why should we study history essay

Why Study History?

For a great many people, history is a set of facts, a collection of events, a series of things that happened, one after another, in the past. In fact, history is far more than these things-- it is a way of thinking about and seeing the world.

T o genuinely make sense of the past, you need to learn how to see it on its own terms, how to make the strange and unfamiliar logical and comprehensible, and how to empathize with people who once thought so differently than we do today. If you learn how to do these things, you begin to cultivate a crucial set of skills that not only help navigate the past, but the present as well. Once you can see the things that history teaches you, once you know how to penetrate unfamiliar modes of thought and behavior and can understand their inner logic, it becomes easier to make sense of the modern world and the diverse peoples and ideas that you will confront within it.

It might seem counterintuitive that one of the best ways to illuminate the present is by studying the past, but that is precisely why history can be so important. When we appreciate that history is not, first and foremost, a body of knowledge, but rather a way of thinking, it becomes a particularly powerful tool.  Not everyone may choose to become a historian. Yet, whatever career you choose,  knowing how to think historically will help.  

By taking History courses at Stanford, you will develop

  • critical, interpretive thinking skills through in-depth analysis of primary and secondary source materials.

the ability to identify different types of sources of historical knowledge.

analytical writing skills and close reading skills.

effective oral communication skills.

History coursework at Stanford is supported by mentorship from our world-class faculty and by unique research opportunities. These experiences enable undergraduate students to pursue successful careers in business, journalism, public service, law, education, government, medicine, and more.   Learn what Stanford History majors and minors are doing after graduation .

Undergraduate Program

We offer the following degree options to Stanford undergraduate students:

Undergraduate Major : Become a historian and chart your path through the B.A. in consultation with your major advisor. 

Honors in History :  Join a passionate group of History majors who conduct in-depth research with Stanford faculty.

Undergraduate Minor : Complete six eligible courses for a minor in History.

  Co-terminal Masters:   Join the selective group of Stanford undergraduates who explore their passion in History before entering graduate school or professional life.

How to Declare

The first step in becoming a History major is finding a Faculty Advisor.  The best way to find an advisor is simply to take a variety of History courses, drop in during faculty office hours, and introduce yourself as a prospective History major. Faculty are happy to suggest coursework and to offer counsel. You are also welcome to reach out to our undergraduate Peer Advisors about how to navigate Stanford History.  Learn more about how to declare .

Herodotus: An Undergraduate Journal

Herodotus is a student-run publication founded in 1986 by  the History Undergraduate Student Association (HUGSA). It bears the name of Herodotus of Halicarnassus, the 5th century BCE historian of the Greco-Persian Wars. Based on a rigorous, supportive peer-review process, the journal preserves and features the best undergraduate research conducted in the department. Browse Herodotus

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History magnified: It's important to study history.

Why Is It Important to Study History?

Even if you live to be 100, you’ll never run out of new things to learn. From computer science and cryptocurrency to French literature and Spanish grammar, the world is full of knowledge and it’s all at your fingertips. So, why choose history?

Many people study history in high school and come away thinking it’s boring, irrelevant, or both. But as we get older, even just by a few years, we start to see the importance of understanding the past.

Why do we study history?

Why do we study history in the classroom?

We study history because history doesn’t stay behind us. Studying history helps us understand how events in the past made things the way they are today. With lessons from the past, we not only learn about ourselves and how we came to be, but also develop the ability to avoid mistakes and create better paths for our societies.

How does history impact our lives today?

Events in the past have displaced families and groups, changing the makeup of regions and often causing tensions. Such events have also created government systems that have lasted generations beyond when they started. And all of it affects each person alive today.

Take the Great Depression, for example—one of the most difficult but impactful periods in American history. The economic crisis put almost 15 million people out of work and sent countless families into homelessness, stealing their sense of security. Many of those people would feel insecure for the rest of their lives.

The government had to learn how to help . This effort gave rise to Social Security, federal emergency relief programs, and funding for unemployment efforts. These changes continue to make life more secure for millions of Americans. 

Society today comes from hundreds and thousands of actions like these. The more you learn about how these things happened, the better you understand real life.

What lessons can we learn from history?

History teaches us about things such as:

  • Why some societies thrive while others fail.
  • Why humans have gone to war.
  • How people have changed society for the better.

History isn’t a study of others. The people you learn about may have lived decades or even centuries ago, but their actions directly affect how we live our lives today. Events that seem like dates on a page have been turning points in the story of our societies.

“Historical knowledge is no more and no less than carefully and critically constructed collective memory.” -William H. MacNeill, former president of the American Historical Association

Historical research builds and codifies these stories. When we study history, we learn how we got where we are, and why we live the way we do. It’s the study of us—of humans and our place in an ever changing world. Without it, we wouldn’t understand all of our triumphs and failures, and we would continually repeat patterns without building forward to something better.

As Spanish philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. ” 

How do past events help us understand the present?

How do past events help us understand the present?

The past creates the present. Our modern world exists because of events that happened long before our time. Only by understanding those events can we know how we got here, and where to go next.

1. History helps us understand change

History is full of transitions that have altered the world’s story. When you build your knowledge of history, you understand more about what created our present-day society. 

Studying the American civil rights movement shows you how people organize successfully against oppressive systems. Learning about the fall of Rome teaches you that even the most powerful society can fall apart—and what happens to cause that crumbling.

By learning about different eras and their respective events, you start to see what changes might happen in the future and what would drive that change.

2. We learn from past mistakes

History gives us a better understanding of the world and how it operates. When you study a war, you learn more about how conflict escalates. You learn what dilemmas world leaders face and how they respond—and when those decisions lead to better or worse outcomes.

Historical study shows you the warning signs of many kinds of disaster, from genocide to climate inaction. Understanding these patterns will make you a more informed citizen and help you take action effectively.

3. We gain context for the human experience

Before 2020, most Americans hadn’t lived through a global pandemic. The 1918-1919 flu pandemic had faded from the popular picture of history, overshadowed by World War I on its back end and the Roaring 20s that followed. 

Yet within months of COVID-19 entering the public awareness, historians and informed private citizens were writing about the flu pandemic again. Stories of a deadly second wave were re-told to warn people against the dangers of travel, and pictures of ancestors in masks re-emerged.

Through study of the past, we understand our own lives better. We see patterns as they re-emerge and take solace in the fact that others have gone through similar struggles 

How do we study history?

How do we study history?

There are many ways of studying and teaching history. Many people remember high school classes full of memorization—names, dates, and places of major historical events. 

Decades ago, that kind of rote learning was important, but things have changed. Today, 60% of the world’s population and 90% of the U.S. population use the internet and can find those facts on demand. Today, learning history is about making connections and understanding not just what happened, but why.

Critical thinking

If you’ve ever served on a jury or read about a court case, you know that reconstructing the facts of the past isn’t a simple process. You have to consider the facts at hand, look at how they’re connected, and draw reasonable conclusions. 

