As a fellow student and as a history minor, I acknowledge the burden of history essays. You can't state your opinion about it, you cannot just say anything you think of, and you cannot assume anything. Because of these restrictions, you are required to obtain information and then research that information. History is a large part of non-fiction, in fact, history IS non-fiction.
History is created every day. One example of this is 9/11/01. I was in the 5th grade at the time, and I never expected to see the World Trade Center, on TV, while it collapsed. Another example is all of the wars across that have occured and are happening today. We all expericence history, whether we are aware of it or not. Fifty years from now, today would will be considered the "good ol' days."
So what does this have to do with your history essay that's due next week? Let me tell you, it has everything to do with it! When you write about a certain event, time period, or individual, you have to have three things:
1. Resources of information
2. Acknowledgement of history
3. Your our personal experience
With these three tools, you can write about any type of history, and furthermore, learn something from it. I have always enjoyed writing history essays because I have the information in front of me, and the hindsight to show the significance of that history.
Before I can to UIU, I went to North Iowa Area Community College for two years. It was a generic and plain place, but I had excellent teachers. My history professor from NIACC changed the outlook I had on history. I will never forget his words of wisdom, and I will share the most important one with all of you. "History is not about who, what, where, when, or how, but why? Why did it happen, and importantly, what can we learn from it?"
The bottom line is this: If you do the research, find the facts, write the references, and reflect on why this history happened, then you can write the essay. Most importantly, you must write why this history is important and what you will learn from this history. History is connected to everything, history IS everything, and by learning about the past, you will learn from it, and prepare yourself for a better future.