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How To Write A Good History essay

It is important to inquire, what is an outstanding history essay? It is likely that no two people would all agree, even if it’s in the sense that the quality of a piece is determined by the eyes – and also reflects the mind of the reader. The article below, therefore goes beyond philosophical debates and offers practical guidelines on how to write an essay which will make top marks.


Witnesses in court vow that they will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing less than the truth. All students in history should swear an identical oath. They must answer the question, all of the of the question. That is the top rule. Write beautifully and be able to argue your case with plenty of convincing evidence and yet if ineffective, then you may as well just be tinkering on a cymbal. In other words, you have to think very thoughtfully about the questions which you have to reply to. Make sure you avoid that stumbling block of weaker students that, in the end fail to answer the question that the examiners ought to have asked – however they failed. Take your time, look carefully at the meaning of the question and be sure in your mind that you’ve thoroughly comprehended each of its terms.

If, for instance, you’re asked about the reason Hitler became the leader in the first place, you must clarify what the procedure of gaining power consisted of. Was there an event that is the reason he was able to attain authority? If you’re tempted to immediately focus on the appointment of Chancellor, be aware of the actual powers that this position was conferred to can find more here history essay writer from Our Articles Was the passing of the Enabling Act more important? And when did the rise to power actually start? Will you need to refer to Hitler’s childhood and birth or the period of hyperinflation in the early 1920s? If you know which years are relevant – and , therefore, irrelevant – you will have made a very good start. It is then possible to identify some of the factors behind the rise of his popularity.

Or , if you’re being asked to write about the accomplishments of one particular person be sure to avoid writing your first thought to pop into your head. Explore possible opportunities for success. As you think about possible successes, you will be confronted with the problem of defining ‘success’. What exactly is success? What is the definition of an individual’s goal? Are you able to say whether it is objective (a reality), or subjective (a question of opinion)? Do we have to think about longer-term as well as short-term achievements? If someone has extraordinary luck, then is this still a successful event? It is this tussle of definition can help identify a list of accomplishments, and you can then go on to explain them, going back to their beginnings and identifying the reason they took place. Is there a ingredient that has been shared by all of them? If yes, then this might represent the underlying theme of your response.

The main word in the above passages of text will be “to be thought of”. This should be distinguished from remembering, daydreaming and doing nothing but speculating. Thinking isn’t an easy activity, and many of us strive to stay clear of it all the time. There isn’t a better way to think when you’re trying to get the best grades. Think as hard as possible about meaning that the query is asking, the questions it poses and the ways you can answer it. It is essential to think and think hard – and then consider rethinking your thoughts seeking out gaps in your reasoning. Eventually you will almost certainly be confused. Be calm: confusion often an essential stage in the attainment of clarity. If you’re completely confused or lost, stop. When you return at the same question perhaps the problems have been resolved. If not, take the time to think about it. You may discover that decent ideas simply pop into the mind of your subconscious at unplanned times.

It is the Vital First Paragraph

Every aspect of an essay is crucial, but the introduction is the most important. This is the chance you’ll have to impress or disappoint – the examiner, and your first impressions can be crucial. Therefore, you should try to write an eye-catching first sentence. (‘Start with an earthquake and build up towards a conclusion, according to the filmmaker Cecil B. De Mille.) Importantly, you prove your knowledge of the questions. Here , you present your carefully deliberate definitions of the key terms, and here you identify the pertinent timeframe and the issues, that is, the guidelines of the questions. In addition, you split your overall question into manageable parts, or smaller questions, each of them you’ll write an entire paragraph. Then, you formulate an argument, or perhaps you speak up alternative ideas, which you’ll back up later in your essay. The opening paragraph or perhaps you might spread the beginning section over two paragraphs. This is the first step to writing a great essay.

After reading a clear and concise beginning paragraph, examiners will be profoundly reassured that the writer is on the right lines, being relevant to the subject, thorough and analytical. They’ll likely breathe at the relief that there is a student at least who is avoiding these two common mistakes. The first is to avoid the question completely. Another option is to write an account of the events that occurred – often beginning with the birth of the person along with a half-hearted effort at answering the question in the final paragraph.

Middle Paragraphs

Philip Larkin once said that the modern novel has the beginning, followed by a mixand an ending. That’s, unfortunately often the case in many essays on history. If you’ve written an engaging opening section where you’ve broken down the whole question into distinct easily manageable sections, your essay will not be scattered; it will be clear and coherent.

It should be evident, in your middle paragraphs which question you’re answering. Indeed , it’s a test of an essay that the reader can determine the topic even if the title is not clear. So consider starting each middle paragraph will a generalisation relevant to the question. Then , you can further develop this idea and back it up with evidence. It is important to provide a careful selection of evidence (i.e. facts and quotations) for the argument that you’re making. You only have a limited amount of space or time, so think about how much detail to give. Insignificant background details can be outlined with a broad brush; your most crucial areas require more enhancement. (Do not be one of those uninformed candidates who, without a trace ‘go to town’ on aspects that aren’t important and then gloss over crucial ones.)

The regulations typically state that, during the A2 year, students should know the most important theories of historians. Do not ignore this suggestion. But, on the other hand do not push historiography to such a degree that the history itself is completely ignored. In particular, avoid falling into the trap of thinking that all you need are sources of historical opinion. Many times in essays, students use a generalisation to back it up with their own opinion of an historian . However, since they have formulated the generalisation by relying on the opinion that the historian has given, their argument is completely loopy, meaningless and inconclusive. The argument also assumes that historians are perfect and omniscient gods. If you do not provide real evidence in support of your beliefs and historians have a tendency to do so, generally speaking, it’s just an assertion. The middle paragraphs provide the space to establish the essence of an essay. If you neglect this at your risk.

End Paragraph

If you’ve been discussing a case in the body of your essay, make sure to drive it in the closing paragraph. If you’ve looked at a variety of different options, now’s your chance to prove which is the correct one. In the middle paragraph , you look like a barrister fighting a case. Now, in the final paragraph, you play the judge summing up your verdict.