How to write a history paper effectively

Typically, a history essay is a piece of paper where a student has to cover a historical issue within a certain number of words, while providing historical information together with his personal observations and conclusions. Topics for this assignment may be absolutely different. Actually any topic will do, as far as it relates to a historical event or a significant person, wars, revolutions, someone's biography, technical progress, cultural aspects, etc. There's a wide range of topics to discuss, unless you were assigned a specific one. Anyway, you are expected to show your understanding and knowledge of the material, as well as your ability to analyze, since history is not only about knowing, but also about being able to learn from it.

Start preparing right away

To begin with, you have to evaluate the question given in the assignment. This may take some time, but it is important that you understand the meaning of the question. Sometimes it may appear to be deeper than it seems. So even if your essay is provided with great arguments, but doesn't include a specific answer to the given question, you will not succeed. Find out the key words and specific terms in the prompt. If you don't know their meaning, look for it in the dictionary and read carefully. Here's why it is important to find the key words:

  • First of all, they will be the ground on which you will build your whole paper.
  • You can use them as boundaries to keep your essay logical and well-structured.
  • They will help you limit the sources of information to use for preparing material.

Understanding the purpose of your essay

In order to learn how to write a history paper, you have to consider the ultimate goal of the assignment. Various questions require various answers and thus, a great deal of approaches to research may be applied. Take a look at some common purposes that historical essays usually have:

  • The explanation of a historical event. Here, you are expected to explain why that or another event took part in the history, what were the reasons and circumstances for it to occur.
  • To interpret. You may be asked to analyze the historical issue in a larger context and provide your possible solutions that could be applied in that particular situation.
  • To evaluate. One of possible tasks may be to determine how significant certain historical event or a person are to the particular historical period, or to the country where the situation took part.
  • To argue. You need to come up with your personal position about the discussed issue and prove it by means of arguments, evidences, examples and so on.

Planning your history paper

It is important that you have a good plan for your paper. This includes organizing your notes that you were taking while doing research and reading additional material and developing the structure. Structure serves to put all of the researched material, thoughts, arguments and ideas in the right order. A good structure helps the reader understand you better. Here are some tips:

  • Choose the most impressive quotes and ideas, each of which will start a new paragraph.
  • Separate primary sources from secondary material and leave behind the less important information.
  • Divide your essay into three essential parts: the introduction, the body and the conclusion.

Summarizing your arguments

When your research is already completed and there are no issues left to be covered and questions to be answered, you need to finish writing your paper with a proper summary. In other words, you need to put all your arguments together and make a summary of them. It has to be no more than two or three sentences of a clear, narrow material provided sharply and to the point. Sometimes arguments may change within the paper, but you have to find a common ground for all of them anyway.

All in all, writing a paper is a time and effort consuming process. If you still have doubts how to write a history paper, please contact us and get the needed support right away.