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How to create a historiography.

  • Historiography: Definitions

Step-By-Step Creation

  • Examples of Historiographies

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Step 1: Find a topic

There are several useful strategies for coming up with a topic. The easiest method is to use one of your assigned readings; adopt the topic that the author covers as your own. You can use their bibliography as the starting point for the historiography (especially if they critique previous positions), and branch out from there.

Alternately, you can brainstorm a topic from scratch. If you take that approach, try using concept mapping to narrow down your topic to a specific area or field within the overall framework of the class.

Try to choose a topic that interests you- it will make the reading and writing easier.

Step 2: Develop an annotated bibliography

Once you have a topic, start looking for works on your subject. A mixture of articles and books can be useful, depending on the subject and time period:

Generally, books tend to be more influential and widely referenced than articles for most older subjects.

For more modern subjects, articles will be more available, but books will still cover more ground than most periodical articles.

Step 3: Evaluation of Authors' stances

There are different strategies you can use, depending on the type of source that you are using.

Book Reviews: An excellent way to figure out the point of an author's work is to read book reviews. This will also provide insight of how the reviewers (usually other historians) respond to the author's thesis or argument. This is a great strategy for creating the annotated bibliography.

Books: Watch the structure of the book; how does the author build their argument and what do they imply is the most important part?

Once you get a feel for the general arguments in the field, you will be able to skim through books searching for key terms.

  • Collections: With edited collections of articles or chapters, watch which topics were included and what the general theme of the book seems to be. The argument of the editor is shown by the scope of the combined articles.
  • Periodicals: These generally are easier to process; the trick is to figure out the importance of the article to the field as a whole. Look to see if the article is frequently cited by other authors writing about a similar subject.

One good tactic is to combine step 3 with step 4, plugging each source into the overall framework as you go and thus saving you from having to reread every source twice.

There are a number of ways to organize your historiography:

  • You can report your writers in chronological order, tracing changes in the field over time.
  • You can talk about major schools of thought regarding your topic, and discuss each one separately.
  • If you are writing a larger paper, you can integrate your historiography over the course of the paper addressing the work of previous historians as they relate to your own analysis.

The first two methods are generally more what is expected of you when you are assigned to "write a historiography."

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Write a Historiography

1. narrow your topic and select books and articles accordingly, 2. search for literature, 3. read the selected books and articles thoroughly and evaluate them, 4. organize the selected sources by looking for patterns and by developing subtopics, 5. develop a thesis statement, 6. draft the paper, 7. review your work.

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Consider your specific area of study. Think about what interests you and other researchers in your field.  

Talk to your professor or TA, brainstorm, and read lecture notes and current issues in periodicals in the field.  

Limit your scope appropriately based on the assignment guidelines (i.e., focusing on France's role in the Second World War, not the whole world, or on the legal agency of women in medieval Scotland, not all medieval European women). 

  • Four Steps to Narrow Your Research Topic (Video) This 3-minute video provides instructions on how to narrow the focus of your research topic.
  • Developing a Research Question + Worksheet Use this worksheet to develop, assess, and refine your research questions. There is also a downloadable PDF version.

Define your source selection criteria (i.e., articles published within a specific date range or written through specific historical lenses; or research applying specific theories and methodologies or focusing on a specific geographic region, chronological period, or historical event).  

Using keywords, search a library database. If you need help finding the literature, contact a librarian through 

  • Ask Us Contact a librarian via chat, email, phone or the AskUs desk on the main floor of McLaughlin Library
  • Book an appointment Book a consultation to get research help.

Published articles and books always cite earlier studies in the footnotes, endnotes or bibliography: you can use these to trace the development of the subject.  

Include studies with conflicting points of view to help create a more engaging discussion within your historiographical paper.  

Evaluate and synthesize the studies' findings and conclusions.  

Note the following:  

  • assumptions some or most historians seem to make.  
  • methodologies, theories, and sources that historians have used to answer historical questions.  
  • experts in the field, usually recognized as names that come up repeatedly in the literature (cited in the text or in the footnotes).  
  • conflicting assumptions, theories, methodologies, and types of sources.  
  • popular theories and interpretations, and how these have changed (or not) over time.  

You may not agree with everything you read and, indeed, the point of historiography is to critique (positively and constructively) the work of other historians on a given subject. With that in mind, remember the following historical conventions:  

  • Someone writing in 1883 about the Norman Conquest of 1066 may not consider questions that are central to more recent kinds of history, but this does not mean that earlier historians and antiquarians were unqualified, unintelligent, or uninformed: they simply had different biases and experiences. These are worth discussing (for example, it might be worthwhile to compare how Protestant and Catholic historians of the late nineteenth century wrote about the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation) but avoid condemning the authors outright without a thoughtful explanation of your critiques.  
  • Consider why historians writing in the 1930s were not engaging with questions about gender history and compare the outcomes of their methods and research to the arguments being made by feminist scholars writing since the 1970s. Dig into how different theories, assumptions, and methodologies have led scholars to different conclusions about the same events. 

Note the following: 

  • Findings that are common/contested. 
  • Important trends in the research. 
  • Popular sources, important theories, and common methodologies. 
  • For example, the histories of many topics, regions, and periods have had “phases” like the Great Man Theory of History, the Cultural Turn, Feminist History, Disability Studies, and Queer History. Each of these has been tied to contemporary social changes, such as interest in nationalism during and after the World Wars, influences from sociology and anthropology, and different waves of social justice activism in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Tip: If your historiography is extensive, find a large table surface, and on it place post-it notes or filing cards to organize all your findings into categories.

  • Move them around if you decide that (a) they fit better under different headings, or (b) you need to establish new topic headings. 
  • Develop headings/subheadings that reflect the major themes and patterns you detected. 

Write a one- or two-sentence statement summarizing the conclusion you have reached about the major trends and developments you see in the research that has been conducted on your subject.

Some example statements to help you get started are: 

  • Historians disagree about X (your topic), but I am the most convinced by the scholars who say Y because… 
  • Historians disagree about X (your topic), but there is something bigger going on, and the whole debate should be reframed with Y in mind. 
  • Historians have come to a consensus about X (your topic), but I disagree and propose a different interpretation (e.g., one that considers gender, one that takes a middle view, or one that incorporates underused primary sources). 

Explore the following library resources to help you create and revise your thesis statement: 

  • Templates for Writing Thesis Statements This template provides a two-step guide for writing thesis statements. There is also a downloadable PDF version.
  • 5 Types of Thesis Statements Learn about five different types of thesis statements to help you choose the best type for your research. There is also a downloadable PDF version.
  • 5 Questions to Strengthen Your Thesis Statement Follow these five steps to strengthen your thesis statements. There is also a downloadable PDF version.

Note: The thesis statement is typically located in the first paragraph of a short paper (fewer than 2000 words) but can be left to the second paragraph of a larger paper (more than 2000 words) if you feel the reader needs more contextual or background information before you begin your argument. 

Follow the organizational structure you developed above, including any headings and subheadings you constructed. 

Make certain that each section links logically to the one before and after. 

Structure your sections by themes or subtopics, not by individual theorists or researchers. 

  • Tip: If you find that each paragraph begins with a researcher's name, it might indicate that, instead of evaluating and comparing the research literature from an analytical point of view, you have simply described what research has been done. 

Prioritize analysis over description. 

  • For example, look at the following two passages and note that Student A merely describes the literature. The writing is strong, but Student A has not explained how these two historians came to different conclusions. The paragraph would be stronger if it followed Student B’s approach. 
  • Student B takes a more analytical and evaluative approach by comparing the methods and sources used by the historians. One thing to look for (and use) in historiographical writing is keywords that suggest there is some evaluation happening. Here, Student B makes logical connections (“conversely,” “this is due to,” and “as a result”). These techniques demonstrate Student B's ability to synthesize knowledge and explain the differences in the studies based on the sources used. 

Student A: Keith M. Brown argues that, although James VI had clear ideas about what he wanted the reformed Scottish and English churches to look like, he relied on his relationships with magnates and ministers to ensure the speed, success, and cohesion of reform efforts. A different scholar, Julian Goodare, argues that James VI came awfully close and indeed, in some cases, succeeded at reorganizing Scotland’s dissident authoritative bodies—the kirk, nobility, parliament, and crown—into a centralized and moderately absolutist government. According to Goodare, by the end of James VI’s reign, the state attained sufficient command of its organization to reintroduce an episcopal structure to the contemporary kirk. It also gained the authority to define the role of church and state in the trial and conviction of moral and criminal offences. In other words, the crown itself wielded sufficient authority to govern independently, and Scottish nobles acquiesced to or resisted its demands as they performed their institutional duties, with varying rewards and consequences.

Student B: Julian Goodare and Keith Brown have reached quite different conclusions about the role that the Scottish nobility played in helping or hindering the efforts of Protestant reformers.  This is due in part to the bodies of sources each employed. Brown drew on a wide variety of archival sources that provided insight into the lives of individuals and families: family papers and letters, local court records, and documents relating to bloodfeud. For Brown, these records demonstrate that, although James VI had clear ideas about what he wanted the reformed Scottish and English churches to look like, he relied on his relationships with magnates and ministers to ensure the speed, success, and cohesion of reform efforts. Conversely, Goodare offers a more traditional political examination of Scotland’s development from a medieval kingdom into an early modern state. After consulting crown financial documents, proceedings of the general assemblies, state papers, and the records of the privy seal records and justiciary court, Goodare argues that James VI came awfully close and indeed, in some cases, succeeded at reorganizing Scotland’s dissident authoritative bodies—the kirk, nobility, parliament, and crown—into a centralized and moderately absolutist government. As a result, the concepts of personal kingship and crown-magnate negotiations of power so central to Brown’s analysis are absent from Goodare’s assessment, in which the latter argues that the crown itself wielded sufficient authority to govern independently and that Scottish nobles merely acquiesced to or resisted its demands as they performed their institutional duties.

Note: These examples have been reproduced and modified with the permission of the student author. For the purposes of these example paragraphs, citations have been omitted, but you should always indicate your sources using footnotes.


Make an outline of each section of the paper and decide whether you need to add information, delete irrelevant information, or re-structure sections.  

Look at the topic sentences of each paragraph. If you were to read only these sentences, would you find that your paper presented a clear position, logically developed, from beginning to end? The topic sentences of each paragraph should indicate the main points of your historiography. 

Read your work aloud (or use the speech-to-text feature in your word processor to have the computer read it to you). That way you will be better able to identify where you need punctuation marks to signal pauses or divisions within sentences, where you have made grammatical errors, or where your sentences are unclear. 

Avoid over-generalizations: societies are made up of individuals and they vary regionally and temporally. Starting your paper with “Since the first history was written...” or claiming that "scholars agree that the Enlightenment was the Age of Reason” is neither specific nor accurate. 


Since the purpose of historiography is partly to demonstrate that the writer is familiar with the important literature on the chosen subject, check to make certain that you have covered a broad selection of the important, up-to-date, and pertinent texts. What is considered relevant will depend on your subject, region, and period. Good strategies are to pick a few monographs from each decade of the past fifty years and to follow up on authors whose names show up frequently in the historiography sections of other papers. If you need help, ask your instructor or TA for advice once you have picked your topic. 

Check to make sure that you have not plagiarized either by failing to cite a source of information or by using words quoted directly from a source. (Usually, if you take four or more words—in a row—directly from another source, you should put those words within quotation marks, and cite the page.) 


Make certain that all the citations and references are correct and that you are using the appropriate formatting style for your discipline. Most history courses at the University of Guelph ask that you use the Chicago Manual of Style: Notes & Bibliography. If you are uncertain which style to use, ask your instructor.

Sentences should flow smoothly and logically. The text should be written in a clear and concise academic style; it should not be descriptive in nature or use the language of everyday speech (colloquialisms, slang) or excessive disciplinary jargon (specialist words). There should be no grammatical or spelling errors. 

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Historical Methods & Theory

  • Thinking Like a Historian
  • Finding Books & Videos
  • Finding Articles

What is a Historiographical Essay?

Historiographical essays, evaluating secondary sources, acknowledgement.

  • Citing Sources This link opens in a new window
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A historiographical essay:

  • Is based on a broad, less focused topic or theme, e.g., Reconstruction in the United States)
  • Critically examines secondary sources written by historians
  • Puts emphasis on the historian, the historian's bias and how the writing of a particular topic has changed over the years
  • Examines and compares other historians' arguments in opposition to each other

The purpose of an historiographic essay is threefold:

  • To allow you to view an historical event or issue from multiple perspectives by engaging multiple sources;
  • To display your mastery over those sources and over the event or issue itself; and
  • To develop your critical reading skills as you seek to answer why your sources disagree, and what their disagreement tells you about the event or issue and the very nature of history itself.

Selected Titles About Historiography

cover image

  • What information is given about the author? Is the author an historian?
  • Can you identify the historian's school of thought?
  • Read the table of contents, preface and other introductry material. Does the author set up his/her thesis (or point of view) in these sections? Who is the intended audience? Is it written for historians or for a general audience?
  • What is the date of publication? If the book or article is old, it will not highlight recent scholarship. Is this important? Is it a reflection of the histories of the time or does it deviate from the norm?
  • What primary source material does the author use? What primary source material may have been available to the author at the time?
  • Consider the bibliography. Do the sources listed indicate serious works that are relevant to your topic? You may want to consult works used by the author. 

All materials from: Historiography: Ramapo College,

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UCLA History Department

Introductions & Conclusions

The introduction and conclusion serve important roles in a history paper.  They are not simply perfunctory additions in academic writing, but are critical to your task of making a persuasive argument.

A successful introduction will:

  • draw your readers in
  • culminate in a thesis statement that clearly states your argument
  • orient your readers to the key facts they need to know in order to understand your thesis
  • lay out a roadmap for the rest of your paper

A successful conclusion will:

  • draw your paper together
  • reiterate your argument clearly and forcefully
  • leave your readers with a lasting impression of why your argument matters or what it brings to light

How to write an effective introduction:

Often students get slowed down in paper-writing because they are not sure how to write the introduction.  Do not feel like you have to write your introduction first simply because it is the first section of your paper.  You can always come back to it after you write the body of your essay.  Whenever you approach your introduction, think of it as having three key parts:

  • The opening line
  • The middle “stage-setting” section
  • The thesis statement

“In a 4-5 page paper, describe the process of nation-building in one Middle Eastern state.  What were the particular goals of nation-building?  What kinds of strategies did the state employ?  What were the results?  Be specific in your analysis, and draw on at least one of the scholars of nationalism that we discussed in class.”

Here is an example of a WEAK introduction for this prompt:

“One of the most important tasks the leader of any country faces is how to build a united and strong nation.  This has been especially true in the Middle East, where the country of Jordan offers one example of how states in the region approached nation-building.  Founded after World War I by the British, Jordan has since been ruled by members of the Hashemite family.  To help them face the difficult challenges of founding a new state, they employed various strategies of nation-building.”

