Learn more about the subject of history, which is broadly defined as the study of past events. Due to the broad nature of the concept, most historians narrow their scope by focusing on a particular time period (e.g., the 19th century, the Middle Ages); a particular country or region (e.g., Britain, Canada, the U.S., Latin American); a particular people, group, or individual person (e.g., Native American, women, a biography of Marilyn Monroe); a particular theme (e.g., legal, military); or any combination of those categories (e.g., the history of British soldiers serving in World War II).
A history can be told from any number of perspectives. Most works on history, including biographies, are created by professional scholars who write about events they did not personally experience by analyzing sources, both primary and secondary, related to their subjects. Primary sources of history include newspapers, books, and letters from the time period being studied as well as artifacts like artwork and tools, and generally help create the secondary sources. Secondary sources were created by someone who did not experience firsthand or participate in the events or conditions you’re researching. Secondary sources include books written by other historians on a related matter. Secondary sources may contain pictures, quotes, or graphics of primary sources. Many works of history, however, are written by those who lived through it, such as memoirs and autobiographies.
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