Take the fall of Rome , for example. In the Roman Empire’s last years, the central government was unstable yet the empire continued to spend money on expansion. Outside groups like the Huns and Saxons capitalized on that instability and invaded. The empire had split into East and West, further breaking down a sense of unity, and Christianity was replacing the Roman polytheistic religion.

When you become a student of history, you learn how to process facts like these and consider how one event affected the other. An expanding empire is harder to control, and invasions further tax resources. But what caused that instability in the first place? And why did expansion remain so important?

Once you learn how to think this way and ask these kinds of questions, you start engaging more actively with the world around you.

Finding the “So what?” 

The study of history is fascinating, but that’s not the only reason why we do it. Learning the facts and following the thread of a story is just the first step. 

The most important question in history is “So what?”. 

For instance:

  • Why were the Chinese so successful in maintaining their empire in Asia? Why did that change after the Industrial Revolution?
  • Why was the invasion of Normandy in 1944 a turning point? What would happen if Allied forces hadn’t landed on French beaches?

Studying this way helps you see the relevance and importance of history, while giving you a deeper and more lasting understanding of what happened.

Where can I study history online?

Where can I study history online?

The quality of your history education matters. You can read about major historical events on hundreds of websites and through YouTube videos, but it’s hard to know if you’re getting the full story. Many secondary sources are hit-or-miss when it comes to quality history teaching.

It’s best to learn history from a reputable educational institution. edX has history courses from some of the world’s top universities including Harvard , Columbia , and Tel Aviv . Explore one-topic in depth or take an overview approach—it’s completely up to you. The whole world is at your fingertips.

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Why should you study history?

To study history is to study change: historians are experts in examining and interpreting human identities and transformations of societies and civilizations over time. They use a range of methods and analytical tools to answer questions about the past and to reconstruct the diversity of past human experience: how profoundly people have differed in their ideas, institutions, and cultural practices; how widely their experiences have varied by time and place, and the ways they have struggled while inhabiting a shared world. Historians use a wide range of sources to weave individual lives and collective actions into narratives that bring critical perspectives on both our past and our present. Studying history helps us understand and grapple with complex questions and dilemmas by examining how the past has shaped (and continues to shape) global, national, and local relationships between societies and people.

The Past Teaches Us About the Present

Because history gives us the tools to analyze and explain problems in the past, it positions us to see patterns that might otherwise be invisible in the present – thus providing a crucial perspective for understanding (and solving!) current and future problems. For example, a course on the history of public health might emphasize how environmental pollution disproportionately affects less affluent communities – a major factor in the Flint water crisis. Understanding immigration patterns may provide crucial background for addressing ongoing racial or cultural tensions. In many ways, history interprets the events and causes that contributed to our current world.

History Builds Empathy Through Studying the Lives and Struggles of Others

Studying the diversity of human experience helps us appreciate cultures, ideas, and traditions that are not our own – and to recognize them as meaningful products of specific times and places. History helps us realize how different our lived experience is from that of our ancestors, yet how similar we are in our goals and values.

History Can Be Intensely Personal

In learning about the past, we often discover how our own lives fit into the human experience. In October 2015, a UW alumnus named Michael Stern contacted Professor Amos Bitzan for help translating letters from his grandmother, Sara Spira, to his parents.  Bitzan was able to integrate some of the letters into his class on the Holocaust to bring to life for his students the day-to-day realities of being Jewish in Nazi-occupied Poland. As Bitzan explained, “I realized that Sara Spira’s postcards could be a way for my students to integrate two facets of the study of the Holocaust: an analysis of victims and perpetrators.” And if you have ever seen an episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?”, you’ve seen the ways in which historical research can tell us amazing stories about our ancestors – stories we might not ever know otherwise.

“Doing” History is Like Completing a Puzzle or Solving a Mystery

Imagine asking a question about the past, assembling a set of clues through documents, artifacts, or other sources, and then piecing those clues together to tell a story that answers your question and tells you something unexpected about a different time and place. That’s doing history.

Everything Has a History

Everything we do, everything we use, everything else we study is the product of a complex set of causes, ideas, and practices. Even the material we learn in other courses has important historical elements – whether because our understanding of a topic changed over time or because the discipline takes a historical perspective. There is nothing that cannot become grist for the historian’s mill.

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Why Is History Important And How Can It Benefit Your Future?

Updated: February 28, 2024

Published: July 1, 2020


History is a topic that many find boring to study or a waste of time. But there is more to studying history than meets the eye. Let’s answer the age-old question: “Why is history important?”

What Is History?

History is the knowledge of and study of the past. It is the story of the past and a form of collective memory. History is the story of who we are, where we come from, and can potentially reveal where we are headed.

Why Study History: The Importance

History is important to study because it is essential for all of us in understanding ourselves and the world around us. There is a history of every field and topic, from medicine, to music, to art. To know and understand history is absolutely necessary, even though the results of historical study are not as visible, and less immediate.

Allows You To Comprehend More

1. our world.

History gives us a very clear picture of how the various aspects of society — such as technology, governmental systems, and even society as a whole — worked in the past so we understand how it came to work the way it is now.

2. Society And Other People

Studying history allows us to observe and understand how people and societies behaved. For example, we are able to evaluate war, even when a nation is at peace, by looking back at previous events. History provides us with the data that is used to create laws, or theories about various aspects of society.

3. Identity

History can help provide us with a sense of identity. This is actually one of the main reasons that history is still taught in schools around the world. Historians have been able to learn about how countries, families, and groups were formed, and how they evolved and developed over time. When an individual takes it upon themselves to dive deep into their own family’s history, they can understand how their family interacted with larger historical change. Did family serve in major wars? Were they present for significant events?

4. Present-Day Issues

History helps us to understand present-day issues by asking deeper questions as to why things are the way they are. Why did wars in Europe in the 20th century matter to countries around the world? How did Hitler gain and maintain power for as long as he had? How has this had an effect on shaping our world and our global political system today?

5. The Process Of Change Over Time

If we want to truly understand why something happened — in any area or field, such as one political party winning the last election vs the other, or a major change in the number of smokers — you need to look for factors that took place earlier. Only through the study of history can people really see and grasp the reasons behind these changes, and only through history can we understand what elements of an institution or a society continue regardless of continual change.

Photo by Yusuf Dündar on Unsplash

You learn a clear lesson, 1. political intelligence.

History can help us become better informed citizens. It shows us who we are as a collective group, and being informed of this is a key element in maintaining a democratic society. This knowledge helps people take an active role in the political forum through educated debates and by refining people’s core beliefs. Through knowledge of history, citizens can even change their old belief systems.

2. History Teaches Morals And Values

By looking at specific stories of individuals and situations, you can test your own morals and values. You can compare it to some real and difficult situations individuals have had to face in trying times. Looking to people who have faced and overcome adversity can be inspiring. You can study the great people of history who successfully worked through moral dilemmas, and also ordinary people who teach us lessons in courage, persistence and protest.

3. Builds Better Citizenship

The study of history is a non-negotiable aspect of better citizenship. This is one of the main reasons why it is taught as a part of school curricular. People that push for citizenship history (relationship between a citizen and the state) just want to promote a strong national identity and even national loyalty through the teaching of lessons of individual and collective success.

