Name: Stephanie Amar
Student #: 9532080
Teacher: Mr. A. Dalfen
Date: March 10, 1997

"Professional historians spend their lives pursuing the meaning of the
past for the present." Everything that exists in today's world has some origin
coming from the past. Everything that exists today and seems to be unique of
its time has some basis from the past. It is a known fact that history has a
tendency of repeating itself, and so to prepare us for the future we need to
understand the past. History can give a person an answer to almost everything
that is going on in the present, with what we call a historical investigation.
History not only states facts but explains disciplines such as sociology,
religion, psychology, anthropology and so on. It explains to us why certain
events happened, such as the reason why six millions Jews died in the Second
World War. The reason history gives us is anti-Semitism. The Nazis were a group
that had as a goal to purify the world of what we call minorities and so to keep
it a White, straight, Christian world. History explains the evolution of things,
people, beliefs, laws and many more in order for us to understand why certain
things are the way they are.

In this article, we come across a few major points. Each of them is
introduced in a very original way. The author uses a literal journey into the
past as a means of comparing it to the present. One of the many points is an in
depth definition of history related profession. What are they trying to
accomplish and how they work to get what they are looking for. "Professional
historians spend their lives pursuing the meaning of the past for the present."
Historians study facts and records that previous generations have left, to find
out what kind of lives they led and how they solved their problems.

The way a historian works is very determined and simple to understand.
A historian needs to first choose an important question he wants to answer. Then
he needs to find research on the subject that already exists and which he can
get access to. Next he has to judge the source that he has obtained, is it
credible? Is it genuine? The article explains that there are two basic forms of
historical evidence that exist, primary and secondary. Primary evidence records
the actual words of someone who participated or witnessed the events in question.
Or it can also be newspaper accounts, diaries, official statements, photographs,
videotapes. Secondary evidence, on the other hand, records the findings of
someone who did not observe the event but who investigated primary evidence,
which qualifies most history books. Historians have to weigh evidence carefully.
"What a group says may not be what it does." A historian must analyze evidence
by checking one source against the other. "The task of a trained historian is
to arrange the material so that it supports a particular conclusion." He must
also display the evidence in a manner that will clearly show that the conclusion
drawn is a "proper" one.

Later in the article it explains that a historian compares traditional
and new directions of historical research. In traditional research, historians
have been categorized by their disciplines. There was social, cultural,
intellectual, political, diplomatic, economic or psychological. They would
present their findings in a narrative form, like a biography. The new
directions try to explain the reason for people's actions and thoughts. Also a
new direction is the history of science and technology. A lot more of new
fields of research have been discovered. Which have been influenced by other
fields of knowledge such as psychohistory, psychology, demography, sociology,
ethnohistory and etc..

History as a whole will help me in understanding the very controversial
subject of abortion that I am contemplating in doing as my graduating project.
Abortion seems to be a never ending battle in society. Since the very creation
of it, people have taken opposition or supported it. This article helps me
understand my job in covering this subject and how to classify my research. For
example, I am presently browsing through the Internet to see what the world has
to say about it. This article has thought me that I need to verify each source I
get some may be just exaggerating the facts to prove their point to the reader.
This article also has shown me that even though it seems that the new technology
has taken over the world, the past is also very present. The houses next to the
highways are still around to remind us that there was not always the Internet
for example available in almost every home nonetheless more than