How do historians verify historical claims?



Answer: Just like Scientific method exists to prove or disprove scientific theories and hypothesis, Historical Method also exists. Historians of course cross-check certain claims with contemporary sources including archaeological evidence and thus proceed to create their account of the concerned historic event. 

How can you validate historical claims?

Using Historical Sources

  1. Who – Who made the source – did they have an opinion or bias? Were they involved?
  2. What – What information does the source give? Is it the full story?
  3. Why – Why was the source made?
  4. When – Was it made at the time?
  5. Where – Where was the source made?




How do historians know what they claim to know?

Historians use evidence from primary and secondary sources and oral histories to answer their questions. They have to choose what information is most important and trustworthy as evidence. Historical evidence is not always simple. Sometimes what historians thought to be true turns out to be false.

What do historians need to support a historical claim?

Evidence is the information (facts) that support the claim. Evidence should be chosen with care. It should not be too distant from the claim in time, space, or relationship to make sense. In other words, the evidence should be relevant.

What methods do historians use to investigate the past?

Examples of Primary Sources:

  • Letters.
  • Diaries.
  • Eyewitness articles.
  • Videotapes.
  • Speeches.
  • Photographs.
  • Artifacts.




What are the 4 test in determining the credibility of historical evidence?

Currency: Timeliness of the information. Relevance: Importance of the information for your needs. Authority: Source of the information. Accuracy: Truthfulness and correctness of the information.

What are the 4 tests used in determining the credibility of a historical evidence?

Relevance: Does the evidence relate to or bear directly on the claim being made? Recency/Currency: Has the situation described by the evidence changed? Has the evidence been superseded by more recent findings? Authenticity: Is the source what it appears to be or is it a fraud or forgery?

What is the best source of evidence for historians?

Primary sources are accounts given by eyewitnesses to history as it unfolded. They are the most useful and most commonly studied type of evidence by historians.



How do you evaluate a historical argument?

How should students evaluate historians’ arguments?

  1. Begin by identifying the author’s particular viewpoint.
  2. Be on the lookout for ‘views within views’.
  3. Form an opinion on the historian’s argument by applying what you already know about the topic.
  4. Never be afraid to question the historian’s arguments.

How do you test historical accuracy?

To assess the accuracy of a source, ask questions like:

  1. Was the creator of the source present at the time of the event?
  2. Is the information corroborated by other reliable sources?
  3. Are there clues of bias in the source that may suggest it may be inaccurate?

How do you evaluate a historical argument?

How should students evaluate historians’ arguments?



  1. Begin by identifying the author’s particular viewpoint.
  2. Be on the lookout for ‘views within views’.
  3. Form an opinion on the historian’s argument by applying what you already know about the topic.
  4. Never be afraid to question the historian’s arguments.

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