I have found that my writing process for this paper is slightly different than the way I usually construct a paper. Usually I write an outline, that consistently changes, but I stick to it and it is my main guideline and I have to keep my thesis right in front of me or else I get completely side tracked. I also have found that I absolutely cannot write when I am at home, I have to be at a library, whether on campus or my local library. When I am at home I think about everything that needs to be done whether it is cleaning or cooking, and I am also constantly being interrupted by my dogs, kid, and of course, my husband. For this specific paper, I have started to work backwards. Because there is so many sources and information on Slavery, I tend to get drowned in all the information. Instead of starting with the primary sources, I started with the secondary and worked my way up my paper. Even though my paper is organized differently than the way I am writing, it is much easier for me to stay organized and on topic. Right now I have about 7 different word documents with paragraphs and information that I have wrote for this paper, and I will use them when I finally pull everything together.
In my personal opinion, citations are anything but “fun.” There are many different formats to follow, such as APA, MLA, and Chicago; inside the different formats are thousands of citations one could use. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish which citation to use, and in some cases one just has to choose the citation that seems best fit for the source. Citations are necessary to properly cite the source being used, so that plagiarism is not committed. It is important for historians to cite their work properly so fellow colleagues can easily look up the source to determine its accountability or use for their own personal projects. There are different citations for different types of sources because not all sources carry the same information, for example, a picture may have an author and a date but no publisher, where a book has all three. The information helps determine which citation to use. I have never had to cite something too outrageous; therefore I have never had any difficulties. I would assume if someone had a physical artifact it would be difficult to choose which citation to use, I was going to suggest a Chicago citation to use for physical objects, but as I searched I found nothing for it. In a case such as this I would consult with my Professors and Librarians for help.
When I first search my name, I believe my Facebook account will pop up and maybe my blogs from VCU and Mary Washington. My first name “Jennafer” is spelled differently than the normal “Jennifer,” usually when my name is typed it is automatically corrected, which makes it difficult to find me. I also recently got married so I technically have two last names, the university and most places still have yet to change my last name from “Payne” to “Hall.”
First I searched my name “Jennafer Payne,” my Facebook account was displayed, but nothing else connected to my name came up. Halfway through the first page, the name “Jennafer” switched to “Jennifer,” which I expected to happen. When I searched “Jennafer Hall,” the same thing popped up, just my Facebook page and nothing else, also halfway through the first page the name switched to “Jennifer.”
I am not surprised that the search displays little about me because I do not have much about myself on the internet. I would like the search engines to display my blogs from school, so if a future employer was to search my name they could see what I had done in the past in my academic career. I am not ashamed of my Facebook account, all that can be seen is profile pictures of me and my family. I just wish more of my academic sites were associated with my name.
Digital resources allow historians to access many materials easily without having to travel long distances. The past few decades, historians would have to go to archives to get the information they needed, but now historians can access many documents online. Although accessing them online is much easier, it also comes with consequences; some of the information could be inaccurate. We did an exercise in class with a few books, they looked like great history books and worth using for projects, but as we did research on them we found that they were not useful. It is the same thing with online documents, someone can post a journal that looks great and has sources, but the sources could be illegitimate, making the paper illegitimate. I believe that online resources are great, but you still have to be skeptical.
These fields offer more information for history. As historians, we all want to know more about what happened, not just the basics, like we learn in grade school. All of these fields are still fairly new, which makes them more difficult to study and understand; but, they offer great information that generations before never understood. Environmental history helps shape all different categories because it does have impacts on them. For example, when people are trying to find somewhere to settle, they would rather choose somewhere warm rather than cold. All these different fields show a progression in history, they do not just focus on certain events. I tend to enjoy learning more about these fields in history, rather than the generic ones. Hopefully, school systems will start to incorporate these fields more into the learning of history.
I do find traditional history appealing, although I feel it is over taught. As many have already stated, when I was in public schools, it was the same facts retaught every year, and at some point you grow tired of hearing the same things over and over again. When I first decided to be a history major, I automatically thought I would do American history because that is what I was used to, but come to find out, I am really interested in Russian history, and WWII. I am so fascinated in the traditional history either Russia, mainly because I have never researched it before. I would rather read more “modern” history about the civil war, for example I would rather read about what happened with slaves or women, than the actual war and of white men. I believe that is one of the reasons historians have started to challenge these, people just got tired of reading the same things over and over again; thus a new genre of history was born!
Parkman and Jennings writing are about the same topic, but have different allegations. Parkman wrote to “entertain” people and appeal to a broad aduience. Whereas Jennings was very specific and very oriented around his sources. Before today’s class I didnot consider that Parkman was living through the historyears he wrote about, so we are reading what he seen with his own eyes. That is why we do not get much of other viewpoints, such as, African American or Native American. Jennings tries to portray all viewpoints so nothing is missed or biased. Parkman and Jennings both do a good job at portraying history in their own way, and both are used daily for historians.
Popular history is used more as an aspect of “storytelling,” and it is mainly directed to broader audiences and for entertaining purposes. Usually it is history told by only one viewpoint and other views are not considered. Historians realized that the popular history era was fabricating history, and that is when academic history came in to use. Historians and people in general were trying to make history more of a science and actual facts rather than what the popular era portrayed. Academic history is history based on facts, and it takes in all viewpoints; such as slaves, foreigners, and women can now show their voice on what happened in the past. Academic history is what we see in school systems and colleges today. As it is fun and entertaining to read about the popular history, as a student, it is crucially important to be informed by the academic history to know the legit facts.