First of all we ought be asking, what makes a quality history paper? Perhaps no two people can be completely in agreement, but only in the sense that the quality of the essay lies in the eyes as it is an indicator of the intellectual status of the person reading it. The following article, therefore, skips philosophical issues and instead gives practical suggestions on how to write an essay to achieve top marks.


The witnesses in court swear to speak the truth that is, the entire truth and nothing but the truth. All students in history should swear a similar oath: to answer questions in completeness, to answer the question , and not to leave out the question. This is the primary rule. One can write well and argue a case with an array of convincing evidence however if you’re unimportant, then might as well be hitting on a cymbal. Also, you must think carefully about the question you’re asked to answer. Be sure to avoid the grave error committed by poorer students who are unable to do not answer the questions the examiners could have asked however they failed. Be patient, take your time, and look carefully at the words of the question and be certain that you’ve completely understood every word of it.

For instance, if you’re asked about the reason Hitler was elected in the first place, you must clarify what the process to get to power consisted of. Was there an event that demonstrates his attainment of the power? If you’re quick in grabbing the appointment of Chancellor, be aware of what real powers this office was conferred to link website Was the passing of the Enabling Act more important? Was it the time when the rise to power actually begin? Do you need to include Hitler’s childhood or the hyperinflation of the early 1920s? If you can identify the years that are relevant as well as which ones are irrelevant – you will have made a very good start. Then you can decide on the various causes that have led to the rise of his popularity.

If you’re required to describe the achievements that a particular person has achieved Do not write the first thought that pops to mind. Consider possible success. If you do, you will soon be faced with the issue of how to define’success’. What is it that it means? Is it the fulfillment of your goals? Is it objective (a thing of fact) and/or subjective (a issue of opinion)? Do we have to consider the long-term and short-term benefits? If the person enjoys unusual luck, is this still a successful event? It is this tussle of definition can help you identify a list of the successes. You can then go on to explain the causes behind them and identifying the reason they took place. Are there any common element in the success? If the answer is yes, then it could be the basis of your question.

One of the key words in the above sentences will be “think. This should be distinguished from daydreaming, remembering and contemplating in silence. Thinking isn’t always a pleasant task, and the majority of us try to avoid it all the time. However, there’s nothing you can do in order to score the very best marks. You must think as thoroughly in your mind about significance of this question. Think about its implications and your options to respond to it. Think and consider your thoughts – and after that take a second look in search of any loopholes in your thinking. You will eventually get confused. Don’t be worried: confusion is frequently a necessary step towards the pursuit of clarity. If you’re totally lost it is best to stop. When you return at the same question maybe the problems have been resolved. If not, give yourself more time. You may discover that some good ideas just pop into your head at unintentional instances.

The Vital First Paragraph

Every part of an article is important, but it is especially important to write the first paragraph. This is the only chance you have to impress – or disappoint – the examiner, and first impressions are often decisive. Try to compose a catchy first sentence. (‘Start with an earthquake , and then build towards a conclusion, was the advice of the filmmaker Cecil B. De Mille.) In addition, you must show your knowledge of the question set. Here , you outline your carefully elaborate definitions of most important terms. Then, you define the appropriate time frame and questions – in other words, your details of the problem. You will also split your question into more manageable sub-divisions or smaller questions, for each that you’ll then compose the length of a paragraph. It is your job to formulate an argument or even voice different points of view, which you’ll be able to prove later in your essay. Hence the first paragraph – and perhaps you’ll want to spread the opening portion over two paragraphs – is the key to writing a strong essay.

If you read a solid opening paragraph, examiners will be assured that the author is on correct track, that is, they are relevant and analytical. They’ll surely feel in relief that this is the case of a student at least who avoids the two most common mistakes. The first is to ignore the question completely. The second is to write an account of events, often starting with the birth of a person – while also answering to the question within the final paragraph.

Middle Paragraphs

Philip Larkin once said that the modern novel consists of starting, a muddleand an end. The same is, unfortunately that’s the case with the majority of history essays. However, if your essay has an excellent opening paragraph, in which you’ve sorted the overall question into separate and manageable pieces Your essay will not be muddled; it will be coherent.

It should be obvious, in the middle of your paragraphs, what question you are answering. It’s actually a great test of an essay that the reader is able identify the question, even if the title is not clear. Make sure to start each middle paragraph with a generalization of the issue. In the next paragraph, you should develop this concept and back it up with evidence. It is important to provide a careful choice sources (i.e. facts and quotations) to prove the point you’re presenting. You only have a limited amount of space or time be aware of how much detail to include. The most important background information can be summarised with generality; however, your primary areas require greater detail. (Do not fall into the category of candidates whounknowingly “go out and about” in small-scale issues and overlook essential ones.)

The regulations often specify that in the A2 year, students must be familiar with the main interpretations of historians. It is important to adhere to this guidance. On the other hand make sure you don’t push your understanding of historiography so far that the past itself is mostly ignored. In particular, do not fall into the mistake of thinking that all you need are sets of historians’ opinions. In a lot of essays, students make a generalisation, and then back it with the view of an historian . However, as they’ve developed an opinion based on the generalisation which is hollow, meaningless and unconvincing. Additionally, it implies that historians are unquestionably omniscient and infallible gods. If you are not able to provide actual evidence to back up your view which historians are able to do, generalisations are just an assertion. The middle paragraphs make up the venue for the actual substance of an essay. If you fail to do this at your risk.

Last Paragraph

If you’ve had to argue a case in the body of your essay, it’s time to hammer it home in the last paragraph. If you’ve considered a few different options, now’s the time to clarify what’s the most correct option. In the middle of the paragraph, you are akin to a barrister in a courtroom. Now, in the final paragraph, you play the judge summing up and pronouncing the verdict.