Now, here is a REVISED version of that same introduction:

“Since 1921, when the British first created the mandate of Transjordan and installed Abdullah I as its emir, the Hashemite rulers have faced a dual task in nation-building.  First, as foreigners to the region, the Hashemites had to establish their legitimacy as Jordan’s rightful leaders.  Second, given the arbitrary boundaries of the new nation, the Hashemites had to establish the legitimacy of Jordan itself, binding together the people now called ‘Jordanians.’  To help them address both challenges, the Hashemite leaders crafted a particular narrative of history, what Anthony Smith calls a ‘nationalist mythology.’  By presenting themselves as descendants of the Prophet Muhammad, as leaders of the Arab Revolt, and as the fathers of Jordan’s different tribal groups, they established the authority of their own regime and the authority of the new nation, creating one of the most stable states in the modern Middle East.”

The first draft of the introduction, while a good initial step, is not strong enough to set up a solid, argument-based paper.  Here are the key issues:

  • This first sentence is too general.  From the beginning of your paper, you want to invite your reader into your specific topic, rather than make generalizations that could apply to any nation in any time or place.  Students often run into the problem of writing general or vague opening lines, such as, “War has always been one of the greatest tragedies to befall society.”  Or, “The Great Depression was one of the most important events in American history.”  Avoid statements that are too sweeping or imprecise.  Ask yourself if the sentence you have written can apply in any time or place or could apply to any event or person.  If the answer is yes, then you need to make your opening line more specific.
  • Here is the revised opening line: “Since 1921, when the British first created the mandate of Transjordan and installed Abdullah I as its emir, the Hashemite rulers have faced a dual task in nation-building.”
  • This is a stronger opening line because it speaks precisely to the topic at hand.  The paper prompt is not asking you to talk about nation-building in general, but nation-building in one specific place.
  • This stage-setting section is also too general.  Certainly, such background information is critical for the reader to know, but notice that it simply restates much of the information already in the prompt.  The question already asks you to pick one example, so your job is not simply to reiterate that information, but to explain what kind of example Jordan presents.  You also need to tell your reader why the context you are providing matters.
  • Revised stage-setting: “First, as foreigners to the region, the Hashemites had to establish their legitimacy as Jordan’s rightful leaders.  Second, given the arbitrary boundaries of the new nation, the Hashemites had to establish the legitimacy of Jordan itself, binding together the people now called ‘Jordanians.’  To help them address both challenges, the Hashemite rulers crafted a particular narrative of history, what Anthony Smith calls a ‘nationalist mythology.’”
  • This stage-setting is stronger because it introduces the reader to the problem at hand.  Instead of simply saying when and why Jordan was created, the author explains why the manner of Jordan’s creation posed particular challenges to nation-building.  It also sets the writer up to address the questions in the prompt, getting at both the purposes of nation-building in Jordan and referencing the scholar of nationalism s/he will be drawing on from class: Anthony Smith.
  • This thesis statement restates the prompt rather than answers the question.  You need to be specific about what strategies of nation-building Jordan’s leaders used.  You also need to assess those strategies, so that you can answer the part of the prompt that asks about the results of nation-building.
  • Revised thesis statement: “By presenting themselves as descendants of the Prophet Muhammad, as leaders of the Arab Revolt, and as the fathers of Jordan’s different tribal groups, they established the authority of their regime and the authority of the new nation, creating one of the most stable states in the modern Middle East.”
  • It directly answers the question in the prompt.  Even though you will be persuading readers of your argument through the evidence you present in the body of your paper, you want to tell them at the outset exactly what you are arguing.
  • It discusses the significance of the argument, saying that Jordan created an especially stable state.  This helps you answer the question about the results of Jordan’s nation-building project.
  • It offers a roadmap for the rest of the paper.  The writer knows how to proceed and the reader knows what to expect.  The body of the paper will discuss the Hashemite claims “as descendants from the Prophet Muhammad, as leaders of the Arab Revolt, and as the fathers of Jordan’s different tribal groups.”

If you write your introduction first, be sure to revisit it after you have written your entire essay.  Because your paper will evolve as you write, you need to go back and make sure that the introduction still sets up your argument and still fits your organizational structure.

How to write an effective conclusion:

Your conclusion serves two main purposes.  First, it reiterates your argument in different language than you used in the thesis and body of your paper.  Second, it tells your reader why your argument matters.  In your conclusion, you want to take a step back and consider briefly the historical implications or significance of your topic.  You will not be introducing new information that requires lengthy analysis, but you will be telling your readers what your paper helps bring to light.  Perhaps you can connect your paper to a larger theme you have discussed in class, or perhaps you want to pose a new sort of question that your paper elicits.  There is no right or wrong “answer” to this part of the conclusion: you are now the “expert” on your topic, and this is your chance to leave your reader with a lasting impression based on what you have learned.

Here is an example of an effective conclusion for the same essay prompt:

“To speak of the nationalist mythology the Hashemites created, however, is not to say that it has gone uncontested.  In the 1950s, the Jordanian National Movement unleashed fierce internal opposition to Hashemite rule, crafting an alternative narrative of history in which the Hashemites were mere puppets to Western powers.  Various tribes have also reasserted their role in the region’s past, refusing to play the part of “sons” to Hashemite “fathers.”  For the Hashemites, maintaining their mythology depends on the same dialectical process that John R. Gillis identified in his investigation of commemorations: a process of both remembering and forgetting.  Their myth remembers their descent from the Prophet, their leadership of the Arab Revolt, and the tribes’ shared Arab and Islamic heritage.  It forgets, however, the many different histories that Jordanians champion, histories that the Hashemite mythology has never been able to fully reconcile.”

This is an effective conclusion because it moves from the specific argument addressed in the body of the paper to the question of why that argument matters.  The writer rephrases the argument by saying, “Their myth remembers their descent from the Prophet, their leadership of the Arab Revolt, and the tribes’ shared Arab and Islamic heritage.”  Then, the writer reflects briefly on the larger implications of the argument, showing how Jordan’s nationalist mythology depended on the suppression of other narratives.

Introduction and Conclusion checklist

When revising your introduction and conclusion, check them against the following guidelines:

Does my introduction:

  • draw my readers in?
  • culminate in a thesis statement that clearly states my argument?
  • orient my readers to the key facts they need to know in order to understand my thesis?
  • lay out a roadmap for the rest of my paper?

Does my conclusion:

  • draw my paper together?
  • reiterate my argument clearly and forcefully?
  • leave my readers with a lasting impression of why my argument matters or what it brings to light?

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historiography essay intro

Writing a history essay

history essay

An essay is a piece of sustained writing in response to a question, topic or issue. Essays are commonly used for assessing and evaluating student progress in history. History essays test a range of skills including historical understanding, interpretation and analysis, planning, research and writing.

To write an effective essay, students should examine the question, understand its focus and requirements, acquire information and evidence through research, then construct a clear and well-organised response. Writing a good history essay should be rigorous and challenging, even for stronger students. As with other skills, essay writing develops and improves over time. Each essay you complete helps you become more competent and confident in exercising these skills.

Study the question

This is an obvious tip but one sadly neglected by some students. The first step to writing a good essay, whatever the subject or topic, is to give plenty of thought to the question.

An essay question will set some kind of task or challenge. It might ask you to explain the causes and/or effects of a particular event or situation. It might ask if you agree or disagree with a statement. It might ask you to describe and analyse the causes and/or effects of a particular action or event. Or it might ask you to evaluate the relative significance of a person, group or event.

You should begin by reading the essay question several times. Underline, highlight or annotate keywords or terms in the text of the question. Think about what it requires you to do. Who or what does it want you to concentrate on? Does it state or imply a particular timeframe? What problem or issue does it want you to address?

Begin with a plan

Every essay should begin with a written plan. Start constructing a plan as soon as you have received your essay question and given it some thought.

Prepare for research by brainstorming and jotting down your thoughts and ideas. What are your initial responses or thoughts about the question? What topics, events, people or issues are connected with the question? Do any additional questions or issues flow from the question? What topics or events do you need to learn more about? What historians or sources might be useful?

If you encounter a mental ‘brick wall’ or are uncertain about how to approach the question, don’t hesitate to discuss it with someone else. Consult your teacher, a capable classmate or someone you trust. Bear in mind too that once you start researching, your plan may change as you locate new information.

Start researching

After studying the question and developing an initial plan, start to gather information and evidence.

Most will start by reading an overview of the topic or issue, usually in some reliable secondary sources. This will refresh or build your existing understanding of the topic and provide a basis for further questions or investigation.

Your research should take shape from here, guided by the essay question and your own planning. Identify terms or concepts you do not know and find out what they mean. As you locate information, ask yourself if it is relevant or useful for addressing the question. Be creative with your research, looking in a variety of places.

If you have difficulty locating information, seek advice from your teacher or someone you trust.

Develop a contention

All good history essays have a clear and strong contention. A contention is the main idea or argument of your essay. It serves both as an answer to the question and the focal point of your writing.

Ideally, you should be able to express your contention as a single sentence. For example, the following contention might form the basis of an essay question on the rise of the Nazis:

Q. Why did the Nazi Party win 37 per cent of the vote in July 1932? A. The Nazi Party’s electoral success of 1932 was a result of economic suffering caused by the Great Depression, public dissatisfaction with the Weimar Republic’s democratic political system and mainstream parties, and Nazi propaganda that promised a return to traditional social, political and economic values.

An essay using this contention would then go on to explain and justify these statements in greater detail. It will also support the contention with argument and evidence.

At some point in your research, you should begin thinking about a contention for your essay. Remember, you should be able to express it briefly as if addressing the essay question in a single sentence, or summing up in a debate.

Try to frame your contention so that is strong, authoritative and convincing. It should sound like the voice of someone well informed about the subject and confident about their answer.

Plan an essay structure

essay structure

Once most of your research is complete and you have a strong contention, start jotting down a possible essay structure. This need not be complicated, a few lines or dot points is ample.

Every essay must have an introduction, a body of several paragraphs and a conclusion. Your paragraphs should be well organised and follow a logical sequence.

You can organise paragraphs in two ways: chronologically (covering events or topics in the order they occurred) or thematically (covering events or topics based on their relevance or significance). Every paragraph should be clearly signposted in the topic sentence.

Once you have finalised a plan for your essay, commence your draft.

Write a compelling introduction

Many consider the introduction to be the most important part of an essay. It is important for several reasons. It is the reader’s first experience of your essay. It is where you first address the question and express your contention. It is also where you lay out or ‘signpost’ the direction your essay will take.

Aim for an introduction that is clear, confident and punchy. Get straight to the point – do not waste time with a rambling or storytelling introduction.

Start by providing a little context, then address the question, articulate your contention and indicate what direction your essay will take.

Write fully formed paragraphs

Many history students fall into the trap of writing short paragraphs, sometimes containing as little as one or two sentences. A good history essay contains paragraphs that are themselves ‘mini-essays’, usually between 100-200 words each.

A paragraph should focus on one topic or issue only – but it should contain a thorough exploration of that topic or issue.

A good paragraph will begin with an effective opening sentence, sometimes called a topic sentence or signposting sentence. This sentence introduces the paragraph topic and briefly explains its significance to the question and your contention. Good paragraphs also contain thorough explanations, some analysis and evidence, and perhaps a quotation or two.

Finish with an effective conclusion

The conclusion is the final paragraph of your essay. A good conclusion should do two things. First, it should reiterate or restate the contention of your essay. Second, it should close off your essay, ideally with a polished ending that is not abrupt or awkward.

One effective way to do this is with a brief summary of ‘what happened next’. For example, an essay discussing Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 might close with a couple of sentences about how he consolidated and strengthened his power in 1934-35.

Your conclusion need not be as long or as developed as your body paragraphs. You should avoid introducing new information or evidence in the conclusion.

Reference and cite your sources

A history essay is only likely to succeed if it is appropriately referenced. Your essay should support its information, ideas and arguments with citations or references to reliable sources.

Referencing not only acknowledges the work of others, but it also gives authority to your writing and provides the teacher or assessor with an insight into your research. More information on referencing a piece of history writing can be found here .

Proofread, edit and seek feedback

Every essay should be proofread, edited and, if necessary, re-drafted before being submitted for assessment. Essays should ideally be completed well before their due date then put aside for a day or two before proofreading.

When proofreading, look first for spelling and grammatical errors, typographical mistakes, incorrect dates or other errors of fact.

Think then about how you can improve the clarity, tone and structure of your essay. Does your essay follow a logical structure or sequence? Is the signposting in your essay clear and effective? Are some sentences too long or ‘rambling’? Do you repeat yourself? Do paragraphs need to be expanded, fine-tuned or strengthened with more evidence?

Read your essay aloud, either to yourself or another person. Seek feedback and advice from a good writer or someone you trust (they need not have expertise in history, only in effective writing).

Some general tips on writing

  • Always write in the third person . Never refer to yourself personally, using phrases like “I think…” or “It is my contention…”. Good history essays should adopt the perspective of an informed and objective third party. They should sound rational and factual – not like an individual expressing their opinion.
  • Always write in the past tense . An obvious tip for a history essay is to write in the past tense. Always be careful about your use of tense. Watch out for mixed tenses when proofreading your work. One exception to the rule about past tense is when writing about the work of modern historians (for example, “Kershaw writes…” sounds better than “Kershaw wrote…” or “Kershaw has written…”).
  • Avoid generalisations . Generalisation is a problem in all essays but it is particularly common in history essays. Generalisation occurs when you form general conclusions from one or more specific examples. In history, this most commonly occurs when students study the experiences of a particular group, then assume their experiences applied to a much larger group – for example, “All the peasants were outraged”, “Women rallied to oppose conscription” or “Germans supported the Nazi Party”. Both history and human society, however, are never this clear cut or simple. Always try to avoid generalisation and be on the lookout for generalised statements when proofreading.
  • Write short, sharp and punchy . Good writers vary their sentence length but as a rule of thumb, most of your sentences should be short and punchy. The longer a sentence becomes, the greater the risk of it becoming long-winded or confusing. Long sentences can easily become disjointed, confused or rambling. Try not to overuse long sentences and pay close attention to sentence length when proofreading.
  • Write in an active voice . In history writing, the active voice is preferable to the passive voice. In the active voice, the subject completes the action (e.g. “Hitler [the subject] initiated the Beer Hall putsch [the action] to seize control of the Bavarian government”). In the passive voice, the action is completed by the subject (“The Beer Hall putsch [the action] was initiated by Hitler [the subject] to seize control of the Bavarian government”). The active voice also helps prevent sentences from becoming long, wordy and unclear.

You may also find our page on writing for history useful.

Citation information Title : ‘Writing a history essay’ Authors : Jennifer Llewellyn, Steve Thompson Publisher : Alpha History URL : Date published : April 13, 2020 Date updated : December 20, 2022 Date accessed : Today’s date Copyright : The content on this page may not be republished without our express permission. For more information on usage, please refer to our Terms of Use.

historiography essay intro

  • Written Essays

How to write source-based history essays

Trevi Fountain

The biggest assessment task you will be required to complete is a written research essay which develops an argument and uses a range of sources.

All types of assessment tasks will need you to use essay-writing skills in some form, but their fundamental structure and purpose remains the same.

Therefore, learning how to write essays well is central to achieving high marks in History.

What is an 'essay'?

A History essay is a structured argument that provides historical evidence to substantiate its points. 

To achieve the correct structure for your argument, it is crucial to understand the separate parts that make up a written essay. 

If you understand how each part works and fits into the overall essay, you are well on the way to creating a great assessment piece.

