Writing a historical research

Such collections tend to be organized by place—and place turns out to be a more complicated idea than you might imagine when you start thinking about it in maps.

Each government has its own unique way of organizing its records, and archivists spend entire lifetimes learning to navigate these records. The wonders of maps are endless. To learn more about using quantitative evidence, click here.

Like all documents, photographs require critical reading to be properly interpreted and understood But the UW is in a city called Madison, a county called Dane, a state called Wisconsin, a region or multiple regions called the Mississippi Writing a historical research or the Great Lakes or what have you, a nation called the United States, a continent called North America, a hemisphere called Western, a planet called Earth Listening to someone share their memories about a topic you care about can be powerful indeed.

We know they ate more of certain foods in than they did in —but how much more, and why?


Landscapes exist in the present, but they also contain countless remnants of the pasts that have given them their present form. For some suggestions about how to do so, click here Photographic Images Earthrise, Apollo 8 Some documents are so obscure or complicated that we hardly know what to do with them when we first encounter them.

The problem is finding those documents. We introduce you to this wonderful genre of documents here.

Historians call these unique unprinted documents manuscripts. But precisely because periodicals like these are such an astonishingly rich source, it can be really confusing trying to find information in them. Maps of all these nested places are relevant to the university campus depicted at right.

Viewing historical photographs is just plain fun. A social historian will see quite different things in it than an economic historian will—to say nothing of what a geologist or ecologist will see.

Because they are designed to depict places in simplified or thematic ways, they are especially powerful tools for doing environmental history. Because governments by their nature do a better job than most organizations of keeping track of what they do—whether writing laws or prosecuting criminals or collecting taxes or fighting wars or regulating economies or managing natural resources—they are prolific producers of documents.

Research about the past based on interviews with living human beings is called "oral history. What kinds of documents will help us estimate how the relative shares of grains and meats and vegetables in American diets changed over time?

Moreover, many disciplines in the natural and social sciences have enormous contributions to make to our understanding of past change, and learning to read the findings of such disciplines requires a basic knowledge of statistics.

The same is true if you want to explore the past. Maps Centennial Map of University of Wisconsin Campus, If you know how to read them, historical maps are like photographs in being among the most engaging and powerful of historical documents.

Learning how to find them is among the most challenging and intriguing of historical skills, since by their very nature they come in all shapes and sizes, and can be organized in many ways.

But some of the most magical historical documents have never been printed at all. Learning to read a landscape can take a lifetime—and is endlessly rewarding. Because newspapers and magazines often seek to provide readers with summaries of the latest news and fashions, and what people are thinking about such matters, they can be immensely helpful in helping you understand what life was like at a particular moment in the past.

How did the diet of working Americans change in the nineteenth century? How to Read a Landscape Southwestern Wisconsin Landscape Landscapes are among the richest, most complicated historical documents in the world, containing as they do layer upon layer of the past lives and natural processes that have left marks upon them.

We offer an overview of the endless fascinations of periodical sources here. They exist as letters or diaries or other unique items that are held in collections called archives. Government document collections are among the largest and richest in the world.

No matter what the topic that interests you, there will be numerous government documents that relate to it.Introduction vs Research Background Abstract • A summary of what your paper is about. • Usually between MUST state • What is the problem.

Paradoxical though it may sound, one of the most challenging things about doing historical research is that the past doesn't exist anymore. Unlike science, where one can set up a laboratory experiment or perform field investigations that describe the world as it exists right now, the past survives only as fragments that remain from a time that is no .

Writing a historical research
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