Most high school and college level history courses will require that you read, interpret, and analyze a document or set of documents from the past—otherwise known as primary sources. In this post, I will provide five basic questions that you should ask about your document(s) that will kickstart your thinking about the past and serve as a starting point for formulating an argument for a paper or project. These questions constitute the basic toolkit that all historians use when they research and write about any topic or time period. By asking and answering these questions you will be doing history at its most fundamental level.Read More
If you’re taking a history class this semester, then its almost guaranteed that you’ll have to write a history term paper. You may already be a top-notch writer, but your professor might not tell you that history papers are a unique type of essay. The expectations for a history essays are different from most other classes, and professors and teaching assistants are often on the lookout for a few tell-tale signs of a mediocre or bad paper. Whether a short reading response or a long essay based in original research, here are four tips I wish I had known as an undergraduate student who needs to write a history term paper. Some are small, grammatical tips that can make a big stylistic difference. Others are bigger ideas about how a paper should be structured.Read More
I love the film Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and I've seen it more times than I can count. It is about two teenagers on the brink of failing high school, unless they ace their final history exam. The Hollywood twist? The protagonists acquire a time machine that allows them to travel through different eras of history. Throughout the film, Bill and Ted collect famous figures, such as Abraham Lincoln, and together with these historical figures, they're able pass their history final. Unfortunately, time travel is not a viable option for history students. In the real world, we cannot ask President Lincoln about the 13th Amendment, instead, we must read historical works and derive our own analyses and conclusions.Read More
Find out why studying the Classics is so important!
"What are you gonna do with that degree?" is just one of the questions endlessly faced by Classics majors and those wondering if they should study the Classics. What Classics majors are gonna do is understand the past and present and enjoy every aspect of the world as we know it so much more, and here you'll find out why.Read More
I’ve been a history student and history tutor for more years than I’d like to count. So needless to say, I’ve written (and graded) many papers. And as an academic tutor in New York City, I’ve worked with many students who have trouble getting enthused about any kind of research paper, let alone in turning that paper into a clear, well-argued, and sophisticated A-range essay that is fit for a writing tutor.
We all have enough trouble sometimes in gathering our thoughts to organize a basic essay, but with the following study skills in mind, you can send a series of cues to your grader to show that you’re writing analytically at a high level and that you deserve that perfect essay grade. You can make a paper written for high school academics feel like a college level piece of work.
I’ve found that my students in New York City, whether they’re studying for history tests in high school, for AP history exams, or just generally trying to learn new ways of holding onto information, find history to be one of the most difficult subjects to prepare for.
Studying for history tests can be intimidating just because there’s often so much information, so many dates, and so many new terms to memorize that the whole process can feel too overwhelming to even begin.