Posts Tagged ‘Studying’

The insidious nature of Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome was demonstrated yet again in two recent articles. In one instance, a purported link between the study of engineering and terrorism was identified. In a second case of delusional thinking, no unifying characteristic was found across the terrorists causing global mayhem.
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First posted at Ora.TV: http://bit.ly/1RPvOPw
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Does Engineering Education Breed Terrorists? http://bit.ly/25mkeFJ

Who Will Become a Terrorist? Research Yields Few Clues: http://nyti.ms/1URG2W7

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50+ Reasons to Explain Terrorism in 67 Countries (THE SAAD TRUTH_103): http://bit.ly/1qm5PcD
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Sources for Thumbnail Images: http://bit.ly/1Tm6LJp and http://bit.ly/1X0Xbuy

At school we learnt all about the use of primary and secondary sources in history, although with a largely narrative curriculum the need to use either wasn’t exactly crucial. When I went on to study history at university, however, it was a whole different kettle of fish. Here, things became far more analytical. We weren’t only concerned with the ‘story’, but also why events transpired the way they did. As such, there also came the need for a far greater use of both primary and secondary sources.

On a fundamental level, the historic newspaper formed the bulk of primary sources, with a local archive making original newspapers available for research purposes. I even recall a trip being organised on our behalf, where we were shown how to search and locate our chosen publication. I didn’t go, mind. I didn’t need to, given my dissertation wasn’t based around a local or national topic.

I digress. Many of my peers used the historic newspapers to form the basis or their theses. The one that sticks in my mind was written by a friend who used the old newspapers to research the impact of the Great Plague in Hertfordshire. I can’t remember what her exact findings were, but needless to say the local archives proved invaluable in collating numbers and distinguishing whether the outbreaks affected one class more than the others.

In terms of secondary sources, meanwhile, the main ports of call were obviously books written by established historians. We not only had to take on board their points of view and perspectives, but also compare them to the arguments made by their peers. This historiography was an important component of any work we produced – we needed to demonstrate a knowledge of the various views, when they were held, what ‘schools’ they belonged to (Revisionism Vs Orthodox, for example) and whether views have continued to evolve.

As a final aside, of all the views I read while working on my own dissertation, the best ones came courtesy of a sneak preview. The lecturer who oversaw my progress also happened to take the classes in my specific subject of interest. On top of that, he was in the process of writing another book. One of his soon-to-be published chapters covered the exact same topic I had chosen to write 10,000 words on. I felt oddly privileged. As my friends on the course have since joked – I always was the teacher’s pet.

GoneDigging sell loads of personalised gifts. Not only that, but they also own the largest historic newspaper archive in Europe. Here, they hold thousands of original newspapers that are as old as the date on their cover. If you know someone who’d enjoy reading about the events on the day they were, for example, born or married, GoneDigging’s website allows you to choose a range of publications from a date of your choice.