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History Essays

Writing a history essay require reading a lot of texts, learning historical events, analyzing and interpreting them. In history courses, your texts will be the records of men and women who have documented public and private lives and events in letters, government files, voting records, newspaper articles, radio and television broadcasts, and photographs.


If you want to write a good history essay you should take the side of the professional historian. Working as a historian, you may need to sort through documents in order to establish events in the order on which to base a narrative. As a student of history, you will use features specific to these disciplines in conducting your analysis. Each text can be analyzed differently depending on your perspective. Perspective determines the way in which you divide a text into analyzable parts. The more you study in history, the more you will learn which features of a text are important to that discipline and, which are worth analyzing.

 

When you are writing an analysis in history essay, consider the following model for writing:

• Introduce the work that will be analyzed and the interpretation you will make

• Introduce the features you will use to analyze the text. Either it will be characterization, or language, narrator, point of view, plot, structure, setting, or some other.

• Accomplish your analysis by discussing one feature of a text (or idea) at a time. Use literary texts, quote specific passages and comment on the ways the passage supports your interpretation

• Conclude by summing up the evidence for your interpretation.


To make a claim in history essay, you should make interpretations of available records from the past and try to reconstruct them into a meaningful sample. When you are writing about history, evidence sources and what one writes about them are connected in concrete ways to your essay. Because the only sources of your knowledge of past events are the text that you can find in books, journals or literature work, it is very important to do vast research to make correct interpretations. Historical events similarly invite a variety of interpretations. In order to understand as fully as possible the cause of some historical event, you should present conflicting analysis in your essay.


Another point that you should always remember is that you need accurately reference any sources you’ve used in the essay. Because you will work with a lot of texts, and they are the only source where you can get the history information (except interview or documentary), the professor would be very surprised not finding references in the essay. Be aware that even within a single discipline, documentation formats will vary from field to field. You must check with your professors to learn what documentation style is usual in a history field or consult the field’s major research periodicals to see what style is used. One of the important rites and rituals of becoming a member of a field is following its research, writing, and documentation practices.

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