Most essays will require you to write:

  • 1 Introduction Paragraph
  • 3 Body Paragraphs
  • 1 Concluding Paragraph

Explanations for how to structure and write each of these paragraphs can be found below, along with examples of each: 

Essay paragraph writing advice

historiography essay intro

How to write an Introductory Paragraph

This page explains the purpose of an introduction, how to structure one and provides examples for you to read.

historiography essay intro

How to write Body Paragraphs

This page explains the purpose of body paragraphs, how to structure them and provides examples for you to read.

historiography essay intro

How to write a Conclusion

This page explains the purpose of conclusions, how to structure them and provides examples for you to read.

More essay resources

What do you need help with, download ready-to-use digital learning resources.

historiography essay intro

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How to Write a History Essay?

04 August, 2020

10 minutes read

Author:  Tomas White

There are so many types of essays. It can be hard to know where to start. History papers aren’t just limited to history classes. These tasks can be assigned to examine any important historical event or a person. While they’re more common in history classes, you can find this type of assignment in sociology or political science course syllabus, or just get a history essay task for your scholarship. This is Handmadewriting History Essay Guide - let's start!

History Essay

Purpose  of a History Essay

Wondering how to write a history essay? First of all, it helps to understand its purpose. Secondly, this essay aims to examine the influences that lead to a historical event. Thirdly, it can explore the importance of an individual’s impact on history.

However, the goal isn’t to stay in the past. Specifically, a well-written history essay should discuss the relevance of the event or person to the “now”. After finishing this essay, a reader should have a fuller understanding of the lasting impact of an event or individual.

Need basic essay guidance? Find out what is an essay with this 101 essay guide: What is an Essay?

Elements for Success

Indeed, understanding how to write a history essay is crucial in creating a successful paper. Notably, these essays should never only outline successful historic events or list an individual’s achievements. Instead, they should focus on examining questions beginning with what , how , and why . Here’s a pro tip in how to write a history essay: brainstorm questions. Once you’ve got questions, you have an excellent starting point.

Preparing to Write

What? Who? Why?

Evidently, a typical history essay format requires the writer to provide background on the event or person, examine major influences, and discuss the importance of the forces both then and now. In addition, when preparing to write, it’s helpful to organize the information you need to research into questions. For example:

  • Who were the major contributors to this event?
  • Who opposed or fought against this event?
  • Who gained or lost from this event?
  • Who benefits from this event today?
  • What factors led up to this event?
  • What changes occurred because of this event?
  • What lasting impacts occurred locally, nationally, globally due to this event?
  • What lessons (if any) were learned?
  • Why did this event occur?
  • Why did certain populations support it?
  • Why did certain populations oppose it?

These questions exist as samples. Therefore, generate questions specific to your topic. Once you have a list of questions, it’s time to evaluate them.

Evaluating the Question

Assess the impact

Seasoned writers approach writing history by examining the historic event or individual. Specifically, the goal is to assess the impact then and now. Accordingly, the writer needs to evaluate the importance of the main essay guiding the paper. For example, if the essay’s topic is the rise of American prohibition, a proper question may be “How did societal factors influence the rise of American prohibition during the 1920s? ”

This question is open-ended since it allows for insightful analysis, and limits the research to societal factors. Additionally, work to identify key terms in the question. In the example, key terms would be “societal factors” and “prohibition”.

Summarizing the Argument

The argument should answer the question. Use the thesis statement to clarify the argument and outline how you plan to make your case. In other words. the thesis should be sharp, clear, and multi-faceted. Consider the following tips when summarizing the case:

  • The thesis should be a single sentence
  • It should include a concise argument and a roadmap
  • It’s always okay to revise the thesis as the paper develops
  • Conduct a bit of research to ensure you have enough support for the ideas within the paper

Outlining a History Essay Plan

Outlining a Plan

Once you’ve refined your argument, it’s time to outline. Notably, many skip this step to regret it then. Nonetheless, the outline is a map that shows where you need to arrive historically and when. Specifically, taking the time to plan, placing the strongest argument last, and identifying your sources of research is a good use of time. When you’re ready to outline, do the following:

  • Consider the necessary background the reader should know in the introduction paragraph
  • Define any important terms and vocabulary
  • Determine which ideas will need the cited support
  • Identify how each idea supports the main argument
  • Brainstorm key points to review in the conclusion

Gathering Sources

As a rule, history essays require both primary and secondary sources . Primary resources are those that were created during the historical period being analyzed. Secondary resources are those created by historians and scholars about the topic. It’s a good idea to know if the professor requires a specific number of sources, and what kind he or she prefers. Specifically, most tutors prefer primary over secondary sources.

Where to find sources? Great question! Check out bibliographies included in required class readings. In addition, ask a campus Librarian. Peruse online journal databases; In addition, most colleges provide students with free access. When in doubt, make an appointment and ask the professor for guidance.

Writing the Essay

Writing the Essay

Now that you have prepared your questions, ideas, and arguments; composed the outline ; and gathered sources – it’s time to write your first draft. In particular, each section of your history essay must serve its purpose. Here is what you should include in essay paragraphs.

Introduction Paragraph

Unsure of how to start a history essay? Well, like most essays, the introduction should include an attention-getter (or hook):

  • Relevant fact or statistic
  • Rhetorical Question
  • Interesting quotation
  • Application anecdote if appropriate

Once you’ve captured the reader’s interest, introduce the topic. Similarly, present critical historic context. Namely, it is necessary to introduce any key individuals or events that will be discussed later in the essay. At last, end with a strong thesis which acts as a transition to the first argument.

Body Paragraphs

Indeed, each body paragraph should offer a single idea to support the argument. Then, after writing a strong topic sentence, the topic should be supported with correctly cited research. Consequently, a typical body paragraph is arranged as follows:

  • Topic sentence linking to the thesis
  • Background of the topic
  • Research quotation or paraphrase #1
  • Explanation and analysis of research
  • Research quotation or paraphrase #2
  • Transition to the next paragraph

Equally, the point of body paragraphs is to build the argument. Hence, present the weakest support first and end with the strongest. Admittedly, doing so leaves the reader with the best possible evidence.

Conclusion Paragraph

You’re almost there! Eventually, conclusion paragraphs should review the most important points in the paper. In them, you should prove that you’ve supported the argument proposed in the thesis. When writing a conclusion paragraph keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep it simple
  • Avoid introducing new information
  • Review major points
  • Discuss the relevance to today
Problems with writing Your History essay ? Try our Essay Writer Service!

history essay

Proofreading Your Essay

Once the draft is ready and polished, it’s time to proceed to final editing. What does this process imply? Specifically, it’s about removing impurities and making the essay look just perfect. Here’s what you need to do to improve the quality of your paper:

  • Double check the content. In the first place, it’s recommended to get rid of long sentences, correct vague words. Also, make sure that all your paragrahps contain accurate sentences with transparent meaning. 
  • Pay attention to style. To make the process of digesting your essay easier, focus on crafting a paper with readable style, the one that is known to readers. Above all, the main mission here is to facilitate the perception of your essay. So, don’t forget about style accuracy.
  • Practice reading the essay. Of course, the best practice before passing the paper is to read it out loud. Hence, this exercise will help you notice fragments that require rewriting or a complete removal.  

History Essay Example

Did you want a history essay example? Take a look at one of our history essay papers. 

Make it Shine

An A-level essay takes planning and revision, but it’s achievable. Firstly, avoid procrastination and start early. Secondly, leave yourself plenty of time to brainstorm, outline, research and write. Finally, follow these five tips to make your history essay shine:

  • Write a substantial introduction. Particularly, it’s the first impression the professor will have of the paper.
  • State a clear thesis. A strong thesis is easier to support.
  • Incorporate evidence critically. If while researching you find opposing arguments, include them and discuss their flaws.
  • Cite all the research. Whether direct quotations or paraphrases, citing evidence is crucial to avoiding plagiarism, which can have serious academic consequences.
  • Include primary and secondary resources. While primary resources may be harder to find, the professor will expect them—this is, after all, a history essay.

History Essay Sample

Ready to tackle the history essay format? Great! Check out this history essay sample from an upper-level history class. While the essay isn’t perfect, the professor points out its many strengths.

Remember: start early and revise, revise, revise . We can’t revise history, but you can revise your ideas until they’re perfect.

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How to Write a History Essay with Outline, Tips, Examples and More

History Essay

Samuel Gorbold

Before we get into how to write a history essay, let's first understand what makes one good. Different people might have different ideas, but there are some basic rules that can help you do well in your studies. In this guide, we won't get into any fancy theories. Instead, we'll give you straightforward tips to help you with historical writing. So, if you're ready to sharpen your writing skills, let our history essay writing service explore how to craft an exceptional paper.

What is a History Essay?

A history essay is an academic assignment where we explore and analyze historical events from the past. We dig into historical stories, figures, and ideas to understand their importance and how they've shaped our world today. History essay writing involves researching, thinking critically, and presenting arguments based on evidence.

Moreover, history papers foster the development of writing proficiency and the ability to communicate complex ideas effectively. They also encourage students to engage with primary and secondary sources, enhancing their research skills and deepening their understanding of historical methodology. Students can benefit from utilizing essay writers services when faced with challenging assignments. These services provide expert assistance and guidance, ensuring that your history papers meet academic standards and accurately reflect your understanding of the subject matter.

History Essay Outline

History Essay Outline

The outline is there to guide you in organizing your thoughts and arguments in your essay about history. With a clear outline, you can explore and explain historical events better. Here's how to make one:


  • Hook: Start with an attention-grabbing opening sentence or anecdote related to your topic.
  • Background Information: Provide context on the historical period, event, or theme you'll be discussing.
  • Thesis Statement: Present your main argument or viewpoint, outlining the scope and purpose of your history essay.

Body paragraph 1: Introduction to the Historical Context

  • Provide background information on the historical context of your topic.
  • Highlight key events, figures, or developments leading up to the main focus of your history essay.

Body paragraphs 2-4 (or more): Main Arguments and Supporting Evidence

  • Each paragraph should focus on a specific argument or aspect of your thesis.
  • Present evidence from primary and secondary sources to support each argument.
  • Analyze the significance of the evidence and its relevance to your history paper thesis.

Counterarguments (optional)

  • Address potential counterarguments or alternative perspectives on your topic.
  • Refute opposing viewpoints with evidence and logical reasoning.
  • Summary of Main Points: Recap the main arguments presented in the body paragraphs.
  • Restate Thesis: Reinforce your thesis statement, emphasizing its significance in light of the evidence presented.
  • Reflection: Reflect on the broader implications of your arguments for understanding history.
  • Closing Thought: End your history paper with a thought-provoking statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.


  • List all sources used in your research, formatted according to the citation style required by your instructor (e.g., MLA, APA, Chicago).
  • Include both primary and secondary sources, arranged alphabetically by the author's last name.

Notes (if applicable)

  • Include footnotes or endnotes to provide additional explanations, citations, or commentary on specific points within your history essay.

History Essay Format

Adhering to a specific format is crucial for clarity, coherence, and academic integrity. Here are the key components of a typical history essay format:

Font and Size

  • Use a legible font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri.
  • The recommended font size is usually 12 points. However, check your instructor's guidelines, as they may specify a different size.
  • Set 1-inch margins on all sides of the page.
  • Double-space the entire essay, including the title, headings, body paragraphs, and references.
  • Avoid extra spacing between paragraphs unless specified otherwise.
  • Align text to the left margin; avoid justifying the text or using a centered alignment.

Title Page (if required):

  • If your instructor requires a title page, include the essay title, your name, the course title, the instructor's name, and the date.
  • Center-align this information vertically and horizontally on the page.
  • Include a header on each page (excluding the title page if applicable) with your last name and the page number, flush right.
  • Some instructors may require a shortened title in the header, usually in all capital letters.
  • Center-align the essay title at the top of the first page (if a title page is not required).
  • Use standard capitalization (capitalize the first letter of each major word).
  • Avoid underlining, italicizing, or bolding the title unless necessary for emphasis.

Paragraph Indentation:

  • Indent the first line of each paragraph by 0.5 inches or use the tab key.
  • Do not insert extra spaces between paragraphs unless instructed otherwise.

Citations and References:

  • Follow the citation style specified by your instructor (e.g., MLA, APA, Chicago).
  • Include in-text citations whenever you use information or ideas from external sources.
  • Provide a bibliography or list of references at the end of your history essay, formatted according to the citation style guidelines.
  • Typically, history essays range from 1000 to 2500 words, but this can vary depending on the assignment.

historiography essay intro

How to Write a History Essay?

Historical writing can be an exciting journey through time, but it requires careful planning and organization. In this section, we'll break down the process into simple steps to help you craft a compelling and well-structured history paper.

Analyze the Question

Before diving headfirst into writing, take a moment to dissect the essay question. Read it carefully, and then read it again. You want to get to the core of what it's asking. Look out for keywords that indicate what aspects of the topic you need to focus on. If you're unsure about anything, don't hesitate to ask your instructor for clarification. Remember, understanding how to start a history essay is half the battle won!

Now, let's break this step down:

  • Read the question carefully and identify keywords or phrases.
  • Consider what the question is asking you to do – are you being asked to analyze, compare, contrast, or evaluate?
  • Pay attention to any specific instructions or requirements provided in the question.
  • Take note of the time period or historical events mentioned in the question – this will give you a clue about the scope of your history essay.

Develop a Strategy

With a clear understanding of the essay question, it's time to map out your approach. Here's how to develop your historical writing strategy:

  • Brainstorm ideas : Take a moment to jot down any initial thoughts or ideas that come to mind in response to the history paper question. This can help you generate a list of potential arguments, themes, or points you want to explore in your history essay.
  • Create an outline : Once you have a list of ideas, organize them into a logical structure. Start with a clear introduction that introduces your topic and presents your thesis statement – the main argument or point you'll be making in your history essay. Then, outline the key points or arguments you'll be discussing in each paragraph of the body, making sure they relate back to your thesis. Finally, plan a conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces your history paper thesis.
  • Research : Before diving into writing, gather evidence to support your arguments. Use reputable sources such as books, academic journals, and primary documents to gather historical evidence and examples. Take notes as you research, making sure to record the source of each piece of information for proper citation later on.
  • Consider counterarguments : Anticipate potential counterarguments to your history paper thesis and think about how you'll address them in your essay. Acknowledging opposing viewpoints and refuting them strengthens your argument and demonstrates critical thinking.
  • Set realistic goals : Be realistic about the scope of your history essay and the time you have available to complete it. Break down your writing process into manageable tasks, such as researching, drafting, and revising, and set deadlines for each stage to stay on track.

How to Write a History Essay

Start Your Research

Now that you've grasped the history essay topic and outlined your approach, it's time to dive into research. Here's how to start:

  • Ask questions : What do you need to know? What are the key points to explore further? Write down your inquiries to guide your research.
  • Explore diverse sources : Look beyond textbooks. Check academic journals, reliable websites, and primary sources like documents or artifacts.
  • Consider perspectives : Think about different viewpoints on your topic. How have historians analyzed it? Are there controversies or differing interpretations?
  • Take organized notes : Summarize key points, jot down quotes, and record your thoughts and questions. Stay organized using spreadsheets or note-taking apps.
  • Evaluate sources : Consider the credibility and bias of each source. Are they peer-reviewed? Do they represent a particular viewpoint?

