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Historical Method

of Research
LOVELY MAY C BERNAL

Legal Research and Writing IV


SEQUENCE OF PRESENTATION

•Definition
•History
•Description
•Procedure
•Examples
What id Historical Research?
• It is the systematic and
objective location, evaluation
and synthesis of evidence in
order to establish facts and
draw conclusions about past
events
• It involves a critical inquiry of
a previous age with the aim
of reconstructing a faithful
representation of the past.
HISTORY
• Greek origin and
originally meant
“enquiry” or
“investigation”
• Oral History
• Cuneiform
• Pictograph
• Egypt
• Mesopotamia
APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF
HISTORY
• Qualitative Approach
• Quantitative Approach
• Content Analysis
• Oral History
Steps Involved in Historical
Research
1. Identify a topic/subject and
define the problems/questions
to be investigated.
2. Search for sources of data.
3. Evaluate the historical sources.
4. Analyze, synthesize and
summarize interpreting the
data / information.
5. Write the research report.
A. Identify a Topic and Define
the Problem
• Where do the events take
place?
• Who are the persons
involved?
• When do the events
occur?
• What kinds of human
activity are involved?
B. Search for Sources of Data
• Primary
– Eye or ear witnesses
– Original documents

• Secondary
– Copies of objects
– Second hand information
» Textbooks
» Periodicals
» Newspapers
» Encyclopedias
» Review of research and other
references
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
C. Evaluation of the Historical
Sources
• External Criticism of Data
– Is the source of data genuine?
– Who wrote it? Where? When?
Under which circumstances? Is
it original? Is it genuine?

• Internal Criticism of Data


– What does it mean?
– What was the author
attempting to say?
D. Analysis, Synthesis, Summarizing
and Interpretation of Data

• Useful and meaningful facts for


interpretation.

• Specific and systematic plan


for the acquisition,
organization, storage and
retrieval of the data.
E. Writing the Research Report
CRITERIA OF EVALUATING HISTORICAL
RESEARCH
• Problem:Has the problem been
clearly defined? It is difficult enough
to conduct historical research
adequately without adding to the
confusion by starting out with a
nebulous problem. Is the problem
capable of solution? Is it within the
competence of the investigator?
E. Writing the Research Report

• Data:

Are data of a primary nature


available in sufficient
completeness to provide a
solution, or has there been an
overdependence on
secondary or unverifiable
sources?
E. Writing the Research Report

• Analysis:

Has the dependability of the


data been
adequatelyestablished? Has
the relevance of the data
been adequately explored?
E. Writing the Research Report
• Interpretation:
Does the author display adequate
mastery of hisdata and insight into their
relative significance? Does he display
adequate historical perspective? Does he
maintain his objective or does he allow
personal bias to distort the evidence? Are
his hypotheses plausible? Have they been
adequately tested? Does he take a
sufficiently broad view of the total
situation? Does he see the relationship
between his data and other ‘historical
facts’?
E. Writing the Research Report

• Presentation:
Does the style of writing attract
as well as inform? Does the
report make a contribution on
the basis of newly discovered
data or new interpretation, or is
it simply ‘uninspired back
work’? Does it reflect
scholarliness?
EXAMPLES
• The Evolution of the
Actress: The Importance of
Sarah Bernhardt
• Michael Collins and the
Irish Civil War: How One
Man Changed the Course
of Irish History in the 1900’s
• The Swiss Secret: How
Switzerland Stayed Out of
World War II
An Example of Historical Research
This study compared the similarities between
inquiry-based and problem-solving methods
and their potential for improving student
performance. The data was collected by
collating research reported by both science
and agricultural educators who had
investigated and applied both the inquiry-
based and problem-solving methods to
increase student success. The literature
reviewed included dissertations, national
reports, articles from professional journals and
magazines, books, on-line Internet and other
related resources.

Parr, Brian & Edwards, Craig M. (2004).


Inquiry-Based Instruction in Secondary
Agricultural Education: Problem-Solving – An
Old Friend Revisited. Journal of Agricultural
Education, 45,106-116. Retrieved November 10,
2006 from the World Wide Web:
http://pubs.aged.tamu.edu.
END OF PRESENTATION