Every student always has to write a history essay at one point or the other throughout their academic journey. This is why it is essential to learn the tricks for writing a good narration of historical events. This kind of essay majorly tests students’ ability to understand, interpret, evaluate, write, research, and think logically. It is not just a compilation of dates and events. It tests your capacity to analyze past occurrences in relation to a topic, question, or issue in a coherent manner. This article highlights some significant things to note when writing a good history essay.
Understand the Question
As crucial as this tip is, many students often ignore it, and this lack of understanding becomes evident in their final write-up. It is impossible to properly answer a question or address a topic you do not understand. Hence, take your time and let the question’s wording sink to make your writing task more manageable.
Read the question multiple times and give it a lot of thought. Highlight the keywords and check out what the question or topic really expects you to do. Sometimes, your professors might give you sub-questions. The essence of this is to aid you in having a good grasp of the main topic. Therefore, you should not ignore it.
Start your Research
A history essay is what it is because it involves retelling past events. Thus, research is an inevitable aspect of writing it. Before delving into this, you should brainstorm and have a plan. What are your initial responses or ideas to the question? Jot them down. This will inform the direction of your research and help you navigate the range of times, dates, and particular events to focus on.
When researching, you should refresh your existing understanding of the topic as it gives you a basis for further investigation. Find relevant sources for your writing. It can be core texts from the library, online journal databases, or crowdsourced sites. Ensure your sources are accurate.
You should also make a distinction between primary and secondary sources. Primary sources include any texts, images, films, or other types of evidence produced during the historical period. Secondary sources refer to the works of historians and other writers who have previously analyzed historical events. From your research, you can develop a contention. This determines what the main idea of your argument will be.
Develop an Outline
An outline is essentially the structure of your essay. It is a map that will guide you while writing. It would be best if you had an outline because the findings you get from your research might be complicated and disjointed. Hence, it is a way of organizing your thoughts and deciding which pattern your essay will follow. A good structure to follow is the introduction, main paragraphs, and conclusion.
Write a Captivating Introduction
The introduction can be considered the most important aspect of your write-up because it is the first thing your readers are exposed to. The purpose of an introduction is to set your readers at ease and let them know the direction your arguments will be headed. They should be clear on your interpretation of the question at the end of your introduction.
Your introduction should begin with background information and a definition of keywords. You should also define the question’s parameters and signpost the direction of your answer. Your thesis statement should also be concisely stated.
Write the Main Paragraphs
One can easily say that clarity is the golden rule for writing a good essay. Being clear goes a long way in demonstrating your understanding and interpretation of the question. Ensure you write in paragraphs, and each should begin with a topic sentence. Every paragraph should focus on the idea in its opening sentence and be fully formed. You should provide thorough explanations and analysis. You can also employ the use of quotations to support your argument.
Back up your contention with solid evidence because it gives your essay relevance. Engage the sources critically and ultimately show how they prove your point. What makes the difference between a good and a great essay is a proper demonstration of a genuine understanding of the topic. Therefore, everything you are saying should be relevant to the question. They should be progressive and lead to a logical conclusion. Your points should flow naturally.
Putting all of these together might be a lot. Hence, if you are short on time or find it challenging to develop a compelling write-up, you can engage the services of professional essay writers. It requires very easy steps to get your essay written if you find yourself in such a situation.
Have a Strong Conclusion
Your conclusion is your final standpoint on the topic. Therefore, it should reiterate your contention and close your essay. When your conclusion is succinct and reflects the substance of your write-up, it is strong enough to nail your contention. You should also avoid introducing lots of new points here.
Reference and Proofread your Work
Ensure that you reference and cite your sources. Proofread your work to check for typographical, grammatical, or spelling errors. You should also spell names and state facts correctly. Make your sentences short and punchy in an active voice. Avoid generalizations and write in the past tense in the third person always.
Even though it may seem tasking, writing a good history essay is not complicated. It only requires that you do your research and develop a good outline. Make sure you understand the question and clearly state your contention. Back up your arguments with relevant evidence and be consistent with whatever approach you follow.
Ensure that your points are relevant to the question and flow naturally. Spell names correctly and give accurate facts. Your conclusion should encapsulate your arguments in a concise and clear manner. These tips will greatly aid you in writing an excellent essay.