Essay, 3 pages (600 words)

How to read document

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203347 How To Read Document The following is a brief of the techniques, which allow people to read and then to understand any document that may need to be evaluated. Documents are usually written for a purpose, with the authors of such documents generally wanting to pass on certain information or hoping to express their perspectives with issues or events that they believed to be important. Documents whether intentionally or inadvertently can provide readers with an understanding of the times in, which the authors lived and also died within. The authors of documents are of course only interested in their present, with presenting their opinions and viewpoints about contemporary events that they wish to either control, alter, or preserve. The people that took the time as well as the effort to write these documents wanted to have their views understood by their contemporaries, and these have in some cases survived to the present day.
When reading a document it is best to examine the background of the author or authors that wrote it. The content, style, and meanings of documents can be heavily influenced by social, economic, political, military, and sometimes religious events that were happening at the time the documents were written. For instance documents written during stable and peaceful periods should be more moderate and well considered than other documents produced during periods of high drama or conflict. The reader will read documents with a higher degree of understanding by taking into account the beliefs, the attitudes, and the position of the author or authors of those documents. Attempting to fully grasp the beliefs and the motives of the writers will help the reader to place individual documents in the most apt context. Knowing why people decided to write something can allow us to understand how they wrote their documents in the ways that they are actually written. Such an understanding allows us to understand the bias or the subjectivity within each document. Bias is something that is very difficult to keep out of documents that were written in relation to social, economic, political, military, and religious issues or events. Having an awareness of bias can help to explain why some documents seem to be full of extreme or radical viewpoints not to mention concepts, which might be considered to be out of date in our contemporary period. It would be very difficult to consciously produce a document that does reflect the time and the place it was actually written in. Documents intended to record events as they happen or influence their contemporary societies eventually become the historical records of subsequent generations. For instance the last two or three decades have seen some momentous changes such as the collapse of communism, the end of the Cold War, the information technology revolution as well as the war on terror following 9/11.
In many ways our access to documents has been increased markedly by the expansion of the Internet, which allows us to find information on literally anything in the matter of seconds. However whether a document was written several centuries ago or written a couple of days ago the same care in placing each document into its proper context should always be taken. Documents can help us to understand the past and also the present from different perspectives. It should enable us to remember that people have not changed in the ways they act and think over the centuries even if technology and transport have brought all parts of the globe closer together.
Evaluating documents will also help the reader to understand why some individuals what improve their societies, reshape their countries, or simply attempt to maintain the status quo as they think nothing needs to be changed.

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