If you're a fan of shows like Biography and Ancient Mysteries, why not
dig even deeper into the past by majoring in history?
Studying history requires a lot of reading and processing information.
History students also write many papers, so they need good communication skills.
Bryan Le Beau is a history professor at the University of Missouri at
Kansas City. He says students should have excellent critical reading skills
and solid writing skills to express themselves clearly and efficiently.
History professor Jacqueline Murray agrees. Successful students have "the
patience and initiative to find [information] that moves beyond the conventional
or obvious," she adds.
The ability to think independently and to back up your conclusions with
solid evidence, as well as an ability to read a language other than English,
are other qualities of a good history student, Murray says.
Most history students take survey courses during their first and second
years. These courses survey entire sweeps of history, such as European
history from ancient to modern times, or the history of science.
More specialized classes come in the third and fourth years. At
Murray's school, students study social history, labor history, women's history,
political history, medieval history, ancient history, local history and other
Le Beau says other classes that are often required include historical
research methods and a senior seminar.
Focus on completing a broad high school education. Take history and
social studies courses as well as English, politics, current events and theater.
"Individually, students who have read broadly have an advantage," Murray
says. "Any activity that helps to develop discipline and commitment will help
a student develop skills useful to an historian."
Also, consider joining local historical societies.
Besides tuition, textbooks are the only major expense.
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For more information related to this field of study, see: Social
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