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Preserving History Essay Structure

Thesis Statement[edit]

A thesis statement is generally a single sentence (The last sentence of Intro) within the introductory paragraph of the history (or thesis) essay, which makes a claim or tells the reader exactly what to expect from the rest of the text. It may be the writer's interpretation of what the author or teacher is saying or implying about the topic. It may also be a hypothesis statement (educated guess) which the writer intends to develop and prove in the course of the essay.

The thesis statement, which is in some cases underlined, is the heart of a history or thesis essay and is the most vital part of the introduction. The assignment may not ask for a thesis statement because it may be assumed that the writer will include one. If the history assignment asks for the student to take a position, to show the cause and effect, to interpret or to compare and contrast, then the student should develop and include a good thesis statement.

Following the introductory paragraph and its statement, the body of the essay presents the reader with organized evidence directly relating to the thesis and must support it.

Characteristics of a good thesis statement

  • Is a strong statement or fact which ends with a period, not a question.
  • Is not a cliché[1] such as “fit as a fiddle”, “time after time”, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”, “all in due time” or “what goes around comes around”.
  • Is not a dictionary definition.
  • Is not a generalization.
  • Is not vague, narrow or broad.
  • States an analytic argument or claim, not a personal opinion or emotion.
  • Uses clear and meaningful words.

The History Essay Format[edit]

Essay is an old French word which means to “attempt”. An essay is the testing of an idea or hypothesis (theory). A history essay (sometimes referred to as a thesis essay) will describe an argument or claim about one or more historical events and will support that claim with evidence, arguments and references. The text must make it clear to the reader why the argument or claim is as such.

Introduction

Unlike a persuasive essay where the writer captures the reader's attention with a leading question, quotation or story related to the topic, the introduction in a history essay announces a clear thesis statement and explains what to expect in the coming paragraphs. The Introduction includes the key facts that are going to be presented in each paragraph.

The following phrases are considered to be poor and are normally avoided in the introduction: “I will talk about”, “You will discover that”, “In this essay”, “You will learn” or other such statements.

Body (Supporting Paragraphs)

The paragraphs which make up the body of a history essay offers historical evidence to support the thesis statement. Typically, in a high school history essay, there will be as many supporting paragraphs as there are events or topics. The history teacher or assignment outline may ask for a specific number of paragraphs. Evidence such as dates, names, events and terms are provided to support the key thesis.

The topic sentence tells the reader exactly what the paragraph is about. Typically, the following phrases are never part of a topic sentence: “I will talk about”, “I will write about” or “You will see”. Instead, clear statements which reflect the content of the paragraph are written.

The last sentence of a supporting paragraph can either be a closing or linking sentence. A closing sentence summarizes the key elements that were presented. A linking sentence efficiently links the current paragraph to the next. Linking can also be done by using a transitional word or phrase at the beginning of the next paragraph.

Conclusion

In the closing paragraph, the claim or argument from the introduction is restated differently. The best evidence and facts are summarized without the use of any new information. This paragraph mainly reviews what has already been written. Writers don't use exactly the same words as in their introduction since this shows laziness. This is the author's last chance to present the reader with the facts which support their thesis statement.

Quotes, Footnotes and Bibliography[edit]

Quotes

Quotations in a history essay are used in moderation and to address particulars of a given historical event. Students who tend to use too many quotes normally lose marks for doing so. The author of a history essay normally will read the text from a selected source, understand it, close the source (book for web site for example) and then condense it using their own words. Simply paraphrasing someone else’s work is still considered to be plagiarism. History essays may contain many short quotes.

Quotations of three or fewer lines are placed between double quotation marks. For longer quotes, the left and right margins are indented by an additional 0.5” or 1 cm, the text is single-spaced and no quotation marks are used. Footnotes are used to cite the source.

Single quotation marks are used for quotations within a quotation. Three ellipsis points (...) are used when leaving part of the quotation out. Ellipsis cannot be used at the start of a quotation.

Footnotes

Footnotes are used to cite quotation sources or to provide additional tidbits of information such as short comments.

Internet sources are treated in the same way printed sources are. Footnotes or endnotes are used in a history essay to document all quotations. Footnotes normally provide the author's name, the title of the work, the full title of the site (if the work is part of a larger site), the date of publication, and the full URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of the document being quoted. The date on which the web site was consulted is normally included in a footnote since websites are often short-lived.[2]

Bibliography

Unless otherwise specified by the history teacher or assignment outline, a bibliography should always be included on a separate page which lists the sources used in preparing the essay.

