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History Essay Writing Guide

In a history major, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll be writing a lot of essays. Since history is all about remembering facts and dates and the culture and politics of previous periods of time, a history essay introduction is a great way to show your point of view on something that happened in the past. How might that past event have happened differently, if it had happened at all?

What makes up a Great History Essay?

Really get to know the time period you’re focusing on. This isn’t just about initial research; if you want an authentic, breathing piece of historical art instead of just an essay, here are a few tips:

  • Talk to a war veteran, family or otherwise;
  • Read everything you can get your hands on;
  • Read or watch books or documentaries from many different sides of the same issue;
  • Ask the opinions of your friends and family of the event.

If you can, travel to the part of the world where your chosen event took place and see the memorial sites or anything significant that that country keeps in memory.

What are the Best Periods to Write a History Essay About?

When you’re writing world history essays, it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint exactly what time period, location or past event you want to focus on when writing your essay. Here are some ideas for controversial or mysterious past events that will allow you more freedom in the way you write about them:

  1. The French Revolution: There have been lots of history essay topics formulated around this critical event in European history, but there’s always room for a different take on it. Think about how the French economy was back then, and how differently democracy might have evolved if the monarchs hadn’t been killed like they were, or at all.
  2. Stalin’s Russia: Another extreme economic period is that of the Soviet Union under Stalin’s rule. This history essay example usually involves talking about how although Stalin was a ruthless and cruel leader, he did achieve so much technological and agricultural progress for his country under the infamous five year plans.
  3. American history essays: This one is an especially great idea because of how much the US affects the entire world; their history is everyone’s business. You could go into the controversy of Franklin’s death or the horrors of civil war; there are lots of opportunities here for a brilliant history essay.

Writing Tips for an Amazing History Essay

No matter what kind of essay you’re working on, whether it’s a personal family history essay, or one based off of a particular race, like a Black history essay, you’re going to want your writing itself to be the best you can; just having correct facts isn’t enough. The best way you can write this essay is to just get all your research done first and then write a fast rough draft. This is because all good writing is in the rewriting. Once you have that first draft done, it’s a lot easier to go back and edit to make it a better essay.