Methods of educational research:

Historical Research

A qualitative research method is a historical research. To understand the evidence, describe the causes of incidents, and clarify how those causes have affected current events, historical research examines the significance of historical facts. Researchers mainly depend on main historical evidence (direct reports of events, archive material—official papers, personal files, and archives of witnesses) and less commonly on secondary historical data (information from those who weren’t there at the event) to make this determination.

External (confirmation of the outlet’s authenticity or reliability) and internal (review of the methodology) critique are both applicable to historical research data. There are time and location elements to historical study. A simple timeline is not regarded as a historical study since it does not assess the significance of occurrences.

What are the characteristics of historical research?

The basic characteristics of historical data are mentioned below:

  • Researching the past means carefully examining and analyzing information concerning historical occurrences.
  • The goal is to have a better understanding of how the past has affected current events and occurrences in the future that are involved in the developmental stages.
  • It is a critical examination of prior experiences, occurrences, and their progression.
  • It entails reading textual documents; oral recordings may also be included.
  • It includes sections on administrative, historical, judicial, journalistic, autobiographical, and organizational topics.
  • It usually draws on data that is readily available and comes in the form of journals, diaries, magazines, publications, and so on.

Historical research is explained by different theorists:

  • According to Isaac and Michael, historical research is “the past systematically and objectively by collecting, evaluating, verifying, and synthesizing evidence to establish facts and reach defensible conclusions, often in relation to particular hypotheses.”
  • Goldhor defines “true historical research, or historiography, as concerned with analyzing and interpreting the meanings of historical events.” “It is the process by which a researcher is able to reach a conclusion as to the probable truth of an event in the past by studying objects available for observation in the present.”
  • Mouly defines it as “a scholarly attempt to discover what has happened.” 
  • Johnson defines historical research as “the process of systematically examining past events to give an account of what has happened in the past.” 

To establish realities and defendable conclusions, typically in connection to specific hypotheses, real historical research is a systematic process of recreating the past via methodically and systematically gathering, assessing, confirming, and synthesizing information about previous occurrences.

What is chronology?

Chronology can be defined as “simply the setting down of events in the order of their occurrence, a process similar to the older concept of historical research.” The chronology of events is only the first phase in the historical research process, supplying information or sources for subsequent processes. Historical research does not include the recounting of historical occurrences. It gives the researcher some background information. It may serve as his preliminary step.

Historical study is not only the collection of facts and their descriptions. Data can operate as a foundation. For a set of facts to be relevant and cohesive, they must be connected, and a complete picture must be painted.

Nature of Historical Research

Goldhor defines “true historical research, or historiography, as concerned with analyzing and interpreting the meanings of historical events.” “It is the process by which a researcher is able to reach a conclusion as to the probable truth of an event in the past by studying objects available for observation in the present.”

It is a fluid, lively narrative of historical occurrences that incorporates an assessment of those occurrences to recall the subtleties, characters, and concepts that shaped those occurrences. It emerges from the foregoing that historical research is the writing of a descriptive record of historical events based on an assessment of those actions to reconstruct the people, ideologies, and context of those periods that influenced those occurrences.

What is the purpose of Historical Research?

  • Reconstructing the past: A historian does so methodically, professionally, and to arrive at findings that can be justified.
  • To find undiscovered historical events: Several undiscovered historical events happened years ago. A historian looks for these undiscovered occurrences.
  • To comprehend the importance of events: A trend, institution, circumstance, or person that a historian is researching may have been shaped by key moments.
  • To determine the background of an activity, institution, or circumstance, one must: A historian looks for the background of an institution, activity, or circumstance being examined in an attempt to study and understand the history.
  • To learn the solutions to the related issues: They want to seek solutions to a lot of the past’s unanswered questions. Understanding the solutions can help us better comprehend past occurrences.
  • To research cause-and-effect relationships: two events are connected by a correlation connection. Such a link might be interesting to a researcher.
  • To examine the connection between both the past and the present: The past frequently enables us to have a more insightful understanding of contemporary occurrences. To have a comprehensive understanding of the current, a researcher seeks to establish the connection between the past and the present.
  • To keep track of and assess the achievements of people, organizations, and other entities: Since these institutions, especially ministries and organizations, have a significant impact on historical facts, researchers are keen on documenting and assessing their successes.
  • To help with comprehension of the current phenomenon of worries: A phenomenon may be the subject of a study. He can have a thorough knowledge of the current issue of concern by using historical context.
  • To comprehend the cultural setting of archives: Libraries have a significant role in society as organizations. Understanding the culture behind the formation and maintenance of libraries is made possible by studying them.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Historical Research


  • The issue being studied is not practically a part of the research;
  • there is no chance for subject-experimenter contact;
  • The investigator locates records, gathers information, and draws conclusions subconsciously.
  • Shiflett pointed out that “Historical method is much more synthetic and eclectic in its approach than other research methods, using concepts and conclusions from many other disciplines to explore the historical record and to test the conclusions arrived at by other methodologies”.  “Many methods used alone or in conjunction with other supporting techniques of data collection and analysis can adequately demonstrate that some particular situation or relationship between variables exist in the present. But the persistence and permanence of these conclusions will always be questionable without historical verification”
  • The participants in the study are not in interaction with the investigators.
  • Historical research methodology may be used to explain present and upcoming occurrences.


  • Research into the past of humanity is called history. It should be remembered that the investigator could only learn about the previous through the antiques that have become accessible to them. As a result, he is unable to look back directly.
  • In contrast to experimental investigation, an investigator cannot recreate the history but could only evaluate it.
  • Historical information is imprecise and subject to deterioration.
  • It may also be dishonest and prejudiced.
  • Since these subjects of research are influenced by a wide range of elements that must be taken into account and studied, historical research is a complicated and extensive field.

What is Historical Criticism?

In addition to the principles and application of literary historiographical depiction, historical theory and criticism also include other forms of critique that, frequently without being acknowledged, assume a historical context or use historical techniques on the fly. Literary criticism is typically founded on historical concepts, especially since it became institutionalized in the nineteenth century and even into the late twentieth century.

Therefore, literary criticism that takes into account documentary records or the setting in which a piece was produced, particularly information about the writer’s biography and the cultural and historical background of the period, is known as historical criticism. It’s in opposition to other kinds of analysis, such as textual and formal criticism, which emphasizes analyzing the language on its own while ignoring external impacts on the narrative. A specific type of historical criticism is known as new historicism.