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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.At some point in your research, you should begin thinking about a contention for 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.
It might ask if you agree or disagree with a statement. Start constructing a plan as soon as you have received your essay question and given it some thought.
It might ask you to describe and analyse the causes and/or effects of a particular action or event. Prepare for research by brainstorming and jotting down your thoughts and ideas.
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.
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.
All good history essays have a clear and strong contention.
A contention is the main idea or argument of your essay.