History is a popular degree many students choose to study annually. Whether American, European, or Asian, the history of every country is rich and inspiring. However, a history degree isn’t only about learning how a particular country changed within a specific time frame. Students are also required to analyze events and think critically. That’s why essay writing is a common assignment for history.
Writing a history essay isn’t a piece of cake. It is often a challenging task that requires solid research and a good deal of analysis. But it doesn’t mean that writing an impeccable history essay is unattainable. With the right approach, you can compose a top-notch paper on any historical event. Read on to learn more.
History Essay: Definition and Purpose
Many wrongly consider that a history essay is a paper describing some historical event only. Well, not exclusively. A history essay is a type of paper that focuses on a specific event that occurred in the past. However, the purpose of such a writing discourse hinges on the paper’s preliminary requirements.
Nonetheless, a history essay can describe an event, analyze it, highlight its consequences, and many more. Whatever the writer needs to complete, the essay must be objective and, above all, credible. In other words, the author must provide authoritative and credible information to back up their arguments or claims.
Comprehending an assignment sheet
If you strive to get an A+ for your history essay, you must learn the requirements beforehand. Experts from a cheap essay writing service emphasize the importance of this step, for it plays a pivotal role in the paper’s final grade. Therefore, before delving into writing, learn what the central question is and what keywords it contains. Besides, ensure to familiarize yourself with other requirements, e.g., the sources your teacher requires you to use, and the word count your essay should meet.
Locating relevant sources
Once you are well aware of what your job is, proceed to sources. Searching for sources is one of the most long-standing tasks in essay writing. Yet, you are unlikely to write a substantial and reliable piece without appropriate sources.
You will encounter a variety of sources, from books and articles to newspapers and pictures. Indubitably, what you select depends on its reliability and type. As to the latter, sources can be primary and secondary. This classification is essential, as it allows historians to write better and more credible pieces.
Primary sources are any first-hand evidence produced by people who lived during the time of a specific event. Often, such documents are letters, diaries, memos, but they can also be official documents, like newspapers, magazines, decrees, and alike.
In turn, secondary sources are documents written by people who lived later or by historians who examined the event. Such documents rely on primary sources and interpret them.
Many people think that secondary sources, especially those written by experts, are always objective and must be used whenever possible. However, history isn’t a fixed interpretation of events. It’s a rather ongoing debate on why past events occurred and what they brought. The angle of debates often changes, and so do historians’ views. What one could state several years ago might be outdated and irrelevant these days.
So, make sure to critically analyze your sources and pick the most updated secondary papers when writing a history essay. Also, remember to take notes as you go through the sources. Noting down page numbers, relevant ideas, and your take on them will be of great use.
Coming up with the thesis statement
The next step toward successful history essay writing is creating a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a cornerstone of an excellent paper. It lays out core aspects you will develop within the entire body part. When working on your thesis, keep in mind the central question and its keywords. They’ll help you develop a powerful statement and determine the course of your essay.
Composing an outline
Upon collecting the necessary sources and building a thesis statement, it’s time to build an outline. An outline is a tremendous tool that provides an added value for history essay writing. It helps come up with a plan for a paper, which intends to keep the writer organized and reasonable. Following an outline, you won’t be tempted to add extra information and thus deviate from the initial course. Besides, the piece will increase your productivity and help you finish the paper faster.
Drafting the first version according to the structure
It would be excellent to focus on drafting the paper first and polishing it to perfection afterward. Why? People tend to be more effective when visualizing things. Writing the first version of your history essay will allow you to see its potential flaws and how to fix them quickly and efficiently.
The drafting process is simple: you just write the paper according to the structure, which is the following:
Like any other academic paper, a history essay begins with an introductory paragraph. Typically, it consists of three essential elements. When working on an introduction, remember to:
- Recapitulate the issue or event and provide some background
- Include an explanation for the historical question, i.e., what triggered it
- Provide an answer (aka a thesis statement) to the historical question
Assuming you are writing a standard, two-page essay, you will need to compose three body sections, of which two support your argument, and one goes against it. Every supporting paragraph should:
- Support the argument
- Provide historical evidence and state where it was retrieved from
- Explain how the evidence supports the argument
- Explain the reliability, influence, and quality of the proof
To write a rebuttal paragraph:
- Select the strongest opposing point
- Find a shred of evidence that supports the opposing point
- Refute the opposing evidence by explaining the reliability, influence, and quality of the proof
When writing a conclusion, ensure to:
- Recap a historical event
- Explain the relevance of your perspective
- Add some information on the historical context to help the readers connect your answer to it
What’s left is to use this structure to finish the draft, step away from it, and take a short break to regain concentration. Once you are ready to continue, reread your piece and fix mistakes coming along your way. Also, don’t forget to double-check your citations and ensure adding every source to the works cited page.