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Analyzing Images: Getting Started

How to Use This Guide

Welcome to this Research Guide on Iconic Images. This guide has been designed to help you analyze and interpret iconic primary source images. As you look closely at historical photographs, you will learn how to tell the difference between observation and inference and how to draw your own conclusions as to their historical impact and importance. 

Research is:

  • Driven by a question or problem that then guides the process
  • Seeking information with a clear goal in mind
  • A process, which works best when done step-by-step. The steps may need to be repeated, as the process is iterative
  • Collection and interpretation of data in an attempt to resolve the problem or answer the question
  • Going beyond facts and old ideas
  • Taking a new look at the information and taking a stand

Research is not:

  • Copying and pasting information you find through a Google search
  • Combining a paragraph from one article with a couple of paragraphs from websites. That's plagiarism.
  • Writing a "report"
  • Rearranging facts
  • Rewording each phrase and citing each source. That's just a summary of facts with someone else's name on them and still can be classified as plagiarism.

Interpreting Images