Historical Genres and the Construction of Historical Meaning: a case study of History major students

Rodrigo Henríquez, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
Valentina Canelo, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile


Rodrigo Henríquez y Valentina Canelo, 2014: "Géneros históricos y construcción de la significación histórica: el caso de los estudiantes de Licenciatura en Historia", Onomázein Número Especial IX ALSFAL, 138-160.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.alsfal.3

The aim of this article is to present a characterization of the stages of the academic genre “History reading test” written by students of History major. The purpose of the research that originates this article was to describe the ways by which historical significance is constructed in the written discourse of future historians. 16 written answers made by first to third year of History majors of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile from different courses of Chilean History from XV century to XIX century compose the corpus of this investigation. Starting from the systematization proposed by Martin & Rose (2008), it was considered for the analysis of the “History reading test” the analytical framework of the Systemic-Functional Linguistics and the dimensions that build historical significance in the discourse: temporality, evidentiality and causality. The analysis allowed the identification of four stages for building the academic genre of “History reading test”. These stages were grouped into: a) synthesis, b) contextualization, c) argumentation, and c) closing. We conclude that one of the main elements that affects the development of the stages and phases are the purpose of the reading test (content of the question or instruction) and the reformulation of the evidence.