The Difference Between Studying History at School vs. University
School history is a general foundation of the history you will learn in university if you decide to pursue it further. There is a major difference in the subjects, course structure, and the approaches being followed in university, and what you were accustomed to in school.
Now that you have finished school, it’s time to get yourself set for the next chapter of your education. Let’s look at the difference between studying history in school vis-à-vis in university.
Essay questions on unfamiliar topics
There are major differences between the essays you write in school and university. In high school, you get an essay plan that is structured for you by the teacher. This is not the case in university because you have to go to the library, find a couple of books and journals to complete the essay using your judgment.
Paper writers on popular assignment helper site Assignment Bro mention that to pass the history essay in university, always remember that you are presenting an argument discussion. Your argument may not be presented as an essay question. The goal is to allow you to reason independently hence the need to back your arguments with valid authorities. In school, you will be directed on a particular point that limits you from having an independent argument.
While university history is a specialized course, school history is general history-based. Take, for instance, exam preparation in school, the topics are clearly defined, and you know exactly what to expect. At most, you only get to prepare only two areas for two papers. By the time you sit down for exams, you are expected to know about the cold war, England under Queen Elizabeth II, or the British in India.
In university, history is a course with multiple modules which have several thought-balls. You will have to grasp aspects of social, economic, political, gender, and cultural history at a complex level. It is difficult to move from a comprehensive and structured course to different subjects all under one umbrella.
A first-year student grapples with content from the middle ages to modern history. You, however, don’t have to worry because you are simply adjusting to a new system.
Course theme and structure
The course structure in school is all about attending classes as per the schedule and doing homework. Contact hours in school are more but not the same in university because you have to do a lot of independent research. At university, you have to attend seminars, lectures, tutorials, essay writing, essay presentation, study groups, and much more.
In university, you are responsible for most of your learning and nobody will remind you what you need to know. Most of the learning is done outside the lecture hall. You may face logistical challenges while attending a lecture, always communicate with your tutor to figure out how you can attend your classes without missing up.
Most of your learning in school is textbooks based and founded on facts that can’t be argued against. You can either be right or wrong, unlike in university where you are told there are no right or wrong answers. You are required to analyze material and provide an independent argument.
As you join university, you need to learn how to form your own opinions, interpret them with primary and secondary sources. To get the best of this approach, spend more time reading extensively both in the library and with online sources. Textbooks in university are only for reference purposes. You will not find all information in one text, unlike in school. Also, have fun with online jobs or students to improve your social skills, which are important for a history student.
There is a lot to be excited about in the history course. As you join university, you may not find time to comprehend what to expect until the first day as a freshman. The good news is you are building on your passion which has been narrowed down to an area of specialization. Now you are in the know of what to expect studying history in university, have fun.
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