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The professionalization of the study of history in the second half of

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The professionalization of the study of history in the second half of the nineteenth century, including history's transformation from a literary genre to a scientific discipline, had important consequences not only for historians' perceptions of women but also for women as historians. The disappearance of women as objects of historical studies during this period has elements of irony to it. On the one hand, in writing about women, earlier historians had relied not on firsthand sources but rather on secondary sources; the shift to more rigorous research methods required that secondary sources be disregarded. On the other hand, the development of archival research and the critical editing of collections of documents began to reveal significant new historical evidence concerning women, yet this evidence was perceived as substantially irrelevant: historians saw political history as the general framework for historical writing. Because women were seen as belonging to the private rather than to the public sphere, the discovery of documents about them, or by them, did not, by itself, produce history acknowledging the contributions of women. In addition, genres such as biography and memoir, those forms of "particular history" that women had traditionally authored, fell into disrepute. The dividing line between "particular history" and general history was redefined in stronger terms, widening the gulf between amateur and professional practices of historical research.
1. The passage is primarily concerned with

(A) describing some effects of the professionalization of the study of history on the writing of women's history
(B) explaining some reasons for the professionalization of the writing of history
(C) discussing the kinds of historical writing traditionally practiced by women
(D) contrasting the approach to the writing of history taken by women with the approach taken by men
(E) criticizing certain changes that occurred in the writing of history during the second half of the nineteenth century



2. Which of the following best describes one of the "elements of irony" referred to in the highlighted text?

(A) Although the more scientific-minded historians of the second half of the nineteenth century considered women appropriate subjects for historical writing, earlier historians did not.
(B) Although archival research uncovered documentary evidence of women's role in history, historians continued to rely on secondary sources for information about women.
(C) Although historians were primarily concerned with writing about the public sphere, they generally relegated women to the private sphere.
(D) The scientific approach to history revealed more information about women, but that information was ignored.
(E) The professionalization of history, while marginalizing much of women's writing about history, enhanced the importance of women as historical subjects.



3. According to the passage, the development of archival research and the critical editing of collections of documents had which of the following effects?

(A) Historians increasingly acknowledged women's contributions to history.
(B) Historians began to debate whether secondary sources could provide reliable information.
(C) Historians began to apply less rigorous scientific research criteria to the study of women's history.
(D) More evidence concerning women became available to historical researchers.
(E) Women began to study history as professional historians.



Originally posted by eybrj2 on 31 May 2012, 19:58.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 13 Aug 2019, 08:45, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (128).
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New post 16 Aug 2013, 20:34
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I hope this helps.

The topic sentence/ main idea of this passage is on the first line of the passage.
"The professionalization of the study of history in the second half of the nineteenth century, including history's transformation from a literary genre to a scientific discipline, had important consequences not only for historians' perceptions of women but also for women as historians." So, only choice (A) matches the purpose of this passage.

Here are some tips when you are doing RC section. Read the passage within two minutes scope and try to identify the topic sentence/ purpose of each passage and body paragraph. By asking yourself these questions, you will read the passage more actively and increase the chance of answering questions correctly. ^ ^
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New post 28 May 2014, 19:04
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Explanation for elements of irony question:
http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... ed-dating/
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New post 05 Jun 2014, 17:28
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Can any one help me with this :
How can you relate the second sentence to the first one ?
1- The professionalization of the study of history in the second half of the nineteenth century, including history's transformation from a literary genre to a scientific discipline, had important consequences not only for historians' perceptions of women but also for women as historians.
2- The disappearance of women as objects of historical studies during this period has elements of irony to it.

when i was reading , i realized that the first sentence was talking about the affect of The professionalization on historians' perceptions of women and women as historians. then suddenly the passage started talking about the disappearance of women as an object . ….. this really confused me. i couldn't concentrate on the passage after that.

i have this problem also with some other passages. any advice about how can i fix this problem in future readings ?
thanks
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New post 20 Jun 2014, 04:54
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akhu wrote:
The passage is primarily concerned with

(A) describing some effects of the professionalization of the study of history on the writing of women's history
(B) explaining some reasons for the professionalization of the writing of history
(C) discussing the kinds of historical writing traditionally practiced by women
(D) contrasting the approach to the writing of history taken by women with the approach taken by men
(E) criticizing certain changes that occurred in the writing of historyduring the second half of the nineteenth century



Can someone please help on this one.

