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Cutting yourself off from some important evidence

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cutting yourself off from some important evidence. What a historian do about bias dependson how and why a source is biased. Bias can have several causes, so lt’s have a look at afew.The first one would be intentional bias. This is actually the most common type of bias inhistorical sources and is usually when the source was consciously altered or distorted. Byletting a lie, leaving out some facts or even by the use of language.Second reason for a source to be bias would be because of limited access to information. Asource can in a way also only be based on a certain area or part of the evidence or even bewritten way before the entire subject was clear or understood. This is seen as a one-sidedsource.A particular purpose behind a certain source can also be another reason for it to be bias.Think about it, they don’t create records for the benefit of the historian. People make then fortheir own reasons and these reasons could be bias.Beliefs, feelings or culture also plays a big role in a source being bias. People could bewriting things that are not totally true or accurate because their beliefs and feeling alter theirthinking and the outcome
You should look for three things in a source to identify whether it is bias:• Language. The use of certain words can often reveal a person’s bias.• Balance in the selection of facts. If you have a basic knowledge of the topic being studied,you can look for facts which have been omitted. By leaving out some details and highlightingothers, a source can influence the reader in a particular direction.• Background. All of us have various perspectives (social, political, religious, moral, and soon), and what we see and state is affected by them. Information on the perspectives behinda source will help to identify if a source is bias. Keep in mind, a one-sided source need notshow every one of these qualities (Hinton 1990)Question 2:GeneralisationA generalisation is a linkage of disparate or unrelated facts, in time or space, with eachother. It is their grouping, their rational classification. Basically, a generalisation is aconnection or relationship between facts; it is an ‘inference’ or, as Marc Bloch puts it, ‘anexplanatory relationship between phenomena.’ It is the result of the effort to provide anexplanation and causation, motivation and effect or impact.Generalisations, typifications, regularities and patterns can help pupils toformulate hypotheses regarding the future and to approach the future withcertain expectations (Stuart 1989:25)More widely, generalisations are the means through which historians understand theirmaterials and try to provide their understanding of facts to others. Analysis and interpretationof events, etc., is invariably done through generalisations. Generalisation is involved as soonas we perform the two most elementary tasks: classify ‘facts’ or ‘data’ or ‘phenomena’ andcompare and contrast them, or seek out similarities and dissimilarities among them, andmake any inference from them.

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Term
Fall
Professor
Prof S Schoeman
Tags
History, Source text

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