Guide to writing history essays



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Revise your essay
3.3 You should allow yourself time to write and then rewrite your essay. Real revision means not being afraid to take what you have written and genuinely tear it apart to make it better. If possible, once the first draft of your paper is complete, put it aside for a few days and then return to it with a fresh, analytical eye. You will quickly spot ways in which it needs revision.
3.4 Revision means asking yourself tough questions. Do you really know exactly what it is you are trying to argue? (If not, clarify this in your own mind and then make sure the essay expresses it clearly.) Do you repeat yourself in places? (You need to rework the structure and delete some material.) Do the particular parts of your essay work together to make a single coherent argument? (Consider how you can best structure your argument so that it hangs together systematically and logically.) Are there places where you fail to prove your point sufficiently well? (You will need to gather more evidence to strengthen your case.) Are the format and style of referencing clear and consistent throughout the essay? (Check the guidelines in Part II of the History Essay Handbook.) Are there any spelling, punctuation, grammar and other stylistic errors? (You need to proof read carefully: careless errors and sloppy presentation will always undermine how your essay is received, no matter how brilliant the argument might be.)


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