How To Write a Great History Paper

By: Max Malak

13 min



How To Write a Great History Paper

Want to know how to write an essay on history? Do you not understand what the features and rules of writing a historical paper are? Writing a history document is simple. Here are some little tricks:

  1. Say no to dates. Do not overuse dates in the text. Why? Because the requirements do not say anything about this, you may get a lower grade if you make a mistake. Therefore, before writing the year, month, and hour of the event you taught so meticulously, think if you are sure of its correctness. If not, don't risk it.
  2. You don't have to write to make it beautiful. Leave beauty for writing in literature. There should be a beginning, a climax, and a disclosure of the topic. In history papers, you will not receive points for beauty. Therefore, we write informatively and readably.
  3. Don't write a lot. Think of your teacher: do you think he wants to read the long text as if it were a world history book? No, the teacher doesn't want to. Therefore, you write strictly only what is indicated in the requirements. Most often, the volume does not exceed 200–300 words.
  4. Have a strategy. Before you write the paper, make a small outline with the personalities, events, and consequences that you will follow when writing. This is necessary for the clarity and consistency of the text.
  5. Study the opinions of historians. Of course, your opinion is essential when writing a paper, but you will get a higher rating if you cite authoritative sources. Therefore, find on the topic the statements of famous historians.

What History Is And Why It Is Important

History is a science that studies the laws and patterns of development in human society. It is essential to know the history of your country and study ap world history. Let's figure out what history is for:

  1. To avoid the mistakes of previous generations. All negative historical moments should be carefully analyzed to prevent similar mistakes in the future. This will help direct modern life in the correct direction. Knowing history is necessary to consider the mistakes of past generations and prevent their occurrence in the future.
  2. To learn about the emergence of countries. It is the story that tells about how our country and the surrounding states appeared. It is not only exciting but also informative.
  3. Adopt experience. It isn't easy to think of everything on your own. Therefore, the adoption of experience allows for the development of science, life, culture, and crafts. It isn't easy to assess the knowledge of past generations. Its significance proves how vital the role of history is for future generations. Information received from the past provides an opportunity to deliberately approach events, analyze them, and assimilate the information received so that later, based on it, plans can be formed.

What Is a History Paper?

What is a historical paper? This type of writing assignment is aimed at discussing historical moments, people, traditions, and culture. As a topic for writing it, students are offered several statements by historians or contemporary. These statements refer to different historical eras and contain an assessment of historical events or historical figures.

The essay writer's task is to express and argue his position on the chosen issue. At the same time, it is essential for him to rely on knowledge of facts, to be able to present the positions of researchers using materials from sources. The historical paper has the following features:

  1. Having a specific topic or question. You cannot write a historical paper that analyzes a wide range of problems. The subject of the article should always be specific.
  2. The personal nature of the perception of the problem and its understanding. The article is interesting because it makes it possible to see a person, evaluate the originality of his position, the peculiarities of his thinking, attitude to the world, and, in the end, to see the author's writing style.
  3. Internal semantic unity of the text. It is important to observe two essential requirements here. First, key points and statements must be agreed upon in the historical article. Second, discussions must be consistent.

Main Types Of History Papers

There are several types of historical papers:

  1. The study of specific cases (case-study) includes choosing a problem, assessing the state of its solution, collecting facts, using statistical methods and formulating a hypothesis, using evidence, comparing with other points of view, and formulating a conclusion.
  2. Creative work, such as an essay performed on a specific topic, begins with a so-called thematic introduction, followed by a thematic phrase, developed in thematic examples and completed by reformulating the thematic phrase.
  3. A written assignment called comparative analysis. All pros and cons are reflected in the written text. The first part of the text can contain positive information, the second - negative. Positive and negative information can be interspersed. You can write about a historical figure and describe his positive and negative sides. For example, if he was a participant in the war, then describe the strategic actions. If he led the country, then describe the advantages and disadvantages.
  4. Among creative writing tasks, story writing takes a special place. Students may be asked questions, which they are asked to answer in coming up with a story.

