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A Good History Essay

What would constitute a good history essay? Reasons will vary, but it will all boil down to the intellectual level of the reader.

A History Essay Should Answer the Question(s)

In this type of essay, relevance holds the key, which means that the question regarding the issue has to be answered. An essay may be written eloquently and give a lot of ideas and evidence, but it will not hold water if the question that is being asked is not given an adequate answer.

Let’s take an example: An individual becomes highly successful and is now the CEO of a big firm. The questions that need to be answered would be:

Was there a specific event in his life that made him successful? When did this road to success started?

If the past years’ history could be relevant to the success that the person is now enjoying, then this could be counted as a relevant issue.

The Importance of the First Paragraph

All parts of the essay count, but the most vital one would be the first paragraph. Write to create the first impression – or depression – of an essay. A catchy first sentence will get the reader’s interest, and building it to a climax will hook them to read more. Still, answering the question by stating relevant issues and timeframe is very important.

The Middle of the Essay

Most of the time, an essay might have an impressive first paragraph that eventually gets muddled up in the middle. One can prevent this from happening by dividing the question that needs an answer into small and manageable parts. This promotes coherence that can make the essay easy to read and understand. A good way to do this is to start the middle paragraph with a generalization that is linked to the question.

The Ending Paragraph

This is the part wherein you sum up or drive home the argument or verdict. It is also the part wherein you state the correct or right propositions, if ever there were several alternatives that were discussed in the opening and middle paragraphs. Just remember, relevance will always be the key to a successful history essay.

Assistance in Writing:
Steeve O. Buckridge – Professor in the History department at Grand Valley State University (https://www.gvsu.edu), Allendale, MI. He has lectured in South Africa, and served as a visiting professor at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Steeve is a captivating person with such wonderful real stories. He loves what he does and shows it, helps students want to learn.
His book, The Language of Dress: Resistance and Accommodation in Jamaica, 1760-1890 was published by the University of the West Indies Press.