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Historical analysis is a multifaceted approach to understanding the creation and impact of messages. Communication scholars use history both as a source of material to interrogate messages as well as grounds to make claims and formulate arguments. Qualitative in nature, this approach to understanding communication relies heavily on the ability of a critic to conduct close textual analysis of extant documents, including speeches, court cases, letters, newspapers, and other events to draw conclusions about the efficacy of the discourse in question. The use of historical analysis in the communication field has ebbed and flowed over time. It has allowed scholars to investigate discourse through a very specific lens. Historical analysis constitutes both a method of criticism as well as grounds for making arguments about discourse. ...

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