Brigham Young University history professor LeRoy Hafen lauds the merits of pursuing expertise in history, citing the thrill of discovery that historians feel when they uncover the facts. Hafen defines history as a cross between science and art—science because historians seek to find facts, art because the study of human behavior cannot always result in completely accurate discoveries. Additionally, history is an art because a historian must organize and retell the facts in an appealing way, striving for literary excellence as well as accuracy. Hafen describes the process of historical research, including making use of both primary and secondary sources and doing research “on the ground” by visiting historical sites. Then he describes the two main approaches a historian can take in recording his research, either writing a monograph, narrow in its focus and written mainly for experts, or a synthesis, a narrative aimed at a wider audience.
Hafen, LeRoy R.
"Joys of Discovery- Historical Research and Writing,"
BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 7
, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/byusq/vol7/iss3/2