Ask a few students what their favorite subject is in school and you’re sure to get a multitude of different answers. Some students may prefer math, while others may prefer the humanities.
Likewise, while some students prefer history, there are others that may not be too keen on the subject. Chances are, it might be due to lack of interest. However, plenty of students also feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they need to retain. After all, history is a subject that involves a lot of memorization of key events, dates, political figures, wars and much more.
Even so, one should not be put off by the idea of learning history as it is an important subject. While memorizing all that information is certainly not an easy feat, there are ways to make it more doable.
Why is history as important as it is?
Without the past, there is no future. There is so much that has transpired in history that has led us to the society that we live in now. If it wasn’t for certain historical events that occurred, we probably wouldn’t have access to a lot of the privileges that we’ve been bestowed with.
History also allows us to evaluate our past failures which help us to avoid making the same mistakes. With failures, there are also successes that we can learn from and improve on.
Studying history also provides us with a wealth of information about different cultures, origins and more. It is always beneficial to have a better understanding of other countries to improve cross-cultural ties.
Stereotypical views about history
The stereotypical view is that history is boring and useless. Some might think that since it happened in the past, there’s no reason to know it now.
This notion, however, is inaccurate. History is such an insightful subject that allows us to peer into the past and see how it has impacted the future.
There’s also history on every subject imaginable and the possibilities are endless. Without history, the subjects that we study now wouldn’t even exist, neither would the technology that we’ve come to be so dependent on along with countless other things.
Why do students have a problem in memorizing History?
As there’s a lot of information to remember, most individuals just try to retain as much information as they can within the shortest amount of time possible. What they fail to recognize is that memorizing information without properly understanding it would do more harm than good.
When memorizing history, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the event that you’re trying to remember. Once you have that, it’s easier for the information to be ingrained in your mind and recalling specific details won’t be as painful.
Now that we have a clearer understanding of the importance of history and cleared up some misconceptions on the subject, below are five easy ways to help you in memorizing history dates and names:
#1 Make notes
While anybody can take notes, it’s crucial to take good notes that are beneficial to your learning. Good notes are important as they are an effective tool in helping you recall and review information.
Keep your notes short, succinct and preferably in bulleted points for easy reference. If you’re more of a visual person, you can highlight certain dates and key points in a different colour or even create tables and diagrams. Either way, ensure that you’ll be able to fully understand your notes when you review them.
#2 Make a brief outline
It’s important to have a clear idea of the historical information that you’re memorizing for. After all, it’s always easier to retain information that you have an actual understanding of.
There are many ways that you can create a brief outline. Some examples would include writing out the information as a story or if you’re a more visual person, you could draw it out instead. After creating a brief outline, you should be able to better assimilate the information and have a clearer understanding of the events that took place.
#3 Make a chart of the events
A lot of the time, it’s always helpful to visualize information rather than try to make sense of a bunch of words. By creating a chart with the chronology of events that’s taken place, you’d be able to better visualize the historical timeline.
Your chart should contain key information of the events, be easy to read and most importantly, be interesting to you.
#4 Understand before learning
Either than getting an overall picture, historical events tend to resonate with you more when you understand the actual significance of what has occurred. Rather than just trying to memorize information, you should learn the importance of the event and how it’s impacted the future to make it stick.
Understanding the historical event’s magnitude and relating to its historical significance will help you with your learning by leaps and bounds
#5 History as a Hi-story
As you may have noticed, the word history has the word ‘story’ in it. After all, every individual that has lived in the past has their own story to tell. If you’re curious about the stories and how the past has culminated in the future you now exist in, you’ll be more inclined to want to retain this information.
Once learning about history has piqued your interest, you’ll have a desire to want to know more. The thirst for knowledge will make memorizing historical information more of a piece of cake rather than a chore.
There are many other ways to memorize history dates and names but these five ways will get you started. At the end of the day, it’s crucial to remember that mindlessly storing information also means that you’ll have a higher tendency to forget.
History is such an interesting subject with much to learn and has significantly shaped our society in so many ways – so it definitely doesn’t hurt to make an effort to learn more about the past.
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