Writing History Essays In Exams

The more we know about the past, the better we can understand how societies have evolved to their present state, why people face certain problems, and how successfully others have addressed those problems.As you can see, the questions of history include the immediate and personal (how did I get here?

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You may be here (in North Carolina) because you or some ancestor crossed an ocean several weeks, years, decades or centuries ago.

You are here (in Chapel Hill) because, two hundred years ago, some people pooled their ideas, energy, and money to dig a well, collect some books, and hire some professors.

This is why historical texts have so many footnotes.

It’s also why history instructors put so much emphasis on how you write your paper.

Before shrugging off this abstract notion, ask yourself another “easy” question: Why are you here at UNC-CH?

Maybe you’re at UNC because it was the best school that accepted you, or because UNC has great sports teams.

This happens pretty regularly and can lead to heated debates, complete with name-calling.

Even today, for example, historians still can’t agree on the extent of apocalyptic panic surrounding the year 1000.

Ideally, after thinking for a while, they come up with a story to link together all these bits of information—an interpretation (read: educated guess) which answers a question about some past event or phenomenon. Except when two historians using different sources come up with contradictory answers to the same question.

Even worse, what if two historians ask the same question and use the same sources but come up with different answers?


Comments Writing History Essays In Exams

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