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How Do Historians Conduct Research?

  • A historian is a person who writes or studies history
  • History is a written account or record of past events

There are various ways a historian can conduct research:

  1. Study artifacts
  2. Conduct interviews with people (oral traditions)
  3. Traditional (empirical or ethnographic) research

Studying Artifacts Edit

Historians can learn about people and facts from the past by examinig objects (artifacts) left behind. Historians often work with archeologists. Artifacts can be used to draw conclusions about how pre-historic people lived.

Oral History Edit

Historians can learn about past events by interviewing people who lived during a particular time. Oral traditions enable historians to obtain knowledge of the past that is transmitted by word of mouth. Of course, it's very important to be careful about what to take as fact and opinion when listening to a story that is told from one person's point of view.

Research Edit

Historians can learn anout past events by reading materials (books, magazines, and newspapers) written by colleagues or peers acknowledged as experts on a specific topic.

  • Empirical tradition
  • Ethnography

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