You Can Learn History Effectively

By Thomas Edwards on 08/07/2011

Among all the possible subjects you could learn, history is the most fascinating. With the proper motivation and learning techniques, you are enabled to enter a world where you can speak with Caesar, talk with Socrates and play chess against Napoleon. With the lack of proper motivation, you get the feeling that you are walking through a mausoleum. Of course, to learn history effectively, more is needed than just the right books and the willingness to learn. No, to learn history effectively, you must engage your mind on a level you don’t normally use for academics.

One of the best ways to learn history effectively, especially ancient history, is to visualize what you are learning. For example, if you’re reading about Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon, you can visualize the event as happening with you there. Also, when you do this, many of the subsequent events become natural consequences of a former action, rather than progressions that you have no desire to understand. This is one of the most valuable tricks to be used when you are trying to learn history effectively. If you put to test this technique, then you will find the passages of what was once a dull, dry and dusty history book will begin to sparkle and dance in your mind’s eye, and make impressions that will remain indelibly there.

In addition to rote memorization, many teachers and professors advise that in order to really understand the period in context, you must study at least three works in the arts from the period of concentration. The first choice would most likely be any work of writing where applicable. Film can even be an asset, although some film works are of more historical significance and are more historically accurate than others. Make sure you research this from several different sources for accuracy before taking this route.

If you wish to learn modern history, then there are several good tricks for that. One of the great tricks to learn history effectively, in particular modern history, is to identify what one of your ancestors was doing at the time. For example, you might think that during the final days of WWII, your parent was being born; or maybe that you were born during the last days of the Vietnam War. Again, to learn history effectively it is many times necessary to use many different tricks. But, in the end, you can still have a load of fun while you learn history effectively.