Establish a Viewpoint

By establishing a clear viewpoint and supporting arguments, you'll lay the foundation for your compelling historical writing:

  • Review your research : Reflect on the information gathered. What patterns or themes emerge? Which perspectives resonate with you?
  • Formulate a thesis statement : Based on your research, develop a clear and concise thesis that states your argument or interpretation of the topic.
  • Consider counterarguments : Anticipate objections to your history paper thesis. Are there alternative viewpoints or evidence that you need to address?
  • Craft supporting arguments : Outline the main points that support your thesis. Use evidence from your research to strengthen your arguments.
  • Stay flexible : Be open to adjusting your viewpoint as you continue writing and researching. New information may challenge or refine your initial ideas.

Structure Your Essay

Now that you've delved into the depths of researching historical events and established your viewpoint, it's time to craft the skeleton of your essay: its structure. Think of your history essay outline as constructing a sturdy bridge between your ideas and your reader's understanding. How will you lead them from point A to point Z? Will you follow a chronological path through history or perhaps dissect themes that span across time periods?

And don't forget about the importance of your introduction and conclusion—are they framing your narrative effectively, enticing your audience to read your paper, and leaving them with lingering thoughts long after they've turned the final page? So, as you lay the bricks of your history essay's architecture, ask yourself: How can I best lead my audience through the maze of time and thought, leaving them enlightened and enriched on the other side?

Create an Engaging Introduction

Creating an engaging introduction is crucial for capturing your reader's interest right from the start. But how do you do it? Think about what makes your topic fascinating. Is there a surprising fact or a compelling story you can share? Maybe you could ask a thought-provoking question that gets people thinking. Consider why your topic matters—what lessons can we learn from history?

Also, remember to explain what your history essay will be about and why it's worth reading. What will grab your reader's attention and make them want to learn more? How can you make your essay relevant and intriguing right from the beginning?

Develop Coherent Paragraphs

Once you've established your introduction, the next step is to develop coherent paragraphs that effectively communicate your ideas. Each paragraph should focus on one main point or argument, supported by evidence or examples from your research. Start by introducing the main idea in a topic sentence, then provide supporting details or evidence to reinforce your point.

Make sure to use transition words and phrases to guide your reader smoothly from one idea to the next, creating a logical flow throughout your history essay. Additionally, consider the organization of your paragraphs—is there a clear progression of ideas that builds upon each other? Are your paragraphs unified around a central theme or argument?

Conclude Effectively

Concluding your history essay effectively is just as important as starting it off strong. In your conclusion, you want to wrap up your main points while leaving a lasting impression on your reader. Begin by summarizing the key points you've made throughout your history essay, reminding your reader of the main arguments and insights you've presented.

Then, consider the broader significance of your topic—what implications does it have for our understanding of history or for the world today? You might also want to reflect on any unanswered questions or areas for further exploration. Finally, end with a thought-provoking statement or a call to action that encourages your reader to continue thinking about the topic long after they've finished reading.

Reference Your Sources

Referencing your sources is essential for maintaining the integrity of your history essay and giving credit to the scholars and researchers who have contributed to your understanding of the topic. Depending on the citation style required (such as MLA, APA, or Chicago), you'll need to format your references accordingly. Start by compiling a list of all the sources you've consulted, including books, articles, websites, and any other materials used in your research.

Then, as you write your history essay, make sure to properly cite each source whenever you use information or ideas that are not your own. This includes direct quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. Remember to include all necessary information for each source, such as author names, publication dates, and page numbers, as required by your chosen citation style.

Review and Ask for Advice

As you near the completion of your history essay writing, it's crucial to take a step back and review your work with a critical eye. Reflect on the clarity and coherence of your arguments—are they logically organized and effectively supported by evidence? Consider the strength of your introduction and conclusion—do they effectively capture the reader's attention and leave a lasting impression? Take the time to carefully proofread your history essay for any grammatical errors or typos that may detract from your overall message.

Furthermore, seeking advice from peers, mentors, or instructors can provide valuable insights and help identify areas for improvement. Consider sharing your essay with someone whose feedback you trust and respect, and be open to constructive criticism. Ask specific questions about areas you're unsure about or where you feel your history essay may be lacking. If you need further assistance, don't hesitate to reach out and ask for help. You can even consider utilizing services that offer to write a discussion post for me , where you can engage in meaningful conversations with others about your essay topic and receive additional guidance and support.

History Essay Example

In this section, we offer an example of a history essay examining the impact of the Industrial Revolution on society. This essay demonstrates how historical analysis and critical thinking are applied in academic writing. By exploring this specific event, you can observe how historical evidence is used to build a cohesive argument and draw meaningful conclusions.

historiography essay intro

FAQs about History Essay Writing

How to write a history essay introduction, how to write a conclusion for a history essay, how to write a good history essay.

Samuel Gorbold , a seasoned professor with over 30 years of experience, guides students across disciplines such as English, psychology, political science, and many more. Together with EssayHub, he is dedicated to enhancing student understanding and success through comprehensive academic support.

historiography essay intro

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Princeton University Library


  • About historiography

Finding historiographic essays -- first steps

Historiography in library catalogs.

  • More places to look

For topics that are of wide interest, you may be able to find an essay that reviews the literature on that topic, and that sets it in context by discussing how other historians have approached that topic. This kind of essay is invaluable when you are starting a research project. There are two easy ways to find them:

History Compass is an online journal that publishes historiographic essays. If there is an essay on your topic, it can be an excellent place to start. Caution: if you do not find what you need with your first search, don't choose Edit Search, because you will then be searching all the publisher's online journals. Return to the starting point for History Compass to continue searching just within this journal.

If your topic is covered, check Oxford Bibliographies Online (currently, covers African Studies, Atlantic History, Medieval Studies, Military History, Classics, Criminology, Islamic Studies, Philosophy, and Renaissance and the Reformation, and many other fields)

America: History & Life and Historical Abstracts In both of these bibliographic databases, "historiography" is a Subject. For example, in AHL, to find historiography on the American Civil war, do a Subject search for: civil war historiography

Annual bulletin of historical literature History Reference (SH). Firestone Z6205 .H65 and online

The "Blackwell Companions" are a series published both in print and online in Blackwell Reference Online . If there is one on your topic, it can be an exceptionally useful place to start reading. Note: to find print copies of the Blackwell Companions, do a keyword search in the Main Catalog for " Blackwell companions to history," "Blackwell companions to American history," " Blackwell companions to British history," " Blackwell companions to world history," or " Blackwell companions to European history " to see if there is a volume in this series that covers your topic. Some copies circulate, and others are in the History Reference room on A floor.

US History British History

History Reference (SH). Firestone KF352 .C66 2013
There is also a series of guides to American presidents. Published thus far: Washington, Madison and Monroe, Jefferson, the era of Andrew Jackson, the Reconstruction presidents, Wilson, Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Nixon, Adams, and both Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt.

European History

World History

When you are searching the library catalog for books on your topic, "historiography" is a useful keyword, because it is used in Library of Congress Subject Headings. For example:

  • Historiography--Great Britain.
  • United States --Politics and government --1783-1865 --Historiography.
  • World War, 1914-1918 --Historiography.
  • Europe--Historiography.
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Histoire de la Nouvelle France


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Histoire de la Nouvelle France

historiography , the writing of history , especially the writing of history based on the critical examination of sources, the selection of particular details from the authentic materials in those sources, and the synthesis of those details into a narrative that stands the test of critical examination. The term historiography also refers to the theory and history of historical writing.

Modern historians aim to reconstruct a record of human activities and to achieve a more profound understanding of them. This conception of their task is quite recent, dating from the development in the late 18th and early 19th centuries of “scientific” history and the simultaneous rise of history as an academic profession. It springs from an outlook that is very new in human experience: the assumption that the study of history is a natural, inevitable human activity. Before the late 18th century, historiography did not stand at the centre of any civilization. History was almost never an important part of regular education , and it never claimed to provide an interpretation of human life as a whole. This larger ambition was more appropriate to religion, philosophy, and perhaps poetry and other imaginative literature .

History of historiography

All human cultures tell stories about the past. Deeds of ancestors, heroes, gods, or animals sacred to particular peoples were chanted and memorized long before there was any writing with which to record them. Their truth was authenticated by the very fact of their continued repetition. History, which may be defined as an account that purports to be true of events and ways of thinking and feeling in some part of the human past, stems from this archetypal human narrative activity.

While sharing a common ancestry with myth , legend , epic poetry , and the novel , history has of course diverged from these forms. Its claim to truth is based in part on the fact that all the persons or events it describes really existed or occurred at some time in the past. Historians can say nothing about these persons or events that cannot be supported, or at least suggested, by some kind of documentary evidence. Such evidence customarily takes the form of something written, such as a letter, a law, an administrative record, or the account of some previous historian. In addition, historians sometimes create their own evidence by interviewing people. In the 20th century the scope of historical evidence was greatly expanded to include, among many other things, aerial photographs, the rings of trees, old coins, clothes, motion pictures, and houses. Modern historians have determined the age of the Shroud of Turin , which purportedly bears the image of Jesus , through carbon-14 dating and have discredited the claim of Anna Anderson to be the grand duchess Anastasia , the daughter of Tsar Nicholas II , through DNA testing

Temple ruins of columns and statures at Karnak, Egypt (Egyptian architecture; Egyptian archaelogy; Egyptian history)

Just as the methods at the disposal of historians have expanded, so have the subjects in they have become interested. Many of the indigenous peoples of Africa, the Americas, and Polynesia, for example, were long dismissed by Europeans as having no precolonial history, because they did not keep written records before the arrival of European explorers. However, sophisticated study of oral traditions, combined with advances in archaeology , has made it possible to discover a good deal about the civilizations and empires that flourished in these regions before European contact.

Historians have also studied new social classes . The earliest histories were mostly stories of disasters—floods, famines, and plagues—or of wars, including the statesmen and generals who figured in them. In the 20th century, however, historians shifted their focus from statesmen and generals to ordinary workers and soldiers. Until relatively recent times, however, most men and virtually all women were excluded from history because they were unable to write. Virtually all that was known about them passed through the filter of the attitudes of literate elites. The challenge of seeing through that filter has been met by historians in various ways. One way is to make use of nontraditional sources—for example, personal documents, such as wills or marriage contracts. Another is to look at the records of localities rather than of central governments.

Through these means even the most oppressed peoples—African-American slaves or medieval heretics , for example—have had at least some of their history restored. Since the 20th century some historians have also become interested in psychological repression—i.e., in attitudes and actions that require psychological insight and even diagnosis to recover and understand. For the first time, the claim of historians to deal with the feelings as well as the thoughts of people in any part of the human past has been made good.

None of this is to say that history writing has assumed a perfect or completed form. It will never do so: examination of its past reveals remarkable changes in historical consciousness rather than steady progress toward the standards of research and writing that represent the best that historians can do today. Nevertheless, 21st-century historians understand the pasts of more people more completely and more accurately than their predecessors did. This article demonstrates the scope of that accomplishment and how it came to be achieved.

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  • How to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples

How to Write an Essay Introduction | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on February 4, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 23, 2023.

A good introduction paragraph is an essential part of any academic essay . It sets up your argument and tells the reader what to expect.

The main goals of an introduction are to:

  • Catch your reader’s attention.
  • Give background on your topic.
  • Present your thesis statement —the central point of your essay.

This introduction example is taken from our interactive essay example on the history of Braille.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

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Table of contents

Step 1: hook your reader, step 2: give background information, step 3: present your thesis statement, step 4: map your essay’s structure, step 5: check and revise, more examples of essay introductions, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

Your first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay, so spend some time on writing an effective hook.

Avoid long, dense sentences—start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

The hook should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of the topic you’re writing about and why it’s interesting. Avoid overly broad claims or plain statements of fact.

Examples: Writing a good hook

Take a look at these examples of weak hooks and learn how to improve them.

  • Braille was an extremely important invention.
  • The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.

The first sentence is a dry fact; the second sentence is more interesting, making a bold claim about exactly  why the topic is important.

  • The internet is defined as “a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities.”
  • The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education.

Avoid using a dictionary definition as your hook, especially if it’s an obvious term that everyone knows. The improved example here is still broad, but it gives us a much clearer sense of what the essay will be about.

  • Mary Shelley’s  Frankenstein is a famous book from the nineteenth century.
  • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement.

Instead of just stating a fact that the reader already knows, the improved hook here tells us about the mainstream interpretation of the book, implying that this essay will offer a different interpretation.

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Next, give your reader the context they need to understand your topic and argument. Depending on the subject of your essay, this might include:

  • Historical, geographical, or social context
  • An outline of the debate you’re addressing
  • A summary of relevant theories or research about the topic
  • Definitions of key terms

The information here should be broad but clearly focused and relevant to your argument. Don’t give too much detail—you can mention points that you will return to later, but save your evidence and interpretation for the main body of the essay.

How much space you need for background depends on your topic and the scope of your essay. In our Braille example, we take a few sentences to introduce the topic and sketch the social context that the essay will address:

Now it’s time to narrow your focus and show exactly what you want to say about the topic. This is your thesis statement —a sentence or two that sums up your overall argument.

This is the most important part of your introduction. A  good thesis isn’t just a statement of fact, but a claim that requires evidence and explanation.

The goal is to clearly convey your own position in a debate or your central point about a topic.

Particularly in longer essays, it’s helpful to end the introduction by signposting what will be covered in each part. Keep it concise and give your reader a clear sense of the direction your argument will take.

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As you research and write, your argument might change focus or direction as you learn more.

For this reason, it’s often a good idea to wait until later in the writing process before you write the introduction paragraph—it can even be the very last thing you write.

When you’ve finished writing the essay body and conclusion , you should return to the introduction and check that it matches the content of the essay.

It’s especially important to make sure your thesis statement accurately represents what you do in the essay. If your argument has gone in a different direction than planned, tweak your thesis statement to match what you actually say.

To polish your writing, you can use something like a paraphrasing tool .

You can use the checklist below to make sure your introduction does everything it’s supposed to.

Checklist: Essay introduction

My first sentence is engaging and relevant.

I have introduced the topic with necessary background information.

I have defined any important terms.

My thesis statement clearly presents my main point or argument.

Everything in the introduction is relevant to the main body of the essay.

You have a strong introduction - now make sure the rest of your essay is just as good.

  • Argumentative
  • Literary analysis

This introduction to an argumentative essay sets up the debate about the internet and education, and then clearly states the position the essay will argue for.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

This introduction to a short expository essay leads into the topic (the invention of the printing press) and states the main point the essay will explain (the effect of this invention on European society).

In many ways, the invention of the printing press marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval period in Europe is often remembered as a time of intellectual and political stagnation. Prior to the Renaissance, the average person had very limited access to books and was unlikely to be literate. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century allowed for much less restricted circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.

This introduction to a literary analysis essay , about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein , starts by describing a simplistic popular view of the story, and then states how the author will give a more complex analysis of the text’s literary devices.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale. Arguably the first science fiction novel, its plot can be read as a warning about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, and in popular culture representations of the character as a “mad scientist”, Victor Frankenstein represents the callous, arrogant ambition of modern science. However, far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to gradually transform our impression of Frankenstein, portraying him in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

The “hook” is the first sentence of your essay introduction . It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it’s interesting.

