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GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT.

IES FRAY PEDRO DE URBINA

To comment an historical text we will keep the following steps:


1. Reading and preparation 2. Text Classification 3. Textual Analysis 4. Textual review / personal opinion 1. Reading and preparation You have to read the text carefully, underlining key terms you consider important to understand (names, dates ...). We must emphasize key ideas and other primary or secondary ones (with different colour or stroke). You can make explanations in the margin. 2. Text Classification a) Nature of the text By its form: - A chronicle, if the author relates some facts objectively, which he himself witnessed sometimes of. - An essay, if the author performs or gives his version of past events. - A legal text: constitution, law, treaty ... - A newspaper article. - A manifesto, proclamation or political speech. - An autobiographical text or memoirs. - An historical novel or a literary text. - A letter. - An economic report, statistical ... By its theme or content: Economic, political, social, artistic ... By its origin: A primary source (contemporary events), or secondary (a text of an historian who wrote much later, for example). b) spatial-temporal circumstances (dating) When and where was written the text. In this sense, it is imperative to note: - The date, if it is quoted or can be inferred from the content. Sometimes they are given two dates, one in which you write and the date of the facts stated. - The historical context related to the text. c) Author Individual or collective, giving some biographical notes on him if known. d) Addressee or target Who is the target, whether public or private, for what purpose it was written. 3. Textual Analysis It is based on subject analysis and in-depth explanation of its contents. Two methods to explain and analyze the contents of an historical text: The literal method: following an order paragraph by paragraph. The logical: it consists in regrouping the passages and explanations according to their subject, is useful for repetitive texts. a) First level: summary and explanation of each of the parts of the text. b) Second level: definition of terms, concepts, institutions ... Clarification of historical allusions and events to which it refers. c) Third level: general explanation of the historical moment at which the text relates, how it is entered or related to it 4. Textual review / personal opinion It allows us to determine the following: Its authenticity and accuracy. Its sincerity and objectivity. Its interest, ie. whether it is a landmark document for the analysis of the historical moment which it refers

to, or otherwise it has a relative or secondary importance. It is best not to comment if you "agree or not" with a text sometimes very distant in time or the result of circumstances different from ours.

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