Essay Writing In History

Essay Writing In History-29
A good answer will need to harmonise with all of this evidence, or explain why particular items have been dismissed as having no bearing on the problem.

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The following outline is intended as to provide one example of how to write an essay.

Treat it as food for thought, as providing a set of suggestions some of which you might incorporate into your own method for writing essays.

You will never be asked to produce a narrative of what happened.

In rare circumstances, a few sentences of narrative may form part of the evidence cited in support of a point, but the essay as a whole should be organised according to a logical structure in which each paragraph functions as a premise in the argument.

History essays are less about finding the correct answer to the set question than they are about demonstrating that you understand the issues which it raises (and the texts which discuss these issues).

With most historical problems (certainly the most interesting ones) it is seldom possible to arrive at a definitive answer.The conclusion would then require a summation of the various 'sub-conclusions'.It needs to be stressed that none of these types of question calls for a narrative approach.It is useful to begin by considering why essay-writing has long been the method of choice for assessment in history.The chief reason is that no other method provides as effective a means of testing a student's comprehension of a topic.Of course, exactly what constitutes 'the evidence' is almost invariably one of the issues under discussion among the historians who are most deeply engaged with the problem, but in general for each historical question there will be a body of evidence which is recognised as being relevant to it.This body of evidence will typically comprise what the primary sources tell us about the events and phenomena under discussion.Thus, the subject of the question is the 'Y' rather than the 'X' element.That is, the question requires a discussion of the system as a whole and the consideration of alternative explanations of how 'X' worked within it.Essential steps: select a question; identify the subject of the question; what are you being asked to do - that is, what kind of information will you need to answer the question, and how will you have to treat it?Circling the key words in the question is sometimes a helpful first step in working out exactly what you need to do.

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