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How to Write A Great History Essay

First of all , we have be asking ourselves, what is a quality history paper? The likelihood is that no two individuals will fully agree, if only for the good reason that the quality of the essay is in the eye – and reflects the intellectual state that the reader. What follows ignores philosophical considerations and provides practical tips on how to write an essay that can earn top marks.


The witnesses in court swear that they will speak truthfully to the fullest extent possible and nothing less than the truth. Every history student should take an identical oath. They must answer each question with completeness question , and not to leave out the question. It is the main rule. Write beautifully and defend your position with plenty of convincing evidence but if your argument is not a relevant person, then you could be as likely to be tapping on a cymbal. In other words, it is essential to think in detail about the problem you’re being asked to respond to. Avoid the regrettable error of more weak students who, at the very least in the end, fail to answer the test the examiners should have set – but failed to do so. You should take your time and study carefully over the wording of the question, then make certain in your own mind that you’ve understood all the terms.

If, for example, you are asked why Hitler was elected to power You must explain what the procedure of gaining power consisted of. Was there an event that marked his acquisition of authority? If you are quick to jump on his appointment as Chancellor, take a moment to think about the actual powers that this position was conferred to him.Read here history essay writer At our site Was the passing of the Enabling Act more important? And when did the rise to power actually begin? Should you mention Hitler’s childhood or the high inflation of the early 1920s? If you can establish which years are relevant – and consequently which ones aren’t and therefore irrelevant, you have made a the right choice. It is then possible to identify the various factors that led to his rise.

Or if you are called upon to present the accomplishments that a particular person has achieved be sure to avoid writing your first thought to pop to mind. Think about possible successes. If you do, you are likely to be faced with the issue of defining’success’. What does it actually mean? Is it the fulfillment of some goals? Does it have to be objective (a matter of fact) as opposed to subjective (a topic of discussion)? We must consider whether there are long-term or short-term gains? If a person has unusual luck, is that still a success? This grappling with the problem of definitions will help you make a list of successful events, and you can then elaborate on the reasons behind them, by tracing their roots while determining the way they came about. Do you know if there is a basis for the success? If so, this could form the main premise of your response.

The key word in the above paragraphs is “to be thought of”. This should be distinguished from daydreaming about, remembering and doing nothing but speculating. Thinking isn’t always a pleasant exercise, which is why most of us contrive to avoid it all the time. But there’s no way around it in order to score the very best marks. Make sure to think as long in your mind about significance about the topic, about what it is that it asks about and ways to address it. You need to think and consider your thoughts – and after that you need to rethink the question and look for any loopholes in your thinking. You will eventually get confused. It’s okay, confusion is usually an essential step towards the journey to clarity. If you are completely confused the best thing to do is take a rest. If you come back to the topic maybe the issue has been resolved. If not give yourself more time. You may discover that positive ideas pop into your head at unintentional timings.

The Vital First Paragraph

Every single part of an essay is important, but that first paragraph is particularly important. This is the first chance you’ll have to impress or even depress an examiner, and your first impressions often determine. So, try writing a striking opening sentence. (‘Start with an earthquake then work your way until you reach a peak, according to the filmmaker Cecil B. De Mille.) More important is that you show your knowledge of the question set. Here , you outline your carefully elaborate definitions of major terms. Also, here it is your responsibility to define the relevant time frame and questions – which is to say, the conditions of the question. Also, you divide the overall question into more than manageable divisions, or smaller-sized questions, on the basis of which you’ll write in a paragraph. You create an argument or even voice different arguments that can be further substantiated later in the essay. So the first paragraph and perhaps you’ll want to spread the opening paragraph over two paragraphs is the most important element to writing a strong essay.

When they read a well-written beginning paragraph, examiners will feel assured that the writer is on the proper track. It is pertinent analytic and rigorous. They’ll probably be breathing and feel a sense of relief to know that there is a student at least who avoids two of the most frequent mistakes. The first is to avoid the question completely. A second approach is to write an account of the events that occurred – typically beginning with the creation of an individual with a half-hearted attempt at answering to the question within the final paragraph.

Middle Paragraphs

Philip Larkin once said that the modern novel consists of the beginning, followed by a confusionand an ending. The same is, alas it is the case for many essays on history. But if you’ve written the perfect opening section, where you’ve broken down the entire question into distinct easily manageable sections Your essay will not be muddled; it will be clear and coherent.

It should be evident, in the middle of your paragraphs, what you’re going to address. Indeed , it’s an excellent test of an essay. The reader is able guess the question even if your title is obscured. Thus, it is recommended to start every middle paragraph with a generalization specific to the question. After that, you can expand on this idea and support it with evidence. The evidence you provide must be a carefully selection sources (i.e. quotes and facts) to prove the point you’re making. You have a small amount of space or time be aware of how much detail to give. Insignificant background details can be summarised with broad strokes, but your top priorities require more emphasis. (Do not be one among those candidates who, unaccountably “go to town” on marginal areas while glossing over critical areas.)

The rules typically stipulate that, during the A2 year, students must be well-versed in the principal definitions of historians. Be sure to follow this advice. But, on the other hand be careful not to take historiography to the extreme, such that the past itself is insignificant. In particular, avoid falling into the false impression that all you require are the opinions of historians. In many essays, students present a generalisation but back this up with the opinions of an historian – and since they’ve made this generalisation from their own opinion, the argument is entirely circularand, consequently, useless and inconclusive. The argument is also preposterous in that it presumes historians can be trusted as omniscient gods. If you do not present evidence to support your belief and historians have a tendency to do so, the generalisation is just an assertion. The middle paragraphs are where you should look where you can really see the substance of an essay. you neglect this at your risk.

End Paragraph

If you’ve been trying to make against a particular point within the body of an essay, be sure to bring to the case in the last paragraph. If you’ve analyzed a few possible arguments, now’s your chance to prove which is the correct one. In the middle paragraph , you are akin to a barrister conducting a trial. In the last paragraph, you’re the judge who is summarizing the case and presenting the verdict.

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