Media Resource

Ask an NEH Expert: Wide Research

Jeffrey Ludwig, Director of Education at the Seward House Museum (Auburn, New York), discusses the benefits of wide research—the range of source types a researcher uses—when developing any research project. 

This video is one in a series about historical research and writing developed through a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Humanities and National History Day.

Questions for Analysis and Comprehension

These questions can be used before viewing the video to brainstorm ideas and review the concepts discussed in the interview, or after watching as a way to reflect on the interview.

1. What is the difference between a primary and secondary source?

2. What types of sources have you used when researching and what new perspectives did they offer to your project?

3. How can material and visual objects be used as sources for research?

4. Who in your community could you collaborate with to help widen your research and develop a project?

Interview Questions with Timestamps

1. How do you prepare for a project that you know will likely involve working with different kinds of sources? (3:40)

2. What is wide research? (6:10)

3. How do you limit the scope of your research to ensure you have quality sources? (8:25)

4. Why is wide research important? (12:12)

5. How can you use secondary sources and artifacts to inform your research? (16:50)

6. What do you do when you feel stuck during the research process? (20:15)

7.  How do you showcase your research and the sources you have used? (23:20)