4. Learn From The Past And Notice Clear Warning Signs

We learn from past atrocities against groups of people; genocides, wars, and attacks. Through this collective suffering, we have learned to pay attention to the warning signs leading up to such atrocities. Society has been able to take these warning signs and fight against them when they see them in the present day. Knowing what events led up to these various wars helps us better influence our future.

5. Gaining A Career Through History

The skills that are acquired through learning about history, such as critical thinking, research, assessing information, etc, are all useful skills that are sought by employers. Many employers see these skills as being an asset in their employees and will hire those with history degrees in various roles and industries.

6. Personal Growth And Appreciation

Understanding past events and how they impact the world today can bring about empathy and understanding for groups of people whose history may be different from the mainstream. You will also understand the suffering, joy, and chaos that were necessary for the present day to happen and appreciate all that you are able to benefit from past efforts today.

Photo by Giammarco Boscaro on Unsplash

Develop and refine your skills through studying history, 1. reading and writing.

You can refine your reading skills by reading texts from a wide array of time periods. Language has changed and evolved over time and so has the way people write and express themselves. You can also refine your writing skills through learning to not just repeat what someone else said, but to analyze information from multiple sources and come up with your own conclusions. It’s two birds with one stone — better writing and critical thinking!

2. Craft Your Own Opinions

There are so many sources of information out in the world. Finding a decisive truth for many topics just doesn’t exist. What was a victory for one group was a great loss for another — you get to create your own opinions of these events.

3. Decision-Making

History gives us the opportunity to learn from others’ past mistakes. It helps us understand the many reasons why people may behave the way they do. As a result, it helps us become more impartial as decision-makers.

4. How To Do Research

In the study of history you will need to conduct research . This gives you the opportunity to look at two kinds of sources — primary (written at the time) and secondary sources (written about a time period, after the fact). This practice can teach you how to decipher between reliable and unreliable sources.

5. Quantitative Analysis

There are numbers and data to be learned from history. In terms of patterns: patterns in population, desertions during times of war, and even in environmental factors. These patterns that are found help clarify why things happened as they did.

6. Qualitative Analysis

It’s incredibly important to learn to question the quality of the information and “history” you are learning. Keep these two questions in mind as you read through information: How do I know what I’m reading are facts and accurate information? Could they be the writer’s opinions?

Photo by Matteo Maretto on Unsplash

We are all living histories.

All people and cultures are living histories. The languages we speak are inherited from the past. Our cultures, traditions, and religions are all inherited from the past. We even inherit our genetic makeup from those that lived before us. Knowing these connections give you a basic understanding of the condition of being human.

History Is Fun

Learning about history can be a great deal of fun. We have the throngs of movies about our past to prove it. History is full of some of the most interesting and fascinating stories ever told, including pirates, treasure, mysteries, and adventures. On a regular basis new stories from the past keep emerging to the mainstream. Better yet, there is a history of every topic and field. Whatever you find fascinating there is a history to go along with it. Dive a bit deeper into any topic’s history and you will be surprised by what you might find in the process.

The subject of history can help you develop your skills and transform you to be a better version of yourself as a citizen, a student, and person overall.

If you are looking to develop more of yourself and skills for your future career, check out the degree programs that are offered by University of the People — a tuition-free, 100% online, U.S. accredited university.

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Historical knowledge is no more and no less than carefully and critically constructed collective memory. William H. McNeill Why Study History? (1985)

It is a common misperception that the academic discipline of history consists of the memorization of unchanging facts about people who are long dead. People often equate history to a game of trivia, and therefore see it as a discipline with little practical applicability.

The study of history begins with questions, not answers. We seek to know what happened in the past, and we also seek to understand why – that is, how we should understand connections between one historical circumstance and another. In the process of seeking that understanding, historians work with historical evidence - evidence both written and oral, evidence embedded in both objects and texts, evidence in forms raging from numerical data to poetry and art. Meanwhile, as our present-day context raises new challenges for our communities, historians are inspired to ask new questions about the past, seeking understanding of a broad variety of human experiences. Historians explore questions about past politics and economics, intellectual developments, social concerns shaped by race, gender, and class, and facets of culture ranging from arts and languages to human spaces and emotions. As a result, the study of history is dynamic, rather than static, and those trained in this discipline develop valuable skills in gathering, evaluating, connecting, and interpreting factual information, and in the use evidence to argue persuasively for their conclusions.

History majors therefore graduate with analytical skills that equip them for a variety of employment opportunities. Employers value the skills history develops in the analysis of a variety of complex information, the clear and accessible communications and writing skills, and the management of time and projects. The strength and versatility of a history degree prepares students for successful careers in fields as diverse as teaching, museum curatorship, communications, public policy, sales and entrepreneurship, and managerial positions of many kinds.

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The Historian's Skill Set

Given that history is such a dynamic field of inquiry, it would not make much sense if history majors were trained merely to recite factual information, or the interpretations of those facts endorsed by their professors. Instead, the goal of education in history is to impart a set of broadly-applicable skills to our students, skills which make them better at both consuming and imparting information. Our faculty envision the skills our graduates should have as follows:

  • Information gathering:  Graduates of our program should be able to gather information effectively from a variety of sources.
  • Critical thinking:  Graduates should be able to think critically about information, forming independent judgments based upon reliable evidence.
  • Communication:  Graduates should be able effectively to communicate their evidence-based observations and judgments, in oral/verbal and more lasting formats.
  • Professionalization:  Graduates should be able to perform according to workplace standards of professionalism, demonstrating independent initiative, accountability, adaptability and professional ethics.

In order to acquire these skills – skills which have applicability across a wide variety of careers – we require students not only to become familiar with the general narratives of human history, but also to explore, discuss and interpret the past by engaging with both documentary evidence and with historical debate. Thus, our classrooms and syllabi seek to develop the core skills outlined above by asking the following of our students:

  • Research:  Students in this program will locate information independently, and evaluate its utility for their purposes.
  • Critical reading:  Students will engage with a wide variety of texts, and glean useful information from them.
  • Critical thinking about evidence:  Students will evaluate the quality and utility of sources used to understand the past, keeping in mind their context, and purpose. Students will also make useful connections among disparate sources of information about history, and be able to propose causal relationships among them.
  • Formulation of analysis:  Students will use both historical sources and logical inferences to construct plausible interpretations of the past.
  • Writing:  Students will strive to write clearly, accurately, persuasively and elegantly, and to employ the research apparatus normative to historical scholarship.
  • Presentations:  Students will present information and arguments about the past in other formats, such as oral presentations, museum exhibits, archival guides, web-based presentations and so on.
  • Project management and interpersonal engagement:  Students will strive to work through the stages of any project or assignment in an organized and proactive manner, showing independence, timeliness, professional ethics, problem-solving skills, teamwork and collaboration, integrative learning and the transfer of skills, self-assessment and good judgment in seeking support or resources.

Active and Experiential Learning in History

People sometimes think that history courses are about sitting passively through long lectures and learning long lists of dull facts. Nothing could be further from the truth! Active, experiential learning lies at the heart of what we do in history courses .

