How To Write A Good Essay On History

What is the purpose of a historical essay?

This is a very common question that one probably asks when told to do an article related to history. Well, this is quite simple, if you do not know your past, then you have no future. The importance of undertaking historical essays includes:

  • Understanding people- historical essay writing gives us the chance to figure out what was done previously by other people in a clearer way.
  • Professional growth- through the research that student does during the essay writing, one can have a vast knowledge and acquire historical essay tips on past events and activities that substantially changed the history.
  • A form of identity- an essay on history gives a sense of identity as well as belonging. People who share a common past have the feeling of being one. This also makes them be stronger as well as have the feeling of being there for one another. These are only but a few of the ways that historical essay writing can help us in our daily lives.

Tips concerning topic choice

  1. Ensure that the selected topic for the essay on history is something that you have an interest in. This is necessary as once you have a passion for your subject, you will have the enthusiasm of doing research as well as using content that is relevant and appealing.
  2. Choose a topic that is familiar. Historical essay topics need to be familiar with the writer as one tends to write faster and easily on something that he/she knows of.
  3. Brainstorm. Make a list of all the ideas for the essay on history that have come across your mind. Afterwards, go through the list and identify the ones that strike you the most. The final topic will guide you in acquiring ideas for the historical essay.

There is quite a number of good topics for a historical essay.

Some examples of such historical essay topics include

  1. The tragedy of Tuberculosis
  2. The role of Margaret Thatcher in world’s history
  3. The spread and history of HIV
  4. The role of slavery in Africa’s past
  5. How did the US become a superpower?
  6. How did Gandhi promote peace to the world?
  7. The significance of the Mongol Empire
  8. The evolution of women’s rights
  9. The reason behind the collapse of the British Empire
  10. Illustrate the violent history of Jamaica
  11. How the pyramids were built by the Egyptians?
  12. How the world wars created job opportunities?
  13. The wars of Napoleon
  14. The downfall of Ottoman
  15. The evolution of growing opium

Once the topic is right, a good historical essay will flow into motion.

history essay writing

History essay structure

An essay structure will give you clear guidelines on how to write a historical essay.A historical essay can be divided into the introduction, body, and conclusion. The essay structure contents should go in line with the historical essay topics that the writer has chosen. The historical essay outline should be as illustrated below:

  • Introduction writing: Historical essay hooks acts as the introduction of an essay on history. An introduction for an essay on history introduces a thesis and at the same time highlights what the paragraphs are going to cover. A historical essay introduction contains key elements that will be seen all through the historical essay. The introduction for a historical essay essay, therefore, differs from other introductions that aim at capturing the attention of the readers.
    (A thesis is a single sentence or hypothesis that tells the reader what is expected in the article. The thesis should have clear and meaningful words so as to elaborate effectively.)
  • The body: the number of paragraphs might vary depending on the historical essay outline. However, the paragraphs should be enough so as to support the claims. The outline for historical essay can at times ask for specific things such as events and dates that will offer support to the thesis of the article. Linking of the topic sentence and the last sentence can be done using transition words at the start of the next paragraphs.
  • Conclusion for historical essay: The historical essay conclusion should not be in a position of introducing new points and ideas. This section majors only on the points that have already been discussed and at the same time gives the writer a chance to support the thesis once more.

Sample outline on next topic “Great Depression impact”


The Great Depression marked the period between the years 1929 to 1939. There was a high economic downturn after the crush of the stock market in the October 1929. Several countries in the western America which had high industrialization suffered greatly from the Great Depression.

Thesis statement

The Great Depression had a huge impact on the American economy. Most of the impacts were negative thus earning its name as the Great Depression.

  • High unemployment – During this period, almost a third of the people had no jobs and money to fend for themselves and their families. This in turn made the living conditions unbearable.
  • Crop frustrations – The prices of the crops reduced drastically as the crops production was in excess. This resulted to hunger due to the pronominal.
  • Increased suicides – Most of the people opted to commit suicide as the living conditions became awful. Poverty and hunger was at its peak whereas most of the people were homeless and money became a rare commodity.


The Great Depression was a difficult time in the history of America. The people who experienced the depression showed courage that helped in shaping the economy. The hardships gave the government a chance to establish programs that would help counter these in the near future.

Sources for essay choice

What sources to choose? Since historical essay writing is based on facts and the arguments, therefore, need to be precise so as to provide concrete support. Sources can be categorized into two: secondary and primary. Primary sources include pictures, films or anything that was generated in the historical times. Secondary choices refer to the efforts of historians and philosophers who analyzed historical events. Once you have identified the sources that will help with the historical essay, ensure that you evaluate them so that they are in a position to offer good quality information. Finally take the notes thoroughly so that the sources won’t be left incomplete or misquoted. The historical essay can fall victim to plagiarism if the sources have not been quoted accurately. It’s important to note that when using the secondary sources the individuals should reference all works that have been borrowed from other author’s works. It’s also important to paraphrase works by other authors in order to avoid cases of plagiarism which is considered as an academic theft.

Finalizing the Essay

Once the historical essay has been written, a revision is necessary so at to ensure the content is in order. A standard method of review is through proofreading. Proofreading gives you the chance to analyze your work and correct errors that are avoidable. Making citations is an essential issue in historical essay writing. There are quite some formatting and citation styles ranging from APA to MLA.  You should, therefore, be keen on the style specified.

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