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Writing for History

If you are studying history and need to write assignments, essays, etc., then these pages can help!

An old globe

The discipline of history is the academic study of past events, including analysis of the records that give an account of them. Given the vast scope of past human experience, study for a history degree involves specialisation in a period, region or culture.

To write assignments about history, the first thing you need to know is the vocabulary. We've analysed high-scoring student assignments to find the words that are used most often. For exercises about vocabulary related to history go to this page:

History Vocabulary

Secondly, and most importantly, you will need to learn how to write certain types of assignments ('genres'). In history, you will probably write essays, where you make a coherent argument and employ critical thinking skills. 

This genre has an individual style you will need to learn. If you're short of time, you can go directly to the page about essays, but we recommend you start at the beginning of 'Writing for a Purpose' and work through all of it. 

If you read all the materials, you'll be better able to identify what sort of assignment you have to write – your tutor usually won't tell you. Also, not all history courses are the same and they might include assignments that aren't essays.