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The Modern Researcher

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  109 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
This classic introduction to the techniques of research and the art of expression is used widely in historiography courses in many departments other than history. This book thoroughly covers every aspect of research from the selection of a topic, through the methods of finding and verifying data, writing and revising, to preparing a manuscript for publication. It offers in ...more
Published January 2nd 1992 by Wadsworth Publishing Co Inc (first published June 16th 1970)
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Mark Bowles
Aug 30, 2014 Mark Bowles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ABC of technique
1. The prime difficulty: What is my subject?
a) A subject is always trying to merge itself into the great mass of associated facts
b) Subject: that group of associated facts and ideas which leave no questions unanswered within the presentation even though many questions could be asked outside of it
c) Fashioning a subject is life working with clay.
2. “I have all of my material”-but have you?
a) A final search of material needs to be performed
b) The is for new information that was
Brent Ranalli
Jul 27, 2012 Brent Ranalli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have the 4th edition on my shelf. The best part of this book, in my opinion, is the wealth of anecdotes, improbable and entertaining stories from scholarship across the centuries. From the authors' casual mention of a 900-year old murder mystery I went out and bought "The Killing of King William Rufus," one of the most obscure books and among the most enjoyable books I've read.
Aug 24, 2015 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A useful text in many respects for the graduate student. The first chapter was especially insightful and even inspiring in its explanation of how and why we study history. It indirectly provides some particularly zesty counters for addressing and redirecting those who cling to the particularly pesky mantra of “those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it,” which has always bothered me, but I’ve never before had the verbal ammunition to overcome.

Perhaps the greatest flaw of this work is t
Sarah Sammis
Jun 29, 2007 Sarah Sammis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: released
The Modern Researcher was first published in 1957 and the most recent edition (#6) was published in 2001. I read the third edition (1977). The third edition examples of how to do research and how to use libraries are a little outdated especially the emphasis on the card catalogue and the lack of discussion on computers and internet usage. I don't know if the most recent edition is modernized to cover computers and the internet.

The book's greatest strength is how well it highlights the difference
Gregory Sparzo
Aug 19, 2010 Gregory Sparzo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
fantastic writing by the great Prof. Barzun who is still with us at 102!
Nov 28, 2011 Dorothea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I asked a history professor to recommend a book about how to do historical research, and got this. I have to say I won't be passing the recommendation on.

Here's what I liked:

* Some of the sections on how to write well. There's a good reminder that although lots of words (especially verbs) can be used to mean the same thing, in fact they can be differentiated by their original meaning or by the image they are meant to evoke. If you keep this in mind you will avoid mixed metaphors and write more e
Jan 01, 2013 Beverly rated it really liked it
There are newer editions of this classic book on the practice, ethics, and philosophy of writing history, and perhaps the special voice and wit of the original authors, polymath Jacques Barzun and Henry Graff, survives in them. But this edition (Fifth Edition, 1992), published when personal computers had gained a foothold in academic research but the internet had not, and libraries were still in the process of creating their online catalogues, preserves methods that are still necessary for schol ...more
William Crosby
Apr 06, 2015 William Crosby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Want tips on how to research and write? Read this book.

I don't know how to write, so tips don't help me much. I am obviously ignoring the tips on how to write a review of a book.

Still I liked this book.
Alasdair Ekpenyong
It's more appropriate that I refrain from speaking about this book on Goodreads until I better know what to say.
Laurie Neighbors
Just remembering my arranged marriage with this book in 1987 brought on the olfactory memory of card catalogs, bound periodical indexes, sour-faced university librarians, and the chalk-dusted Professor Briggs "Twigs" Twyman, a savage and aggressive critic and, for me, perfect mentor. RIP Dr. Twyman. I'll never forget your backward praise of my paper on Custer's Last Stand while you were acerbically shouting down everyone else in my historiography seminar. I still haven't figured out your angry s ...more
Oct 31, 2012 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had read this book 15 years ago. I would have learned how to conduct research properly - verify facts, obtain sources, and read carefully - and how to organize my thoughts into coherent text to leave an indelible mark on the reader. Read this book to learn how to read critically and write with clarity and impact.
May 03, 2013 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
Barzun is absurdly eloquent and clear-headed. If you find yourself in the middle of a daunting project, or are just setting out to begin one, pick this up and turn to a random page. Barzun helps make the insanity of original research sound like a reasonable, sane process. A rock in the seastorm to cling to, so to speak.
Aug 22, 2015 Marfy rated it really liked it
I've only read a few pages and I can see I'm going to love this book, because Barzun starts right off stating that all non-fiction writing is about history. All of it!
808.02 BAR
Ref: Lies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
Standard Treatise for graduate students
Aug 23, 2007 John added it
Shelves: reference, writing
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Jacques Martin Barzun was a French-born American historian of ideas and culture.
More about Jacques Barzun...

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