Sources For History Papers

Sources for writing history papers are half the way to academic success, if, of course, they are selected correctly. Approximately 60% of students can correctly choose sources. But for 40% this question causes a lot of difficulties. We will try to help you accurately understand the issues of finding the necessary sources.

A source in history is primarily a document that is used to understand today's and historical reality. If a document contains historical data to a certain extent, but it is officially recognized as not involved in history, it can no longer be considered a historical source.

One of the effective methods of searching for sources is to visit the electronic library. You need to enter the title of your work to find publications by other authors. You will receive a list of articles, dissertations, abstracts, term papers, and thesis. It makes sense to familiarize yourself with these offers.

The next step, allowing you to select exciting sources, is to familiarize yourself with the bibliography presented in a good term paper or thesis. Each abstract, report, essay, or other scientific work includes a list of sources. You can get acquainted with the literature used by another author.

Remember to save useful resources on your computer. You won't be able to remember all the articles you've seen on the Internet. Simultaneously, it makes sense to make a summary with brief information about each of the sources. We also advise you to attend college history classes, because teachers sometimes give good lists of sources for writing an article.

Use Of Evidence In History Papers

Students who write historical papers for the first time most often confuse evidence with the mere presence of citation sources. The sources are cited only to confirm that you worked on the text, using authoritative people's statements. It is not worthwhile to turn historical sources into evidence to gather a historical argument. To find evidence, it is necessary to conduct surveys, talk with different historians, carefully ask them questions, and make arguments based on the data. Also, stories from personal experience can be an argument. If you don’t have time to collect data, you can use information sources, but ask yourself simple questions before that.


When collecting evidence, use only credible sources. Ask the question who is the author? When creating a document, what did the author rely on? Does the text include the personal experience of the writer? While writing the text, was the author biased or dishonest?

Is the structure of the text correctly formed, logical?


Further, when selecting sources, ask the question, when was the source created? Where and under what circumstances? When writing the paper, were similar articles coming out at the same time? Why was the text created during this period? What factors influenced the creation of the text?


Choosing a source for confirming words, ask yourself the question - why did the author create this information resource? What purpose did he choose and put into the text? What audience is the information intended for? Is the goal that the author expressed in the text consistent with your interests? Can everyone view the resource, or can it be bought from the Internet library? A resource dedicated to science, fiction, art, media, propaganda?


The last question you should ask yourself is, how does the source fit your text? Does novelty and exciting information distinguish the resource? Is the information different from the other sources you have analyzed? Can this source be a priority for your article? Is the position of the author clearly expressed in the text? Does the text contain the evidence you need? Is the information properly structured? Are the periods, geography, participation, events clearly expressed in the text?

Guide On History Writing In Details

Of course, writing an article on history is very difficult. But our writers have put together a detailed guide to creating a historical paper for you. We would also like to remind you that history papers are an essential work that requires a significant investment of time and effort and is also difficult even for experienced experts. It is associated with a detailed study of many different sources, conflicting points of view and theories, appeal to related areas of knowledge, and the ability to formulate your position and build the evidence base in such a way as to cause the least amount of comments from opponents.

It is worth a lot of work to gain access to all the surviving sources and then comply with all requirements for content, design, and all the formal requirements prescribed in regulatory documents. Each history paper is a new scientific achievement, and sometimes a discovery; it is a study with its tasks and broader coverage of scientific problems.

If, for some reason, you cannot pay due attention or devote the required amount of time to work on your scientific research, then contacting StudyBay will be a reliable solution for you. Our company's authors are ready to provide history help and carry out work of any complexity, starting from essays on the history and ending with coursework. And they will do it at the highest level, quickly and cheaply.

Study The Question

Before writing the text, this preparation is essential, but many students miss this moment, making a big mistake. The first thing you should do is study the issue. The content of the article and your assessment depends on how well you understand the assigned task.

