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How to Write a Good History Essay

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Producing a history paper is quite a challenging task, even for students with great writing and analyzing skills. However, each essay or another type of paper that you write makes you more competent and confident. Below, we provide some general advice on creating history essays that deserve the highest grades.

Study the Question and Make a Plan: What Is a History Essay About?

This step might seem obvious, but students often neglect it. To provide a full and comprehensive answer, you must carefully study the question. Start with reading your task a couple of times and highlight the keywords in it. Take enough time to get an understanding of what it requires you to do.

Write the plan for your essay once you have given some thought to the assignment. Brainstorm and jot down any ideas about the topic; this will help you get better prepared for the research. Think about people, events, issues related to the question. Consider any additional questions flowing from the initial one. Also, take some time to find out what sources might be useful for doing research.

If you face any difficulties or uncertainties about the way to approach the question, ask someone for help. You should not hesitate to consult your teacher or capable friend, classmate or parent. Also, keep in mind that during your research, your plan may change as you find new information.

Do Your Research

Once you have got an initial plan, start searching for information and evidence for your essay about history. Begin with reading an overview of the topic in reliable sources to refresh your existing knowledge about the issue and provide a basis for further research.

While researching, you should be guided by the initial essay task and the questions from your own plan. If there are any gaps in your knowledge about certain terms and concepts then make sure to find out the necessary information.

Create a Contention and Make an Outline

At some point of the research process, start thinking about contention for the paper. It should explain your main idea or argument and serve both as an answer to the question and the starting point of the writing. It is recommended to express the contention in one sentence. Make sure it is strong and persuading and sounds like the voice of a person, who is fully informed about the topic.

When you end up with research and the contention, move to the next step. Write an outline for your history essay. It does not have to be too complicated, just several lines or bullet points is enough.

There are two recommended ways to organize paragraphs: chronologically (covering the events in an order they took place) and thematically (covering events based on their importance or relevance).

Do the Writing

In the introductory paragraph, you have to first address the question and provide your contention. It must be clear and convincing. Begin with a little context, then move to the initial question, provide the contention and tell what direction your paper will take.

When creating the body of your essay, make sure each paragraph is not too short. The best length for each paragraph is between 100-200 words. Each paragraph must focus on a single topic. The first sentence should introduce the issue and shortly explain its importance to the question and your contention. The following sentences provide careful explanations, some analysis, and evidence. You might also want to include some quotations.

The concluding part of your essay must restate or reiterate your contention and close off the writing. One great way to do this is by providing a short summary of "what happened next."

Include References and Citations

Your essay will only be successful if you cite it properly. Every student should know how to write a history essay and make it referenced appropriately. Ensure your writing supports its information, ideas, and arguments with references to trustworthy sources. By referencing your academic paper not only acknowledge you the work of others but also give authority to your essay and provides the teacher with an insight into your research.

Proofread and Edit your Essay

Devote enough time for proofreading and editing the essay. If you consider it necessary, redraft it before submitting the paper for assessment. Ideally, your paper should be completed several days before its deadline, then put aside for a day, and proofread again.

As you proofread your essay, look carefully for spelling and grammar mistakes, typos, incorrect dates. After it, consider ways to improve the clarity, tone, and structure of the entire paper. Make sure that it follows a logical structure, all sentences are of the perfect length, there are no repetitions, paragraphs do not need any expanding, or strengthening with more evidence, and that the entire paper is easily readable.

Finally, read your writing out loud, ideally, to somebody else. Ask for feedback and advice from either a good writer or simply the person you trust (this person should not necessarily have expertise in history, but should have good writing skills).

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