How To Write a Good History essay

It is important to ask: What is an excellent history essay? It is likely that no two people would totally agree, and that’s for the good reason that the quality of the essay is subjective – and represents the mental state of the individual reading. What follows, therefore, goes beyond philosophical debates and offers practical advice on how to write an essay that can make top marks.


Court witnesses promise to reveal the truth to the fullest extent possible and nothing but the truth. Students of all subjects in history should swear the same oath, namely to answer your question fully, with the complete question and not only the question. This is the most important rule. You can write beautifully as well as argue your case with numerous convincing arguments However, if irrelevant, then you could be as likely to be tapping in a cymbal. In other words, you have to think very attentively about the question it asks you to answer. Be certain 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 , unfortunately, didn’t. Take your time, look closely at the precise wording of the question, and make certain in your own mind that you’ve comprehended the entire meaning of the question.

If, for example, there is a question about why Hitler was elected to power and what was this process of gaining power consisted of. What is the specific event which marked his accession to the power? If you’re tempted to immediately focus on his appointment as Chancellor, take a moment to think about what exactly the powers this position conferred upon him.Read more history essay writer At website Articles Was the passing of the Enabling Act more important? Was it the time when the rise to power actually begin? Would you be required to address Hitler’s birth and childhood or his hyperinflation during the early 1920s? If you can decide the pertinent years – and thus, which ones don’t matter that you are on the right track, you’ve got off to a an excellent start. It is then possible to identify the many factors that accounted for the rise of his popularity.

If you’re given the task of describing the achievements of a particular individual Avoid writing your first thought to pop into your mind. Look at possible outcomes. If you do, you are likely to be faced with an issue of defining’success’. What exactly does it mean? Does it mean the achievement of your goals? Does it have to be objective (a reality) or subjective (a thing of opinion)? Should we consider those who have had long-term success as well as short-term ones? If an individual is fortunate enough to enjoy an extraordinary amount of luck, is this still a successful event? That battling with the issue in defining success will help make a list that includes successes. You are then able to discuss themby delving into their history and determining how and why they came about. Are there any key common element in the success? If so, that could be the central point of your reply.

The word that is most prominent in the preceding paragraphs is “to think”. This is different from daydreaming, remembering and just sat in silence speculating. Thinking isn’t an easy affair, and most of us strive to avoid it all the time. However, there is no substitute for it if you’re determined to achieve top marks. Consider as much as you can about the significance and meaning of the questions, about the issues that it raises, and the options you have to consider to answer it. You must think and think hard – and then you should think again in search of flaws in your reasoning. Then you’ll likely be confused. But don’t fret: confusion is generally a necessary phase in the achievement of clarity. If you’re getting completely confused Take a break. If you come back to the subject maybe the problems have resolved themselves. If not, give yourself additional time. You may well find that decent ideas simply pop into the mind of your subconscious at unplanned times.

the Vital First Paragraph

Each element of an essay is vital, but your first paragraph is of paramount importance. It is the first opportunity you’ll have to impress or even depress an examiner, and the first impressions can be very decisive. Try to create a captivating first sentence. (‘Start with an earthquake and work up towards a conclusion, advised the filmmaker Cecil B. De Mille.) What is more important is that you be able to demonstrate your understanding of question set. In this section, you provide your well contemplated definitions of key terms, and here you define the appropriate time frame and the issues, in other words, you define the conditions of the question. Additionally, you break down the main question into manageable sections, or smaller questions on each of which you will subsequently write an entire paragraph. You will formulate an argument or even voice different points of view, which you will substantiate later in your essay. Therefore, the first paragraph or perhaps you might spread the opening paragraph over two paragraphs. This is the first step to writing an effective essay.

When reading a well-constructed initial paragraph, students will feel reassured the writer is on the right track, being pertinent with rigor, analysis and rigor. They’ll likely exhale as if they are relieved that there is a student at least who is avoiding the two common pitfalls. The first is to not even consider the question entirely. The second is to write an account of events, usually beginning with the beginning of an individual’s life – with a half-hearted attempt at answering the question in the closing paragraph.

Middle Paragraphs

Philip Larkin once said that the modern novel is composed of a beginning, a muddleand an ending. The same is, alas, all too true of numerous history essays. However, if you’ve put together an effective introduction section that has divided the main question into distinct easily manageable sections the essay won’t be muddled; it will be coherent.

It should be obvious, in your middle paragraphs what the topic you’re discussing. It’s even a good way to test the quality of an essay that the reader can figure out the question, even if you don’t mention it. Consider beginning each middle paragraph with a generalization specific to the question. Then you can build on this idea , and then support it with evidence. You should provide a well-considered selection in evidence (i.e. facts and quotations) to back up the argument you’re presenting. There’s a limit to the amount of space or time contemplate how much detail you’ll need. The most important background information can be outlined with the broad brush, however your most important areas need greater embellishment. (Do not be one of the naive applicants who unintentionally “do the frog’s circling” in marginal areas while glossing over important issues.)

The regulations typically state that during the A2 year, students must be knowledgeable about the major views of historians. It is important to adhere to this guidance. But, on the other hand do not push historiography to the extreme, such that the past is practically ignored. In particular, avoid falling into the illusion that all you need is the views of historians. A lot of times, in essays, students write a generalisation then back it up by quoting the opinion of a historian. since they’ve made the generalisation using the opinion it is untrue, which makes it meaningless and uninspiring. It also fatuously presupposes that historians are infallible and omniscient gods. If you do not provide real evidence that supports your opinion the way historians do, generally speaking, it’s just an assertion. The middle paragraphs are where you should look for the core of an essay, and you ignore this at your peril.

Last Paragraph

If you’ve been debating your case within the body of your essay, you should hammer on the point in the closing paragraph. If you’ve been looking at several possible arguments, now’s the time to say which one is correct. In the middle paragraph , you can be compared to a barrister fighting a case. Then, in the last paragraph, you are the judge summing up and presenting the verdict.