The question posed in the text carries some task or challenge. The question may contain a task explaining the causes and consequences of a certain event, situation, period. Or you may find such a task agreeing and disagreeing with the thesis. The question may also contain a task to describe and analyze the causes and consequences of a certain action, event, period. The question may include another task, such as assessing a certain action, event, period, or an overview of a historical person.

Before writing, read the question carefully several times. Until you understand the point, you cannot move on. Highlight in the question the keywords, phrases, terms that you should rely on and conduct searches for sources. Think about whether you can give an answer to the question posed or if you need help. Were you able to highlight the period or historical figure you would like to write about in the question? When describing events, do you fit into the time frame? After examining the question, can you solve the problem? Study the question carefully and move on to the next step.

Create a Plan

Writing a historical paper requires a clear plan. After all, without it, it is easy to lose thought and miss something important. Therefore, the second and main point in this work is to draw up a plan correctly. And we'll show you how to do it.

Making a plan means breaking the text into separate meaningful parts that will mark your thought's main paths. Each such fragment can be equal to one paragraph or several. They must contain one thought. Each such micro-theme should be given a "name," which, in principle, will be the point of the plan. It is better to use an expanded phrase or sentence as a paragraph title. This will make it more straightforward for you what to write about.

It is necessary to adhere to the standard structure: introduction, body, and conclusion. In the introduction, it is essential to outline the main idea to bring it up to date and set the entire text's tone. The central part aims to reveal the idea, prove the theses given in the introduction, and so on. In the final part, it is worth taking stock of the whole story, making conclusions and assessments. And in each of these parts, there can be several sub-items that will tell you which direction to sail like beacons in the sea.

Start Researching Sources

Find out in advance when the topics for the historical paper will be issued. This is the key to success. Then it will be easier to find all the information you need since you will know in advance what awaits you. We also have for you detailed instructions on how to choose sources of information:

  1. Come to the libraries. If you want to write cool work, then you can't do without good literature. In case you are writing on a contemporary topic, be sure to take sources from 2010. It is best to find books and manuals in electronic form, and then it will be most convenient to take space from there and use them in your work.
  2. Use the internet. If you already have a work plan, and, importantly, the teacher approved it, then the easiest way is to search for information point by point. It is rare to find a complete text that meets all the points of the plan. If you search for information by chapters and paragraphs, then the probability of finding what you need in the shortest time increases significantly.
  3. You can also search for information on the finished works of other students. Friends who have already written such work can help with this. If you found a cool conference or lecture on your topic, you can also transfer everything you heard to paper. Some students are lucky with the teacher. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Just find out if the teacher has the source of information you need. Sometimes you can easily be given 1/3 of the finished material, inserted into your text.

Write a Draft

With your plan and list of sources ready, you can start writing your first draft. A draft is a space for thoughts, mistakes, assumptions. Therefore, create the first sketch, but do not immediately write the text. Thanks to the draft, you will see the text's flaws and correct the work before sending it to the teacher. Don't be afraid to write everything you come up with in a draft. This requires a rough draft to reveal your writing skills. Once you've made a draft and put it in order, you can proceed to the next step.

Cite Your Sources

When writing a historical paper, you will achieve success and a good grade only if the corresponding links are given in the text. The text must contain arguments, evidence, ideas, assumptions, and to confirm the words of the link to reliable sources. Thanks to the links, your text will look authoritative and thoughtful in the reader's eyes because you have added information from famous historical writers. When quoting, you can stick to styles like APA, MLA, Chicago.

Need help with assignments? Hire our history essay writer and get A+ grades!

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Max Malak

Product Manager

Here at Studybay, I work as a Head of Affiliates in the marketing department. I studied Liberal Arts and took related classes at Tokyo Sophia University. I believe that challenges are what make my job fun and exciting. That's why I like completing complex, complicated, and even weird tasks and then sharing my experience with colleagues.

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