How To Write a Good History Essay | History Today

The history of every field of scholarly inquiry is a part of intellectual and cultural history, and the essays gathered here attempt to illustrate that point, from a variety of angles, in relation to bibliographical scholarship. In the first section, there are six broad retrospective pieces, surveying bibliographical history from the vantage point of several institutional anniversaries: the seventy-fifth and hundredth birthdays of the Bibliographical Society of America, the hundredth of the Grolier Club and the Bibliographical Society (London), and the fiftieth of the Osler Library and . The wide purview of these pieces provides the context for the sixteen essays in the second section, each of which is more narrowly focused.

First of all we ought to ask, What constitutes a good history essay

It demonstrates your historical knowledge and understanding and your ability to analyse and form a judgement. Your ability to structure an essay effectively so that it addresses the question is essential - start learning now!

In general, a good history essay will:


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An essay question is just what the name implies--an essay. You know that an essay should have a thesis or purpose statement; the answer you write for the essay question should also have a thesis to help you organize your thoughts and keep you from straying from your main point. A clear thesis will also make your answer easy for your instructor to follow.


How to Write a History Research paper

However, some words of warning! Your development of these “higher” skills will not come naturally, neither will they come from listening attentively to your teacher or copying your friends essays (it does happen and these people are invariably caught). Your development of these essay writing skills will be down to hard work, reading and practice. Simple.

See also Robert Pearce's How to Write a Good History Essay

This is a summary of some ideas on the correct approach to preparing and writing history essays. It should be stressed that this is not a magic formula which must be followed to the letter. It is, instead, a set of guidelines which it is hoped will help students to gain more from their written work. It is also worth noting that every tutor has his/her own personal approach to essays and that if you are concerned about any particular points of detail you should contact them in person.

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Most of you will be used to reading, and perhaps relying upon, secondary sources (those written by historians, drawing upon primary evidence), in order to gather information. Modern secondary works might, for example, contain an up-to-date summary of the perceived narrative of the events with which they are dealing, and a detailed analysis of the importance and/or context of those events. But historians draw their information from a wide variety of primary sources, which might include chronicles, letters, or official documents, written at or around the time of the events to which they relate. A vital part of studying history at degree level is developing your own ability to use the primary sources. Therefore, although you will almost certainly have to read a variety of secondary works in order to give yourself a general over-view of a period, it is always also advisable to examine primary sources related to your topic if they are available.

Help With History Essay Writing

Essay writing at higher takes you a stage further in your development as rational, discursive and deliberating beings and again you will have to learn how to write Higher Essays skilfully.