photo-1429051781835-9f2c0a9df6e4Welcome! This blog will focus on the unwritten rules to history, as both a discipline, a field of study, and as a career. The information that appears in this blog is the result of thirteen years of doing history at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as six years working as a sessional instructor.

Here’s a look at some of the series I’ll be featuring:

  • Undergraduate Corner:
    • How to find good secondary and primary sources and what to do with them once you have them
    • How to construct an argument
    • Dos and Don’ts for paper writing
    • The art of documentation
  • Graduate School
    • How to prepare for comps
    • Navigating your relationship with your supervisor
    • Applying for grants
  • How To Do Academic Research 
    • Tips and Tricks for effectively searching archives
    • What to do with your research material once you’ve found it
    • Useful software for historians (Evernote, Devonthink, Scrivener, Pages)
  • So You Want to be a Sessional
    • How to build your own course outlines
    • Selecting appropriate reading material
    • Coming up with lesson plans
    • Online resources for activities
    • Developing your pedagogy
    • Building relationships with students
  • The Academic Life
    • Age and seniority
    • Conferences
    • Building on online presence and social media profile (especially on Twitter!)
    • Finding love
    • Survival tips when moving to a new city and/or university
    • Staying sane, happy, and healthy
  • Good Reads
    • Fiction, non-fiction, academic books, articles, and blogs I’m enjoying
  • Historical Tidbits
    • Interesting stories
    • Latest historical or archaeological discoveries

This is the information that I wish I had known going into university, when I applied for graduate school, during graduate school, and in my early academic career. The kind of information that, as many historians would say, is taken for granted, and consequently rarely discussed. Few academic historians will teach you this information, believing that acquiring this knowledge is part of the process of becoming an academic. But I think this kind of attitude perpetuates the “professorial mystique” while also crippling young historians. I can tell you that I’ve learned so much more outside of graduate school than I ever did while enduring it, and that my understanding of the past now is consequently much deeper and richer.

While I will be focusing on Canadian history, since that’s my background, the information on this site will be useful, no matter your specific field.