Welcome to A Student’s Guide to the Study of History. I have written this guide as an aid to high school and college students who are either taking history classes or who intend to major in history as undergraduates. The aim of the Guide is quite simple. First, all too often 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.
Second, the purpose of this site is the empowerment of the student. I must share my knowledge with students rather than hide it as if it were my property only. It’s not! Knowledge is power, but only if you have access to it!
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.
Remember, this is only a guide and it is not the only guide available to you. There are several guides which have been published in the past decade but very few have been published on the Internet. (See Patrick Rael’s Reading, Writing and Researching for History for a point of comparison.) Given the broad resources — some excellent, some downright horrible — that are available on the Internet, it seems to me that the time is right to publish my own thoughts on the study of history — And these are my thoughts. That much said, let’s get down to business.