Guidelines for Essay Writing

5 Steps to Writing an Historical Essay

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5 Steps to Writing an Historical Essay

Written by Liz Cooksey

High School Social Studies Teacher

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     The purpose of this guide is to walk a high school student through an easy step-by-step process of writing an historical essay.

     Writing an essay for history is not necessarily the same as it may be for an English class.

    Through the next few pages we will cover a basic overview of the process while also pointing out some “do’s and don’ts” of writing an historical essay.

 

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Step 1: Brainstorm

 Once you have read the question or prompt, you must determine the key points you will need to address and then brainstorm ideas that will support your points.

 

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Step 2: Create a Thesis Statement

The purpose of a thesis is to summarize the key arguements of your essay into one firm statement. Strong thesis statements usually need to include about 3 points that you intend to prove through the essay.

When coming up with your thesis for a historical essay there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to include specific examples that you will later discuss in detail
  • Do not use 1st person
  • Do not write refer to “this essay”

 

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Step 3: Create an Introduction Paragraph

Creating an introduction paragraph becomes more easy once the thesis has been determined. The purpose of this paragraph is only to introduce your ideas, not describe in detail or length.  

When writing your introduction there are a few ideas you need to keep in mind:

  • Open with a broad statement
  • Each sentence should get a little more specific and detailed, but not actually discussing the content of the essay.
  • The introduction paragraph should conclude with the thesis you have already constructed.

 

  Some people may prefer to write their thesis first as we have done here, or some may choose to begin writing their introduction paragraph and then figure out the thesis as they get there. Neither way is wrong!

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Step 4: Write the Body

The majority of your work will appear here, in the body of the essay. This will usually be a minimum of 3 paragraphs (more or less depending on how many points included in you thesis).

Between each major idea you need to use creatively phrased transition statements that allow the flow of the essay to not be disrupted.

The key to a good body portion of your essay is to remember to only discuss 1 major idea per paragraph. Make districtions between you major ideas in order to help support your thesis.

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Step 5: Conclusion

The conclusion is the easiest part of your essay. Here you should wrap up you main ideas that you have thoroughly discussed and argued throughout your body paragraphs.

Make sure not to introduce any new points here. this is simply to close out your final thoughts. You should, however, restate the ideas from  your thesis within the conclusion paragraph.

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Here is a visual representation of what your essay should look like:

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Several pointers for writing your essay:

 

  • DON’T use 1st person
    • No “I” “me” “we” “us”

 

  • Don’t use definitive’s…
    • “never” “always”

 

  • Don’t say it unless you are SURE!!!
    • If you aren’t, then phrase is as “likely”

 

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Here are a few phrases that may help you out as you begin to write:

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What do you do now???

 

GET STARTED!!!

 

Follow these 5 steps and you’ll be sure to impress your history teacher with your historical writing skills!

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Images from:

http://www.unm.edu/~tinan/writing/ged_essay_directions.htm

http://drb.lifestreamcenter.net/Lessons/process_maps/

http://languagearts.pppst.com/essays.html

http://www.cisc.gc.ca/annual_reports/annual_report_2008/conclusion_2008_e.html

http://www.expertessaysblog.com/2011/10/essay-help-body-paragraphs/

http://esol960.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/writing-an-introduction/

http://www.writers-block-help.com/how-to-write-a-thesis-statement.html

http://www.wpclipart.com/signs_symbol/safety_signs/danger_do_not_enter_sign.png.html

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Help with Writing a History Essay – What You Should Know

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There is a wide variety of essays colleges usually assign to their students, and each kind has its particular features. Let’s look at some special qualities of a history essay which our experts have pointed out throughout their career.

  • It is important to refer to the opinions and statements of proper historians who spent their lives learning and researching certain events to make your essay more trustworthy and informative.
  • You should start every paragraph with a clear statement that you will proceed to talk about. The structure is extremely important and should fulfill the proper argument-explanation formula.
  • Your history essay should consist strictly of real facts and points – no speculations and what-ifs, you should take real aspects and analyse them.
  • Back up your statements with proper sources, quotations or documents.
  • The structure of the whole essay should be circular – your conclusion must include and in a way summarize the thesis you proposed at the beginning.
  • Don’t stray from your point – keep it strictly systematic, discuss and write only about those facts you’ve explicitly mentioned.

Writing a history essay has not only a get-your-grade point, but it is also educational and helps teach you to discriminate between what is important, the less important and the irrelevant. Our professional academic writers know all the secrets of history essays. If you think there is too little time left for you to write it yourself – we can help you stay afloat. Order history essay at The-Essays.com and it will be masterfully completed even at short notice.

If you still want to try your best – we can give you some advice. It is recommended to develop a certain pattern when writing your history essay, especially if you have more than one assignment. Having a system for the first paper can and will help you with further ones. Here are some pivotal points you can rely on when proceeding with your task:

  1. Relate the question to what you know about the subject.
    If you have learnt your work properly and understood everything, you will soon realize what aspects of it the history essay question is testing.
  2. Put the question into your own words.
    Is the question asking me to tell a story or merely describe certain parts of what I have learnt? Is it asking me to be analytical, that is, am I being asked, for example, to break the subject down into the causes of an event, and decide which were the more important causes?
  3. Once you have conducted your research and decided what is relevant, you must choose what material exactly is more important for you to concentrate on.
    Deal with the less important material first, but it must be done briefly. Put it in order, which the reader can follow; find a theme for it. But, do not spend too much time on this stage.
  4. Now organize your important material into a logical, coherent pattern, which answers the history essay question.
    This theme or pattern is your view of how the question should be answered. It is the thread of your argument. It’s your reaction to the question – whether or not you agree with it. This is the focus of your history essay. This is the section on which you spend most of your time. This is where you get the correct balance, where you show that you have understood the question and what is relevant to your case.
  5. You need to explore a lot of historical aspects that are brought up in your essay, and learn to make a proper analysis of said aspects.
    An example of this would be the way you answer the question. For instance, when it comes to history essay, compare Lenin’s and Stalin’s attitude to the peasants. One method is to cover their standpoints separately then make the comparison. Or you can compare each time you make a point. The second method is preferable because it eliminates repetition.
  6. Make sure that you have arranged the history essay in chronological order.
    It can seem a minor thing, but it is crucial to remember about the order in which certain events took place as to not confuse your reader and make your essay more readable and clear.

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