Thanks,


Furthermore I think the passage is not about writing of history but the study of history. I admit that there is a thin line of difference but it is this thin line which makes the difference in GMAT
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New post 14 May 2015, 04:36
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On question 1, I don't see anything that would amount to criticism. The author doesn't say whether something is wrong or right, and I think an opinion is required for a passage to be considered critical of the subject matter.
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New post 17 Aug 2016, 02:22
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7 mins 30 seconds , including 2 mins 50 seconds to read

-The author does not provide an opinion
-The author talks about how the professionalization of women’s history has changed the way that history has been written
- Certain discoveries were passed off as irrelevant or ignored because they relegated women to the domestic sphere

1.
Answer A

2.
“On the other hand, the development of archival research and the critical editing of collections of documents began to reveal significant new historical evidence concerning women, yet this evidence was perceived as substantially irrelevant"

The above excerpt clearly states that the information revealed thanks to the scientific approach was ignored – which contradicts the whole purpose of the scientific approach. Hence the irony. Option (D) is the correct answer.

3.

“On the other hand, the development of archival research and the critical editing of collections of documents began to reveal significant new historical evidence concerning women"
Option (D) is a clear re instatement of the above and hence correct.
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New post 28 Nov 2016, 07:53
Why is option B wrong in 2nd question? Can someone please explain?
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New post 11 Feb 2017, 12:40
rmadmit wrote:
Why is option B wrong in 2nd question? Can someone please explain?


Hi,

Lines from the pasasge :
On the one hand, in writing about women, earlier historians had relied not on firsthand sources but rather on secondary sources.

In passage these lines tell about earlier historians whereas this line from passage suggests the shift to more rigorous research methods required that secondary sources be disregarded the view of current historian. Irony is about current historians not old , therefore B is wrong.
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Feel free to use the request verbal experts' reply button to post specific questions. As described in the Rules to post on the Verbal Forum, avoid short/useless posts.

Thanks!
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New post 28 Nov 2017, 11:27
Could you please explain how option D is right for the second question?
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New post 28 Nov 2017, 20:54
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ADiCR7 wrote:
Could you please explain how option D is right for the second question?

Quote:
2. Which of the following best describes one of the "elements of irony" referred to in the highlighted text?

Remember to use process of elimination on ALL GMAT verbal questions:

Quote:
A. Although the more scientific-minded historians of the second half of the nineteenth century considered women appropriate subjects for historical writing, earlier historians did not.

The passage describes the "disappearance of women as objects of historical studies during this period". Choice (A) suggests the opposite, so it can be eliminated.

Quote:
B. Although archival research uncovered documentary evidence of women's role in history, historians continued to rely on secondary sources for information about women.

The passage specifically states that "the shift to more rigorous research methods required that secondary sources be disregarded." Choice (B) directly contradicts this information and be eliminated.

Quote:
C. Although historians were primarily concerned with writing about the public sphere, they generally relegated women to the private sphere.

This seems in line with the information in the passage, but does it describe "elements of irony"? If women belong to the private sphere and historians are primarily focused on the public sphere, we would EXPECT a disappearance of women as objects of historical studies. There is nothing inconsistent or contradictory about that result, but leave choice (C) for now if you aren't sure.

Quote:
D. The scientific approach to history revealed more information about women, but that information was ignored.

The new approach revealed more information about women.. great! Oh wait, that new approach also means that we are going to IGNORE much of the additional information. The same approach that helped us GATHER the new information also tells us that we should IGNORE that same information.

