Many people have spoken on questions like this, but my personal take at least for history at the HS level would be something like this:
1. Read packets.
- This helps you gauge what kinds of things come up again and again.
- I believe Max Schindler said this once, but don't just read tossups - also read bonuses! It is common for medium or hard parts of a bonus to come up as a early clue in a tossup.
- You already seem to be a solid HS player. But don't blindly start out by reading super hard sets like Penn Bowl and ACF Regs. First, acquire a solid foundation by close reading sets like HFT, BHSAT, PACE, and ACF Fall. If RM has access to old SCT D2 and HSNCT sets, those would also be good. Aim to be able to at least '20 bonuses in your categories in those sets. Since you like history, NHBB is also good.
- Also check out EFT, EMT, MUT; don't worry right now about learning about every hard history part on those sets, though.
- I think Eric Xu once said this, that he sometimes peruses old SCOP Novice sets to make sure he can 30 every bonus in the categories that he is studying. Do this for your categories of history and art.
2. Read books.
- Honestly this is something I need to grow in using as a study method, but there is no better way to acquire a large-picture understanding of the history of a region or era than reading a book about it.
- There have been infomative threads on books that are helpful for quiz bowl
2b. Go explore on Wikipedia.
- For me, this is a super enjoyable way to find about new things and find more specific information that you can't gain from reading general history books (unless you're reading biographies or books on very specific topics).
- Wikipedia also makes it easy to search for subtopics relevant to the thing you're learning about. For example, if you search up Charles I of England on Wikipedia, there will be many relevant links that come up, such as "English Civil War," "Long Parliament," "Bishops' War." Read about those things too; enjoy the descent down the rabbit hole.
3. Do whatever helps you remember the things you've read. There are various methods of this:
- Some people write questions. This is good because it helps you think about translating raw historical knowledge into quizbowl clues. You also tend to remember the clues that you yourself used.
- Some people take notes. Personally, I create pretty detailed Google Docs notes as I read Wikipedia articles and other knowledge sources. It forces me to use my own words to express the knowledge I'm reading about, which I find helpful in memory retention.
- Some people flashcard (Quizlet, Mnemosyne, Anki, etc.). How to flashcard effectively probably requires another thread by itself, but it's pretty universally agreed that carding is quite helpful at the HS level especially.
*edited for minor grammar things