In your response posts, consider your classmates’ choices and thoughts about the effect of their presentation. Can you identify any bias present of which they might not be aware? What advice or guidance can you offer them from your own experience or from information you discover in the secondary literature? ( bias pdf attached and/or link below) Be sure to offer specific examples and evidence to support your advice and/or guidance.
Post 1 Kian
I hope you are all having a great week so far. As a refresher, my topic is the impact that President Clinton’s impeachment had on the 2000 election. Since my research is based on a political event, there are many biased sources and chances for me to unintentionally be biased. My audience will likely be people who are interested in knowing or understanding elections and the hidden impacts that took place during the 2000 election. Many people are familiar with the 2000 election, the Supreme Court decision, and the narrow victory of George W. Bush. However, many don’t know the underlying impacts on Gore’s presidential campaign that went beyond the recount scandals after election day. I hope to display one of those impacts to my audience.
I don’t want my audience to be strictly apart of one political party. I believe that people of all sorts could be interested in this election and the underlying impacts. It has been somewhat challenging to choose secondary sources that aren’t biased. When something is political it seems that there are biased sources of all kinds that can be used. To tailor my research, I plan to use sources that have a lot of data and stray away from strictly political talking points. My goal is to analyze how the Clinton impeachment impacted the election; I do not want to discuss whether it should have, whether Gore should have won, or anything else of that nature.
As a Democrat myself, there is a chance that my presentation may be somewhat bias towards Gore. However, I have tried my best to find resources that discuss all sides, are from unbiased sources, and various sources that may counter another source’s political talking points. While my biased would certainly be unintentional, my view on these past events will still have a chance of straying towards my personal views (as mentioned in our reading). (1) While I have tried to be mindful of my biased in favor of Democrats, there is still a chance that my selection of sources may support a more left-leaning view on the election, the impeachment, and the way that they interacted. While I believe that my general talking points are unbiased (or as unbiased as possible) I have caught myself making slip ups with the adjectives I use to describe an event. For example, when discussing the Starr investigation I caught myself accidentally describing it as “aggressive.” I am hoping that me being mindful of my party affiliation can help me to catch these bias slips throughout my drafts.
1. C. Behan McCullagh, “Bias in Historical Description, Interpretation, and Explanation.” History and Theory 39, no. 1 (2000). Accessed November 19, 2020.
Post 2 – Ariel
My research will be presented to this class and to Professor Black. However, even though we all share a love of history, we all have different periods or events we favor. This being said, I will gear my presentation that introduces my topic to a scholarly audience that may not know much about the topic. Once I briefly introduce it, I will attack its affects and how others have perceived it and how I perceived it as well. I also want to leave my audience with a new view on the Crusades, seeing it from a different perspective.
In a way, I will be using a narrative methodology with a structuralism/top-down approach. I believe the narrative method of writing will assist me in keeping it in a proper order while discussing all of the events. As for my approach, I plan on focusing more on the elites, rulers, Royal families, and Pope because they were the ones orchestrating all of the events. I through in structuralism (which I may be wrong in how I perceive it), because in essence the Crusades itself was a huge structure formed that changed the course of history throughout the ages. Of course I may be wrong on how I understood that approach, in which it will stay just as a Top-Down approach.
In our reading assignment, “Bias in Historical Description, Interpretation, and Explanation”, the author denotes when speaking about two other writers, “It is self-evident to them that historians’ accounts of the past reflect their personal interests and vision of past events.” This is true in almost anything we do as people. It also showcases that there are multiple ways one can be biased even when it is unintentional. Such reasons can be misinterpreting information, not finding adequate information, and not showcasing both sides of the issue, causing an unbalanced argument.  Since I will be defending my argument, I will tend to include information needed for that defense, hence causing a slight bias. However, I do plan on trying to include both sides of the issue at hand to create a more balanced paper and argument. I believe if you only include your viewpoint, you leave yourself open for heavy criticism by other historians who are set in their ways, causing your point to fall flat. Creating a balanced paper will allow for everyone, regardless of their thoughts, to see your points for what they are and give it a chance to be confirmed.