To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

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Home — Essay Samples — Arts & Culture — Indian Culture — American Indians: A History of Resilience and Cultural Richness


American Indians: a History of Resilience and Cultural Richness

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Published: Jun 6, 2024

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Table of contents

Introduction, historical context, cultural contributions, ongoing challenges and resilience.

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<p>Jews from <a href="/narrative/10727">Subcarpathian Rus</a> get off the deportation train and assemble on the ramp at the <a href="/narrative/3673">Auschwitz-Birkenau</a> killing center in occupied Poland. May 1944. </p>

The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million European Jews by the Nazi German regime and its allies and collaborators. The Holocaust was an evolving process that took place throughout Europe between 1933 and 1945.

Antisemitism was at the foundation of the Holocaust. Antisemitism, the hatred of or prejudice against Jews, was a basic tenet of Nazi ideology. This prejudice was also widespread throughout Europe.

Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews evolved and became increasingly more radical between 1933 and 1945. This radicalization culminated in the mass murder of six million Jews.

During World War II, Nazi Germany and its allies and collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews using deadly living conditions, brutal mistreatment, mass shootings and gassings, and specially designed killing centers.

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The Holocaust (1933–1945) was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million European Jews by the Nazi German regime and its allies and collaborators. 1 In addition to perpetrating the Holocaust, Nazi Germany also persecuted and murdered millions of other victims .  

What was the Holocaust? 

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum defines the years of the Holocaust as 1933–1945. The Holocaust era began in January 1933 when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power in Germany. It ended in May 1945, when the Allied Powers defeated Nazi Germany in World War II. The Holocaust is also sometimes referred to as “the Shoah,” the Hebrew word for “catastrophe.”

Boycott of Jewish-owned businesses

By the end of the Holocaust, the Nazi German regime and their allies and collaborators had murdered six million European Jews. 

Why did the Nazis target Jews?

The Nazis targeted Jews because the Nazis were radically antisemitic. This means that they were prejudiced against and hated Jews. In fact, antisemitism was a basic tenet of their ideology and at the foundation of their worldview. 

The Nazis falsely accused Jews of causing Germany’s social, economic, political, and cultural problems. In particular, they blamed them for Germany’s defeat in World War I (1914–1918). Some Germans were receptive to these Nazi claims. Anger over the loss of the war and the economic and political crises that followed contributed to increasing antisemitism in German society. The instability of Germany under the Weimar Republic (1918–1933), the fear of communism , and the economic shocks of the Great Depression also made many Germans more open to Nazi ideas, including antisemitism.

However, the Nazis did not invent antisemitism. Antisemitism is an old and widespread prejudice that has taken many forms throughout history. In Europe, it dates back to ancient times. In the Middle Ages (500–1400), prejudices against Jews were primarily based in early Christian belief and thought, particularly the myth that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus. Suspicion and discrimination rooted in religious prejudices continued in early modern Europe (1400–1800). At that time, leaders in much of Christian Europe isolated Jews from most aspects of economic, social, and political life. This exclusion contributed to stereotypes of Jews as outsiders. As Europe became more secular, many places lifted most legal restrictions on Jews. This, however, did not mean the end of antisemitism. In addition to religious antisemitism, other types of antisemitism took hold in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. These new forms included economic, nationalist, and racial antisemitism. In the 19th century, antisemites falsely claimed that Jews were responsible for many social and political ills in modern, industrial society. Theories of race, eugenics , and Social Darwinism falsely justified these hatreds. Nazi prejudice against Jews drew upon all of these elements, but especially racial antisemitism . Racial antisemitism is the discriminatory idea that Jews are a separate and inferior race. 

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Where did the Holocaust take place?

The Holocaust was a Nazi German initiative that took place throughout German- and Axis-controlled Europe. It affected nearly all of Europe’s Jewish population, which in 1933 numbered 9 million people. 

The Holocaust began in Germany after Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor in January 1933. Almost immediately, the Nazi German regime (which called itself the Third Reich ) excluded Jews from German economic, political, social, and cultural life. Throughout the 1930s, the regime increasingly pressured Jews to emigrate. 

But the Nazi persecution of Jews spread beyond Germany. Throughout the 1930s, Nazi Germany pursued an aggressive foreign policy . This culminated in World War II, which began in Europe in 1939. Prewar and wartime territorial expansion eventually brought millions more Jewish people under German control. 

Nazi Germany’s territorial expansion began in 1938–1939. During this time, Germany annexed neighboring Austria and the Sudetenland and occupied the Czech lands. On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany began World War II (1939–1945) by attacking Poland . Over the next two years, Germany invaded and occupied much of Europe, including western parts of the Soviet Union . Nazi Germany further extended its control by forming alliances with the governments of Italy , Hungary , Romania , and Bulgaria . It also created puppet states in Slovakia and Croatia. Together these countries made up the European members of the Axis alliance , which also included Japan. 

By 1942—as a result of annexations, invasions, occupations, and alliances—Nazi Germany controlled most of Europe and parts of North Africa. Nazi control brought harsh policies and ultimately mass murder to Jewish civilians across Europe. 

The Nazis and their allies and collaborators murdered six million Jews.

Geography of the Holocaust

How did Nazi Germany and its allies and collaborators persecute Jewish people? 

Between 1933 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its allies and collaborators implemented a wide range of anti-Jewish policies and measures. These policies varied from place to place. Thus, not all Jews experienced the Holocaust in the same way. But in all instances, millions of people were persecuted simply because they were identified as Jewish. 

Throughout German-controlled and aligned territories, the persecution of Jews took a variety of forms:

  • Legal discrimination in the form of antisemitic laws . These included the Nuremberg Race Laws and numerous other discriminatory laws.
  • Various forms of public identification and exclusion. These included antisemitic propaganda , boycotts of Jewish-owned businesses , public humiliation , and obligatory markings (such as the Jewish star badge worn as an armband or on clothing). 
  • Organized violence. The most notable example is Kristallnacht . There were also isolated incidents and other pogroms (violent riots).
  • Physical Displacement. Perpetrators used forced emigration, resettlement, expulsion, deportation, and ghettoization to physically displace Jewish individuals and communities.
  • Internment. Perpetrators interned Jews in overcrowded ghettos , concentration camps , and forced-labor camps, where many died from starvation, disease, and other inhumane conditions.
  • Widespread theft and plunder. The confiscation of Jews’ property, personal belongings, and valuables was a key part of the Holocaust. 
  • Forced labor . Jews had to perform forced labor in service of the Axis war effort or for the enrichment of Nazi organizations, the military, and/or private businesses. 

Many Jews died as a result of these policies. But before 1941, the systematic mass murder of all Jews was not Nazi policy. Beginning in 1941, however, Nazi leaders decided to implement the mass murder of Europe’s Jews. They referred to this plan as the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” 

What was the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”?

The Nazi “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” (“ Endlösung der Judenfrage ”) was the deliberate and systematic mass murder of European Jews. It was the last stage of the Holocaust and took place from 1941 to 1945. Though many Jews were killed before the "Final Solution" began, the vast majority of Jewish victims were murdered during this period.

Young girls pose in a yard in the town of Ejszyszki (Eishyshok)

Mass Shootings

The Nazi German regime perpetrated mass shootings of civilians on a scale never seen before. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, German units began to carry out mass shootings of local Jews. At first, these units targeted Jewish men of military age. But by August 1941, they had started massacring entire Jewish communities. These massacres were often conducted in broad daylight and in full view and earshot of local residents. 

Mass shooting operations took place in more than 1,500 cities, towns, and villages across eastern Europe. German units tasked with murdering the local Jewish population moved throughout the region committing horrific massacres. Typically, these units would enter a town and round up the Jewish civilians. They would then take the Jewish residents to the outskirts of the town. Next, they would force them to dig a mass grave or take them to mass graves prepared in advance. Finally, German forces and/or local auxiliary units would shoot all of the men, women, and children into these pits. Sometimes, these massacres involved the use of specially designed mobile gas vans. Perpetrators would use these vans to suffocate victims with carbon monoxide exhaust.

Germans also carried out mass shootings at killing sites in occupied eastern Europe. Typically these were located near large cities. These sites included Fort IX in Kovno (Kaunas), the Rumbula and Bikernieki Forests in Riga , and Maly Trostenets near Minsk . At these killing sites, Germans and local collaborators murdered tens of thousands of Jews from the Kovno, Riga, and Minsk ghettos. They also shot tens of thousands of German, Austrian, and Czech Jews at these killing sites. At Maly Trostenets, thousands of victims were also murdered in gas vans.

The German units that perpetrated the mass shootings in eastern Europe included Einsatzgruppen (special task forces of the SS and police), Order Police battalions, and Waffen-SS units. The German military ( Wehrmacht ) provided logistical support and manpower. Some Wehrmacht units also carried out massacres. In many places, local auxiliary units working with the SS and police participated in the mass shootings. These auxiliary units were made up of local civilian, military, and police officials.

As many as 2 million Jews were murdered in mass shootings or gas vans in territories seized from Soviet forces. 

Killing Centers

Photograph of Dawid Samoszul

German authorities, with the help of their allies and collaborators, transported Jews from across Europe to these killing centers. They disguised their intentions by calling the transports to the killing centers “resettlement actions” or “evacuation transports.” In English, they are often referred to as “deportations.” Most of these deportations took place by train. In order to efficiently transport Jews to the killing centers, German authorities used the extensive European railroad system , as well as other means of transportation. In many cases the railcars on the trains were freight cars; in other instances they were passenger cars. 

The conditions on deportation transports were horrific. German and collaborating local authorities forced Jews of all ages into overcrowded railcars. They often had to stand, sometimes for days, until the train reached its destination. The perpetrators deprived them of food, water, bathrooms, heat, and medical care. Jews frequently died en route from the inhumane conditions.

The vast majority of Jews deported to killing centers were gassed almost immediately after their arrival. Some Jews whom German officials believed to be healthy and strong enough were selected for forced labor. 

My mother ran over to me and grabbed me by the shoulders, and she told me "Leibele, I'm not going to see you no more. Take care of your brother."  — Leo Schneiderman  describing arrival at Auschwitz, selection, and separation from his family

At all five killing centers, German officials forced some Jewish prisoners to assist in the killing process. Among other tasks, these prisoners had to sort through victims’ belongings and remove victims’ bodies from the gas chambers. Special units disposed of the millions of corpses through mass burial, in burning pits, or by burning them in large, specially designed crematoria .

Nearly 2.7 million Jewish men, women, and children were murdered at the five killing centers. 

What were ghettos and why did German authorities create them during the Holocaust? 

Ghettos were areas of cities or towns where German occupiers forced Jews to live in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. German authorities often enclosed these areas by building walls or other barriers. Guards prevented Jews from leaving without permission. Some ghettos existed for years, but others existed only for months, weeks, or even days as holding sites prior to deportation or murder. 

German officials first created ghettos in 1939–1940 in German-occupied Poland. The two largest were located in the occupied Polish cities of Warsaw and Lodz (Łódź). Beginning in June 1941, German officials also established them in newly conquered territories in eastern Europe following the German attack on the Soviet Union. German authorities and their allies and collaborators also established ghettos in other parts of Europe. Notably, in 1944, German and Hungarian authorities created temporary ghettos to centralize and control Jews prior to their deportation from Hungary. 

The Purpose of the Ghettos

German authorities originally established the ghettos to isolate and control the large local Jewish populations in occupied eastern Europe. Initially, they concentrated Jewish residents from within a city and the surrounding area or region. However, beginning in 1941, German officials also deported Jews from other parts of Europe (including Germany) to some of these ghettos. 

Jewish forced labor became a central feature of life in many ghettos. In theory, it was supposed to help pay for the administration of the ghetto as well as support the German war effort. Sometimes, factories and workshops were established nearby in order to exploit the imprisoned Jews for forced labor. The labor was often manual and grueling. 

Life in the Ghettos

Charlene Schiff describes conditions in the Horochow ghetto

Jews in the ghettos sought to maintain a sense of dignity and community. Schools, libraries, communal welfare services, and religious institutions provided some measure of connection among residents. Attempts to document life in the ghettos, such as the Oneg Shabbat archive and clandestine photography, are powerful examples of spiritual resistance . Many ghettos also had underground movements that carried out armed resistance. The most famous of these is the Warsaw ghetto uprising in 1943.    

Liquidating the Ghettos

Beginning in 1941–1942, Germans and their allies and collaborators murdered ghetto residents en masse and dissolved ghetto administrative structures. They called this process “liquidation.” It was part of the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” The majority of Jews in the ghettos were murdered either in mass shootings at nearby killing sites or after deportation to killing centers. Most of the killing centers were deliberately located near the large ghettos of German-occupied Poland or on easily-accessible railway routes. 

Who was responsible for carrying out the Holocaust and the Final Solution?

Many people were responsible for carrying out the Holocaust and the Final Solution. 

At the highest level, Adolf Hitler inspired, ordered, approved, and supported the genocide of Europe’s Jews. However, Hitler did not act alone. Nor did he lay out an exact plan for the implementation of the Final Solution. Other Nazi leaders were the ones who directly coordinated, planned, and implemented the mass murder. Among them were Hermann Göring , Heinrich Himmler , Reinhard Heydrich , and Adolf Eichmann . 

However, millions of Germans and other Europeans participated in the Holocaust. Without their involvement, the genocide of the Jewish people in Europe would not have been possible. Nazi leaders relied upon German institutions and organizations; other Axis powers; local bureaucracies and institutions; and individuals. 

German Institutions, Organizations, and Individuals

Adolf Hitler addresses an SA rally

As members of these institutions, countless German soldiers , policemen , civil servants , lawyers, judges , businessmen , engineers, and doctors and nurses chose to implement the regime’s policies. Ordinary Germans also participated in the Holocaust in a variety of ways. Some Germans cheered as Jews were beaten or humiliated. Others denounced Jews for disobeying racist laws and regulations. Many Germans bought, took, or looted their Jewish neighbors' belongings and property. These Germans’ participation in the Holocaust was motivated by enthusiasm, careerism, fear, greed, self-interest, antisemitism, and political ideals, among other factors. 

Non-German Governments and Institutions

Nazi Germany did not perpetrate the Holocaust alone. It relied on the help of its allies and collaborators. In this context, “allies” refers to Axis countries officially allied with Nazi Germany. “Collaborators” refers to regimes and organizations that cooperated with German authorities in an official or semi-official capacity. Nazi Germany’s allies and collaborators included:

  • The European Axis Powers and other collaborationist regimes (such as Vichy France ). These governments passed their own antisemitic legislation and cooperated with German goals.
  • German-backed local bureaucracies, especially local police forces. These organizations helped round up, intern, and deport Jews even in countries not allied with Germany, such as the Netherlands .
  • Local auxiliary units made up of military and police officials and civilians. These German-backed units participated in massacres of Jews in eastern Europe (often voluntarily). 

The terms “allies” and “collaborators” can also refer to individuals affiliated with these governments and organizations.

Individuals across Europe 

Throughout Europe, individuals who had no governmental or institutional affiliation and did not directly participate in murdering Jews also contributed to the Holocaust. 