We access the past through reading primary sources such as diaries, letters, court records, newspapers, movies and interviews – amazing windows into the past that history courses will teach you how to use effectively. We also use books and essays written by professional historians. History courses teach you how to extract arguments from these texts, compare them critically, and understand how historians' approaches to understanding the past have evolved over time (what we call "historiography"). We learn a range of applied skills, including archival research, digital/data analysis, oral history and role-playing, how to give oral presentations and how to present clearly organized, convincing arguments in written papers. History students get to visit museums and historical sites. They meet visiting historians, listen to them talk about their work and talk with them about their own work. Furthermore, the Department of History offers a range of exciting internships in the local community, and VCU has two clubs for history students, History Now! and the Alexandrian Society . Students can engage actively with the past not just here at VCU and in Richmond but throughout the world by signing up for Study Abroad programs.

As a history major, the world is at your fingertips!

A guide to writing history essays

This guide has been prepared for students at all undergraduate university levels. Some points are specifically aimed at 100-level students, and may seem basic to those in upper levels. Similarly, some of the advice is aimed at upper-level students, and new arrivals should not be put off by it.

The key point is that learning to write good essays is a long process. We hope that students will refer to this guide frequently, whatever their level of study.

Why do history students write essays?

Essays are an essential educational tool in disciplines like history because they help you to develop your research skills, critical thinking, and writing abilities. The best essays are based on strong research, in-depth analysis, and are logically structured and well written.

An essay should answer a question with a clear, persuasive argument. In a history essay, this will inevitably involve a degree of narrative (storytelling), but this should be kept to the minimum necessary to support the argument – do your best to avoid the trap of substituting narrative for analytical argument. Instead, focus on the key elements of your argument, making sure they are well supported by evidence. As a historian, this evidence will come from your sources, whether primary and secondary.

The following guide is designed to help you research and write your essays, and you will almost certainly earn better grades if you can follow this advice. You should also look at the essay-marking criteria set out in your course guide, as this will give you a more specific idea of what the person marking your work is looking for.

Where to start

First, take time to understand the question. Underline the key words and consider very carefully what you need to do to provide a persuasive answer. For example, if the question asks you to compare and contrast two or more things, you need to do more than define these things – what are the similarities and differences between them? If a question asks you to 'assess' or 'explore', it is calling for you to weigh up an issue by considering the evidence put forward by scholars, then present your argument on the matter in hand.

A history essay must be based on research. If the topic is covered by lectures, you might begin with lecture and tutorial notes and readings. However, the lecturer does not want you simply to echo or reproduce the lecture content or point of view, nor use their lectures as sources in your footnotes. They want you to develop your own argument. To do this you will need to look closely at secondary sources, such as academic books and journal articles, to find out what other scholars have written about the topic. Often your lecturer will have suggested some key texts, and these are usually listed near the essay questions in your course guide. But you should not rely solely on these suggestions.

Tip : Start the research with more general works to get an overview of your topic, then move on to look at more specialised work.

Crafting a strong essay

Before you begin writing, make an essay plan. Identify the two-to-four key points you want to make. Organize your ideas into an argument which flows logically and coherently. Work out which examples you will use to make the strongest case. You may need to use an initial paragraph (or two) to bring in some context or to define key terms and events, or provide brief identifying detail about key people – but avoid simply telling the story.

An essay is really a series of paragraphs that advance an argument and build towards your conclusion. Each paragraph should focus on one central idea. Introduce this idea at the start of the paragraph with a 'topic sentence', then expand on it with evidence or examples from your research. Some paragraphs should finish with a concluding sentence that reiterates a main point or links your argument back to the essay question.

A good length for a paragraph is 150-200 words. When you want to move to a new idea or angle, start a new paragraph. While each paragraph deals with its own idea, paragraphs should flow logically, and work together as a greater whole. Try using linking phrases at the start of your paragraphs, such as 'An additional factor that explains', 'Further', or 'Similarly'.

We discourage using subheadings for a history essay (unless they are over 5000 words in length). Instead, throughout your essay use 'signposts'. This means clearly explaining what your essay will cover, how an example demonstrates your point, or reiterating what a particular section has added to your overall argument.

Remember that a history essay isn't necessarily about getting the 'right' answer – it's about putting forward a strong case that is well supported by evidence from academic sources. You don't have to cover everything – focus on your key points.

In your introduction or opening paragraph you could indicate that while there are a number of other explanations or factors that apply to your topic, you have chosen to focus on the selected ones (and say why). This demonstrates to your marker that while your argument will focus on selected elements, you do understand the bigger picture.

The classic sections of an essay


  • Establishes what your argument will be, and outlines how the essay will develop it
  • A good formula to follow is to lay out about 3 key reasons that support the answer you plan to give (these points will provide a road-map for your essay and will become the ideas behind each paragraph)
  • If you are focusing on selected aspects of a topic or particular sources and case studies, you should state that in your introduction
  • Define any key terms that are essential to your argument
  • Keep your introduction relatively concise – aim for about 10% of the word count
  • Consists of a series of paragraphs that systematically develop the argument outlined in your introduction
  • Each paragraph should focus on one central idea, building towards your conclusion
  • Paragraphs should flow logically. Tie them together with 'bridge' sentences – e.g. you might use a word or words from the end of the previous paragraph and build it into the opening sentence of the next, to form a bridge
  • Also be sure to link each paragraph to the question/topic/argument in some way (e.g. use a key word from the question or your introductory points) so the reader does not lose the thread of your argument
  • Ties up the main points of your discussion
  • Should link back to the essay question, and clearly summarise your answer to that question
  • May draw out or reflect on any greater themes or observations, but you should avoid introducing new material
  • If you have suggested several explanations, evaluate which one is strongest

Using scholarly sources: books, journal articles, chapters from edited volumes

Try to read critically: do not take what you read as the only truth, and try to weigh up the arguments presented by scholars. Read several books, chapters, or articles, so that you understand the historical debates about your topic before deciding which viewpoint you support. The best sources for your history essays are those written by experts, and may include books, journal articles, and chapters in edited volumes. The marking criteria in your course guide may state a minimum number of academic sources you should consult when writing your essay. A good essay considers a range of evidence, so aim to use more than this minimum number of sources.

Tip : Pick one of the books or journal articles suggested in your course guide and look at the author's first few footnotes – these will direct you to other prominent sources on this topic.

Don't overlook journal articles as a source. They contain the most in-depth research on a particular topic. Often the first pages will summarise the prior research into this topic, so articles can be a good way to familiarise yourself with what else has 'been done'.

Edited volumes can also be a useful source. These are books on a particular theme, topic or question, with each chapter written by a different expert.

One way to assess the reliability of a source is to check the footnotes or endnotes. When the author makes a claim, is this supported by primary or secondary sources? If there are very few footnotes, then this may not be a credible scholarly source. Also check the date of publication, and prioritise more recent scholarship. Aim to use a variety of sources, but focus most of your attention on academic books and journal articles.

