A Helpful Guide To Writing An A+ History Essay 

Mike Russel

What Is A History Essay?

It is the kind of assignment where you have to show understanding of a particular historical person or period in summary form. It is impossible to complete the task without knowledge of essential details. So when you write a historical essay, it develops your personality. It teaches you to speak up for yourself. You learn how to evaluate the events that have occurred and notice connections. This work tests your ability to bring data into the system and examine the significance of certain phenomena. You have to conduct an analysis using reliable facts to draw a conclusion. 

The requirements for this essay are the same as for other types:

  1. The idea should be clear and understandable;
  2. The essay should include only the information that is necessary to disclose the student’s opinion.
  3. There is a need for a logical and clear compositional structure.
  4. In each paragraph, students have to describe only one main point.
  5. Your text should reflect that you know theoretical concepts, terms, and worldview ideas and can refer to them.
  6. The paper must contain convincing arguments for supporting the author’s position.

What Should It Consist Of? 

The whole text you can divide into 3 parts. You only need a captivating introduction with the hook, a well-structured main body, and a conclusion. This is the basic history paper format you can use for all papers. But beyond that, you should be aware of historical essay features. So while constructing a plan, check whether your essay reflects all these specificities:

  1. Historical evidence

Your essay must go hand in hand with real facts. Yet, do not simply list all the events that were during the described period. You have to highlight the crucial moments that fully convey the atmosphere of the century or the character of a person.

There are two types of past events:

  • Historical. There is an objective and evidential basis that someone once existed or something happened. It has temporal and spatial localization.
  • Scientific. Scientists assume something took place. They base their opinion on conducted research and historical sources.

When mentioning facts from the second category, it is better to mention how scientists back up the acquired data. 

  1. Characteristics 

The characteristics of the historical person are of great importance. To get the highest mark, you have to not only tell in detail about the activities of an individual. You have to show the role they play in history within the given period, based on reliable sources. 

  1. Analysis of the cause-and-effect relationship

If you want to get the top grade for a paper, it is an important criterion. You should be able to identify the connection between historical episodes, how one event influenced another. So you have to analyze the data, determine the prerequisites and consequences. For many students, this is a rather complex intellectual activity. If you doubt you will handle it, contact professional writers to get advice.

The completeness of your knowledge about the chronological sequence plays an essential role. You have to establish the pattern to find out factors that unite several events, which at first glance have no connection. Thus, you need to present things chronologically and highlight what led to the interconnection between them. 

When will you not get good grades for your essays about history?

  • If you incorrectly identify the primary or least important reasons;
  • If you cannot uncover the causes and simply mention some facts;
  • If you present historical episodes without understanding their intertwined relationship.

How To Start A History Essay Introduction?

The first paragraph is your tool to capture the attention of the reader and set the tone for the whole work. Though essays are partly creative work, there are some aspects you had better know and use. You always need to mention:  

  • Relevance of the topic;
  • Overview, explanation on how detailed historians treat the topic.
  • Characteristics of the object and subject of research, defining basic terms.

Taking into consideration these nuances, basic steps for writing are the following:

  1. Outline the structure

    This will help you make your work coherent. Having an idea of what issues to raise and explain, you do not risk forgetting something. However, only you should see the structure, for the rest, the text must be smooth and clear. 

  2. Write an eye-catching first sentence

    Not everyone is ready to devote time to information that is not interesting to them and does not solve their problems. The reader should immediately understand what your paper is about. So think about what can make them engage with the content. These “hooks” are not easy to find, but they guarantee a good mark. It can be a little-known fact or original statistics. You may even refer to hype information, yet do not overdo it. Bear in mind, it is an academic assignment. If you find it difficult, reach out to history essay writers that have already mastered all these techniques.

  3. Get to the point

    The 2nd and 3rd sentences should serve as a link between the 1st, main, and the rest. They need to develop the idea from the first sentence, expand the context and create a smooth transition. 

  4. Describe the main idea or argument of your work

    Then you have to tell your readers what your historical analysis paper is about. While preparing, you have set a specific goal: not just to communicate something, but to express your opinion, or to convince someone. Thus, share your ideas with the readers, so that they decide whether it is worth their attention.

5 Tips For Writing The Main Part

  1. Prepare a history paper outline

Once again you need a plan. There are lots of historical events to write about. Thus note down what issues you want to encompass. And only then start searching for relevant and useful material. It helps to improve the overall consistency of the text. If your paper is well-organized and follows a logical sequence, people will be more likely to continue reading.

  1. Be concise

Let writers publish volumes, you have the word limit. Put yourself in readers’ shoes and ask yourself: “Would I like to read this to the end?” If your answer is no, then you probably do not get your point across. So, do not regret deleting sentences or even paragraphs that make no sense. 

  1. Omit dates that are not necessary for a historical essay

You only need to mention such key dates as, for example, the American Declaration of Independence or Second World War End. Others are not useless as they overload the text. Moreover, you can lose some points for an error if you make a mistake by at least one digit. Therefore, before writing a year, month, day, hour, and minutes, think twice. Are you sure of its correctness?

  1. Do not overuse stylistic devices

As it is not a literature essay, no one will appreciate your metaphors, epithets, and hyperboles. On the other hand, it can lead to confusion, so you will lose some points for figures of speech. Thus, you have to write clearly and concisely on the subject. The key condition is to meet all the requirements.

5. Get familiar with at least 3 different historians’ opinions 

Your point of view is undoubtedly very important, but for professors, real experts are more authoritative. Thus, we recommend you to read recent publications of well-known historians to get acquainted with their ideas. Because the phrase “According to Antony Beevor” sounds better than “I think that”.

How To Write A History Essay Conclusion 

In the paper, you should not only show comprehensive knowledge on the issue. This type of work raises more questions than gives answers to them. All suggested topics for writing still trigger controversy in scientific circles. So it will sound ridiculous if a student claims they have finally got to the truth. The essay does not allow a categorical approach to the assessment of historical figures or events. That is why in conclusion, you must show a respectful attitude to history instead of your subjective opinion. Demonstrate understanding of the inevitability of certain moments in the past.

To Sum Up

The key to success is to give a lot of insights into the topic. When you are sure of what you are talking about, you can easily convince others. The evidence you provide will be the focus of attention, so check them twice or thrice before use. Luckily, the structure of the assignment is not that different from other types. So we recommend reading other guides on how to write a classical argument essay, a college application, or book reports for college.

Mike Russel

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