One of the deadliest things that neighbors, acquaintances, colleagues, and even friends could do was denounce Jews to Nazi German authorities. An unknown number chose to do so. They revealed Jews’ hiding places, unmasked false Christian identities, and otherwise identified Jews to Nazi officials. In doing so, they brought about their deaths. These individuals’ motivations were wide-ranging: fear, self-interest, greed, revenge, antisemitism, and political and ideological beliefs.

Individuals also profited from the Holocaust. Non-Jews sometimes moved into Jews’ homes, took over Jewish-owned businesses, and stole Jews’ possessions and valuables. This was part of the widespread theft and plunder that accompanied the genocide. 

Most often individuals contributed to the Holocaust through inaction and indifference to the plight of their Jewish neighbors. Sometimes these individuals are called bystanders . 

Who were the other victims of Nazi persecution and mass murder?

The Holocaust specifically refers to the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews. However, there were also millions of other victims of Nazi persecution and murder . In the 1930s, the regime targeted a variety of alleged domestic enemies within German society. As the Nazis extended their reach during World War II, millions of other Europeans were also subjected to Nazi brutality. 

The Nazis classified Jews as the priority “enemy.” However, they also targeted other groups as threats to the health, unity, and security of the German people. The first group targeted by the Nazi regime consisted of political opponents . These included officials and members of other political parties and trade union activists. Political opponents also included people simply suspected of opposing or criticizing the Nazi regime. Political enemies were the first to be incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps . Jehovah’s Witnesses were also incarcerated in prisons and concentration camps. They were arrested because they refused to swear loyalty to the government or serve in the German military.

The Nazi regime also targeted Germans whose activities were deemed harmful to German society. These included men accused of homosexuality , persons accused of being professional or habitual criminals, and so-called asocials (such as people identified as vagabonds, beggars, prostitutes, pimps, and alcoholics). Tens of thousands of these victims were incarcerated in prisons and concentration camps. The regime also forcibly sterilized and persecuted Afro-Germans . 

People with disabilities were also victimized by the Nazi regime. Before World War II, Germans considered to have supposedly unhealthy hereditary conditions were forcibly sterilized. Once the war began, Nazi policy radicalized. People with disabilities, especially those living in institutions, were considered both a genetic and a financial burden on Germany. These people were targeted for murder in the so-called Euthanasia Program .

The Nazi regime employed extreme measures against groups considered to be racial, civilizational, or ideological enemies. This included Roma (Gypsies) , Poles (especially the Polish intelligentsia and elites), Soviet officials , and Soviet prisoners of war . The Nazis perpetrated mass murder against these groups.

How did the Holocaust end? 

Defeat of Nazi Germany, 1942-1945

But liberation did not bring closure. Many Holocaust survivors faced ongoing threats of violent antisemitism and displacement as they sought to build new lives. Many had lost family members, while others searched for years to locate missing parents, children, and siblings.

How did some Jews survive the Holocaust? 

Despite Nazi Germany’s efforts to murder all the Jews of Europe, some Jews survived the Holocaust. Survival took a variety of forms. But, in every case, survival was only possible because of an extraordinary confluence of circumstances, choices, help from others (both Jewish and non-Jewish), and sheer luck. 

Survival outside of German-Controlled Europe 

Some Jews survived the Holocaust by escaping German-controlled Europe. Before World War II began, hundreds of thousands of Jews emigrated from Nazi Germany despite significant immigration barriers. Those who immigrated to the United States, Great Britain, and other areas that remained beyond German control were safe from Nazi violence. Even after World War II began, some Jews managed to escape German-controlled Europe. For example, approximately 200,000 Polish Jews fled the German occupation of Poland. These Jews survived the war under harsh conditions after Soviet authorities deported them further east into the interior of the Soviet Union.

Survival in German-Controlled Europe

A smaller number of Jews survived inside German-controlled Europe. They often did so with the help of rescuers. Rescue efforts ranged from the isolated actions of individuals to organized networks, both small and large. Throughout Europe, there were non-Jews who took grave risks to help their Jewish neighbors, friends, and strangers survive. For example, they found hiding places for Jews, procured false papers that offered protective Christian identities, or provided them with food and supplies. Other Jews survived as members of partisan resistance movements . Finally, some Jews managed, against enormous odds, to survive imprisonment in concentration camps, ghettos, and even killing centers. 

Displaced persons wait

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, those Jews who survived were often confronted with the traumatic reality of having lost their entire families and communities. Some were able to go home and chose to rebuild their lives in Europe. Many others were afraid to do so because of postwar violence and antisemitism . In the immediate postwar period, those who could not or would not return home often found themselves living in displaced persons camps . There, many had to wait years before they were able to immigrate to new homes.

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, the world has struggled to come to terms with the horrors of the genocide, to remember the victims, and to hold perpetrators responsible . These important efforts remain ongoing.

Series: After the Holocaust

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Liberation of Nazi Camps

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The Aftermath of the Holocaust: Effects on Survivors

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Displaced Persons

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About Life after the Holocaust

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Postwar Trials

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What is Genocide?

Genocide timeline, series: the holocaust.

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"Final Solution": Overview

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Forced Labor: An Overview

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Mass Shootings of Jews during the Holocaust

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Gassing Operations

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Deportations to Killing Centers

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Killing Centers: An Overview

Switch series, critical thinking questions.

What can we learn from the massive size and scope of the Holocaust?

Across Europe, the Nazis found countless willing helpers who collaborated or were complicit in their crimes. What motives and pressures led so many individuals to persecute, to murder, or to abandon their fellow human beings?

Were there warning signs of what was to come before the Nazis came to power in 1933? Before the start of mass killing in 1941?

In this context, “allies” refers to Axis countries officially allied with Nazi Germany. “Collaborators” refers to regimes and organizations that cooperated with German authorities in an official or semi-official capacity. These German-backed collaborators included some local police forces, bureaucracies, and paramilitary units. The terms “allies” and “collaborators” can also refer to individuals affiliated with these governments and organizations.

Thank you for supporting our work

We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors .

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Doug Chayka

The Rise of the American Oligarchy

What targeting russia’s wayward billionaires revealed about our own..

Tim Murphy January+February 2024 Issue

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When the US targeted Russia’s oligarchs after the invasion of Ukraine, the trail of assets kept leading to our own backyard. Not only had our nation become a haven for shady foreign money, but we were also incubating a familiar class of yacht-owning, industry-dominating, resource-extracting billionaires. In the  January + February 2024  issue of our magazine, we investigate the rise of American Oligarchy—and what it means for the rest of us. You can read all the pieces  here .

For the last 18 months one of the most opulent and unnecessary vessels ever constructed has been floating in a narrow channel next to a jungle gym and a fleet of industrial cranes at the Port of San Diego. Built in Germany, and formerly managed by a firm in Monaco and flagged to the Cayman Islands, the superyacht Amadea is 348 feet long, with a helipad, a swimming pool, two baby grand pianos, and a 5-ton stainless steel art-deco albatross that extends outward from the prow like a bird reenacting Titanic . It can accommodate 16 guests and 36 crew, and costs $1 million a month just to maintain. Who, exactly, has been picking up that tab in the past is a matter of some dispute, tangled up in a web of trusts and LLCs, code names and NDAs, and legal proceedings in two countries. But the ship’s current owner is a bit less ambiguous: Congratulations— it’s you .

The Amadea ended up in California after a family vacation gone wrong. In 2022, after a long summer in Italy and the south of France, the ship refueled in ­Gibraltar and crossed the Atlantic, arriving in the ­Caribbean just in time for Christmas. There, according to emails between the ship’s captain and its management company that were later submitted in court by the Department of Justice, deckhands were to be joined by the children and grandchildren of a wealthy Russian national—four adults, three kids, as well as a coterie of bodyguards and nannies. Crew members were preparing for a cruise to Antigua, a sojourn in Mexico, and a visit to the Galapagos. They had picked up new scuba gear for their rarefied passengers.

But a few weeks into the trip, the Amadea abruptly changed its plans. All large boats, from pleasure craft to container ships, are required by the International Maritime ­Organization to signal their location at regular intervals, except in the case of emergencies. When Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, the Amadea dropped off the map for days, according to court documents. In Panama, the captain alerted the management company that government inspectors had collected information on the ship’s Russian VIPs. In Mexico, the yacht took on a quarter of a million dollars of diesel fuel and left. The Galapagos were off. The Amadea was heading west.

When the vessel arrived in Fiji, more than 6,000 miles later, local authorities searched the ship at the request of US investigators. Inside, they found what appeared to be a Fabergé egg , and paperwork stating that the yacht belonged to an LLC owned by a trust controlled by a Russian businessman named Eduard Khudainatov. The egg was likely a fake. And according to the US government, the records were too.

Khudainatov, the Justice Department argued in court filings , was a “second-tier oligarch (at best)” who lacked the means to own such a ship. Agents concluded that the Amadea was fleeing to Russia at the behest of Suleiman Kerimov, a billionaire who made a fortune in aluminum and gold, serves as a senator in the Russian parliament, and once tried to build a global soccer powerhouse in Dagestan. Kerimov has been barred from doing business in the US since 2018 , because of his position in Putin’s government. The feds, calling Khudainatov a “straw owner,” seized the ship for violating US sanctions, replaced the crew, and sent it to California.

Khudainatov, who has not been sanctioned by the US, has been appealing the decision ever since. His lawyers—and Kerimov’s—assert that the second-tier oligarch really did spend most of his reported net worth on two of the world’s largest yachts. They even deny that the ship ever went dark; any confusion over its ownership or whereabouts was just a matter of shoddy policing. But in the meantime, the US has been systematically unspooling Kerimov’s wealth. The government added his wife and three kids to its sanctions list, as part of a crackdown on “those who support sanctioned Russian persons.” It targeted a private-­jet company the Kerimovs used, and the yacht managers too. And not long after the Amadea arrived in San Diego, the Treasury Department froze a far more valuable asset with considerably less fanfare: a $1 billion family trust . The Kerimovs had allegedly sought a safe harbor for this asset too, beyond the reach of hostile governments, in a place where for decades the wealth of the world’s ultrarich has pooled in blissful anonymity.

Not Fiji—Delaware.

The capture of the Amadea was perhaps the most spectacular piece of a larger international reckoning. In the nearly two years since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US and its allies have blocked, seized, or frozen more than $280 billion in assets from hundreds of sanctioned Russian businessmen, politicians, family members, and fixers. They have taken boats, planes, and helicopters; artwork by Diego Rivera and Marc Chagall ; and some of the most coveted real estate on Earth. By putting the squeeze on what the Treasury Department called Putin’s “enablers,” the thinking goes, these governments can hit him where it hurts, isolate his regime, and pressure Russia to wind down the war.

The Biden administration has embraced these stories of decadent Russians, burning their corrupt spoils in Bond-villain excess. “Let’s get to the juicy stuff—the yachts,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco told an audience at (of all places) the Aspen Security Forum in July 2022, where she discussed the work of the DOJ’s Task Force KleptoCapture. The seized ships are not just assets but morality tales—the overripe fruit of a society in which the levers of government have been turned to the enrichment of a few. You are supposed to gawk, less with envy than with an air of self-satisfaction, at people like the Kerimovs, lounging offshore in their teak-floored cocoon, drinking warm milk—according to court records—out of Hermès mugs . In the language of political messaging, “oligarch” is code for Second World and seedy.

But underpinning the sordid Russian saga was an inescapably American one. As investigators pored over bank statements and real estate records, they added new layers to a map journalists and watchdogs have been piecing together for years—of a sometimes underground but often wholly legal international network in which the wealth of autocratic regimes was funneled through the firms, markets, and institutions of places that fashion themselves as the antithesis of Putin’s Russia. Through a labyrinth of corporations, trusts, and false fronts, oligarch money made its way into the hands of nannies in California, fracking firms in Texas, wealth managers in New York, startups in Silicon Valley, and factory workers in the Midwest .

Pay enough attention to this robust American infrastructure of wealth, secrecy, and tax avoidance, and you might find yourself asking an uncomfortable question: If the Amadea is a symbol of a failed political and economic system, what exactly does that make all of our superyachts?

“We talk all the time about Putin and his oligarchic friends,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told me recently. “But for obvious reasons we don’t talk about oligarchy in the United States.”

Increasingly, though, a wide range of voices on the left and right are speaking in exactly those terms. Steve Bannon has complained that his party had been hijacked by “ oligarchs ” such as Rupert ­Murdoch and hedge-funder Ken Griffin. A bestselling book described Bannon’s former bosses, the Trumps, as American Oligarchs . Donald Trump Jr., for his part, complained that China controls “America’s oligarchs.” A group of congressional Democrats is pushing the OLIGARCH Act to tax and audit the wealth of the richest Americans. “We’re clearly living in the age of the petulant oligarch,” Paul Krugman wrote recently, in reference to Elon Musk. Pick any billionaire with a media company—or any billionaire who’s tried to bankrupt one—and chances are you can find a prominent critic lambasting them in language once reserved for upwardly mobile ex-Soviets.

Some of these voices, like Sanders, are quite serious about how we’ve gotten into this new Gilded Age, and how we can get out of it again. Others are just seriously messed up. But this rhetorical shift is driven by a common awareness that all is not well: The same tools and systems that have made the United States a safe space for the world’s hoarded wealth have frayed our own social contract, broken our domestic politics, and incubated a new class of ultrawealthy barons in its place. It’s the age of American Oligarchy.

America’s oligarchs, like Russia’s, are both the results of a system failure, and active engineers of that failure. They hang in many of the same circles. They dock their boats at the same marinas, compete for the same real estate and works of art, and stash their money under the same couch cushions. Their worlds converge on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley, and in the corridors of power. There has been so much Russian oligarchic money sloshing around the United States, in fact, that it is sometimes hard to say where exactly one system ends and another begins.

But there is something new at work here. This American oligarchy offers a twist on the pilfering of the commons that produced Russia’s. It is built on a different kind of resource, not nickel or potash, but you—your data, your attention, your money, your public square. These men (mostly) exult in their almost godlike status over the politicians they fund, the platforms they own, and the industries they’ve effectively monopolized. They are prone to grandiose proclamations about outer space and immortality . But the day-to-day effect of their power is felt less in the glitter than in the gravity it exerts on everything else—the accumulated burden and strain that hardening political and economic inequality puts on public services, on policy, and on the places we live and work. This world ropes you in with its yachts and private jets, but the story of American oligarchy is not just about the spoils. It’s about what everyone else is losing in the process.

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Fear of an out-of-control oligarchy was once as American as Appomattox. In the runup to the Civil War, abolitionists routinely condemned the “oligarchs” of the planter class, who used their grip on slave states to dominate national politics until even the courts worked for them. The idea that an aspiring democracy had adopted the wrong Greek political system represented an existential crisis. Campaigning for Abraham Lincoln in 1860, Charles Sumner invoked “Slave Oligarchy” more than 20 times in one speech. They had “entered into and possessed the National Government,” he said , “like an Evil Spirit.”

