Guide to writing history essays

B. Researching your essay

Download 304.5 Kb.
Size304.5 Kb.
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   54
B. Researching your essay
1. Getting started
Where to begin is often the single most difficult and anxiety-provoking issue for students when they are confronted by a history essay, whether it is a short Part I paper of 2,000 words or an Honours thesis of 20,000 words. However, some simple steps can swiftly make the task seem less daunting.
Selecting an essay topic
1.1 This is perhaps the most important step of all, for it will affect almost every other step you take in your research.

First and foremost, you should seek an essay topic that is interesting to you. A topic that genuinely engages your interest ought to be fun to read and write about, and will likely result in a better essay.

Second, make sure your topic is manageable in size. Subjects such as ‘The fall of the Roman Empire’ and ‘The origins of the Second World War’ are the stuff of books by professional historians, who take years to write them. You should aim at a more limited and sharply focused essay topic.

Third, your essay topic should (at least in the first instance) preferably be phrased in the form of a clearly defined question. For instance: ‘To what extent was the fall of the Roman Empire caused by pressure from “barbarians” on the frontiers?’ or ‘Why did the Second World War break out in 1939 rather than 1938?’ Your essay’s argument thus naturally becomes the answer to this question.

Share with your friends:
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   54

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page