Writing assignment papers is a well-known struggle for a good portion of students worldwide. And who do you think to face the largest amount of paper writing? The students of the history departments, of course. Those selective few who manage to get top-grades for history papers must be doing magic outside Hogwarts. But if you’re a muggle deprived of superpowers, you can still succeed in history paper writing. How? Follow the 5-step guide to bring your history paper to a brand new level.
Find a Statement for a Lively Discussion
If a whole book can be judged by its cover, your paper may hook a teacher’s attention from the first powerful statement sentence. And vice versa. Think carefully of a proper controversial historical issue (luckily, a lot of them are) so that a reader will be engaged in the analytical process together with you. Need anything discordant? Take any influential historical figure, revolution, or war. Almost everything has a dual nature from the historical perspective. So choose what is relevant for you and go right ahead. One thing here – you can’t convince anyone unless you believe in what you write. First, work out your own perspective, supply it with reliable literature, and then get down to writing.
Writing Architecture Matters
Not a single awesome paper can go without a clear structuring. History itself may be rather confusing at times, so imagine the level of mess in a history-connected essay whose author forgot about the logical and consistent thought flow and how to write a cause and effect essay properly. Gradual transitions, facts and their analysis, brief literature reviews, and well-composed arguments – it is what you should be targeting. As soon as you put the introductory statement into words, be sure to supply the reader with the general idea of the matter, introduce the most important works, and their conclusions. It would be logical then to provide your own vision, giving bright historical examples, other authors’ thoughts, and ideas that go along with yours. Following a clear-cut plan, you won’t have to ask the reader to join your viewpoint. One will already be there.
Don’t Speak from the Air
History is not about generalizations and wasting words: only the truth, facts, and analysis. So be careful making bold statements. You’ll have to prove them in the end. If not, no one would take your work seriously, because initially, it is not solid and well-grounded. While reading, a teacher will look for inaccuracy and empty phrases to incriminate your incompetence. But if your words are backed up by respectable historians, you’re on the safe side. Of course, history papers are not just about famous authors’ citations. It’s more like a fusion of young and old ideas. But mind the gap between your own theories and proven facts.
Informal Language Is a Poor Fit Here
It seems too obvious to mention, but still. Casual English you use on a daily basis won’t help your history paper outshine others’. Scholastic, a bit old-fashioned, and highbrow language is exactly what you need. Revive in your memory all the sophisticated transitional phrases and slightly pretentious synonyms to well-known words. However, don’t get too deep into it. People still have to understand what you mean without using a dictionary. One more important point – avoid writing in the first person. In the world of history, your words are always considered to be a simple paraphrased repetition of some notable historian. Pocketing his or her words is a rude impoliteness.
Less Is More
It is high time to learn how to be concise. William Shakespeare once said: “brevity is the soul of wit.” Beating around the bush, trying to say something that can be easily packed in a short phrase, is clearly a mistake when it comes to history paper preparation. Don’t try to make simple things look smarter than they are by overcomplicating them. History itself is wordy. Therefore history paper writing is used to see if a student is competent enough to give the point without wasting much ink and paper. No one said being concise is easy. But it’s a crucial skill to develop if you want your writing to stand out.
History Paper Writing Tips and Tricks
- Find an example/reference paper on your topic. Writing it blindly is much harder.
- Be objective. Stating that your viewpoint is the only right will lead to emotional debates.
- Never skip proofreading. Those little imperfections can totally spoil the impression of serious work behind.
- Do not generalize. It works neither in real life nor in history papers. Generalizing only means a lack of solid knowledge.
Drawing the Bottom Line
A history paper may seem a nightmare if you have no clue where to start it. The right approach is everything. But apart from the approach, confidence is what makes a real difference. Confidence is visible to the unaided eye and makes people believe you without asking for proof. Where to find that confidence? The answer is, in research, studying, and hard work, of course.