Monday, July 14, 2008

A Student's Guide to the Study of History

[Photo by docentjoyce.]

"History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illuminates reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life, and brings us tidings of antiquity." --- Cicero

"'History,' Stephen said, 'is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.'" --- James Joyce

"History is more or less bunk." --- Henry Ford

Whatever your students think about history, they will benefit from browsing A Student's Guide to the Study of History.

"History instructors tend to jump right into the subject matter without first setting the groundwork. Large questions such as: what is history? why study history? or how to write a research essay are often left up to the student to figure out... In general, the study of history requires certain skills--skills which are somewhat different from those used in other disciplines. Hopefully this Guide will force you to consider those skills as you go about your studies."
Articles include:
Another good resource: Reading, Writing, and Researching for History: A Guide for College Students.
"For all who have taken history courses in college, the experience of writing a research paper is etched indelibly in memory: late nights before the paper is due, sitting in pale light in front of a computer monitor or typewriter, a huge stack of books (most of them all-too-recently acquired) propped next to the desk, drinking endless cups of coffee or bottles of Jolt cola.

"Most of all, we remember the endless, panicked wondering: how on earth was something coherent going to wind up on the page - let alone fill eight, or ten, or twelve of them? After wrestling with material for days, the pressure of the deadline and level of caffeine in the body rise enough, and pen is finally put to paper. Many hours later, a paper is born - all too often something students are not proud to hand in, and something professors dread grading.

"How can we make this process less traumatic, more educational, and ultimately more rewarding for all concerned?"
Especially helpful articles:

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