Barber and Berdan Part III

Worthwhile topic.  Barber and Berdan’s checklists (283) for a worthwhile topic might seem trivial but are actually really good exercise.  Regarding the criteria for a not-so-worthwhile project, the following point is important: “Is the idea interesting but unfeasible because the required data do not exist or are unavailable and cannot be gathered?”  This is a question that many fail to adequately address or discover once the sources have been explored sufficiently.  Can we think of any questions (general historical) that are not feasible because of insufficient sources?

What determines the “minor importance” of a research question and how is this mitigated by the politics of the historical enterprise today? (see page 283)



One Comment on “Barber and Berdan Part III”

  1. Dr. Liz says:

    Hey Shawn: check out the blog prompt at

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