We would expect an approach that reveals more information about women to INCREASE historical studies of women. But that same approach caused historians to ignore the very information they discovered. This surprising and seemingly contradictory result (much like a discrepancy) has "elements of irony", unlike the facts stated in choice (C). (D) seems like the best answer so far.

Quote:
E. The professionalization of history, while marginalizing much of women's writing about history, enhanced the importance of women as historical subjects.

As stated for choice (A), the passage describes the "disappearance of women as objects of historical studies during this period". This implies that the importance of women as historical subjects was not ENHANCED during this period, so (E) can be eliminated.

Choice (D) is the best answer.
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New post 08 Oct 2018, 16:15
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For the primary purpose question, can you pl explain how th answer is A and not E.
Is it very clear from the passage that the author has not presented his view. Hence criticising is not correct.
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New post 10 Oct 2018, 06:12
For question#3, I have a doubt as to how option b is incorrect. In the passage just above the place where archival methods are mentioned. It has been mentioned that the secondary sources were disregarded. Also, is D right because the researchers did recieve the evidence but the phenomenon of ignoring the evidence happened at later stage. Hence no one can deny the fact that more evidence was indeed available
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New post 20 Oct 2018, 17:58
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hassu13 wrote:
GMATNinja GMATNinjatwo mikemcgarry
For the primary purpose question, can you pl explain how th answer is A and not E.
Is it very clear from the passage that the author has not presented his view. Hence criticising is not correct.

For question #1, I'm not quite sure that I understand your doubt, but I'll give it a shot!

You've correctly identified that the author definitely isn't writing this passage to "criticize." And that's exactly why we must eliminate (E). It doesn't accurately describe what the passage does as a whole.

You can answer this question solely through process of elimination. But (A) remains the best answer choice because it's a precise match for why and how the author wrote this passage. Throughout the passage, the author focuses on the consequences of professionalization of the study of history -- specifically with regards to historians' perception of women and for women as historians. The author brings up multiple methods and perspectives to describe how this one large change impacted different aspects of women in the academic field of history.

hassu13 wrote:
For question#3, I have a doubt as to how option b is incorrect. In the passage just above the place where archival methods are mentioned. It has been mentioned that the secondary sources were disregarded. Also, is D right because the researchers did recieve the evidence but the phenomenon of ignoring the evidence happened at later stage. Hence no one can deny the fact that more evidence was indeed available

On question #3, we are asked which choice was an effect of the development of archival research and the critical editing of collections of documents.

The correct answer choice will identify some outcome that happened as a result of those two things.

Going back to the passage:

    On the other hand, the development of archival research and the critical editing of collections of documents began to reveal significant new historical evidence concerning women, yet this evidence was perceived as substantially irrelevant: historians saw political history as the general framework for historical writing.

This pretty clearly states what we're looking for. The result was that significant new historical evidence concerning women was revealed.

Quote:
(B) Historians began to debate whether secondary sources could provide reliable information.

Choice (B) bears absolutely no resemblance to what we've just confirmed in the passage. Even if something like this is mentioned somewhere else in the passage, or somewhere in proximity of the phrase "archival," we were not asked to find things that appear in the passage. We must identify the choice that names a result of the development of archival research and the critical editing of collections of documents.

Furthermore, we don't eliminate answer choices because they don't appear in the passage. We eliminate answer choices because they are not the best choice for the answer that we were specifically asked.

Quote:
(D) More evidence concerning women became available to historical researchers.

Bingo! Er, eureka! This is a spot-on match for how the passage itself would answer the question.

I hope this helps!
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New post 14 Sep 2019, 06:39
Author says that the professionalization has irony of elements ,does that not mean that the author is criticising ?

In thre primary purpose question should not the answer be E? Is author merely describing or giving his own opinion also by saying that professionalization has irony of elements
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New post 24 Oct 2019, 18:07
LoneSurvivor wrote:
Author says that the professionalization has irony of elements ,does that not mean that the author is criticising ?

