertain causal connections. While a story’s aim is to convey meaning to its audience, history can also help an individual choose which narrative to read. However, these two approaches have some similarities.
Another characteristic that distinguishes history from memory is that it is organized. Memory, in contrast, is personal and subjective. Narratives are stories that people create about the past. A historian may also use stories from his or her own life as a means of enhancing memory. These three factors can all help students learn about history. For instance, in a historical book, a writer may have a story about a starving Ukrainian peasant who was starving to death. Moreover, a writer might use these methods to create an accurate history.
The twentieth century is a particularly difficult period to study. This century was marked by unprecedented levels of violence, war, and totalitarianism, which have led to new challenges for historiography and philosophy of history. As a historian, you must discover the extent of crime and document the experience of those who experienced it. This is not possible without reflecting on your assumptions about human behavior, research, and explanatory purposes. Further, the topic of evil requires more scholarly research, and the challenges of presenting it are vast.