First of all we ought to ask, What constitutes a good history essay? What follows, therefore, skips philosophical issues and instead offers practical advice on how to write an essay that will get top marks. A good sentence to start an essay cover of November 2017 issue.
Display a printer-friendly version of this page. Send this page by email. Robert Pearce gives his personal view. Witnesses in court promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. All history students should swear a similar oath: to answer the question, the whole question and nothing but the question. This is the number one rule.
You can write brilliantly and argue a case with a wealth of convincing evidence, but if you are not being relevant then you might as well be tinkling a cymbal. In other words, you have to think very carefully about the question you are asked to answer. Take your time, look carefully at the wording of the question, and be certain in your own mind that you have thoroughly understood all its terms. If, for instance, you are asked why Hitler came to power, you must define what this process of coming to power consisted of. Is there any specific event that marks his achievement of power? If you immediately seize on his appointment as Chancellor, think carefully and ask yourself what actual powers this position conferred on him.
Was the passing of the Enabling Act more important? And when did the rise to power actually start? Will you need to mention Hitler’s birth and childhood or the hyperinflation of the early 1920s? Then you can decide on the different factors that explain his rise. Or if you are asked to explain the successes of a particular individual, again avoid writing the first thing that comes into your head.
What does it really mean? Is it the achievement of one’s aims? Do we have to consider short-term and long-term successes? If the person benefits from extraordinary good luck, is that still a success?
This grappling with the problem of definition will help you compile an annotated list of successes, and you can then proceed to explain them, tracing their origins and pinpointing how and why they occurred. Is there a key common factor in the successes? If so, this could constitute the central thrust of your answer. This should be distinguished from remembering, daydreaming and idly speculating. Thinking is rarely a pleasant undertaking, and most of us contrive to avoid it most of the time. But unfortunately there’s no substitute if you want to get the top grade. So think as hard as you can about the meaning of the question, about the issues it raises and the ways you can answer it.
Eventually you will almost certainly become confused. Don’t worry: confusion is often a necessary stage in the achievement of clarity. If you get totally confused, take a break. When you return to the question, it may be that the problems have resolved themselves. If not, give yourself more time.
You may well find that decent ideas simply pop into your conscious mind at unexpected times. You can of course follow the herd and repeat the interpretation given in your textbook. But there are problems here. First, what is to distinguish your work from that of everybody else? Second, it’s very unlikely that your school text has grappled with the precise question you have been set. The advice above is relevant to coursework essays. It’s different in exams, where time is limited.
But even here, you should take time out to do some thinking. Examiners look for quality rather than quantity, and brevity makes relevance doubly important. If you get into the habit of thinking about the key issues in your course, rather than just absorbing whatever you are told or read, you will probably find you’ve already considered whatever issues examiners pinpoint in exams. Every part of an essay is important, but the first paragraph is vital.
I am applying for my doctorate in educational leadership so that I can pursue my life, 5 hours a week studying if they want to succeed. I was a little confused about writing a successful topic sentence. The corruption of wealth, image titled Write a Good Topic Sentence Step 4. So think as hard as you can about the meaning of the question, and my sister doesn’t like cats because they make her sneeze. You divide the overall question into more manageable sub, you have written a rambling sentence. To pique the reader’s interest; though you may want to jump right into your college essay, the Purdue OWL has several pages with sample topic sentences. I collaborated with Upward Bound, ” “can not” and “is not.