Paraphrasing and quotations

A good essay is about your ability to interpret and analyse sources, and to establish your own informed opinion with a persuasive argument that uses sources as supporting evidence. You should express most of your ideas and arguments in your own words. Cutting and pasting together the words of other scholars, or simply changing a few words in quotations taken from the work of others, will prevent you from getting a good grade, and may be regarded as academic dishonesty (see more below).

Direct quotations can be useful tools if they provide authority and colour. For maximum effect though, use direct quotations sparingly – where possible, paraphrase most material into your own words. Save direct quotations for phrases that are interesting, contentious, or especially well-phrased.

A good writing practice is to introduce and follow up every direct quotation you use with one or two sentences of your own words, clearly explaining the relevance of the quote, and putting it in context with the rest of your paragraph. Tell the reader who you are quoting, why this quote is here, and what it demonstrates. Avoid simply plonking a quotation into the middle of your own prose. This can be quite off-putting for a reader.

  • Only include punctuation in your quote if it was in the original text. Otherwise, punctuation should come after the quotation marks. If you cut out words from a quotation, put in three dots (an ellipsis [ . . .]) to indicate where material has been cut
  • If your quote is longer than 50 words, it should be indented and does not need quotation marks. This is called a block quote (use these sparingly: remember you have a limited word count and it is your analysis that is most significant)
  • Quotations should not be italicised

Referencing, plagiarism and Turnitin

When writing essays or assignments, it is very important to acknowledge the sources you have used. You risk the charge of academic dishonesty (or plagiarism) if you copy or paraphrase words written by another person without providing a proper acknowledgment (a 'reference'). In your essay, whenever you refer to ideas from elsewhere, statistics, direct quotations, or information from primary source material, you must give details of where this information has come from in footnotes and a bibliography.

Your assignment may be checked through Turnitin, a type of plagiarism-detecting software which checks assignments for evidence of copied material. If you have used a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, you may receive a high Turnitin percentage score. This is nothing to be alarmed about if you have referenced those sources. Any matches with other written material that are not referenced may be interpreted as plagiarism – for which there are penalties. You can find full information about all of this in the History Programme's Quick Guide Referencing Guide contained in all course booklets.

Final suggestions

Remember that the easier it is to read your essay, the more likely you are to get full credit for your ideas and work. If the person marking your work has difficulty reading it, either because of poor writing or poor presentation, they will find it harder to grasp your points. Try reading your work aloud, or to a friend/flatmate. This should expose any issues with flow or structure, which you can then rectify.

Make sure that major and controversial points in your argument are clearly stated and well- supported by evidence and footnotes. Aspire to understand – rather than judge – the past. A historian's job is to think about people, patterns, and events in the context of the time, though you can also reflect on changing perceptions of these over time.

Things to remember

  • Write history essays in the past tense
  • Generally, avoid sub-headings in your essays
  • Avoid using the word 'bias' or 'biased' too freely when discussing your research materials. Almost any text could be said to be 'biased'. Your task is to attempt to explain why an author might argue or interpret the past as they do, and what the potential limitations of their conclusions might be
  • Use the passive voice judiciously. Active sentences are better!
  • Be cautious about using websites as sources of information. The internet has its uses, particularly for primary sources, but the best sources are academic books and articles. You may use websites maintained by legitimate academic and government authorities, such as those with domain suffixes like .gov .govt .ac or .edu
  • Keep an eye on word count – aim to be within 10% of the required length. If your essay is substantially over the limit, revisit your argument and overall structure, and see if you are trying to fit in too much information. If it falls considerably short, look into adding another paragraph or two
  • Leave time for a final edit and spell-check, go through your footnotes and bibliography to check that your references are correctly formatted, and don't forget to back up your work as you go!

Other useful strategies and sources

  • Student Learning Development , which offers peer support and one-on-one writing advice (located near the central library)
  • Harvard College's guide to writing history essays (PDF)
  • Harvard College's advice on essay structure
  • Victoria University's comprehensive essay writing guide (PDF)
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Why Students Should Study History: An Interview with Howard Zinn

Background Reading. By Howard Zinn. 1994. Interview conducted by Barbara Miner on a number of questions about the study of history.

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Why should students study history?

I started studying history with one view in mind: to look for answers to the issues and problems I saw in the world about me. By the time I went to college I had worked in a shipyard, had been in the Air Force, had been in a war. I came to history asking questions about war and peace, about wealth and poverty, about racial division.

Sure, there’s a certain interest in inspecting the past and it can be fun, sort of like a detective story. I can make an argument for knowledge for its own sake as something that can add to your life. But while that’s good, it is small in relation to the very large objective of trying to understand and do something about the issues that face us in the world today.

Students should be encouraged to go into history in order to come out of it, and should be discouraged from going into history and getting lost in it, as some historians do.

– – – – –

Download the full Rethinking Schools interview with Howard Zinn  to find more answers to commonly asked questions about teaching a people’s history. The questions include:

  • What do you see as some of the major problems in how US history has been taught in this country?
  • How do you prevent history lessons from becoming a recitation of dates and battles and Congresspersons and presidents?
  • How can teachers foster critical thinking so that students don’t merely memorize a new, albeit more progressive set of facts?
  • Is it possible for history to be objective?

Interview conducted by Barbara Miner for Rethinking Schools  in 1994.

Related Resources

Howard Zinn at the 2008 NCSS Conference | Zinn Education Project

“One Long Struggle for Justice”: An Interview with Historian Howard Zinn

In early January of 2010, the Zinn Education Project joined with HarperCollins, publisher of Howard Zinn’s classic A People’s History of the United States , to sponsor an “Ask Howard” online radio interview, and invited teachers from around the country to participate. Sixty teachers and students submitted written questions to Professor Zinn. The Jan. 19 interview was conducted by Rethinking Schools Curriculum Editor Bill Bigelow. Here are excerpts from that interview, edited for length and clarity. The full audio version can be accessed at Authors on Air .

why should we study history essay

Howard Zinn Talks to Social Studies Teachers

Howard Zinn’s keynote speech to teachers at the National Council for the Social Studies Conference in Houston in 2008.

Howard Zinn on War

Howard Zinn on War

Book — Non-fiction. By Howard Zinn. Introduction by Marilyn B. Young. 2011. 272 pages. Essays spanning 1962 to 2006 that examine specific wars, wartime incidents, and the force of non-violence to move beyond war, if we are to survive.

Howard Zinn on History

Howard Zinn on History

Book — Non-fiction. By Howard Zinn. Introduction by Staughton Lynd. 2011. 192 pages. A collection of 27 writings on activism, electoral politics, the Holocaust, Marxism, the Iraq War, and the role of the historian.

Howard Zinn on Race

Howard Zinn on Race

Book — Non-fiction. By Howard Zinn. Introduction by Cornel West. 2011. 192 pages. Includes some never before published writings, speeches and interviews that illustrate the evolution and fundamental principles around the story of race in the United States.

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Thank you so much for this website and the materials it offers. I will use some of this material to write my masters thesis. From the Netherlands, a student who is really keen on the work of Howard Zinn.