The list is always sorted alphabetically according to the authors’ last name. The second and subsequent line of each entry of a bibliography is indented by about 1 inch, 2.5 cm or 10 spaces.

A bibliography is normally formatted according to the “Chicago Manual of Style” or “The MLA Style Manual”.

Plagiarism[edit]

History and thesis essay writers are very careful to avoid plagiarism since it is considered to be a form of cheating in which part or all of someone else’s work is passed as one’s own. Useful guidelines to help avoid plagiarism can be found in the University of Ottawa document "Beware of Plagiarism".[3]

Formatting Requirements[edit]

  • Letter-sized 8.5”x11” or A4 plain white paper
  • Double-spaced text
  • 1.5” (3 cm) left and right margins, 1” (2.5 cm) top and bottom margins
  • Regular 12-point font such as Arial, Century Gothic, Helvetica, Times New Roman and Verdana
  • A cover page with the course name, course number, group number, essay title, the teacher’s name, the author's name, the due date and optionally, the name of the author's school, its location and logo
  • Page numbers (with the exception of the cover page)
  • No underlined text with the exeception of the thesis statement
  • No italicized text with the exception of foreign words
  • No bolded characters
  • No headings
  • No bullets, numbered lists or point form
  • No use of the these words: “Firstly”, “Secondly”, “Thirdly”, etc.
  • Paragraph indentation of approximately 0.5 inch, 1 cm or 5 spaces
  • Formatting according to the “Chicago Manual of Style”[4] or the “MLA Style”.[5]

Basic Essay Conventions[edit]

  • Dates: a full date is formatted as August 20, 2009 or August 20, 2009. The comma and the “th” separate the day from the year.
  • Dates: a span of years within the same century is written as 1939-45 (not 1939-1945).
  • Dates: no apostrophe is used for 1600s, 1700s, etc.
  • Diction: a formal tone (sophisticated language) is used to address an academic audience.
  • Numbers: for essays written in countries where the metric system is used (e.g., Europe, Canada), no commas are used to separate groups of three digits (thousands). For example, ten thousand is written as 10 000 as opposed to 10,000.
  • Numbers: numbers less than and equal to 100 are spelled out (e.g., fifteen).
  • Numbers: round numbers are spelled out (e.g., 10 thousand, 5 million).
  • Numbers: for successive numbers, digits are used (e.g., 11 women and 96 men).
  • Percentages: the word “percent” is used instead of its symbol % unless listing successive figures. When listing many figures, the % symbol is also used.
  • Pronouns: the pronoun “I” is not used since the writer does not need to refer to him/herself unless writing about “taking a position” or making a “citizenship” statement.
  • Pronouns: the pronoun “you” is not used since the writer does not need to address the reader directly.
  • Tone: in a history or thesis essay, the writer does not nag, preach or give advice.

Use of Capital Letters[edit]

A history or thesis essay will make use of capital letters where necessary.

  • Brand names, trademarks or product names
  • First word of a direct quotation
  • First word of a sentence
  • Name or title of a book, disc, movie or other literary works
  • Names of distinctive historical periods (e.g., Middle Ages)
  • Names of festivals and holidays
  • Names of languages (e.g., English, French)
  • Names of school subjects, disciplines or specialties are not capitalized unless they happen to be the names of languages
  • Names of the days of the week and of the months of the year (e.g., Monday, January)
  • Pronoun I (e.g., “Yesterday, I was very happy.”)
  • Proper names (e.g., John Smith, Jacques Cartier)
  • Religious terms (e.g., God, Sikhs)
  • Roman numerals (e.g., XIV)
  • Words that create a connection with a specific place (e.g., French is capitalized when it is used in the context of having to do with France)
  • Words that identify nationalities, ethnic groups or social groups (e.g., Americans, Canadians, Loyalists)

Miscellaneous Characteristics[edit]

  • A word processor such as Microsoft Word[6] or a free downloadable processor such as Open Office[7] could be used to format and spell-check the text.
  • An essay plan or a graphic organizer could be used to collect important facts before attempting to write the essay.
  • Correct use of punctuation; periods, commas, semicolons and colons are used to break down or separate sentences.
  • Paragraphs are not lengthy in nature.
  • Street or Internet messaging jargon such as “a lot”, “:)”, “lol” or “bc” is not used.
  • Text that remains consistent with the thesis statement.
  • The essay has been verified by a peer and/or with the word processor's spell-check tool.
  • The same verb tense is used throughout the essay.

