Before you start your homework or writing a history essay, you have to read and conduct research. However, reading for college homework is much different from the kind of reading you do for leisure. You have to read extensively and wisely while taking notes on the material that is related to the given homework question.
You can start the reading by concentrating on a book or website that will generally give you a good overview of the homework topic, and then you find other books and articles that are more specialized on the topic.
Reading historical texts for homework is a challenging undertaking for most students of history while in college. This needs to be done with specific homework questions at the back of the mind, for example, who created the source and for what purpose? When did it happen and what assumptions did they have behind their argument? For gurus who write history essays, they do not have a problem having these homework questions in mind because they have handled so many homework topics in history and have also done a lot of research in their fields of study.
You should examine sources critically and find out the authenticity of the source for your homework, and whether it has been edited or corrupted. For the case of a primary source, ask yourself why it has survived all along as well as the opinions of other historians and other concerned experts about the material. Bear in mind that the interpretation of historical events is not a fixed thing, but a continuous debate of various opinions on why such events happened in the past.
Scholarly opinions keep changing from one historian to the other; you should at least consider having some of the most recent secondary sources that are available regarding a past event. Base your homework research upon primary sources, secondary sources, and encyclopedias; avoid depending solely on tertiary sources or school textbooks as they are drawn from secondary works which are limited in scholarly value.
Be careful when utilizing internet sources for your college homework, as there is a variety of websites that do not necessarily offer reliable content. Make sure the articles and books you site from the web meet the required academic standards of evidence and argumentation for homework; in the case of an online book, check if the book has been reviewed by experts in the field before its publication. Check the author’s credentials, the website owner’s name and their site’s agenda and whether the presented views are in line with what you have read from the books or articles.
It is also important to take notes as it will guide you in accessing information that you may require whenever you want for the homework. A history essay is an orderly and reasoned argument that is arrived at through proper acknowledgment of supportive evidence. Therefore, clear note-taking will help in writing quality college essays that are accurate and that meet scholarly requirements for homework.
Ensure you don’t lose sight of the homework or history essay question as you read and take notes for the assignment. You should carefully focus on the homework question and avoid straying away from it; remind yourself of the homework question before you start planning the history essay. You can then plan the history essay making sure all the sentences and paragraphs are relevant to the history question and that they are arranged logically as you develop the argument for the homework.
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