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Erika Bsumek at the Mansfield Dam

Four Reasons Everyone Should Study History

By Rachel White July 23, 2018 facebook twitter email

In the past, STEM and the arts and humanities have largely been taught as unconnected disciplines, but there is more overlap between fields than many realize.

Erika Bsumek, an associate professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts and a 2018 recipient of the Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Awards , wants to help students see how different disciplines are connected. In her class, Building America : Engineering Society and Culture, 1868-19 80, Bsumek teaches humanities and STEM majors how history, culture and politics have shaped technological advances and, in turn, how technology has restructured society in numerous ways in the process.

Bsumek, who also teaches Native American and Environmental history, strives to help all of her students see the world around them in new ways. She says learning history can be interesting and even fun. The more history they learn, the better prepared they will be to solve the biggest challenges society faces now and in the future. Here are four reasons why she says learning history can help them do that.

  • It helps us understand how our time is different from  or  similar to other periods.

In today’s world, where people often cherry pick facts about the past to prove points, it helps to place current events in historical context. History is an evidenced-based discipline. So, knowing how and where to find the facts one needs to gain a fuller understanding of today’s contentious debates can help us understand not only what is being said, but it can also help us grasp what kinds of historical comparisons people are making and why they are making them.

For instance, understanding how Native Americans were treated by both white settlers and the federal government can help us better understand why indigenous communities often resist what many non-American Indians view as seemingly “goodwill gestures” or “economic opportunities” — such as the proposed construction of a pipeline on or in proximity to Native land or a proposal to break up reservations into private parcels . Both kinds of actions have deep histories. Understanding the complexities associated with the historical experiences of the people involved can help build a better society.

  • History helps you see the world around you in a new way.

Everything has a history. Trees have a history, music has a history, bridges have a history, political fights have a history, mathematical equations have a history. In fact, #everythinghasahistory. Learning about those histories can help us gain a deeper understanding of the world around us and the historical forces that connect us and continue to influence how we interact with each other and the environment.

For instance, when we turn on the tap to brush our teeth or fill our pots to cook we expect clean drinking water to flow. But, how many people know where their water comes from, who tests it for purity, or how society evolved to safeguard such controls? To forget those lessons makes us more prone to overlook the way we, as a society, need to continue to support the policies that made clean water a possibility.

  • History education teaches us life skills.

In history courses, we learn not just about other people and places but we learn from them. We read the documents or materials that were produced at the time or listen to the oral histories people tell in order to convey the meaning of the past to successive generations. In doing so, we learn that there is just not one past, but a pluralism of pasts. This kind of knowledge can help the city manager and the engineer plan a new highway, city or park. It can also help us navigate our daily lives and learn to ask questions when we encounter people or places we don’t initially understand.

  • Studying history teaches students the skill sets that they will need in almost any major or job.

Studying history and other humanities can not only pique one’s imagination and engage students, history courses can also help students learn how to take in vast amounts of information, how to write and communicate those ideas effectively, and, most importantly, to accept the fact that many problems have no clear-cut answer. As a result, history classes help students to cultivate flexibility and a willingness to change their minds as they go about solving problems in whatever field they ultimately choose.

Performance in history courses can also be a good indicator of a student’s overall ability to succeed in college. A recent article by the American Historical Association reports that “two national studies that show that college students who do not succeed in even one of their foundational-­level [history] courses are the least likely to complete a degree at any institution over the 11-year period covered by the studies.” Why? The skills one learns in a well-taught history course can help students develop a flexible skill set they can use in their other classes and throughout their lives.

Featured image: Erika Bsumek at the Mansfield Dam located in Austin, Texas. Photo by Kirk Weddle.

Home — Essay Samples — Education — Study — History’s Value: Influence Of History Background On Modern Well-Being


History's Value: Influence of History Background on Modern Well-being

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Words: 1524 |

Published: Mar 1, 2019

Words: 1524 | Pages: 3 | 8 min read

Table of contents

History helps us understand people and societies, history provides identity, the importance of history in our own lives, history is useful in the world of work, works cited.

  • acquiring a broad range of historical knowledge and understanding, including a sense of development over time, and an appreciation of the culture and attitudes of societies other than our own
  • evaluating critically the significance and utility of a large body of material, including evidence from contemporary sources and the opinions of more recent historians
  • engaging directly with questions and presenting independent opinions about them in arguments that are well-written, clearly expressed, coherently organized and effectively supported by relevant evidence;
  • gaining the confidence to undertake self-directed learning, making the most effective use of time and resources, and increasingly defining one’s own questions and goals.
  • Carr, E. H. (1961). What is history? Random House.
  • Gaddis, J. L. (2002). The landscape of history: How historians map the past. Oxford University Press.
  • Hobsbawm, E. J. (2012). On history. New Press.
  • Jenkins, K. (2011). Re-thinking history. Routledge.
  • Marwick, A. (2006). The nature of history. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Nash, G. B. (2015). American odyssey: The United States in the twentieth century. Oxford University Press.
  • Scott, J. W. (1991). The evidence of experience. Critical inquiry, 17(4), 773-797.
  • Tosh, J. (2017). The pursuit of history: Aims, methods and new directions in the study of history. Routledge.
  • White, H. (2014). The content of the form: Narrative discourse and historical representation. JHU Press.
  • Wineburg, S. S. (2001). Historical thinking and other unnatural acts: Charting the future of teaching the past. Temple University Press.

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From the President

Why Study You-Know-What?

Our Reasons for Doing What We Do

Jacqueline Jones | Jan 13, 2021

Jackie Jones

W hy study history? The answers depend on who asks the question and who ventures a reply. 

We all have our own reasons for doing what we do. I came to a study of history via a curiosity about my hometown, a village in New Castle County, Delaware. I also appreciated the aesthetics of doing archival research and the sheer enjoyment of assembling a coherent story from disparate, scattered pieces of evidence. Everybody loves a good story, one with a beginning, a middle, and an end. And we crave encounters with characters, in the past as in the present, men and women who are fascinating in their own way, whether admirable or repellant. The readers of Perspectives well know that on a personal level, the act of crafting these stories, to enlighten and entertain, can be immensely satisfying.

Yet even if we historians have our reasons for studying the past, we often find ourselves needing to make the case to people not in the discipline—our students, museum visitors, grant officers at funding agencies, readers of newspaper op-eds, corporate executives, heads of government agencies, budget-conscious deans and provosts. We might be good at “doing” history, but are we good at convincing other people that learning about history is worthwhile? 

Standing before a class of 400 undergraduates in a US history introductory course on the first day of the semester, I have always felt compelled to give my students some good reasons to be there. In Texas, the state legislature requires that all public university undergraduates take two courses in US history. Anyone who has ever taught a required course knows it’s a challenge. The instructor must (try to) get students engaged in a topic that some have little interest in and others actively despise. I always thought I owed it to the skeptics to make a pitch and try to convince them that learning about the United States since 1865 was worth their time.

