Need help with a history essay?
Read this article to find some clues on how to write a historical paper. Here we’ve prepared some writing prompts and a sample outline. There are also several topic ideas and history essay examples for you.
History Essay: How to Write?
A history essay focuses on past events, traditions, and human affairs. Students can get this task at middle school, high school, or college. This assignment is challenging at any level of study. The range of topics is rather wide. In this article, we will give some general recommendations.
Choose Your History Essay Topic
Here is how you can choose a perfect topic for your essay:
Try to remember what you discussed in class. Your instructor might have given you hints or good ideas. Also, pay attention to what other students say. For middle school students, it is better to focus on the exact topics that you study in class. For high school students, you can choose from more options. University students can decide to explore more complicated and narrow issues.
Use your subject textbook or encyclopedia to get an overview of the possible topics. Make short notes of everything that catches your attention and choose one area that you want to research.
Focus on your interests. Maybe you would like to know more about a particular topic. It’s your chance!
We also prepared a list of history essay topics for you. Take a look:
World War II: timeline and the main events. Describe the most significant battles and explain their role in world history.
The heroes of the American Revolution. Choose one person for each body paragraph of your essay and describe their contribution.
The role of the U.S. in World War I. Explain how and why the United States declared war on Germany.
The outcomes of the Great Depression. Write about the political measures to end the Great Depression and how they affected people’s lives.
Indian removal act. Describe the process, the facts, and the people who participated in the removal.
How was the U.S.-Canadian border created? Tell your readers about the Oregon Treaty and the people who signed it.
Choose Your Historical Research Method
Use Primary Sources
Primary sources are pieces of first-hand information. They include documents, oral or written testimonials, diaries, etc. They provide an unbiased overview of events, people, or phenomena. Primary sources should be the basis of your argumentation and answer your research question. Use them when you need to describe and interpret the facts yourself. You can also include some primary sources that should form an overview and provide background information.
Use Secondary Sources
Secondary sources are scholarly pieces of information that analyze, evaluate, and describe primary sources. Use them to support your opinion and argumentation or introduce a different idea. They can also be an inspiration for your argumentation line. You can use your university database to find credible sources. Secondary sources are an integral part of argumentative and persuasive essays.
Write an Oral History Essay
These are oral testimonials or personal narratives. You can use existing materials or interview a person or a group of people yourself. Use this type of source when there is not enough prior research or information on your topic. Oral history essays are helpful for papers on History, Anthropology, or Folklore. To write an oral history essay, you need to transcribe the information and interpret it.
Make a History Essay Outline
Let’s discuss the writing structure of your essay. It should consist of five or more paragraphs and focus on one central idea. At first, pay attention to your word limit and estimate the number of sections. Then make an outline of your future paper.
Here is our history essay outline template:
History essay introduction. You need it to provide some background or general information about the area of your research. Write about the importance of the topic and why you chose it. Don’t forget to include the thesis statement at the end of the paragraph. A thesis should indicate all of your key arguments and explain your point of view.
History essay body. Each body paragraph should focus on one idea. Depending on the type of your essay, it can be one argument, event, person, or part of a story. You have to write an extended explanation of everything you mentioned in your thesis statement.
History essay conclusion. Make a summary of your findings and end it with a reflection and restating your thesis statement.
Write Your History Essay
Listen to your instructor carefully. They usually give precise recommendations and helpful advice. Also, it is better if you fit all the requirements and expectations.
Pay attention to the formatting style. If you are not sure what style to choose, consult your instructor or use the style that most secondary sources follow.
Plan your work. Create a history essay outline in advance. Note all the arguments, sources, and opinions that you need to include.
Work on your argumentation line. Place the strongest arguments at the beginning and the end of the body of your essay.
Check the grammar, spelling, and accuracy. Proofread the paper yourself or ask somebody to help.
Thank you for reading this article till the end! Check the history essay templates below to get some inspiration before you start.