Going to the Sources: A Guide to Historical Research and Writing, 5th Edition
February 2013, ©2013, Wiley-Blackwell
The updated fifth edition of Going to the Sources presents a practical guide to historical research and writing for all students of history.
- Focuses on the basics of historians’ craft, introducing students to concepts including refining a topic, selecting sources, and engaging critically with their reading
- Appendices illustrate style for footnotes, endnotes, and bibliographical entries, as well as a list of commonly used abbreviations
- Features a new chapter on the use of non-textual sources for historians, including a case study discussion of the historical importance of D. W. Griffith’s film The Birth of a Nation
- Addresses how to bring the critical assessment skills of reading to bear on film and other non-textual sources
- Includes a student-written historiographical essay, with marginal notes for instruction
Preface to the Fifth Edition xi
Chapter 1 The Ever-Changing Shape and Texture of the Past 1
Static and Dynamic Concepts of History 1
Revising Our View of the Past 3
New Forms of Historical Consciousness 5
Toward a “People’s History” 6
Minorities and Women Enter History 8
The Annales School and Cliometrics 10
Psychology and History 13
Microhistory and Macrohistory 14
A Multitude of Avenues to the Past 17
Chapter 2 The Nature and Variety of Historical Sources 19
Primary Sources 20
Manuscript sources 20
Published sources 21
Secondary Works 24
Dissertations and conference papers 30
Chapter 3 Finding Your Sources: The Online Library Catalog and Beyond 34
The Online Library Catalog 36
Subject Headings, Keywords, and Title Words 37
Creating and Using a Research Bibliography 41
Published Bibliographies 44
Printed and Electronic Indexes and Abstracts 46
Finding Scholarly Essays 51
Other Important Databases 53
Historical Research on the Internet 55
Finding Useful Reference Materials 56
Chapter 4 Getting the Most Out of History Books: Critical Reading and Assessment 59
The Need for More Effective Reading 59
Finding out about Authors 61
Comparing Similar Works of History 63
Reviewing a History Book 72
Chapter 5 Beyond Textual Sources: Historians’ Use of Other Media 74
Words, Images, and the Historical Imagination 74
The Birth of a Nation: Entertainment, Propaganda, and Critical Response 76
Reading, Viewing, Reflecting: A Case Study 84
The Evolving Integration of Text and Image 87
Chapter 6 Exploring Changing Interpretations: The Historiographic Essay 89
Selecting and Refining a Topic 90
Research for a Historiographic Essay: A Case Study 91
Writing the Historiographic Essay 95
Alternative Approaches 110
Chapter 7 Engaging with Primary Sources: The Research Paper 112
Searching for a Viable Topic 113
Finding Primary Sources 114
Approaching Your Reading 116
The Outline and Structure of Your Paper 121
Some Elements of Effective Writing 123
An Open Mind and Intellectual Honesty 126
Editing and Revising 132
One Final Look 134
Chapter 8 Conclusion: The Open-Ended Nature of History 136
Appendix A: Published Bibliographies 140
Appendix B: Major Databases for Bibliographic Searching 142
Appendix C: Footnote/Endnote Formatting 143
Book by a single author 144
Book by two authors 144
Book by three authors 144
Book by four or more authors 144
Book with author(s) as editor(s) 145
Articles and Essays (Chapters) 145
Journal article 145
Magazine article 145
Newspaper article 146
Encyclopedia article 146
Essay (chapter) 146
Book review 146
Other Types of Sources 146
Government document 147
Footnote Reference to a Previously Cited Work 147
Appendix D: Bibliography Formatting 149
Essay (chapter) 149
Sample bibliography 150
Appendix E: Commonly Used Abbreviations 152
Suggestions for Further Reading 154
Anthony Brundage is Professor Emeritus of History at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. His publications include The Great Tradition: Constitutional History and National Identity in Britain and the United States, 1870-1960 (2007).
"This book would be very useful for students at all levels of historical study from year 12 upwards. As well as practical strategies for approaching historical and research methods, it also provides an interesting insight into what history is, and how the study of history is always evolving. I would consider it an essential addition to humanities collections." (Reference Reviews, 1 March 2014)
“This manual provides excellent assistance for beginners and more advanced students engaged in the research and writing process in history. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.” (Choice, 1 October 2013)
A clear, concise, and practical guide, introducing students to historical thinking and viable sources and helping them research and write—an excellent resource for majors and non-major alike.
--Nancy LoPatin-Lummis, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Anthony Brundage’s Going to the Sources is the best concise treatment of historical methodology I have seen, and I use it in the classroom with great effect. Well-chosen case studies, useful practical tips, and helpful writing samples guide the reader step by step toward a mastering of historical and historiographical research and writing
--Zuoyue Wang, History Department, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
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