Today I was at a conference about Aristophanes during lunch break, and it was pretty cool. Now I’m watching a movie called Qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au Bon Dieu, so that I can write a text about it for my French class! ✍🏼💕
These are the worksheets we were given in class today 😊
I don’t see a lot of posts about how to effectively study for history classes, so I’m going to give it a shot! Warning: long post coming up!
Practice identifying the significance of something. The entire point of history is to learn the significance of different events and people. I guarantee that at some point you will be asked to state the significance, which is where this comes in handy. Also, knowing how to do this will vastly improve your essays.
Use timelines. Even if your teacher doesn’t make it mandatory to know dates, you should understand the order that major events happen. I will either write out a timeline or order my cue cards in the order they belong in after studying. Also, if your teacher does mark dates, you can at least be sure you know the decade it happened in even if you don’t know the full year.
Write extremely thorough notes. In some classes, like math, if you get something really well, you can kind of relax on the depth of your notes. I do not recommend this in history! Write down everything that seems important: names, dates, symbols, fun facts. The more you know, the easier it is to get full marks on a test without bullshitting.
Don’t rely on crash courses or internet research while studying. Your teacher taught you what they want you to know. While watching a crash course video might be a good way to start preparing for a course while on summer vacation, it is not an effective way to study for a test. The information in the video is not what you were taught in class, so it won’t be that helpful. Internet research is the same – you can easily find dates and locations, but the specific information taught in class can only be found in your personal notes.
Talk to people in the class. Some things in history are open to interpretation. A good way to get lots of opinions and viewpoints on a certain subject is to hold a study group and discuss the material. You guys can also help each other remember small details from the notes. Certain things will just stick in your brain while others won’t, so reviewing the notes with other students is a really good way to make sure you aren’t missing anything.
Write essay outlines. In a history class, you will probably be writing a lot of essays. So many of my friends have massive problems with history essays because they don’t organize them prior to writing. If you just start talking about an event and don’t know where to go next, you’re going to have a total trainwreck. Organize your thoughts!! Plan what you are going to write!! It doesn’t take that long and it will save your life every time you write an essay.
Read “Politics and the English Langauge” by George Orwell.
Learn how to write footnotes manually. Writing footnotes and formatting your paper yourself isn’t that hard to do. It will help you out a lot when Word isn’t working or something goes wrong with the formatting feature.
Be an expert during presentations. If you are doing a presentation, be an absolute expert in the topic. Try not to read from any notes and be sure that you can answer any questions the class or teacher might have. Presentations are a good way to boost your mark, so try and be super knowledgeable and impress your teacher.
Learn how to write a thesis. If you’re writing an essay, your thesis should be clear. In high school, you can usually figure out what your thesis should be by figuring out what the main question you’re trying to answer is, then answering it. Make sure that your answer is focusing on just one viewpoint, not somewhere in the middle. And, ask a teacher or friend to look at your thesis before you start writing!
This is all I can think of for the time being, but I might add more later. Or message me if you have other ideas you think I should add to my list!
― How to write an essay as an undergraduate history student
These are general guidelines to help undergraduate students write better essays. *Note that every assignment is different. You should take the time to closely read the instructions and meet with your Professor if necessary. I hope you will find these useful and good luck writing your papers!
B E F O R E Y O U S T A R T
Make sure that you have closely read the instructions as presented by your Professor. There are many different types of historical essays (argumentative essays, historiographical reviews and so on). It is imperative that your style is adapted to the type of essay you are required to write.
Gather all your information. Some Professors want students to write essays using only class material, others expect them to do more research. If the latter, make sure to gather all (most) of your information beforehand. If you are a university student, you have access to a library and many academic journals. Use this access and make sure to ask librarians for help when needed.
Take careful notes as you are reading in preparation for your essay. If your Professor provided a specific question, make sure to read critically for information that is susceptible to help you answer this question. If your Professor has not assigned a question, you should still read carefully and try to find the different ways in which historians address certain issues.
Some students prefer not to plan essays, others do. I suggest planning as it may be the best way to map out your ideas and begin forming an argument. It is impossible to cover all the facets of a problem in one essay, therefore, planning your essay may be the easiest way to make sure your work covers important aspects of a given issue. Planning will also help ensure that all your arguments remain connected and support a central claim.
Find a few (preferably history) essays that you find well-written and pay special attention to their structure. While you should be careful never to be so inspired as to be tempted to copy (this is a very serious academic offence) the goal of this exercise is to find more academic vocabulary and see how it is used by actual scholars.
W H E N W R I T I N G
If your Professor gave you a question to answer in advance, make sure you answer this question and this question only. While you should always supply your arguments with pertinent examples, these should be succinct and focus on the main contention debated in your essay.
Make sure your essay has a thesis statement (yes, even when you are asked to answer a question). Your Professor should know from the very beginning of your essay what you will be arguing and what position you will take. All subsequent paragraphs until your conclusion should serve to better make the case for your thesis.
Try to follow the “classical” essay model, that is: introduction, body and conclusion.