Reconstruction was an attempt, among other things, to break the structures of oligarchy. But in the century that followed, the term took on a now-familiar hue—provincial, elemental, and foreign. “The word captures the archaic, slightly feudal nature of social relations,” the New York Times suggested in 1981, “in countries like El Salvador and Guatemala.” Or it connoted the backroom politics of bureaucrats and bosses . Oligarchy marked a primitive state. It wasn’t something you became. Then, in 1996, Boris Berezovsky went to Davos. 

Boastful and balding, with a background in applied mathematics, Berezovsky was part of the new breed of Russian businessmen, a little bit grifty and a little bit thrifty, who were building huge fortunes as President Boris Yeltsin privatized the former Soviet state. In a bonanza known as “ loans for shares ,” Yeltsin agreed to quietly unload a dozen government-owned companies for cents on the dollar. But the deal would only go through if he won a second term. So between sessions at the World Economic Forum, Berezovsky and his allies hatched a plan to use their wealth and control of the media to save Yeltsin. After the election, Berezovsky took a victory lap. The seven men who had joined forces, he boasted (with more than a little exaggeration), now held 50 percent of Russia’s wealth.

The defining trait of this “new class of oligarchs”—as the postelection coverage dubbed them —was that they seemed to want people to know they were oligarchs. Berezovsky called his system “corporate government.”

This oligarchy could not have existed if Russia were not Russia, but it also bore the imprimatur of Harvard and Wall Street. In the early 1990s, American lawyers, bankers, and academics descended on Moscow to mold the post-Soviet landscape in their image, helping to set up markets, draft laws, and cut deals. The Russian businessmen who thrived in this new system, for their part, “adopted the style and methods of the great robber barons,” the journalist David Hoffman observed in his 2002 book, The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia . They studied tycoons like Rupert Murdoch. They were even influenced by a text about the American Gilded Age that had once been used to scare Soviets away from capitalism—Theodore Dreiser’s The Financier , in which the protagonist, Hoffman wrote, “exploited banks, the state, and investors, manipulated the whole stock market and gobbled up companies.”

That form of oligarchy was short-lived. When Putin took office a few years later, he demanded fealty from the moguls, and Berezovsky later died in exile. But if Putin inverted the power structure, the effect was the same: Russia remained a place where an elite few grew rich off a rigged economy, while funneling their money outside the country for safekeeping. Wealthy Russians transferred as much as $150 billion out of the country in the 1990s. By the time Trump took office, Russia’s ultrawealthy were storing 60 percent of their holdings offshore. Much of the money made its way to the same country that helped shape the Russian system in the first place. It was as if an invisible pipeline suddenly switched on.

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The spoils of Russia and other countries flowed to the United States not just because of its stability, but because the American political and financial system put up a big flashing sign inviting the world’s wealth hoarders to come and stay a while. Here, they could achieve near-total anonymity if they purchased real estate in cash or routed the transaction through a shell company or a trust—which were increasingly based in decidedly onshore US jurisdictions such as Wyoming and South Dakota . In New York and Miami, gleaming new high-rises sat empty; a penthouse, for the asset-hoarding class, was not a home but a different kind of bank.

This great transnational wealth transfer was eased along by the booming, multitrillion-dollar American private-investment industry. If a foreign investor wanted to put money in a US-based financial institution or publicly traded company, notes Gary Kalman, the executive director of Transparency International US, those shops are required to perform due diligence. But hedge funds, venture capital, and private equity are bound by no such rules and have fought efforts to impose them.

“The reason we haven’t crippled the oligarchs as much as we would like, or the sanctions haven’t been quite as effective as we had hoped,” Kalman told me, “is because a bunch of these assets are hiding, likely in Western democracies, in everything from anonymous companies to anonymous trusts funneled into investment structures that are largely hidden from law enforcement.”

Through shell companies and middlemen, ultrawealthy Russians funneled huge sums of money into American investments. The Delaware trust linked to the Kerimovs pumped $28 million into Silicon Valley firms, according to court records , including a venture capital fund, a self-driving car company, and a “startup temple” for young disrupters that was housed in a San Francisco church previously slated to become a homeless shelter. Roman Abramovich, who bought a state oil company with Berezovsky and later sold it for a 5,100 percent profit, reportedly directed billions of dollars to a boutique investment manager in New York’s Hudson Valley. According to a complaint the Securities and Exchange Commission filed against the company in September for allegedly violating registration rules, the firm managed more than $7 billion in assets for just one client, an unnamed wealthy Russian politician and businessman who made a fortune in privatization and sure sounds a lot like Abramovich. While some of those funds reportedly made their way to heavyweights like the Carlyle Group and BlackRock , Abramovich also backstopped a private ambulance company and a fracking startup, and gave $225 million in seed money to what is now the weed dispensary chain Curaleaf. (Abramovich, who did not respond to a request for comment, has not been accused of wrongdoing by the SEC or sanctioned by the United States.)

A succession of government investigations found that lax regulations also made the American investment and real estate markets magnets for money laundering, but the US was in no rush to tighten its rules. Cashing in on the Russian exodus was a boon for American budgets and American business. Prior to getting elected president, it was practically Donald Trump’s entire job .

Just as telling as the money that was secret was all the money that wasn’t. Aluminum magnate Viktor Vekselberg, a star in the tech sector , made large donations on his own or through his company to MIT, MoMA, and the Clinton Foundation. Others sprinkled their money to the Kennedy Center, the Mayo Clinic, and the Guggenheim. With big parties and large checks, they courted America’s gatekeepers. What is so much money good for, after all, if you can’t buy acceptance?

One night in 2013, Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York City, held a soiree at an Italian restaurant on Park Avenue on behalf of Abramovich and his then-wife, Dasha Zhukova, who would soon unveil plans to turn four adjoining townhouses on the Upper East Side into the city’s largest private home. For months that spring, Abramovich’s 533-foot yacht, Eclipse , had docked on the Hudson, drawing spectators to marvel at its pools and helipads, and wedding-cake deck. Photos of the ship have a surreptitious quality, like a hasty snapshot of a rare woodpecker; a sophisticated network of lasers had reportedly been deployed, to deter the paparazzi.

At the party, according to HuffPost , Jared Kushner rubbed shoulders with Wendi Deng Murdoch and Leonardo DiCaprio. The media mogul Barry Diller, who once warned that corporate consolidation was creating an “oligarchy” in his industry, showed up, and Gayle King too. When it was time to speak, Bloomberg praised the guests of honor for their philanthropy, and announced that he was naming Abramovich an honorary citizen of New York.

The influx of foreign money had been a “godsend,” he later told New York magazine. “Wouldn’t it be great if we could get all the Russian billionaires to move here?”

Over the last decade, stories of foreign oligarchs have been a pervasive and insidious presence in national politics. But all of this overseas money sloshing around did not corrupt the American system so much as it made unavoidable the ways in which it was already compromised. Affluent arrivistes did not get special treatment per se; they availed themselves of the services that American elites so often do. Oleg Deripaska’s top lobbyist was Bob Dole . His lawyers worked for the pill-pushing Sackler family. Shady foreign officials store their money in Great Plains trusts just like Pritzkers . The great irony of the post-invasion reckoning is that Putin’s billionaires were escaping a country that is not, in fact, much of an oligarchy anymore, for the comforts of a place that increasingly is.

“We need a translator,” Bloomberg quipped at that 2013 event. “Roman’s going to have a heart attack thinking he has to pay taxes.”

But the defining feature of American wealth today is that our oligarchs don’t really have to. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who built one of the world’s largest companies around a loophole in sales taxes and has raked in millions in tax breaks designed for impoverished communities, paid no income tax at all in 2007 and 2011, according to ProPublica — a period in which he owned part of a mountain range. His rival for the title of the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, paid nothing at all in 2018 . (In Cameron County, Texas, where SpaceX has scorched a state park and uprooted a beachfront community, Musk’s company will finally begin paying taxes in 2024.) Peter Thiel has used a loophole in the tax code to stash $5 billion in a Roth IRA. While the IRS targets working-class Black Americans, the list of billionaires who have paid no income tax in recent years is long. Bloomberg could have set his special guest straight—after all, the mayor was one of them .

Taxing labor but not wealth starves state coffers to fill personal ones. Instead of public works and universal programs, you get Big Philanthropy—donor networks and foundations that validate monopolistic fortunes under the pretense of disbursing them. Discretionary giving provides America’s ultrawhite ultrawealthy a kind of agenda-setting, extra-political power to go with their agenda-setting political power: Make enough money and you don’t have to fund essential services; you can run your own projects on your own notions of benevolence, remaking entire sectors of public life. From media to public health to elections to city halls, everyone in a jam wants a billionaire to come plug the suspicious billionaire-sized holes in their budgets. Many of the hospital wings and college libraries our oligarchs choose to build are quite nice. Plenty of the programs they choose to fund are quite well intentioned. But the creator of a Hot-or-Not app for Harvard kids pumping $100 million into a school district—as Mark Zuckerberg once did in Newark —does not support a civil society so much as it supplants one.

Such a system has profound consequences for the rest of us. In a 2009 paper , two Northwestern professors singled out the robust American wealth-protection industry—the one those Russians were eagerly taking advantage of—as both a driver and a symptom of this country’s descent into hyper-minority rule. America’s ultrawealthy, they argued, “hire armies of professional, skilled actors” to “labor as salaried advocates and defenders of core oligarchic interests”—lobbyists, lawyers, think-tankers, and consultants. The political system still maintains many of the trappings of a democracy, in part because the ultrawealthy who fund campaigns disagree about a lot of things. But politics functions within the boundaries defined by this cohort.  Another study a few years later put this point more finely: The most determinative factor on whether a policy would become law was how much support it had from “economically elite Americans.” A Supreme Court justice taking a vacation on a billionaire’s yacht isn’t the peak of American oligarchy. That same billionaire using the vacation to reduce his tax bill is.

In 2021, Bezos traveled to the edge of space aboard a vessel called New Shepard . The launch pad, on a ranch in Far West Texas he had purchased with what he called his “winnings,” was not far from the site of another pet project he was building under the guise of a charitable foundation: a $42 million clock inside of a mountain Bezos also owned, which he hoped would last 10,000 years. For a few minutes, 66.4 miles above the Earth, Bezos exalted in his own weightlessness, attempting to catch floating Skittles with his mouth. After landing, still dressed in his custom blue jumpsuit, he took a moment to acknowledge the gravity of the moment. 

He wanted to thank “every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer,” he said . “Because you guys paid for all of this.”

It is uncommon for someone in such a position to describe the balance sheet so plainly—to point with a smile to a ­phallic rocket ship that goes nowhere new and assert that this is what delivery drivers peed in a water bottle for. But this is the nature of oligarchy: Your sweat is their jet fuel.

historiography essay intro

Perhaps no one has worked harder to make “oligarchy” a feature of American political discourse than Bernie Sanders, the 82-year-old democratic socialist whose two campaigns for president tapped into dissatisfaction with structural inequality. In his most recent book, It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism , “oligarchy” is the central villain.

Sanders isn’t just throwing out a pejorative. The United States checks all the boxes he’s laid out, he told me—“a system in which a small number of people have enormous power, and they have enormous wealth, and they create a system, which is designed to protect their interests.”

It is not simply about being rich, in this line of thinking. Oligarchy is about people with money using that money to reshape society to their benefit in a way that everyone else feels. Sanders rattles off the basic symptoms: Astronomical inequality. (By one measure , the richest Americans control a greater share of the wealth now than their counterparts did during the Gilded Age.) A political system dominated by ultrawealthy donors and, increasingly, ultrawealthy candidates. And decades of consolidation that has reduced whole industries into a handful of megacorporations.

“You have more concentration of ownership in sector after sector today than we have ever had,” he says. “Whether it is financial services, whether it’s transportation, whether it’s agriculture, whether it’s media, you have fewer and fewer large corporate entities controlling those sectors, and that is one of the reasons we’re able to see an incredible amount of corporate greed taking place in recent years.”

When Sanders and I spoke last spring, Elon Musk was in the early stages of a salt-the-earth takeover of Twitter, which seemed to largely entail firing the people who made it work and tweeting “interesting” about the sort of people who are facing jail time in Romania. It was an example of the market concentration Sanders was talking about—of what happens when a single company owns an entire mode of communication, and then that company is acquired by the world’s oldest 14-year-old boy. But Musk’s behavior underscored something else about the American oligarchy. It’s not just about the money they make, but the ways they make it.

For all the chaos, there was a linear kind of logic to the system that made Russians like Kerimov and Abramovich rich—there is money, of course, in precious metals. The information economy, too, is built on natural resources in the traditional sense. Track the supply chains to their end and you’ll find workers toiling in mines , and power plants burning coal to keep the server farms running. Behind the rise of artificial intelligence is an underclass of “ ghost ” workers, filtering abusive content out of chatbots for a few bucks an hour.

But American oligarchy is extractive on a deeper level than the resources it consumes. You “paid for all of this,” as Bezos put it, not just with your hard-earned cash and your labor, but with a little piece of yourself. Shoshana Zuboff, an emeritus professor at Harvard Business School, has written about a class she calls the “ information oligarchs .” These tech giants like Google and Meta are driven by what she calls the “extraction imperative”—in which the entire scope of operation was built around harvesting your data and attention for the purposes of selling it or tailoring products. Your time is the precarious foundation of the entire internet economy, the basic unit upon which all else is organized. Reed Hastings, the executive chairman of Netflix, once said that his biggest competitor was sleep .

“Surveillance capitalists know everything about us , whereas their operations are designed to be unknowable to us ,” Zuboff argues in her 2018 book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism . “They accumulate vast domains of new knowledge from us , but not for us .” To Zuboff, this represents a challenge not just to democracies—because of the imposition of a new and unaccountable hierarchy—but also to individual autonomy. There is no alternative technological space to turn to; they own a plane of existence. And the rise of AI, powered by the likes of Zuckerberg, is taking this extraction imperative to new levels—mining vast reams of data and written content so that a machine might better take your job or commodify your identity. Tech companies even have a term for the human inputs they use to build their products: “ data exhaust .” Since last July, dozens of writers have filed suit against both Meta and the Microsoft-backed OpenAI, alleging that their respective machine-learning projects are built, in part, on copyrighted materials. (Meta and OpenAI both claim that their reliance on published works was “fair use.”) Musk, who is developing his own line of brain implants, warned last spring that artificial intelligence could bring about “ civilizational destruction ”—before announcing that he, too, would be launching his own AI venture .

The relationship between government and oligarchy is defined by a kind of groveling—the clacking of a dozen mayors begging Musk to build them a simple tunnel. During the bidding war for Amazon’s second headquarters, hundreds of cities and states debased themselves for a shot at the prize. Dallas offered to build an “ Amazon University ” next to City Hall. A city in Georgia offered to change its name to “Amazon.” It was loans-for-shares in reverse: Bezos wasn’t bidding for the state; he’d developed something so big—and had been allowed to develop something so big—that states were bidding for him. The company once set a goal of raising $1 billion in government incentives in a single year; in oligarchic America, taxes pay you.

