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Secondary Literature

What do historians do with the knowledge they have gleaned from their sources, and how do they present their interpretations of the past? Historical writing and research can take many forms, and historians have increasingly found venues for their research in television and radio documentaries, or in articles in the press and on the internet. But, for the most part, they also continue communicate their findings in specialist books, textbooks, and articles in learned journals intended to stimulate understanding and discussion of the past.

All of these different forms of writing cater towards specific readerships, and the way in which historians present their arguments varies accordingly to the needs and preferences of these various audiences. 

It is also important to remember that the readership for historical writing has changed significantly over time; historical writing has changed accordingly.

This section will introduce you to a wide range of different types of historical writing in order to illustrate how the alert student should approach the task of reading it.

Secondary Sources >>