History is the study of time. Most events prior to the invention of written record-keeping systems are often regarded as prehistorical. “Prehistorially” is a broader umbrella term containing both prehistorical events and the subsequent memory, discovery, accumulation, documentation, and interpretation of those events. As any history student will tell you, much of what we perceive as human history—the workings of government, society, religion, social structure, ethics, race, and class—stems from the accumulation and recording of historical data over the course of human history.
Historians are engaged in the process of telling this history in several different ways. One way is through the written record: by producing works of literary prose that tell the history of an event or a period, such as the First World War, or the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Another method is through the creation of ahistorical works of fiction. Examples include the so-called “historians’ handouts,” which are designed to serve as exegetical guides to those who would rather remain in the dark about how things really happened. The most common form ofhistorical essay is called the Historiographical Map. This is perhaps the most stylized, because it is presented as a map of the ancient world, depicting cities and locations in the style of a geographically-oriented handout.
The above example is a piece of ahistorical research paper, but many of the same principles can be found in more complex forms of thehistorical handout. A typical homework assignment for history teachers across the country is to assign a students ahistorical essay or handout. The assignment may be written or oral; in either format, the main idea is to assemble a primary source from which the author is able to make an educated guess about the age of some person or an event. In many cases, the teacher will select the most informative topic first and then pursue the history lesson accordingly. In other cases, the teacher will use sources provided by the student to create a more in-depth look into the people and places in question.
In order to illustrate the value of historical handouts in the classroom, one must offer a definition of what exactly is meant by historians’ handouts. According to some historians, all these types of handouts essentially provide an education about the history of a certain period of time. In other words, they are handouts that provide an overview of the events and people during that particular time period – usually two to four thousand years ago. Another use for these handouts is to compare various periods of history by creating a comparative essay. While it is impossible to include all sources in a comparative essay, using ahistorical handouts to compare different periods of time can greatly aid students in understanding the similarities and differences between the various historical periods.
One of the best examples of this comes from the use of ahistorical handouts in completing writing assignments regarding the civil war. Students who are required to write on the Civil War as part of their history class assignments will be given a series of educational handouts about the causes of war, why certain events happened, and what the outcome was. These handouts often come with a source citation, which is essentially a biography or summary of the material given in the handout. This is where the value of ahistorical facts about the period comes in. Students need to read as much as they can about each of the main causes of war in order to gain an in-depth understanding of how and why the conflicts happened in the first place. This is where knowing the importance of ahistorical facts becomes valuable in the class, allowing students to write more accurately and cite their sources in the appropriate context.
Learning about history is not only about the lessons in class; it’s about the understanding that comes from learning it. Historians are often among the brightest students in the class, giving professors a large amount of responsibility. Students who are interested in becoming historians must therefore be prepared to read extensively and to perform well in tests. If you are looking for a class assignment that will allow you to do so, look no further than learning about history through this kind of handout. The sources are plentiful and the assignment will allow you to learn about much more than just the basics.