I often began by reciting the reasons why an understanding of history is good for you. Over 20 years ago, Peter Stearns offered an elegant rumination on the value of a history education: history helps us understand people and societies; history helps us understand change and how the society we live in came to be; history contributes to moral understanding; history provides identity; studying history is essential for good citizenship; a study of history helps to develop essential skills; and history is useful in the world of work. 

We might be good at “doing” history, but are we good at convincing other people that learning about history is worthwhile?

Last fall, Stearns updated his essay to account for changes in the economy, higher education, and the discipline over the last quarter century or so. Today, he notes, any discussion of the value of the discipline needs to highlight the kinds of jobs available to history majors; we cannot simply ignore our students’ well-founded concern for their future. We must give them license to study and enjoy history without the worry that they will never be able to make a living if they do so in a serious way. To that end, my department at the University of Texas at Austin has developed a web page called “ What History Majors Do ,” and the AHA also has a section on its website called “ Careers for History Majors .”

In his updated essay, Stearns also suggests that we must stress how historical data can help us to understand the diverse, dynamic world we are living in now—a history that informs the present. In recent decades, the study of history has expanded in terms of content, methodologies, and digital tools to provide context for complex contemporary issues, from racial ideologies and the global economy to pandemics and politics. I recall my daughter coming home from high school one afternoon, throwing her schoolbooks on the kitchen table, and announcing her history homework assignment for the evening with considerable dread and disgust. This 16-year-old, so focused on the here and now, had a hard time wrapping her head around the idea that people and events in the past could or should matter to her. “It’s history—get over it, Mom!” she exclaimed. By linking historical knowledge to the ideas and things people care about today, we might have a better chance of convincing a larger audience that what we do is socially useful work. 

What other arguments might resonate with the resistant or the indifferent? The late civil rights activist and US representative John Lewis (1940–2020) wrote an essay that he asked be published the day of his funeral (July 17, 2020). In it, he wrote about the history of reformers and radicals and their strategies for change:

You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, through decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time.

Lewis was making the case that an understanding of historic fights for justice is a precondition for meaningful social change.

Still, not everyone is interested in social movements. And most students are focused on another area of study in any case, with their sights set firmly on careers such as nursing, forest management, pharmacy, law, or journalism. Here we might make the case to them—and to college and university administrators—that all occupations have a history. One’s vocation can be enhanced and enriched by an appreciation for the way it has developed over time, and for the people in the past who helped to shape it into what it is today.

We can make the case that the study of history is an outlet for creative expression.

Finally, we can make the case that the study of history is an outlet for creative expression—literary, visual, and aural. It is a privilege and a challenge to be able to write or teach or craft exhibits with a particular audience in mind. Some students find their way to history via assignments that draw on their particular talents—as budding writers or filmmakers, as visual learners or musicians. As historians, we have an opportunity to seek innovative means to report on what we have found in the archives or other kinds of repositories of information about the past. 

Returning to that big undergraduate history survey course: No instructor can convince a resistant, even resentful student on the first day of class that an understanding of history opens up exciting new realms of knowledge and experience. Students have to arrive at the conclusion on their own over the course of the semester. As the weeks go by, they might begin to focus on a particular piece of the historical enterprise that intrigues them—an appreciation for the history of their own communities and cultures, for the words of people who lived in the past, for historical evidence and different interpretations of it, for the different ways we bring history to life, for the pieces of a mystery that is the great human drama. And certainly if we can convey to other people the excitement that drew us historians to the discipline to begin with, we need not offer a laundry list of the reasons why the study of history is good for all of us.

In the end, we make our best case when we describe our own journey as historians, for there are as many compelling responses to the question “Why study history?” as there are people who ask and historians who answer.

Jacqueline Jones is president of AHA.

Tags: From the President Teaching & Learning K-16 Education

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Why Should We Study History Essay

It is imperative that we promote the study of history in our country with a positive and practical approach.

We should encourage the study of history among our youth, emphasizing its ability to provide courage and strength and help them learn from the past to build a stronger and more prosperous country.

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Why Should We Study History Essay

Why Should We Study History Essay (900 Words)

History is a subject of great importance and fascination, as it recounts the heroic deeds of individuals whose exceptional performance has earned them a place in the annals of history. The noble acts of such individuals serve as an inspiration for others to follow in their footsteps. Moreover, the study of history has a profound impact on one’s character.

However, in this modern era, the pursuit of materialism, driven by advances in science and technology, has resulted in fewer students choosing to study history. The present generation is more focused on earning money and living a luxurious lifestyle, rather than contemplating the lessons of past events.

Yet, those who are inclined towards history possess a unique mindset that drives them to work towards achieving remarkable feats for the betterment of humanity. They are motivated by the desire to make a historic impact and strive for perfection in all their endeavors. By drawing inspiration from the achievements of our ancestors, who accomplished great feats for mankind, they aspire to leave their own mark on the pages of history.

Emperors who ruled the country gloriously, through their remarkable leadership and contributions to the prosperity of society, have earned their place in history. Others have made history through acts of bravery, selfless sacrifice, outstanding management skills, and noble deeds. Such examples from the past serve as a source of inspiration for those who seek to achieve greatness in their own lives.

The study of history is crucial as it provides insights into significant events that have shaped nations and the world. It is imperative for an educated individual to be knowledgeable about the past, as it offers valuable information on various aspects such as religion, politics, sociology, literature, economics, foreign policies, unity, freedom, trade, commerce, geographical features, as well as diverse indigenous and foreign races. History meticulously records wars, victories, and treaties that have occurred within and outside the nation, and its readers gain comprehensive knowledge about these events.

History is not merely an account of the battles and achievements of ordinary people. It reflects their sentiments and dedication towards a cause that drives them to undertake great risks and achieve seemingly impossible goals, thereby qualifying them for a place in the books of history. Such individuals serve as a source of inspiration for others to emulate.

The subject of history is replete with facts and fiction, and its narratives are as captivating as a novel or a drama. The reader savors the rich flavor and significance of historical events. Even in contemporary times, history holds relevance, as it provides a foundation for understanding the truth and gaining experience to face similar circumstances that may arise in life. This has been reiterated by Mahatma Gandhi, who emphasized the importance of history in education.

History highlights the unique features of the past, such as the fact that the world was once a molten ball of fire and a fragment of the Sun. Over time, it cooled and eventually gave rise to life in the form of animals, plants, apes, and eventually, the ancestors of modern man. The books of history contain an abundance of other fascinating facts and events that serve as a window to the past.

The evolution of man is a fascinating aspect of history. Initially, primitive man resembled an animal, being hairy and naked, and focused on hunting for survival. However, over time, he discovered the art of making fire, which was a significant milestone in human civilization. With further progress, he learned agriculture and began to cultivate and consume grains. The history of man is full of such remarkable developments, making it a captivating subject to explore.

The study of history is crucial for many reasons. Firstly, it enhances our comprehension of social constructs such as caste, religion, tradition, and customs, revealing that they are all human-made and evolve with time. It also highlights that these constructs hold no religious sanctity and are changeable. Additionally, studying history teaches us that the divisions based on caste and religion have no real significance and can act as barriers to progress. Therefore, it is essential to reform them sensibly.

