History Extension: Tips from The Project experts


Once a year Sydney Living Museums works in collaboration with the State Library of NSW to put together a seminar day for Year 11 and 12 students about to embark on their major research project for History Extension.

This highly popular, sell-out event focuses on the research project and how to go about it. It includes talks and workshops delivered by practising historians, archaeologists and museum and library professionals.

 One of the highlights of the 2015 History Extension Seminar Day was a panel discussion between our expert presenters on the process of writing history, driven by questions from the student audience. History Extension students have many questions as they begin their project and took good advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to access expert advice.

We are pleased to make an audio recording of the 2015 panel session available on our website. The questions and tips that are covered include:

  • Which topic should I choose?
  • What sources should I use?
  • Achieving accurate referencing as you go.
  • How do I refine and focus my research?
  • How can I make my essay 'sophisticated, analytical and critical' and what does that mean?
  • The vital importance of clear language.

In responding to the students’ questions each panel expert drew on their particular experience and background, providing diverse insights into the research and writing of history. The panel comprised:

  • Dr Jennifer Lawless | Historian, teacher, author, former Board Of Studies History Inspector (convenor)
  • Dr Craig Barker | Classical archaeologist and Manager, Education and Public Programs, Sydney University Museums
  • Dr Bruce Dennett | Historian, author, History teacher, former Supervisor of Marking for History Extension
  • Michael Lech | Curator, Sydney Living Museums collections
  • Professor Lyndall Ryan | Historian, author, academic, Conjoint Research Professor in the Centre for the History of Violence at the University of Newcastle.

 This recording will be of interest to any student about to work on their major project, or anyone interested in refining their research strategies.

Listen now

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