What Are the Best Tips for Writing a History Essay?
Students are likely to have to write a history essay at some point in their academic careers, and it is important to follow a few basic rules to write a good one. First and foremost, the writer should research the components of a strong essay: an introduction with a strong thesis statement, supporting paragraphs that relate directly to the thesis, and a conclusion that sums up what argument or arguments were presented in the essay. The writer should focus much of his time and energy on writing an effective thesis statement for the history essay.
The best way to approach writing a thesis statement for a history essay is to carefully read the question and underline or otherwise take note of key words and phrases. The writer will need to develop an argument based on his or her careful reading of the question. It helps to include the word "because" in the thesis statement, as this will encourage the writer to not only take a side, but also give a solid and clear reason for choosing that side of the argument. The more specific and clear a writer can be in the thesis statement, the easier the rest of the history essay will be to write.
The writer should be sure to do an appropriate amount of research on the topic to ensure he or she knows and understands different perspectives on the topic. The writer should acknowledge opposing viewpoints or arguments in the essay, too, and he or she should be sure to make a case as to why his or her argument is stronger than the opposition's. If the writer uses any sources to supplement his or her writing, those sources need to be cited correctly using the appropriate citation format. This can take the form of in-text citations or as footnotes. A works cited page is almost always necessary. The writer should never use quotations or ideas from other materials in the history essay without citing the sources, as this is considered plagiarism.
Once the history essay is written, the work is not over. The writer will need to do proofreading and revisions to ensure the essay is as strong as it needs to be. A common temptation is to hit the spelling and grammar checker button on a word processing program and call the essay finished. While this is certainly one step in the revision process, the process should never end there. The writer should print out a hard copy and look for spelling and grammar mistakes. He or she should also read through the essay for flow, strong arguments, and well-written sentences.
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