In thre primary purpose question should not the answer be E? Is author merely describing or giving his own opinion also by saying that professionalization has irony of elements

By stating that the professionalization of history contained some "elements of irony," the author is not necessarily criticizing this development -- he/she is merely pointing out that the changes had some surprising and potentially contradictory effects. In addition, it is important to look at the exact language of the answer choice:
Quote:
(E) criticizing certain changes that occurred in the writing of history during the second half of the nineteenth century

The passage is not "primarily concerned" with changes that occurred in the writing of history in this time period. Instead, he/she discusses the "professionalization of the study of history in the second half of the nineteenth century," and then describes how this shift impacted the writing of women's history. The specific changes listed -- the use of primary instead of secondary documents, and the less favorable perception of memoir and biography -- are changes in the study of history, not in the writing of history.

This aligns much better with answer choice (A):
Quote:
(A) describing some effects of the professionalization of the study of history on the writing of women's history

(A) is the correct answer to question #1.

I hope that helps!
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New post 08 Dec 2019, 23:56
GMATNinja wrote:
Going back to the passage:

    On the other hand, the development of archival research and the critical editing of collections of documents began to reveal significant new historical evidence concerning women, yet this evidence was perceived as substantially irrelevant: historians saw political history as the general framework for historical writing.

This pretty clearly states what we're looking for. The result was that significant new historical evidence concerning women was revealed.


Furthermore, we don't eliminate answer choices because they don't appear in the passage. We eliminate answer choices because they are not the best choice for the answer that we were specifically asked.

Quote:
(D) More evidence concerning women became available to historical researchers.

Bingo! Er, eureka! This is a spot-on match for how the passage itself would answer the question.

I hope this helps!


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but why not A for Q3.

    On the other hand, the development of archival research and the critical editing of collections of documents began to reveal significant new historical evidence concerning women, yet this evidence was perceived as substantially irrelevant: historians saw political history as the general framework for historical writing.
regarding "yet this evidence was perceived as substantially irrelevant", I think it would provide some actually relevant evidence, so it obviously provide new knowledge . that's why I prefer A over D.

experts, please help.
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New post 05 Jan 2020, 08:45
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zoezhuyan wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
Going back to the passage:

    On the other hand, the development of archival research and the critical editing of collections of documents began to reveal significant new historical evidence concerning women, yet this evidence was perceived as substantially irrelevant: historians saw political history as the general framework for historical writing.

This pretty clearly states what we're looking for. The result was that significant new historical evidence concerning women was revealed.


Furthermore, we don't eliminate answer choices because they don't appear in the passage. We eliminate answer choices because they are not the best choice for the answer that we were specifically asked.

Quote:
(D) More evidence concerning women became available to historical researchers.

Bingo! Er, eureka! This is a spot-on match for how the passage itself would answer the question.

I hope this helps!


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but why not A for Q3.

    On the other hand, the development of archival research and the critical editing of collections of documents began to reveal significant new historical evidence concerning women, yet this evidence was perceived as substantially irrelevant: historians saw political history as the general framework for historical writing.
regarding "yet this evidence was perceived as substantially irrelevant", I think it would provide some actually relevant evidence, so it obviously provide new knowledge . that's why I prefer A over D.

experts, please help.

While I agree that the new approach to history provided additional knowledge concerning women, that's not exactly what (A) is saying:
Quote:
(A) Historians increasingly acknowledged women's contributions to history.

(A) tells us that historians "increasingly acknowledged women's contributions to history" -- or, that historians increasingly believed that women played an important role in history.

However, the passage indicates something quite different -- historians found all of this new evidence concerning women, but then dismissed it as "substantially irrelevant." So, even though they had more knowledge about women, they did not think that women played an important role in history.

For this reason, (A) is not the correct answer to question #3.

I hope that helps!
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