Why and How to Study History




Then consider why do you think people study history? (Don’t be trite here – it’s much more than “to learn from their mistakes”). Consider why you are required to study history to earn an AA or AS degree. Do you think the study of history helps you to be a better person or contribute to society? If so, how so? If not, why not?

To help you formulate an answer as to why history is important, consider the arguments made by Steven Kreis at the History Guide:  Why Study History? and Peter Stearns’ argument published by the American Historical Association: Why Study History? (1998). Do you agree or disagree with these scholars and why?

Finally, there is much confusion on how to study history as well. History is primarily examined through the study of documents. Review the “How to Study History” section in the eText, then select one primary and one secondary source related to our course content. Include those sources properly formatted in one of the approved styles and explain how a historian might use these sources.

As noted in the Grading and Evaluation page of the Syllabus, you should write at least 300 words in your response.

Reply to at least two other students’ posts with substantive responses and be sure to write at least 100-150 words and further the conversation by posing a question or suggesting a new source or fact on the subject to your correspondent. Replies to your instructor are optional for Reflection discussions, but encouraged!

See the Course Schedule and Course Rubrics pages for due dates and grading information.


Kreis, Steven. “1.2 Why Study History?” The History Guide. Last Revised April 13, 2012. http://www.historyguide.org/guide/study.html

Stearns, Peter N. “Why Study History?” American Historical Association. 1998. https://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/aha-history-and-archives/historical-archives/why-study-history-(1998).

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