How To Write A History Essay, Useful Tips

A history essay requires extensive research, an engaging thesis statement, and arguments to support your claim. That’s why it’s so difficult for students to write a successful historical essay.

On that note, are you in a state of utter panic regarding how to write a history essay? No need to worry, as all your doubts will fade away when you get the right answers in the historical essay.

What Is A History Essay

A history is something that happens or occurs in the past. A historical essay is a piece of writing in which the author has to defend a logical argument based on historical evidence.

A history student needs to choose an event, debate, or topic from history, interpret primary and secondary sources, create a historical question about the topic, and then explain it with proper evidence and arguments in order to win the reader’s attention.

Major Challenges While Writing History Based Essay

To learn how to write a history essay is a challenging task for beginner students who have not written it before. Below are the major challenges that history students face while writing an essay.

SourcesFinding reliable and complete historical records is tough.
KnowledgeMissing information makes understanding the past hard.
ExplanationExplaining why things happened in history is complex.
ObjectivityWriting history while remaining unbiased is not an easy task.
Choice of SubjectToday’s opinions can affect what you study.
Contemporary HistoryWriting about recent events is tricky due to current influences and limited sources
Finding the best Arguments starterAnother challenge for writing history essays is to find the best argumentative essay starters, as history writers need to play around arguments and classic starters.

To overcome these challenges and hurdles while writing a history essay, we have come up with a complete structure and explanation to write an essay on your own.

How To Write A History Essay

Writing a history essay needs a comprehensive understanding of the history essay format. Experts say, a history essay mostly includes an introduction, a context-setting paragraph, supporting paragraphs to support your claim, counterclaims, and finally a conclusion paragraph to wind up the essay. Below are the details about how to structure a history essay and write it.


In a historical essay, an introduction paragraph mostly consists of some important parts which must be described. Below are the steps that should be considered when knowing how to write a history essay introduction.

  1. First, recap the important event or issue, which includes (Who, What, When, and Where) 

“In July 1789, the storming of the Bastille in Paris marked a key moment at the start of the French Revolution. Revolutionaries took over the fortress prison, symbolizing the fight against the oppressive monarchy.”

  1. Next, you need to write a sentence that depicts the historical question

“Did the storming of the Bastille truly signal the beginning of widespread revolutionary change in France?”

  1. Explain why the people disagree with the event.

“People disagree about the significance of the storming of the Bastille because some view it as a powerful symbol of the people’s fight for freedom and equality.”

  1. And finally, write an answer to the historical question and tell which side you stand on.

Evidence indicates that the storming of the Bastille did indeed signal the beginning of the widespread revolutionary change in France.”

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A Context-Setting Paragraph

In this paragraph, you need to explain the importance of the question or topic that you are going to explain in a historical essay and what makes it important. In short you narrate the overview of the main event of your history essay.

Arguments To Support Your Claim

Now, it’s time to learn how to write a history essay with supportive claims. Like to support your point of view with proper evidence and claims. It mostly happens in argumentative essays. Likewise, a similar attempt of claim in argumentative essays plays a role in history essays too.

To make your arguments authentic, you need to mention where you get this evidence and how this evidence depicts your point of view. Finally, tell the reader about how your arguments are interlinked with the question that you raise in the essay.

More Supporting Paragraphs

Sometimes one argument doesn’t clearly make your point of view clear to the reader, so you need more than one evidence and reasons to support your question. Try to choose at least two or more reasons or evidence to support your claims and make the reader stand by your side of the explanation.

Counter Argument Paragraph

Your argument essay is incomplete without counterclaims. To create a balance in the essay, you need solid counter-evidence that clearly stands against your position. Select a quote or argument that clearly proves the other’s point of view.

After creating a balance between both sides of the evidence, now it’s time to reject the opposing evidence by explaining the author’s judgment and reliability.


When knowing how to write a conclusion for history essay, remember to recall the main event of the history essay and explain why the reader should stand beside your perspective and reject the opposing one. Finally, connect your answers with the main themes or events of the essay by explaining what is happening in the historical context.

With the above-mentioned history essay format and explanation, you should have a clear understanding of how to write a historical essay. But before that, you must learn mechanics for writing to improve your skill in historical essay writing.

Bonus Tips On How To Start A History Essay

You have fully understood how to write a history essay but still have trouble performing it more effectively. Worry not; below, we have explained some bonus tips that will help you out in crafting your history essay uniquely and effectively that will make you shine in the class.

Understand The Essay Format

Understanding the format is the most important part of understanding how to structure a history essay. We have clearly demonstrated the format to attempt a historian essay in the above section which will help you in writing it.

In short, the historical essay needs an introduction, a background paragraph, some arguments to support your claim, a counterargument, and finally, a conclusion.

Choose A Topic For Your Essay

Choosing a topic is the major factor after deciding the structure for your history essay. Sometimes, students are assigned a topic by their teachers, but in case you have to choose it by yourself, here are some topics to argue about that will give you an idea to select a related topic. If you want to attempt your essay like a pro then choose according to your interest.

Perform Research

Not a single essay can be carried out perfectly without comprehensive research. Students’ core step in learning how to write a history essay is to do some research and make sure it’s from reliable sources, like books, scholarly articles, online databases, and more.

Make notes and try to look at the topic from different angles. Extensive research is the answer when you are looking for how to start a history essay. For instance, if there is limited research and knowledge available on the internet regarding your chosen topic, then it is recommended to change the subject before starting it.

Make A Clear And Strong Thesis Statement

A clear and strong thesis statement is considered the heart of any essay or research paper which clearly shows the main theme. Before writing a historical essay, make a clear thesis statement about the topic. If you are having an issue, get help from thesis statement examples to understand how to make a perfect one.

Create Your First Draft

Now that you understand everything about how to write a history essay, it’s time to make your first draft. Whether you start your first draft from the introduction or body section totally depends on you.

Remember, don’t try to make everything perfect and clear in the first draft, as it may consume a lot of time and may irritate you. Try to make a rough draft and leave your mistakes to the revision process, where you can sort them easily.

Revision And Proofreading

Once you finish your essay, please review it and look for any mistakes. Check if everything you wrote is clear and makes sense. Review the document for any grammatical or spelling errors; it would be even better if you let someone else review your work.


When you learn how to write a history essay, you cannot skip citations. So, ensure you give credit to the original authors by consistently citing your sources. You can use popular writing styles like APA, MLA, or Chicago referencing in your essay. Doing this shows that your work is trustworthy.

Write In Simple Past Tenses

As history is something that happens in the past, writing an essay on a history topic must be in simple past tense. When you write a history essay in the past tense, you will capture the reader’s attention and make the writing easier to understand.

In exceptional cases, if you are writing about an event from the past but also depict its effects on the present world, then you may use the present tense in your history essay.

Is Your Historical Essay Lacking An Argument?

Arguments in historical essays are harder to come up with than in argumentative essays, and for this reason, many students struggle with the lack of argumentation in their papers. If you need help writing a historical essay, we can provide a custom argumentative essay writing service that can strengthen your arguments like a pro.

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Conclusion About How To Write A Historical Essay

A history essay requires a solid background knowledge of the historical event. It’s important to conduct plenty of research to have an in-depth understanding of the event. To help you understand how to write a history essay, we have described the format clearly.

Further, we come up with bonus tips to strengthen your concept of historical writing. Now that you know how to start a compelling historical essay, why not choose a topic and get started?

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