Researching and Writing History: A Guide for Local Historians

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 240 pages
Author: D. Dymond
Year: 2016
ISBN: 9781859362303
Other: 4th ed., b&w photos, glossary, appendixes, index
Publisher: Carnegie Publishing

Interest in local history just continues to grow. For the professional and amateur alike, in the context of the local experience the past becomes real and immediate, as the stories of individuals, families and communities emerge from our research. And now more than ever, a wealth of primary and secondary source material is within everyone's reach. This invaluable book, written by one of our most eminent and experienced local historians, and now completely updated, provides clear, wise and always practical advice about the process of research and writing. It gives essential guidance on a wide range of key topics, including finding sources; transcribing, analysing and interpreting evidence; writing; historical perspectives and methods; and ways to present and publish the finished product. Using examples and exercises the author guides the reader through the whole process.

Written with humour and understanding, and attractively illustrated, this book is an enjoyable and fascinating introduction to the subject, especially useful to those who enjoy local history but wish to write and possibly publish, and to students on local history courses who want authoritative guidance on the preparation of dissertations and theses.

1. Choosing a subject: theme, place and time
2. The search for sources
3. Transcribing
4. Analysing and assembling evidence
5. Creating an interpretation
6. The challenge of writing
7. Starting to write
8. Producing a final draft
9. Publishing
10. Recapitulation
11. Conclusions: the nature of local history
12. Further reading
Appendix 1. Published sources
Appendix 2. Transcribing documents
Appendix 3. Historical dating
Appendix 4. Choosing words and framing sentences
Appendix 5. Characteristics of historical language
Appendix 6. Basic rules for referencing
7. Extracts of written history

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Researching and Writing History: A Guide for Local Historians


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