by Amanda Dudley
Communicating ideas through writing is an ancient craft. Some of the earliest thinkers are still considered some of the greatest thinkers; their efforts in logic and thought laid the groundwork for how we still write and argue in our essays today.
Yes, even the humble college essay writing service has Plato, Aristotle, and Diogenes to thank. Of course, social history is a term we associate more with recent history, the concept of the social being rather more related to the social sciences, which took off as disciplines in the late 19th century.
Why do we study history though? In order to learn and grow in the future. Essay writing skills are very old, imagine the millions of essays that have been produced over the millennia – there are patterns of language and structure we can glean from studying in this historic style.
Social history knowledge makes your writing more relevant
Having a great knowledge of social history means you can use excellent references to culture in the form of allegories, metaphors, and similes. However, knowing history also means you can avoid making mistakes, such as using cliches or perhaps using a rather archaic arguments
History’s value lies in the examples it leaves us, and we can learn from these examples using them as exemplary points, as inspiration for subjects and tone, or as signposts that we’re thinking along the wrong lines. That is to say, we can get better at predicting the future if we can understand the rhythms and patterns of the past. If we had no frame of reference everything would seem surprising and difficult, unconnected and unfathomable. However, our study of history can produce narratives that enable us to understand and connect disparate events.
History broadens our horizons
If we only know the present, then we are blinkered in our discussions. However, as a thought experiment, try to define present-day events and define what we mean by historic events. We are constantly on the edge of time, creating history with every second that passes. True, most of it is inconsequential, but all of it is occurring and is contextualized by the wider world.
Stories and narratives are what give us structure and meaning. We can remember tales from long ago, and we can feel deeply connected with events that happened centuries before we were born; purely because we share the same connection to narratives as our forebears did.
Knowing history terms facilitates writing
Language evolves through history, and we create new words constantly. Before 2020 the terms lockdown, social distancing, and herd immunity were outliers in most people’s vocabulary. Now they are terms which we’re all rather more familiar with. A social studies term for this is ‘coining’ new phrases.
Over history, many words have been coined, which allows us to refer to complex assemblages of events more succinctly. The more history you know, the more of these terms you have in your arsenal, and the more ways you can write an essay or evaluate evidence or conduct research. Writers have to work in isolation a lot of the time; however, they co-exist with every writer who has ever lived and written. Language ties them together and can make the work less lonesome and more prescient at the same time.
Non-fiction writers require just as many tools and techniques as literary and fiction writers. Although academic writing can seem very formulaic at times, it’s when we see the arc of writing that we can perhaps find a new method of writing that still brings academic rigor, but presents the information in a way that is engaging and alluring.
History knowledge helps in the job market too
Essay writing is a pastime of students, and keen writers, but many people do not continue writing once they have graduated. College departments will try to snap up students by promising good career opportunities afterward. History knowledge and history degrees may not qualify you directly for any position beyond being a historian, but the transferable skills are invaluable in many careers; journalism, business, social care, and so on.
The ubiquity of communication means that social history knowledge is useful. By understanding the past we can do well in the future. Essentially, social history knowledge provides us with context and structure. It allows us to see that there is nothing ‘new’, but there are antecedents for events everywhere. Even if the events now involve technologies or concepts that didn’t exist then, we can see how humans behave in relation to scenarios that bear resemblance to one another.
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