Even as they get their way with municipalities, these American oligarchs still harbor fantasies of simply running their own. For years, Reid Hoffman, VC billionaire Marc Andreessen, Laurene Powell Jobs, and a handful of other Silicon Valley heavies quietly bought up a huge swath of Northern California to build an entirely new city—one where they could model, as the New York Times put it, “ new forms of governance .” A Thiel-linked fund has invested in an effort to start a new monarcho-capitalist metropolis somewhere on the Mediterranean coast. Musk, who is building a model community outside Austin while tightening control over his South Texas “Starbase,” fantasizes about one day using SpaceX to colonize Mars—of building an entire society as he sees fit, while extending “ the light of consciousness .” Lurking behind his projects is an often explicitly stated desire to reimagine shared spaces. The never-completed Hyperloop, which Musk promised would transport passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco at 600 miles per hour, was a ploy to stop high-speed rail, according to his first biographer, Ashlee Vance. A critic of public transit, which he says “ sucks ,” Musk envisions a future in which cities will instead devote more and more of their underground and overhead space to his own fleet of self-driving Tesla electric cars, transforming the entire idea of what cities should be. The Musk-owned satellite network, Starlink, controls more than half the satellites in the night sky—giving its owner so much power over communications that he effectively vetoed a Ukrainian military operation. The billionaire’s stewardship of Twitter (which he’s now named X) is uncommonly slapstick compared to the ventures that made him rich, but it does share something essential: He is attempting to commandeer something that was held in common and leave in its place something individualized and worse.

historiography essay intro

The sum of American oligarchy is not just withering democracy and so much inequality, but a kind of omnipresence: They are something more than rich—oligarchs are the main characters of our timeline. But even as our lives are increasingly subject to the whims of bored kingpins, their spaces are detached from our own. Some can retreat to private islands (Larry Ellison owns Hawaii’s sixth largest). Others live in communities so exclusive that the help has to come from one state away . Embedded in this system is the capacity for escape. They can send their wealth across borders without really moving it. They can choose where they pay taxes, or by which methods they don’t pay them at all. They can insulate themselves from the world they’ve sold for parts. And if all else fails, they can take to the sea.

In the runup to the invasion of Ukraine, Alex Finley, a former CIA officer who is based in Barcelona, began periodically visiting the city’s luxury marina to check on the status of Russian-owned boats. Finley, who had researched the industry for a satirical novel about Putin’s security services, found that vessels that might otherwise spend weeks preparing for a voyage were disappearing overnight. “I went down one day and the Galactica Super Nova was there, and there was no hustle and bustle around it,” she told me, referring to a 230-foot yacht reputed to belong to a Putin-allied Russian petro-billionaire , who was named, a few weeks later, on a UK sanctions list “targeting those who prop up Russian-backed illegal breakaway regions of Ukraine.” “I thought, you’ll see them loading food on it, or they’ll be filling it with gas and water, that type of thing—there was nothing. And then I went down the next day and she was gone.” As oligarch-linked ships made their escape, Finley began tracking their whereabouts using open-source data and writing up their exploits for Whale Hunting , a newsletter dedicated to all things kleptocracy. More than just a novelty, “the yachts are symbols of the corruption which is corroding democracy,” Finley said—and a road map to understanding both the flow of dubious wealth to the West, and the tools that Russian elites deploy to obscure it.

But these days, people aren’t just monitoring the yachts of sanctioned oligarchs. They’re also following the movements of the American ones. While Finley was tracking Putin’s cronies and the Amadea was making its way to San Diego, a long-suffering football fan in Northern Virginia started keeping an eye on the Lady S , the boat belonging to then–Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder. It’s reportedly the first yacht in the world with a 12-seat IMAX theater .

Snyder was a model of what DOJ filings might call a second-tier oligarch—a telemarketing magnate and megadonor who unsuccessfully sued an alt-weekly for $1 million after it caricatured him on its cover. (Snyder promised to use any monetary award to fight homelessness, his lawyers wrote in their complaint —“Mr. Snyder is heavily involved in philanthropy.”) His stewardship of the football team was the embodiment of American capitalism’s perverse gravity—managing to grow his investment sevenfold while presiding over an ever-worsening product that seemed to deliberately insult the people who paid for it. When, in June 2022, the House Oversight Committee asked Snyder to testify about his franchise’s misogynistic culture, the billionaire’s lawyer informed members that the owner had “longstanding plans to be out of the country on business matters.”

Snyder’s unbreakable commitment turned out to be an award show in Cannes for ad-industry execs. Inspired by the Russian yacht-watchers and a Florida college student who had created an account called ElonJet to track Musk’s private planes, the fan decided to look up the Lady S using publicly available data. In the weeks that followed, while the committee unsuccessfully sought to serve the owner with a subpoena, @DanSnydersYacht —the proprietor of which spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of incurring the notoriously vindictive billionaire’s wrath—amassed thousands of followers by tweeting out the whereabouts of the owner’s boat and private jet, as Snyder made his way across the Mediterranean to Israel.

“I think what kind of made it popular…was just, hey, here’s what a billionaire can get away with,” he told me. “If you or I got subpoenaed, we’d be freaking out and have to show up immediately or face consequences. If you’re a billionaire on your yacht, you can dodge a lot of legal consequences for a while.” (Snyder eventually did testify, sans subpoena and via Zoom, where he answered with some variation of I-don’t-recall “ more than 100 times ,” according to the final congressional report.)

There is something kind of subversive about tracking these vessels. It’s a sliver of sunlight in a world that’s designed to keep such things out. But not long after he purchased Twitter, Musk shut down ElonJet. He claimed it had put his family at risk, although the story he first told soon fell apart . The details, in any event, seemed superfluous; that is just what happens when an oligarch buys the platform you use to track the oligarchs.

In the meantime, American oligarchs are eagerly filling the vacuum left by the retreating Russians. The proceeds from sanctioned steel-magnate Dmitry Pumpyansky’s seized yacht went to the bank to whom he owed money— J.P. Morgan . Eric Schmidt paid $67.6 million at auction for a superyacht alleged to belong to a sanctioned Russian fertilizer billionaire—but rescinded the bid after the oligarch’s daughter claimed it was hers all along. Last April, a new boat pulled into the harbor in Mallorca, and tied up at the dock a few hundred feet away from where Viktor Vekselberg’s Tango had been impounded for 13 months. It was Harlan Crow’s Michaela Rose . 

And this past summer, while taxpayers were spending big to maintain the Amadea ’s teak deck, a Dutch shipbuilder put the finishing touches on a 417-foot-long ship for its newest client. The Koru , named for a Maori spiraling pattern, was a gleaming, three-masted sailboat, with room for 18 guests and a swimming pool. The company had designed a 246-foot motor-­powered support yacht to go with it—with its own helipad to boot. In lieu of an albatross, a wooden carving on the Koru ’s prow was said to bear an uncanny resemblance to the fiancée of a certain Skittle-munching oligarch. The owner may be Jeff Bezos, but you guys all paid for it.

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  1. What is and How to Write a Historiographical Essay

    historiography essay intro

  2. Historiography of Historians of a Historical Event Essay Example

    historiography essay intro

  3. Historiography Essay

    historiography essay intro

  4. History Essay Writing

    historiography essay intro

  5. How To Write A Historiographical Essay

    historiography essay intro

  6. HistoriographyPrimary Sources Project Analysis Example

    historiography essay intro


  1. Essay (1) Intro

  2. What is Historiography?

  3. What does historiography mean?

  4. What Is HISTORIOGRAPHY? HISTORIOGRAPHY Definition & Meaning

  5. The Value of History, by Sir John Glubb

  6. The History of History


  1. Start Here

    Historiography means "the writing of history." In a research paper, the writer asks questions about the past, analyzes primary sources, and presents an argument about historical events, people, or societies. ... Like most history papers, the historiography follows a traditional essay structure with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a ...

  2. How to write an introduction for a history essay

    1. Background sentences. The first two or three sentences of your introduction should provide a general introduction to the historical topic which your essay is about. This is done so that when you state your hypothesis, your reader understands the specific point you are arguing about. Background sentences explain the important historical ...

  3. PDF A Brief Guide to Writing the History Paper

    like an essay according to the topic's internal logic). Some papers are concerned with history (not just what happened, of course, but why and how it happened), and some are interested in historiography (i.e., how other historians have written history, specifically the peculiarities of different works, scholars, or schools of thought).

  4. PDF Historiographic Essay Manual

    Lynn Rampolla, whose Pocket Guide to Writing in History has been published in several editions, wrote the goal of a historiographic essay is "to identify, compare, and evaluate the viewpoints of two or more historians writing on the same subject." 1. Notice that a historiographic essay requires evaluation, that is you must . judge

  5. Step-By-Step Creation

    There are several useful strategies for coming up with a topic. The easiest method is to use one of your assigned readings; adopt the topic that the author covers as your own. You can use their bibliography as the starting point for the historiography (especially if they critique previous positions), and branch out from there.

  6. PDF Histori Essay Manual

    First, select a topic that will sustain your interest not only for the historiographic essay but also for Research and Writing (42.398). In Historiography and Historical Methods (42.298), you study the secondary sources; in Research and Writing, you craft an interpretation predominantly drawing upon primary sources.

  7. Historiographic Essay (Literature Review)

    A Historiographic Essay (also known as a Historiographic Review or, outside of the history discipline, a Literature Review) is a systematic and comprehensive analysis of books, scholarly articles, and other sources relevant to a specific topic that provides a base of knowledge.Literature reviews are designed to identify and critique the existing literature on a topic, justifying your research ...

  8. Seven Steps to Writing Historiography

    1. Narrow your topic and select books and articles accordingly. Consider your specific area of study. Think about what interests you and other researchers in your field. Talk to your professor or TA, brainstorm, and read lecture notes and current issues in periodicals in the field.

  9. Historiographical Essays

    The purpose of an historiographic essay is threefold: ... Modern Historiography by Michael Bentley An introduction to the history of historical writing. The text explains the broad philosophical background to the different historians and historical schools of the modern era. In an overview of modern historiography, the book includes surveys on ...

  10. OWHL Guides: History 300: A Guide to Research: Historiography

    Alternately, a historiography can act as an introduction to a major research paper, in which you will go on to add your own analysis. Thus, a good historiography does the following: ... Examples of historiographic essays. Historiographical essay examples. Historiographical Questions. Questions of historiography include the following:


    Introduction History is a discipline based on interpretation, debate, analysis, and synthesis. Because of this, history essays are more than narrative accounts of the past. The purpose of a history essay is to communicate useful conclusions about past events in a purposeful and persuasive manner.

  12. Introductions & Conclusions

    Introductions & Conclusions. The introduction and conclusion serve important roles in a history paper. They are not simply perfunctory additions in academic writing, but are critical to your task of making a persuasive argument. A successful introduction will: draw your readers in. culminate in a thesis statement that clearly states your argument.

  13. Writing a history essay

    To write an effective essay, students should examine the question, understand its focus and requirements, acquire information and evidence through research, then construct a clear and well-organised response. Writing a good history essay should be rigorous and challenging, even for stronger students. As with other skills, essay writing develops ...

  14. PDF Writing A Historiographical Essay

    Purpose of a Historiographical Essay . A historiographer gives a detailed overview of the . major. pieces of work on one given historical event or topic by doing the following: • Engaging in a historical event from multiple perspectives by examining multiple sources. This is accomplished through summarizing, evaluating, and critiquing the ...

  15. HIST 300

    For the purposes of this course, you need to know that a historiographic essay: summarizes the changing ideas and approaches to a particular topic of history ; discusses why those ideas may have changed over time. ... An introduction that includes your thesis and the main argument that you will make.

  16. Historiographic Essays

    A sample historiographic essay. Let us assume that the subject of your historiographic essay is the Rape of Nanking, an event discussed in some detail in the Book Reviews section. There, we examine the event as it is described and analyzed by Iris Chang in her bestselling book The Rape of Nanking.To this we now add several other sources, all of which are listed in the Works Cited section at ...

  17. How to write source-based history essays

    If you understand how each part works and fits into the overall essay, you are well on the way to creating a great assessment piece. Most essays will require you to write: 1 Introduction Paragraph. 3 Body Paragraphs. 1 Concluding Paragraph.

  18. History Essay: Topics, Tips and the Outline

    Firstly, avoid procrastination and start early. Secondly, leave yourself plenty of time to brainstorm, outline, research and write. Finally, follow these five tips to make your history essay shine: Write a substantial introduction. Particularly, it's the first impression the professor will have of the paper. State a clear thesis.

  19. How to Write a Historiographical Essay

    Step 5: Draft your historiographical essay. Once you've decided on a plan of attack (how you'll organize the essay), start drafting. If you can't think of a killer opening, skip it for now, and start with the thesis statement. If you don't have the wording perfect, relax.

  20. How to Write a History Essay: Examples, Tips & Tricks

    Body paragraph 1: Introduction to the Historical Context. Provide background information on the historical context of your topic. Highlight key events, figures, or developments leading up to the main focus of your history essay. Body paragraphs 2-4 (or more): Main Arguments and Supporting Evidence.

  21. Finding historiographic essays and journal articles

    Finding historiographic essays -- first steps. For topics that are of wide interest, you may be able to find an essay that reviews the literature on that topic, and that sets it in context by discussing how other historians have approached that topic. This kind of essay is invaluable when you are starting a research project.

  22. Historiography

    historiography, the writing of history, especially the writing of history based on the critical examination of sources, the selection of particular details from the authentic materials in those sources, and the synthesis of those details into a narrative that stands the test of critical examination.The term historiography also refers to the theory and history of historical writing.

  23. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

  24. American Indians: A History of Resilience and Cultural Richness: [Essay

    This essay aims to explore the rich heritage of American Indian communities, the challenges they have faced throughout history, and their enduring resilience. By examining historical contexts, cultural contributions, and ongoing issues, we can gain a deeper understanding of the unique position American Indians hold within the larger narrative ...

  25. Introduction to the Holocaust

    Introduction to the Holocaust. The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million European Jews by the Nazi German regime and its allies and collaborators. The Holocaust was an evolving process that took place throughout Europe between 1933 and 1945. Antisemitism was at the foundation of the Holocaust.

  26. Smith v. Arizona: The Sixth Amendment's Confrontation Clause and

    Footnotes Jump to essay-1 U.S. Const. amend. VI. Jump to essay-2 See Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 68-69 (2004).The Supreme Court in Crawford recognized the existence of two common law Confrontation Clause exceptions that historically permitted the admission of testimonial statements, but it did not expressly approve or disapprove of either.

  27. The Rise of the American Oligarchy

    A bestselling book described Bannon's former bosses, the Trumps, as American Oligarchs. Donald Trump Jr., for his part, complained that China controls "America's oligarchs.". A group of ...

  28. Intro.9.2.26

    Footnotes Jump to essay-1 See generally Intro.7.2 Separation of Powers Under the Constitution. Jump to essay-2 467 U.S. 837 (1984). Jump to essay-3 Id. at 842-43. Jump to essay-4 Id.The Court further stated: [A] court may not substitute its own construction of a statutory provision for a reasonable interpretation made by the administrator of an agency.

  29. Intro.5.1 Overview of Constitution Annotated Organization

    Footnotes Jump to essay-1 See, e.g., Kathleen M. Sullivan & Noah Feldman, Constitutional Law (18th ed. 2013). Jump to essay-2 See, e.g., Paul Brest et. al., Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking: Cases and Materials (5th ed. 2006). Jump to essay-3 See Jones v. Helms, 452 U.S. 412, 418-19 (1981) (The right to travel has been described as a privilege of national citizenship, and as an ...

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