Greenfleece
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Hey all, need some help!!
I am enrolled for starting university this September, doing an English Literature& American Studies degree. However I'm thinking of swapping to English Literature & History (staying same uni etc). Need advice from those who study history. I did not study history a'level but did Classics and am told I could probably change. My main reason for changing is feeling that American studies may be feel too narrow and the modules in History would allow more breadth. However I'm just concerned studying history may leave me stuck into the dates/ names/ spectific factual info meaning I couldn't fully explore the different societies and periods. Any thoughts would be so welcome! x
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McGinger
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You'll be able to do History units as part of American Studies.
Or didn't you realise this.
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Greenfleece
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yeah i did but like if I did history I could do some of the american studies modules and much more history modules - like I feel like I'd have more choice? But would mean i couldn't do some of the American studies modules
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historynerd47
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Hi, history undergrad going into second year here. I agree with the other commenter here- you may well be able to do history topics as part of your American studies. English and history would be broader though, it just depends what you want to study! History at degree level in my experience thus far is way less content heavy in terms of rote memorization, a lot is open book/coursework based where you are tested on skills of analysis not how much you can recall although check out how history works at your university- I'm at York if that helps at all. I would personally really recommend history but do whatever you are most drawn to, you'll enjoy it more and perform better. Hope this helps!
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McGinger
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PS. If your understanding of History at degree level is that its just "dates/ names/ specific factual info", can I suggest you don't bother even thinking about swapping subjects.
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Greenfleece
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(Original post by historynerd47)
Hi, history undergrad going into second year here. I agree with the other commenter here- you may well be able to do history topics as part of your American studies. English and history would be broader though, it just depends what you want to study! History at degree level in my experience thus far is way less content heavy in terms of rote memorization, a lot is open book/coursework based where you are tested on skills of analysis not how much you can recall although check out how history works at your university- I'm at York if that helps at all. I would personally really recommend history but do whatever you are most drawn to, you'll enjoy it more and perform better. Hope this helps!
Thanks so much this is really helpful! I think that was my fear was that it would be more about content/memorizing meaning I lacked the time for properly analyzing/exploring so that's rlly good to know- very good advice thank you <3
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Greenfleece
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(Original post by McGinger)
PS. If your understanding of History at degree level is that its just "dates/ names/ specific factual info", can I suggest you don't bother even thinking about swapping subjects.
haha I get what you mean - I think I just meant I was concerned that the amount of factual info in History meaning the need for memorizing etc would stop me from fully exploring/analyzing the subject
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Scotney
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(Original post by Greenfleece)
Thanks so much this is really helpful! I think that was my fear was that it would be more about content/memorizing meaning I lacked the time for properly analyzing/exploring so that's rlly good to know- very good advice thank you <3
It is worth checking carefully the course content in terms of interests but no it is definitely all about analysis and critical thinking.
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historynerd47
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(Original post by Greenfleece)
Thanks so much this is really helpful! I think that was my fear was that it would be more about content/memorizing meaning I lacked the time for properly analyzing/exploring so that's rlly good to know- very good advice thank you <3
No worries! The amount of content really put me off history at A-level, but I have enjoyed my degree so far so much more- I wish someone had told me sooner! I haven't had a closed exam yet (due to pandemic) so can't promise no memorisation but the emphasis is much much more on analysis than dates. Good luck!
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McGinger
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(Original post by Greenfleece)
haha I get what you mean - I think I just meant I was concerned that the amount of factual info in History meaning the need for memorizing etc would stop me from fully exploring/analyzing the subject
You really don't have a clue about what studying History involves do you.

You might like to read this - just for starters - https://teachinghistory.org/history-...istorian/21914
Then read all three books discussed.
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Greenfleece)
haha I get what you mean - I think I just meant I was concerned that the amount of factual info in History meaning the need for memorizing etc would stop me from fully exploring/analyzing the subject
Thousands of history students explore and analyse their topics every year.
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McGinger
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And for the British angle read these :
1) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Practical-G.../dp/1472532260
2) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Studying-Hi.../dp/1137478594
3) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pursuit-His...dp/1138808083/
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Greenfleece
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(Original post by McGinger)
You really don't have a clue about what studying History involves do you.

You might like to read this - just for starters - https://teachinghistory.org/history-...istorian/21914
Then read all three books discussed.
That tones a bit harsh! look I probs haven't worded things great so I get that I sound a bit clueless and naïve but I have studied history before and done a history related a'level. I was just looking for advice from those who study it now and airing out any silly anxieties I have haha - but that article looks helpful so thank you! Sorry if I didn't come across great x
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ageshallnot
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I

(Original post by Greenfleece)
That tones a bit harsh! look I probs haven't worded things great so I get that I sound a bit clueless and naïve but I have studied history before and done a history related a'level. I was just looking for advice from those who study it now and airing out any silly anxieties I have haha - but that article looks helpful so thank you! Sorry if I didn't come across great x
I think that if you read all 6 books as instructed, you will probably be very bored by the topic.
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Scotney
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(Original post by Greenfleece)
That tones a bit harsh! look I probs haven't worded things great so I get that I sound a bit clueless and naïve but I have studied history before and done a history related a'level. I was just looking for advice from those who study it now and airing out any silly anxieties I have haha - but that article looks helpful so thank you! Sorry if I didn't come across great x
You have come across just fine. You had a query about a subject. If you knew the answer you would not have had to ask. Someone is obviously very passionate about history! No I would not read those books either. :rolleyes:
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Scotney)
You have come across just fine. You had a query about a subject. If you knew the answer you would not have had to ask. Someone is obviously very passionate about history! No I would not read those books either. :rolleyes:
Well, not all of them! The Black and Macraild is a good introduction.
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Scotney
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
Well, not all of them! The Black and Macraild is a good introduction.
Agreed!
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