History and Accurately Reconstructing the Past Essay

History and Accurately Reconstructing the Past Essay

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The past is complicated and often difficult to comprehend, making reconstructing history a challenging task. When trying to piece together the past, there are numerous issues that can arise for historians, mostly catered toward sources - anything historians use to gain information on the past. Among these issues, the most prominent include reliability of said sources, bias, and lack of information. These problems only serve to complicate the process of reconstructing the past accurately.
Sources can be split into two categories: Primary and Secondary. The former are sources originating from the period they contain information on; such as diary entries, official records and photographs. Secondary sources are created after the period they contain information on; such as textbooks, essays and critiques/reviews. Source reliability becomes a concern when it becomes difficult to categorise a source. For example, paintings or older artefacts can be easily mislabelled without the use of expensive technology like carbon-dating or time-consuming tasks such as comparing items with other sources.
Bias is defined as a ‘tendency or inclination that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question’ (Bias, dictionary.com). Many historical sources originate from the experiences, opinions, inventions and records of a person. Due to this, it becomes impossible to find truly unbiased sources, as human nature interferes with the way something is perceived. This means that historians have to be careful when finding and using their sources and when writing up their own reconstruction of history. One of the ways to circumvent this issue is to...

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... points have proved how challenging of a process reconstructing the past can be.

Works Cited

"Bias." Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. .
Lichtheim, Miriam. Ancient Egyptian Literature; a Book of Readings. Vol. 2. Berkeley: University of California, 1973. 68. Print.
Ancient Egyptian Literature Volume II, The New Kingdom, p.68
Roman History, LXII 2.2-4)
"Free Automatic Bibliography and Citation Generator." EasyBib. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. .
"What Is History?: Bias." What Is History?: Bias. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. .
"Constructing History: How Historians See the Light." Constructing History: How Historians See the Light. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2014. .

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