Organizing Your Thoughts
to organize your thoughts about a historical event, it may be useful to
think about the event within each of the three areas listed here:
each of the three levels listed above, a historical event can be explored
through numerous topics including:
Social, and Economic aspects
Technology, and Communication
Activity -- History is Layered
can be explored in a variety of ways. Like current events, historical
events had political, social and economic impact on various levels of
society. History is layered and within each event any combination of
political, social, economic and military factors can play a critical
role; they intersect with one another and overlap. By looking at a research
topic, like the Battle of Bunker Hill, each of the areas listed above,
you will better be able to find a focus for your research and you will
find these categories useful for organizing the information you find.
Now that you have the right mindset and have discovered that history
is made up of people, the research process becomes interesting and exciting.
As you begin to think about what you would like to explore, you may
also want to ask yourself some additional questions: How did the Battle
of Bunker affect the townspeople of Charlestown? What happened to the
people who lived in Charlestown where the Battle took place? How far
away is Charlestown from Boston? Who was living in Boston at the time
of the Battle? What was Boston like during the American Revolution?
Before the Revolution? Did the Battle have an impact on the people of
New Jersey or Connecticut? How did the Battle affect family life, political
life, and social life? What were the military outcomes of the Battle?
How did the military organization affect the outcome of the Battle?
Are there accounts of what people thought or accounts of what they were
doing on a particular day? Are there visual representations of the people
and landscape of the late eighteenth century? What individuals were
involved in the colonial government locally and nationally? Can we find
out their names? What was the government like? What did people in Great
Britain think? Is there a way to find out if these people had anything
to say about Bunker Hill or the American Revolution in general?
of the answers to these questions are contained in the contemporary
accounts in the online exhibit, The Decisive
Day Has Come: The Battle of Bunker Hill. Others can be found in
the reference sources discussed below. The first step to locating answers
to these questions is to think about what type of information you are
seeking. Do you need a list of names, biographical information, specific
dates, a particular fact, citations to articles or books, or perhaps a
primary source like a letter or diary? By thinking about the type of information
you need, you can better determine the source you will go to find the