Tips of the Day

By , March 10, 2020 6:11 pm

Hopefully Helpful Hints

Mon. March 9:

Start by researching the current event. Stick to very mainstream sources:  BBC News, CBC News, Time, CNN.  Take notes. Don’t pick the first random site on a Google search. Don’t use Wikipedia, please.

Tues. March 10: 

Remember, “current” means the last five years. You do not need to approach your topic as a journalist – no need to know the minute details of what happened yesterday. You’ll need a maximum of four things about what’s going on ‘recently.’ On my sample step 1 assignment you’ll see that my current events go back to 2014.

Wed. March 11: 

If you want to borrow a textbook, please ask Ms. G. There’s lots of background historical information on a number of topics. The book is called The West and the World. It is not gigantic.

 

Thurs. March 12

It’s okay to feel unsure of where you’re going when you start to research the historical background of your current event. As you look at more sources you will start to see certain events raised over and over. That’s a pattern and it’s telling you where to look.

 

Mon. March 23

To figure out what background information is, think about the topic from the perspective of a person who knows absolutely NOTHING about it. Therefore, I’d require the most basic things (always including years). For example, if I were researching the history of nuclear power, I would not just start with the first nuclear reactors, I’d try to go further back and look into the first research about atoms; I’d research when scientists first gained knowledge of anything related to atoms, in fact. In other words, try to go as far back on your topic as you can, noting that this course begins in 1450.

 

Tues. March 24

Take good notes. The process is as important as the final product. I’ve been marking Two Solitude assignments; those that have good notes tend to do better on the assignment. Notes aren’t meant to be drudgery. They are the thing that opens up your world to an understanding of your topic. Write little reminders to yourself if something you take a note on sparks a thought or a suggestion of where to look next. Use the column note-taking method to help you with this. If you value your notes, you will get more out of them. If you seem them as an annoyance, you’ll tend to end up with little to show for it.

 

Wed. March 25

Thing you should always have in your history notes:

  1. dates of events
  2. descriptions of who people are (name dropping is not helpful in history – if you include someone’s name in your notes you need to know who they are. More importantly, your reader will need to know who they are).

 

Thurs. March 26

Mine each general source for as much information as you can by varying your search term. Think you looked up your topic on Encyclopaedia Britannica? There are so many other ways to find more information in the same source just by switching up what you’re looking for. There are key people, key events. If your topic involves a relationship between countries, there are at least two different perspectives there. Remember, you’re not done when your notes reach the end of the page. You’re done when your notes are thorough.

 

Fri. March 27 (retroactively):

Some of you appear to just be getting started. Please consult all the tips on the CCA Step 1 page. Please submit via the Google Classroom (accept your invitation if you have not signed up yet).

 

Mon. March 30: 

Submit your work on the Google Classroom today or as soon as it is done. Include photos of your notes. If you have not yet started, please see above tip. Thank you very much for investment in your research and writing future.

– Ms. G

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