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What is an effective way to study History?

I'm in a college level US History class and don't really know how to effectively study.

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John’s Answer

My fascination with history began even before I set foot in a grade school classroom. There's something captivating about delving into the past, gaining insights into different people, places, and events. It might seem a bit quirky, but I often feel like I'm peeking into the lives of others - albeit those from the past, making me something of a historical busybody!

If you've ever had the chance to travel, you'll know how much more enriching it can be when you've previously studied the places you're visiting. For instance, I had the chance to visit the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg, PA. Having learned about it beforehand, I found the visit incredibly memorable. As I walked the battlefield, the knowledge I'd gained from my readings sprang to life, filling me with a profound sense of awe.

As a former military member, I've had the opportunity to travel to many places I'd previously only read about in history books. This has given me a unique perspective and a strong motivation to continue learning about history. It's a particularly beneficial interest if you're an avid traveler or plan to explore the world in the future!

I hope you find this perspective helpful.

Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors.

John
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Sam’s Answer

Out of the normal study tips that I normally give, including creating a study schedule, forming a study group, attending your teacher's office hours, and taking and synthesizing your notes, one of the biggest ways to learn a lot of information (history) is to read it like a story. Story is the key word.

If you are just memorizing history for the sake of memorizing, it would be hard. There is a TON of information to retain, from dates, to figure names, to events, etc. But have you realized that recalling a movie that is often hours long is pretty easy? Why? Because you watch a movie as you, well, watching a movie.

So think of the history book / lessons that you are given as a movie. Think of each figure that appears as a character in the movie. Think of each event as an event in a movie. It is a long movie, but I promise you, the more genuine interest you have in this 'movie', the more success you will have in success in this class.
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Elizabeth’s Answer

Hi Noah! I think for a subject like history with a lot of memorization involved there are two things to consider: repetition and time. Of course the longer you have to study the better you'll do, and even brief exposure to facts over time is usually more effective that a large amount of time spent all at once. If you're able to create summarized key points that review briefly but frequently, that will probably be the most effective way to retain the information you're learning. That being said I've been in college history class crunch time and one of the things that was most helpful for me was Quizlet. The type of memory recall Quizlet can facilitate helps with memorization much faster in my opinion. If you're ever worried about how you're doing in the course or want more directed advice I would highly encourage you to attend the professor's office hours! Professors remember the kids who come to office hours and introduce themselves, and no one will know the course content and how to handle it better. I would recommend this with papers as well, I used to always try to finish a draft of my paper a week early and then bring it to office hours to get the professors advice. It's like getting to see what your grade would've have been early and it allows you to make corrections to improve before getting your final grade!

Elizabeth recommends the following next steps:

Try to give yourself a lot of time to absorb the material
Check out Quizlet for fact memorization
Visit the professors office hours and get advice from the someone familiar with the material
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