Historical Thinking

Terms for thinking Historically. Understand how historians think: a glossary of key terms and phrases.

Doing history is asking questions. Become an expert questioner.

Ask Better Questions. One key to writing a good paper is to start with a good question. Framing good questions takes effort. Here are some tips.

History is a mystery. How certain can we be about what happened in the past? Not very. Here's why.

Inevitability vs. Contingency. Is the course of history determined by factors beyond human control, or do we have the power to shape our own history?

Lessons of history. To what extent can we use history as a guide for future action?

Argumentum ad Hitlerum. An argument strategy used by historically unsophisticated individuals.

Historians' Fallacies. David Hackett Fischer's 1970 book exposes the fallacies that frequently mar historians' attempt to represent the past accurately.

Links: To sites with related content.

American Historical Association Tuning Project lists the skills, knowledge, and habits of mind that students develop in history courses and degree programs.

Stanford History Education Project, founded in 2002 by Sam Wineburg to advance the teaching of history.

Assorted readings about teaching history