Pete P.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Analyzing Historical Documents

Posted by Pete P. on 6/17/20 11:00 AM

Most high school and college level history courses will require that you read, interpret, and analyze a document or set of documents from the past—otherwise known as primary sources. In this post, I will provide five basic questions that you should ask about your document(s) that will kickstart your thinking about the past and serve as a starting point for formulating an argument for a paper or project. These questions constitute the basic toolkit that all historians use when they research and write about any topic or time period. By asking and answering these questions you will be doing history at its most fundamental level.

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Tags: history