Top 10 Tips for Writing a History Essay

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A Brief History

In early 1940, German philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) wrote Theses on the Philosophy of History or On the Concept of History (German: Über den Begriff der Geschichte), an essay composed of twenty numbered paragraphs.  To write a history essay is a hard job. Every essay takes a lot of time, but history has its specialties, and we will talk about them a little later. An essay in common is a typical work that you must do almost on every subject. So if you have some experience in it, it will be easier, but if you are still not sure of your writing abilities, too busy in studies and think from time to time ‘I need someone to write my essay for me’ you can order it using online services. You can use it as an example and write your own, or you can use it and get a good score. In any case, it will do a good job for you.  Here are 10 tips that will help you anyway.

Digging Deeper

  1. Planning. It is a part you cannot pass. No planning – no result. This is a rule. Try to understand how many times you need for researching, writing, consulting with experts and making some corrections.
  2. Checking. It is a great idea to finish your essay a few days before the deadline and try to forget your writing. Then open it and watch with a fresh eye. You will be surprised that cold skip so obvious and simple mistakes. This tip gives you a possibility to fix it.
  3. Writing. Check how many times you think you will spend writing and add twice. Writing has strict rules. First of all, it is about structure. A history essay has the same structure as other subjects’ essays with no surprises. If you have such experience, use it without a doubt. 
  4. Proofreading. Proofreading is good. You can have a brilliant idea for your essay but no talent for writing. Unfortunately, the education system does not accept any exceptions and claims perfect ideas with perfect writing. Professionals or even your classmates good on it can help you. Do not be afraid to ask about it, because it is part of studying to do better every skill.
  5. Researching. History has a huge amount of resources. A lot of them you can get only in the library. Unlike computer science, that has perfect online resources. History is more classical subject. So you must be ready to spend a lot of time with old books in a good library. Find the nearest library (or historical museum) with artifacts you need and correct your schedule according to it.
  6. Trust into the source. History is a science of opinions. We know that every event or fact can be submitted in a lot of ways. Even obvious facts can be interpreted differently in a few centuries or even years. The advice is to find as much as possible opinions with proves and choose your side. Remember that later you must have to protect and give arguments to prove your opinion that can not coincide with your tutor or common opinion. That is why you need only trusted sources. The best is to find origins or analytic documents that have only facts without conclusions.
  7. Bibliography. It is a specialty to the historical essay that bibliography is one of the most important parts. It is even possible that checking your essay will start from this block. It happens because of the historical essay is the research of existing opinions and your own is not necessary because you are not a professional. To become a professional, you must read a lot of literature, books, essays, investigations. So processing of bibliography is one of the most important for a good history essay.
  8. Ask for help. As we said above, writing an essay is hard work, and it is possible that you are not able to do it by yourself. You must remember that studying is a process when someone helps you to get new knowledge, so it is even better when you come to your tutor with questions. It shows that you are interested in the subject but not qualified enough to find some answers.
  9. Get deeper into the topic. If you want your essay to be interesting and comprehensive, this tip is for you. Find information about the same age but other territories. Try to compare what happened everywhere at the same with your researching age. You can discover unexpected coincidences (or not coincidences) that happened. Sometimes matching of historical facts show the results that can ruin all previous theories.
  10. Make fundamental research. Writing every essay, you must remember that it can be the start of your diploma and graduation. If you find more information, you can save it and use later if you decide to research deeper into this theme. Using this tip, you can have a ready diploma for the last year of studying without any extra research and stress.

We hope that these tips were helpful and you found new and important among them. Remember that studying is a process of the whole life. You will always need to research or write something, so you can use some of the tips for private needs.

Question for students (and subscribers): Do you have any tips for writing a history essay?  Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Benjamin, Walter.  Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writing.  Schocken, 1986.

Mabbett, I.W.  Writing History Essays (Macmillan Study Skills).  Red Globe Press, 2016.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by Wikinaut of a commemorative plaque for Walter Benjamin, Berlin-Wilmersdorf, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


About Author

Abdul Alhazred

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland