Steps to Writing a Decent History Essay

Steps to Writing a Decent History Essay
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Studying history students may also get writing tasks. Essays are usually assigned in order to evaluate students` progress in history. It is not always easy to craft this kind of essay, since all students` skills are tested, including historical understanding, interpretation, analysis, and planning, research, writing as well. So, in order to produce a thoughtful and well-written paper in history, students should put all their efforts and use the complex of all those skills. Certainly, writing a good history paper can be challenging for many students. The following information will be interesting and helpful for those who need some assistance on their way to succeed.

  • First of all, you have to study the question from all possible angles. This seems to be a quite obvious thing. However, it is usually neglected by many. An essay question can require various things from you, either to analyze any situation, explain the causes of something, evaluate the influence of something, or whatever. So, you need to begin the whole process by reading the essay question carefully several times. It would be great to underline or highlight important terms in the text of a question. It will help you to understand what you have to do better.
  • Then, your task is to make a plan. Every essay writing process should begin with this step. By researching and brainstorming, try to write down all your ideas and thought, all possible concepts and views on the essay. If you do not really know how to approach the essay question, you can consult someone you trust, either it is your teacher, parent, or competent classmate.
  • Once you have studied the essay question and created a plan, you need to start researching. Your task is to gather topic-related information and evidence. You can use reputable books, articles, or any other sources of information that discuss the needed topic. It would be great for you to look through overviews of the topic or issue in order to refresh your understanding or create a brand-new concept.
  • Speaking about history essays, all of them need to have a strong contention. So, your task is to develop it. A contention is the main idea of your paper, which is both the answer to the essay question and the most important thought of a paper. In general, you have to express your intention in one or two sentences.
  • The next step is to plan the structure of your essay. Each essay should have an introduction, a body, consisting of several paragraphs, and a conclusion. All paragraphs should be well organized by following a logical sequence. Your paragraphs can be organized either in a chronical or thematic way. Do not forget that each of your paragraphs should begin with a topic sentence.
  • Writing a worthy introduction is the next thing you have to do. The introductory part of an essay is of great importance. This is the first thing your audience see and read. It is also a part of an essay where you address the question and present your contention. Try to make your introduction clear, strong, concise. Avoid storytelling – that will not make your essay better.
  • Once you are done with the introduction, start working on your body paragraphs. If we are speaking about history essays, we have to take into account that paragraphs should not be too short. All of them have to be like mini-essays, containing careful exploration and accurate explanation of the issue. A good paragraph always begins with a topic sentence, which introduces the main thought that will be further discussed. Do not forget to include some analysis and evidence, several quotations and explanations while writing.
  • You have to finish your essay with a strong and effective conclusion. That is your final essay part. Your conclusion should re-state the contention of your paper and ideally close it off. Do not make your conclusion too long and avoid introducing new information.
  • The final touches are to cite the sources and proofread your paper. Referencing your paper in a proper way gives you more chances to succeed with your history paper. So, pay attention to that. After finishing writing, you have to edit and proofread your paper in order to check it for possible mistakes. Make sure you have discussed the essay question properly and none of the aspects were not missed.

General Tips on History Essay Writing

  1. Always write your essay in the third person
  2. Use the past tense while writing your history essay (except the case you write about the work of modern historians)
  3. No generalizations
  4. Try to make your sentences short for better understanding
  5. Prefer active voice to the passive one