page contents

Advice from Former Students

What does it take to succeed in UGC 111? Some former students have some brilliant advice for you. Scroll through for bits of wisdom about general best practices, discussions, primary sources, and blog posts.

Advice from L02 (the 3:30 class), Fall 2016

Advice from L02 (the 3:30 class), Fall 2016

General Advice

Be Interested.

"Find something you love about UGC and run with it."

"Approach history like you are reading a story book, the stories of how people live are pretty interesting."

"Come to every class with an open mind. (Cliché I know) But the less you know, the more you will enjoy every class." 


Be Consistent.

"Consistency is key!"

"Consistency pays off."

"Be consistent. Never stray from the path."

"To be consistent with the work load and make sure to do the pre-class readings and crash course cause it helps with understanding the lecture material for the day."


Plan Ahead.

"Plan out the workload for the course, especially to meet essay and blog deadlines."

"Don't wait too long to decide which topic you wanna do for DR [discussion reflection]"

"Keep track of all your deadlines... There are lots of them"




Discussion Tips

Discussion is a huge part of each class, but can feel daunting at times. How did other students experience this part of the class? 


Be Open-Minded.

"Group discussion can be very useful and interesting, have a open mind about it."

"Be open to a lot of different opinions and views."

"To just share whatever's on your mind/comes to your mind about what is being discussed :) But also to keep an open mind about differences in opinion." 


Be Active.

"Be active in discussion."

"Just immense yourself in discussions, actively participate and enjoy what you are learning."

"Listen in class and engage."

"Pay attention to your peers ideas."

"Take notes!"




Be Bold.

"Ask questions."

"Ask when in doubt. Dont assume everything."


Primary sources

Primary sources are rich in challenging ideas and insights into the past - but they're also rife with archaic language, poor translation, and unfamiliar ideas. Some ideas on how to get started with this core piece of the class. 


First and Foremost: Read.


"Read or skim the reading at least twice because they are not easy. Read classmates' comments when feeling lost to get a better idea even though they may not be totally correct. (:"

Read Critically.

"Be critical about the sources that you read, always do cross referencing when you come across any resources outside of class, and read up more on top of classroom resources."

"Always think about how they lived in their time, i.e. the context of the primary sources."

"Be ready to not just read but analyze and dig deeper for contexts!!!!"



Read more.

"Be keen on learning. I honestly never had a flair for History but reading the sources and texts like it is a story really helped a lot!"

"Do a lot of background research on the primary resources for better understanding." [Prof's Note: This isn't required...]

Blog Posts

The blogging project will likely be your most time-intensive, independent, and (ideally) rewarding work this semester. While all of the above advice is useful for blog post, your peers from former classes also have specific insights into blogging for World Civ.


Choose Groups Wisely.

"Find efficient group mates that you can work with and you are willing to accept differing opinions from for your blogging project!"

"Have an interest for what you are studying and choose your blogging partners or groups very carefully. Make sure you enjoy working with them. That is very important."


REsearch and Write Well.

"Always find credible sources for blog post and most importantly, the significance of your posts."

"Examine the sources clearly to check that if it's credible. IF [you] have any doubt, feel free to consult the Lecturer about it."



Take Pride in your work.

"The blogposts may be tedious but fun at the same time, so put in your best effort for them because the sense of achievement you get upon completion is great!"