Assignment: Read Gilderhus, pp. 1-12 and the essay
on the nature of History. Also read the three primary
Answer the following questions in writing, and be prepared to discuss your answers in class. Your answers will be collected and graded.
1. What is History? Summarize and explain at least three definitions
of the term. Do these different meanings
of the term History contradict each other? What does this situation reveal about how Historians think
about their discipline?
2. Why study History? How and why do historians seek to make sense
human experience. List and
summarize at least five reasons for studying History, rank them in order of importance, and justify your ranking.
(Use the essay posted on the course web site.)
3. Identify and discuss the kinds of questions historians ask to study the past. How and why do these questions change?
4. What are primary sources? What are secondary sources?
Give two examples of each and discuss their characteristics.
Why should a historian be careful using secondary sources?
5. Examine these three primary sources (an account of
Lincoln's assassination, a memoir of the Scope's trial, and an
poster from World War II). What specific questions should an historian ask about each of these sources?
6. Summarize Gilderhus' three-stage model for historical research
writing. Why might novice historians find such a model
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