History Homework: How to Find the Answers Online

Wading through a whole pile of text books, is not the best way of producing a good piece of History homework. A text book has great value but usually it only gives one point of view of the aspect of History that you are studying.

Historical events involve people and each person involved in that event has their own story. History should not just report one view point it should report many views. For your homework you will need to decide whose point of view you are going to focus on.

This is where use of the internet is a very helpful and supportive tool. But when you use any tool you have to know exactly how it works, and be aware of plagiarism. This is especially important if you decided to cut and paste some of the information that you find online. Make a note of where you found the information and remember to cite it in your own work.

Some useful ideas

  • In order to find the right answer you need to ask the right question. Before you even start typing in your question into the search engine, take time to compose exactly what information you need.
  • This may sound really obvious, but write down the exact question/s for which you need answers. Yes, I know that you can always trace your searches, but what if you are not using the same computer each time? You also need to keep a record of the question that you are asking as sometimes you may need to change the order of the wording or focus on different key words.
  • Stay focussed – when you start searching for material for your homework, you may find that you get besieged with information or you get side-tracked as you uncover more data.
  • Search engine. Not all search engines are best suited to explore history topics. You may find that some search engines will produce little or no relevant information whilst other will give you so much that making a decision will be hard. You have to be very selective.

It may also be an idea to look online at some essays that have a similar theme to your own. This may give you some more background information or it may inspire you to delve deeper into an aspect that you had not already considered that may be related to your original ideas. Stay focussed.