Moreover, the study of history provides insight into the way of life and culture of other countries, allowing us to incorporate their positive aspects into our system for a better lifestyle. History also teaches us valuable lessons of courage, determination, and hope. Despite facing catastrophic wars and revolutions, man has always emerged victorious and progressed. History reveals the heroism of such individuals, empowering us to accomplish great things in different fields.

Many great leaders such as Jawahar Lal Nehru, John F. Kennedy, and Mahatma Gandhi were avid students of history. Their understanding and knowledge of history allowed them to become extraordinary statesmen, not only in their respective nations but also on a global level. Nehru, in particular, was an exceptional historian, and his deep understanding of history played a significant role in his successful leadership and addressing numerous world issues effectively.

It is imperative that we promote the study of history in our country with a positive and practical approach. We should encourage the study of history among our youth, emphasizing its ability to provide courage and strength, and help them learn from the past to build a stronger and more prosperous country.

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  1. 🏷️ Advantages of studying history. Four reasons why you should study

    why should we study history essay

  2. ⚡ Importance of studying history essay. Importance Of History Essay

    why should we study history essay

  3. Why Study History? aa

    why should we study history essay

  4. Give Any Two Reasons Why We Should Study History

    why should we study history essay

  5. Why Do People Study History History? Free Essay Example

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  6. How To Write a Good History Essay

    why should we study history essay



  2. Why We Study History

  3. why do we study History?( @HustlamanTicha)

  4. NCERT plus (+) History


  6. Real Men Study


  1. Why Study History? (1998)

    Histories that tell the national story, emphasizing distinctive features of the national experience, are meant to drive home an understanding of national values and a commitment to national loyalty. Studying History Is Essential for Good Citizenship. A study of history is essential for good citizenship. This is the most common justification for ...

  2. Why Study History?

    Why Study History? For a great many people, history is a set of facts, a collection of events, a series of things that happened, one after another, in the past. In fact, history is far more than these things-- it is a way of thinking about and seeing the world. To genuinely make sense of the past, you need to learn how to see it on its own ...

  3. Why Is It Important to Study History?

    2. We learn from past mistakes. History gives us a better understanding of the world and how it operates. When you study a war, you learn more about how conflict escalates. You learn what dilemmas world leaders face and how they respond—and when those decisions lead to better or worse outcomes.

  4. Why should you study history?

    Why should you study history? To study history is to study change: historians are experts in examining and interpreting human identities and transformations of societies and civilizations over time. They use a range of methods and analytical tools to answer questions about the past and to reconstruct the diversity of past human experience: how ...

  5. Why study history?

    History students must develop the ability to locate, study and interpret written and visual material, in order to extract evidence and meaning. They must be adept at contextualisation, analysis, problem-solving and critical thinking. History students also must be strong communicators, in order to express their findings clearly and effectively.

  6. Why Is History Important And How Can It Benefit Your Future?

    History provides us with the data that is used to create laws, or theories about various aspects of society. 3. Identity. History can help provide us with a sense of identity. This is actually one of the main reasons that history is still taught in schools around the world. Historians have been able to learn about how countries, families, and ...

  7. Why Study History?

    Why Study History? (1985) It is a common misperception that the academic discipline of history consists of the memorization of unchanging facts about people who are long dead. People often equate history to a game of trivia, and therefore see it as a discipline with little practical applicability. The study of history begins with questions, not ...

  8. Guide to writing history essays, Study guide, History

    The best essays are based on strong research, in-depth analysis, and are logically structured and well written. An essay should answer a question with a clear, persuasive argument. In a history essay, this will inevitably involve a degree of narrative (storytelling), but this should be kept to the minimum necessary to support the argument ...

  9. Why Students Should Study History: An Interview with Howard Zinn

    Students should be encouraged to go into history in order to come out of it, and should be discouraged from going into history and getting lost in it, as some historians do. - - - - -. Download the full Rethinking Schools interview with Howard Zinn to find more answers to commonly asked questions about teaching a people's history.

  10. (PDF) Why study history?

    in history majors and many students merely take "history" as a general education or liberal arts. elective. The reasons explored here for why students should study history are myriad and ...

  11. Four Reasons Everyone Should Study History

    History helps you see the world around you in a new way. Everything has a history. Trees have a history, music has a history, bridges have a history, political fights have a history, mathematical equations have a history. In fact, #everythinghasahistory. Learning about those histories can help us gain a deeper understanding of the world around ...

  12. Why Study History? (1985)

    Then, surely, a serious effort to understand the interplay of change and continuity in human affairs is the only adequate introduction human beings can have to the confusing flow of events that constitutes the actual, adult world. Since that is the way the world is, it follows that study of history is essential for every young person.

  13. Why is It Important to Study History?

    Here are six benefits of learning history your child will enjoy if they study history in school. 1. Develop an Understanding of the World. Through studying history, we can learn how past societies, systems, ideologies, governments, cultures and technologies were built, how they operated, and how they have changed.

  14. History's Value: Influence of History Background on Modern Well-being

    So why is it important to study history? This essay provides the reasons. History Helps Us Understand People and Societies. In the first place, history offers a storehouse of information about how people and societies behave. Understanding the operations of people and societies is difficult, though a number of disciplines make the attempt ...

  15. Why Should We Study History Essay

    Why Should We Study History Essay. 794 Words4 Pages. First of all, history can prevent people from making the same mistakes. The students should study history so that they do not commit the same mistakes in the future. People often say that "history repeats itself," but if we study the successes and failures of the past, we may be able to ...

  16. PDF Why Study History? (1998)

    out why our complex species behaves as it does in societal settings. This, fundamentally, is why we cannot stay away from history: it offers the only extensive evidential base for the contemplation and analysis of how societies function, and people need to have some sense of how societies function simply to run their own lives.

  17. What is History and Why Should We Care?

    Several years ago, four historians were asked that question and they said History is: - the study of people, actions, decisions, interactions and behaviors; - the probing into the "why" and ...

  18. Why do we study history? I am at a loss. : r/AskHistorians

    In the 19th century historians (Ranke and others) became convinced that the course of history is a story in itself. This implied that everyone (especially politicians) has a duty to fulfill their role in the narrative of history. You can explain the start of WW1 by looking at the political events prior to the war.

  19. Why Study You-Know-What?

    In his updated essay, Stearns also suggests that we must stress how historical data can help us to understand the diverse, dynamic world we are living in now—a history that informs the present. In recent decades, the study of history has expanded in terms of content, methodologies, and digital tools to provide context for complex contemporary ...

  20. Why Should We Study History Essay (900 Words)

    Why Should We Study History Essay (900 Words) History is a subject of great importance and fascination, as it recounts the heroic deeds of individuals whose exceptional performance has earned them a place in the annals of history. The noble acts of such individuals serve as an inspiration for others to follow in their footsteps.

  21. PDF Why We Should Study Military History

    history. Some reasons to continue to study military history are (a) it helps our congressional. leaders understand what events will determine when to declare war, (b) past mistakes of our past. leaders, (c) what could be an affect of a military drawdown, and (d) the study of mistakes by.