Academic Subjects

How to Write a History Essay in IB

For a history essay, researching what we were studying was the most engaging method for understanding the material.  I did well in history because I genuinely enjoyed the subject. Pay attention in class, look up videos on your own time, and explore different perspectives – hopefully you’ll enjoy the subject enough to have fun working on it too. This extra research while also be the foundation of your essay. 

Thesis

A strong thesis will provide an effective introduction to your history essay, so it is important to understand what you want to say with your essay and to spend some time refining the statement. I would suggest focusing on three major points in your thesis that you intend on developing in your essay. 

As for the conclusion, this is where I would reframe your thesis as well as some of the main arguments and counterarguments you brought up in the body of the essay.

Argument

Now onto some broader essay tips. Don’t merely list the facts of an event, say why they matter and what they add to your argument. Adding counter arguments and debunking them is also key to building a strong argument. In addition, making essay outlines is probably my second best tip. They helped me structure my thoughts in order to deliver well-constructed arguments. Discussing the events in class and with friends also helped with recalling the information. 

My best tip is to use historiography. Knowing the views and stances of different historians not only helped my understanding but is one of the criteria for a highly marked essay. Also, I find that knowing historiography helps greatly with structuring the essay, because you are able to interpret, interconnect and articulate events and evidence. 

History is a fun course, and although it does consist of a lot of writing, with the right approach and attitude, I’m sure you can excel!


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