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Underline, highlight or annotate keywords or terms in the text of the question. Do any additional questions or issues flow from the question?What topics or events do you need to learn more about? 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.This is an obvious tip – but one sadly neglected by some students.
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.
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.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? 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 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.This page contains some general advice on writing a successful history essay.An essay is a piece of sustained writing in response to a question, topic or issue.The essays below were written by students to help you with your own studies.If you are looking for help with your essay then we offer a comprehensive writing service provided by fully qualified academics in your field of study.