Those clever folks at Grammarly have published a wonderful list of “10 words every college student should know.” For certain, they’re 10 words every history researcher should know. Here’s our take on them …
Don't just fly with whatever you see that 'proves' whatever you want to believe.
The kind of sources we need—sources of widely differing types, whose information doesn’t just parrot each other.
What we need to do with each finding—because broadening the possibilities leads to more hypotheses we can pursue until our objective is solidly proved.
Of course, our writing need to be brief, concise, and pithy—expressing much in as few words as possible.
Being scrupulous, precise, and meticulous is the hallmark of a reliable researcher.
Reliability also means that we deal with evidence sensibly and realistically, avoiding the temptation to settle for theoretical possibilities.
Ah, yes. Wouldn’t we love it if every work of history was an example of quality and class?
Our proof arguments must always focus on the points most relevant to the question our ‘argument’ tries to answer. Including everything-but-the-kitchen-sink will just sink the argument
False, deceptive, and misleading assertions are a curse we place on future generations who trustingly believe us.
Following those nitpicking rules we learned way back in Miss Thistlebottom’s grammar classes helps us arrange our words in a sensible fashion. That way, our conclusions are understood well enough that future generations don’t place a curse on us.
So what two words would you like to add to this list to make it an even dozen?
2 December 2017
Adapted from "Talia Holding Books by Chalkboard," PresenterMedia (http://www.presentermedia.com/index.php?target=closeup&id=20942&categoryid=139&maincat=clipart : accessed 2 December 2017), item 20942, used under license.
HOW TO CITE:
Elizabeth Shown Mills, "10 Words Every History Researcher Should Know," QuickTips: The Blog at Evidence Explained.com (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/quicktips/10-words-every-history-researcher-should-know : posted 2 December 2017).