Began each paragraph with a topic sentence announcing the focus of the next few lines. Conclude the paragraph by rephrasing the main idea and possibly by trying to make a connection with the next body of text.
Always bring evidence to support your arguments. This evidence may come from the work of other historians are from a passage of a primary document. Whatever the case may be, make sure that your arguments are solidly built and “defended”.
Introductions and conclusions are (usually) not optional. Your introduction should help the reader understand what the text will argue and how it will proceed to do so, while your conclusion finishes the text by summarising key points and perhaps even making a suggestion for future studies. (An additional tip may be to write a simple introduction at the beginning and then rewriting it when the essay is finished. Once you are satisfied with your introduction, you may copy and paste it as your conclusion making necessary adjustments and avoiding copying the exact sentence structure. The point here is to use your introduction as a guide to write your conclusion.)
Be precise, you are writing a history paper, dates and names matter.
Be clear and concise but make sure that all your points are well-developed.
G E N E R A L T I P S
Locate your argument in historiography. As a historian in training, it is important that you show your Professor that you understand there are debates regarding specific interpretations. It is also important that you demonstrate that your line of argumentation is supported by the work of experienced researchers. Even if your essay primarily focuses on primary document analysis, surely some have analysed this text or object before, make sure to mention these scholars and their contributions to the debate.
Citations should be used wisely. As said before, it is important to ground your argument in the work of other historians. In this sense, citations are immensely useful. That being said, depending on the length of your paper, too many citations may suggest laziness as you have made little efforts paraphrasing. A few carefully selected and well-integrated quotes in your paper should do the trick.
Unless prohibited (for some odd reason) by your Professor, use footnotes to give additional information. Using footnotes to engage in discussions that are important but that otherwise cannot find their place in your text will show your Professor that you had a strong command of the topic at hand. It is also the best place to suggest further readings.
When I was in class, my teacher gave us a couple of lists of tips. Here are the ones that I found useful:
1. Take a position and STICK TO IT.
Remember that you need to argue a point in your essay. Nothing is neutral, EVER. It’s fine to note what the opposite argument to the point you’re making might be. However, only do this is you are confident that the way you combat this argument will strengthen your stance.
2. Make your references as specific as possible, but make sure they’re factual. Facts strengthen essays. It shows you know what you’re talking about! However, if you’re not sure about a piece of information in terms of accuracy, leave it out. Don’t harm your credibility.
3. Answer the ENTRIE question in your thesis. The best way I did this was to underline each part of the question, number each part, then cross that number off once I had successfully addressed in my thesis. Then, of course, you just need to facts and analysis to back it up.
4. Use past tense and third person consistently. History has happened, it’s done. Keeping a clear tense will make your essay cleaner. Same situation with using ONLY third person. For as much as your opinion matters in a DBQ, no using “I” to talk about your opinion, nor using “you” to appeal to your reader. You need to do that through third person only.
5. For DBQ’s, use the rule of “Three groups of three” You are required to show your argument from three different points of PERSIA. Let’s say, worst case scenario, you fail to analyze one of your documents correctly. If you only have two documents in a group, and one is wrong, you’re left with one correct document, and one is not a group. You have then lost major points on your essay. However, if you have three documents in a group, and one is wrong, you still are safe with a group of two!
6. Know how to answer the prompt. I present to you the great page of instruction definitions! Refer to this when you’re not sure how to answer what your prompt is asking of you
28-30/100 days of productivity
Last three days revolved basically around me writing my essay and sleeping. Also I started annotating my history books so it would be easier for me to write my essay. And honestly I kind of love it and I feel good about the colour coding, but as a book lover at first I felt like I was just destroy it. Anyway, word limit on my essay is killing me and I have no idea how I’m going to fit everything in! Also I’m kind of obsessed with dried mango and that’s all I want to eat right now.
For all my lazy friends who hate writing papers and don’t have money to pay your English major friends to write them.
Okay y'all want to know how to write every essay ever if you’re a lazy fuck like me? This form has literally never failed me. I’ve used it in English lit classes, technical business writing, on mechanical technical reviews, research papers, history papers, style analysis papers, college essays, anything, everything.
You use this form to make an outline - a hella in-depth outline, a ¾/5 layers deep outline, maybe even deeper if it’s got to be really long. You start with the big topics and move in until it’s tiny itty bitty chunks. Then you write a sentence next to every segment. Then you take out the outline part. And then you read the paper and combine sentences that are too small and split sentences that are too long. Ta-dah you have a perfectly organized and well thought out and PASSABLE, UNPLAGERIZED paper that you can do in literally 45 min right before it’s due.
If this doesn’t work for you, I’m still writing papers for money hmu.
the artists were all assholes to each other, but mostly michelangelo vs literally everyone else
botticelli and leonardo were both apprenticed to the same dude
the pazzi conspiracy was a mess, but both leonardo and botticelli were inspired enough to make art about it. leonardo’s were little sketches alongside his notes, but botticelli’s was a full scale piece on a government building that had to be removed by pope alexander vi
there were so many fucking churches in florence, one per three hundred feet. and also 12% of women were nuns