Dealing With A History Essay Outline: 5 Simple Rules

History essays are known to be the most boring kind of essays. They require you to go through tons of articles and researches, dig up ancient facts and go through historical events in a chronological order (all of which requires a lot of READING).

The worst part is that with all that information people often get lost by the time they’re done with all the data mining. Since there are so many things that add up to any historical event, the key to a successful history essay is a well planned outline.

5 Rules for a successful history essay outline

  1. 1. Always follow this basic structure while making the outline for your essay:

    • - Introduction

    • - Literature Review

    • - Findings

    • - Conclusions

    • - Appendices

    You can obviously play with some extra items but the generic structure stays the same.

  2. 2. Always follow the chronological order of the events happening. The time periods should be in an ascending order staring from the earliest ones to the latest ones. “Order” is the most essential component for a history paper. You state the sequence wrong, you’re falsifying the entire history or worse you may end up manipulating it.

  3. 3. To make your paper more reader friendly divides your content into subheadings. Doing this will help you focus on putting the relevant information the right places. Everything will fall into place. Use Roman Numerals to state down the sequential information under each heading or subheading.

  4. 4. For each component of the essay you need to prepare separate outlines because like I mentioned before history essays are all about information. You cannot miss out on anything. For example for your literature review your outline will start off with the introduction to your subject/event and then you’ll go about with its own sequence in terms of importance, precedents etc.

  5. 5. Your outline would be more helpful if you create tables for factual information like dates, numbers and other statistical data. Also plan out the supporting documents for the appendices. It’s better to mention them in the outline so that you can use them while you’re writing your essay.

Once you’ve created the outline you should review it to make sure it goes well the picture in your head and whether you have all the information covered. The more detailed the outline, the easier it’ll be for you to write a good history essay.



Edit Your Essay

“  Proofread and edit your essay to fix up any little mistakes you might find. It’s one of the most important but unfortunately one of the most commonly overlooked step.  ”

–  Patrick Barker

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Last Step

Now that your essay is finished, make sure it sounds interesting.
Ask some people to read it and get their feedback. One little trick to add some interest to an essay is to reword a sentence into a question.
The best place to do this is in the introduction, because you will be supporting your points with evidence in the body paragraphs. that’s where the question will be answered.

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