Detailed Guide on History Essay Writing
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Could you give a definition of what a history essay is? If your answer is No, then carefully read this article and make specific emphasis on the next sentence. A history essay is a piece of writing on any event, person, or war that took place in the history of the whole humankind or any specific nation, country, etc. presented in the format of an essay. Writing a history essay involves not only the correct style of formatting, but also originality, creativity, as well as analytical, critical thinking and language skills. Below, you may find a thorough guide on how to write a history essay accordingly. Take into account the following things:
- How to commence a history essay: Start with a statement, rhetoric, or question. The point is to get your readers interested and involved into your piece of writing.
- How to compose the main body: You should include thesis statements of your key point and explicate it in detail.
- How to end your essay: You should provide a strong conclusion that would restate the thesis and key findings. If your readers get bored when reading your piece of writing, they will likely to skip the other remaining parts and follow straight to its conclusion. Thus, work on your conclusion very carefully and scrupulously.
Historical Writing: Essential Features
The key elements of academic essay writing are as follows: a thesis and pieces of evidence that are divided into 3 parts: the introduction, the main body devoted to the systematic and logical development of argumentation, and the conclusion.
It is imperative to indicate that historical essay writing is supposed to always be based on the thesis statement. A thesis is a specific statement or a certain argument that is to be present in each essay. The thesis reflects your particular position, point of view, or interpretation, etc. Avoid simply "restating" your professor’s question. You should demonstrate creativity and critical thinking by indicating what the question asks, and why it is essential rather than just repeating it. Consider that your personal perspective does matter a lot. The majority of students try to find out whether the "thesis" is not their "point of view or opinion" of a certain historical question. It is imperative to note that a thesis statement is indeed a "perspective" or "point of view," which is based not only on a certain belief, but on systematic and logical arguments supported by pieces of evidence.
- Thesis and Evidence
To make a strong argument, you should have a persuasive thesis statement and plausible pieces of evidence. These two elements are interrelated and support one another. A strong thesis statement needs a wide scope of different pieces of evidence; otherwise, it will be incapable of convincing no one. The key task of yours is to select the most significant "facts, data, statistics, etc." and to present them in a persuasive, systematic and reasonable manner, which should defend or support your point of view. To support each of your arguments, you should also be experienced in utilizing footnotes or end-notes and completing bibliographies for your pieces of writing; neither of the tasks is time-consuming, and both are essential requirements for professional academic writing. The footnote is aimed at demonstrating the thesis of the writer against certain pieces of evidence. For instance, if your professor is not clear about your key arguments, he or she can very go back and double-check how you utilize each of original sources found by you. By taking your notes accordingly, your arguments will always be presented in concrete pieces of evidence of the previous events which readers can quickly verify. You should always refer to the standards on footnote and bibliography or references presentation.
- Historical Type of Writing
It is imperative to stress that "historical" writing is a bit different from writing requested in other social sciences, for instance, in literature, or in applied sciences. Although all types of writing keep to the general thesis and the model of evidence presentation, historical writing is also dependent on situating different pieces of evidence, as well as arguments accordingly in space and time in writing on the past. Each historian is very sensitive to mistakes of anachronism, when historical events are provided in the "incorrect" order or sequence, or when historical figures speak, act or think in ways inappropriate for a specific time when they lived. Reading or interpreting the past from the point of view of your personal present experience may also lead to problematic issues in your presentation of arguments.
Steps in Composing a Historical Essay of Superb Quality
- Comprehend the set question correctly.
Take into account the way it is presented or worded. Be well aware, for instance, that "evaluate or assess" does not mean the same thing as "explicate, describe, etc." and neither is the same as "contrast or compare," or "make analysis of." What are the key phrases or words? Could you define them accordingly? What pieces of evidence are required to suit effectively? In case you are going to develop your own topic, ponder what important concerns and what questions are you able to set yourself?
- Get ready with the materials, data, statistics, etc.
Start either reading or re-reading) specific texts, documents, or other sources. Students often set the question: "How could I give you a thesis (or complete my intro) before I have read all necessary materials?" Evidently, you cannot compose a good piece of writing if you have not handled the readings needed. Thus, be sure that you keep up. Consider that "reading everything" does not guarantee that you will be capable of doing good writing. In many cases, students rush through their written tasks, while some highlight each line, both brooding that by counting words or pages they do well. You should always try to establish critical and essential arguments in each text. Avoid just reading for "info." Try to critically examine and then explicate your sources with several questions in your mind. What has the author meant? What are her or his unstated or stated assumptions or considerations? What pieces of evidence support the arguments indicated? Such questions could be the beginning of your future piece of writing.
- First draft
As indicated above, each piece of academic writing is to be competed in drafts, and in advance. Even if you are short of time, you should try to have enough time to revise and review your notes. Students sometimes submit papers that they have never read carefully themselves. Such a deed is considered a huge error. Think of your first draft as a thorough outline. Try to formulate your thesis statement and see how it could look in writing. Is it too broad or narrow, specific or general, interesting or boring? Does it address the set questions by your professor? Do not be afraid to make it look better.
As you work on your essay, make emphasis on the points indicated below:
- Organize your considerations on paper. You should present your arguments or points of view and connect them to the supporting and relevant pieces of evidence. If any of evidence pieces contradicts the thesis, then it is recommended to rethink and restate your thesis. Evidently, you should not alter the pieces of evidence, but you should always seek some citations or texts that make your point clearer, better, more persuasive, more precise. Avoid long quotes that fill up your text only. All citations should be integrated systematically and logically into your argumentation.
- Be attentive to the construction of your sentences, paragraphs, as well as the work in general. Paragraphs should comprise strong topic and concluding sentences. You should present clear development in your argumentation. The first point should logically lead to the second one in paragraph after paragraph, or section after section. It is recommended to avoid simply detailing each of your argument in the order that they dawn to your mind. Though there can be no the correct sequence in providing arguments, a thought-out ordering as well as systematic and clear development of all the points is more desirable and convincing than the ideas stuffed together in a random way.
- Pay specific attention to sentence and paragraphs transitions: whenever you switch to a novel argument, allow the readers to get familiar with a novel topic sentence. Avoid thinking that maybe, my readers can guess or are well aware what I have implied. Always keep in your mind that the purpose of each essay, especially a history one, is to communicate as well convince your readers.
- Spend sufficient time on your conclusion. Consider that it should summarize and close your arguments provided in the essay. Keep in mind that the conclusion has a big influence on the readers.
- The final draft of your work
At last, you have composed your draft. Then you should get back to your introduction. Double-check whether the thesis is clearly stated. Have you managed to establish the arguments and pieces of evidence presented by you? Rephrase or review your thesis statement if there is a need. You may not even be certain about the final thesis statement until you have composed the whole essay itself and understood how the arguments hold together in it. Add interesting examples /or facts or delete non-relevant data and ensure that paragraphs are well connected with each other by means of different transitions, as well as topic and concluding sentences. It is imperative to proofread, format and edit your piece of writing. You should set your paper aside for a few days, for instance, and get back to it in some time.
It is also advised to read it aloud to your room or class-mates. Some classes, such as the History Seminars, get students to critique each others' drafts more than one time. Such practice is an invaluable opportunity to learn how different students understand and interpret your ideas, and how to be judicious, fair, helpful and scrupulous in your critiques. You may also ask other people to read your piece of writing and give their comments on it. Last but not least, check for grammar, sense, spelling, style, format, as well as typographical and mechanical mistakes.
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