How to Write a History Essay

Preparation stage
1/ The task of any essay is to provide a proper answer to the question and to support it with facts. Do not expect a high grade if you get off the track and discuss irrelevant information, staying focused will save your time.
Prepare a list of terms you are planning to use in your essay, as some may need to be defined.
2/ During the preparation stage, you need to consider what you are supposed to do with the essay question. The task may vary from interpreting or explaining the question, to arguing or evaluating. Some tasks will have a combination of responses. You may get a history essay sample to get an idea of how it’s done.
3/ Think of a strong thesis statement. It should clearly address the essay topic. You may incorporate the supporting arguments into corresponding body paragraphs.
4/ Develop an essay plan. Prior to writing an essay, you should have a plan to make sure you have covered all the important issues. When writing a plan, think about transitions from one point to another.

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Research of the topic

1 - Taking a deep look at any history essay example, one will see that students should use both primary and secondary sources. Any essay argument has to be supported by solid evidence. But always ask your teacher if you doubt whether to use secondary sources.
You should be sure that primary sources come from the historical period being discussed, while secondary sources are the works that analyze the past period and any related events.
Most of the history essays should be based on the extensive research of primary sources.

2 - When looking for your sources, go to the core texts that are usually selected by a teacher to help students. Otherwise, you may get lost going over thousands of texts. Save some time to study the footnotes in the sources. Some of them may guide you further in understanding the topic better.
Do not forget about the library. You can always look through online catalogues or ask librarians for a piece of advice.
Avoid any crowd-sourced web sites, but search for credible ones.

3 - If you have decided to use secondary sources, make sure they were written by a person who is experienced in this field and has a position at a university; the book should be published by the University press or any other academic institution.

4 - Make a list of quotes and ideas you would like to discuss in your paper. All of them should be referenced if you do not want to lose any credits for plagiarism.

Essay introduction
Even if you do not know how to do an essay, do not worry. Start with a strong introduction. It is the first element that is meant to draw reader’s attention.

  • The introduction should include an outline of what you are going to discuss and how you are planning to do this.
  • Provide a brief overview of the debates on your topic. Make sure the reader understands that you are aware of the information any other historians have written on this case.

1 . The paper should follow the structure set in the introduction. If you do not know how to write a history paper, use it as you guidance.
2 . Each paragraph should address a specific essay question. Develop the argument in the body of your history essay.
3 . Always support your thesis with evidence by quoting the source. Sometimes you may also summarize an idea instead of quoting it directly.
4 . Use proper transitions to create a smooth flow of ideas from one paragraph to another. It is a universal tip on how to write a good history paper.
5 . An exceptional conclusion has a summary of all the key points and arguments. It can also point to the areas available for further research

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Proper essay proofreading
1/ Take a break before you start proofreading. Cut down any extensive ideas and extra-long sentences. Remove any unnecessary words.
2/ Double-check your reference list. All the references should be included both in the text and on the list. Make sure their numbers match.

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