References[edit]

Example of a bibliography
  1. ↑A cliché is an expression or saying which has been overused to the point of losing its original meaning; something repeated so often that has become stale or commonplace; "ready-made phrases".
  2. ↑“History and Classics: Essay Writing Guide” (on-line). Edmonton, Alberta: Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta. uofaweb.ualbert.ca (January 2009).
  3. ↑Uottawa.ca
  4. ↑More information on the “Chicago Manual of Style” can be found at chicagomanualofstyle.org
  5. ↑More information on the “MLA Style Manual” and “Guide to Scholarly Publishing” can be found on the Modern Language Association web site at mla.org Guides can be ordered online.
  6. ↑Office.microsoft.com
  7. ↑Openoffice.org

Preservation of Historic Buildings Essays

by Charlene
(Hong Kong)


Should we look after old buildings?

Many old buildings protected by law are part of a nation’s history. Some people think they should be knocked down and replaced by news ones.

How important is it to maintain old buildings?

Should history stand in the way of progress?



The issue of whether old buildings should be demolished and replaced has long been a controversial issue. While some believe that it is important due to their historical value, others believe they should not stand in the way of development, which is resembled by the building of new infrastructures. In order to support one view over the other, it is crucial to answer two questions, which this essay will discuss: they are the extent of importance for maintaining old buildings and whether one should value history over progress.

Firstly, I believe that it is very important to maintain old buildings because they have historical and cultural significance and economic value. The old buildings may have an important function in history and some are even the nations’ pride. For instance, the Great Wall of China signifies the history of slaves’ perseverance, building the great wall of defence despite severe weather conditions, under the tyrannical rule of the Emperor and it also shows the concerns over safety during that historical period. Not only so, the Great Wall of China is the place that every tourist will visit when they come to Beijing; thus, it can be said that the Great Wall has economic value as those tourists will subsequently spend money there. Furthermore, the Great Wall of China instils a sense of pride in the hearts of Chinese people, as it resembles their long-lasting history. Hence, maintenance of old buildings are of utmost importance.

However, opponents may argue differently: Although new buildings may not have historical and cultural significance, they do have their purpose, both economically and developmentally. By replacing old buildings, there will be more space for housing, which is especially important due to the current problem of overcrowding. In doing so, it can guarantee basic living standards. There will also be more space for buildings used for educational purposes, as education is important for the nations’ growth.

Another arguments that opponents put forth is that history should not deter progress. They believe that a nation shouldn’t live in the past; instead, they should actively seek out the future. Whilst I believe this argument is sound, it is important to note that history doesn’t necessarily hinder progress, but would even prevent mistakes from happening again. An example will be the Nazi camps; they serve as a reminder to the nation about the dangers of discrimination and injustice.

To conclude, based on the two questions, I strongly believe that old buildings should not be replaced, not only due to their significance to the nation, but also due to the fact that that it doesn’t hinder progress.

***

You can give your thoughts below about this Essay on Protecting Old Buildings. Can it be improved?

Protecting Old Buildings

by Deepika
(Delhi, India)

Kindly analyze my essay written below and let me know what is the possible score I may get in writing section:

Many old buildings protected by law are part of a nation’s history. Some people think they should be knocked down and replaced by new ones.

How important is it to maintain old buildings?

Should history stand in the way of progress?


History plays an important role in getting a better knowledge about any country’s culture, traditions, beliefs, religions etc. Without history one would have no idea about his origin and the struggle done by the freedom fighters and various other people for freedom and other human rights. There are various old buildings in almost every part of the world which represents history of that region. But there are some people who think that these buildings should be knocked down and replaced by new ones. Here the discussion will be about the importance of such buildings.

Old buildings are helpful in identifying the background of a country. Infrastructure of such buildings shows the creativity and talent of the labour class people during that time and even helps to know about the lifestyle of the people in that era. There are other benefits of maintaining such buildings i.e. ancient buildings attract tourism from and across the world. Tourism is an important measure in economical growth of a country.

Old and rough structure of these buildings could be the main concern of the beings who want them to be knocked out. In order to pay attention towards their concerns, government should provide proper funding to the maintenance department for renovation of the old structure.

I agree that history should not stand in the way of progress. History is all about the past so in case if it restricts the progress path in the present or future then government should not let it be a problem. Government should support the idea of progress anyhow and if that requires old buildings to be knocked out then that should be done positively.

***


You can comment below on this Essay on Protecting Old Buildings.

Preserving of Old Buildings

by Mubashir

Friends, grading required for this essay.

Many old buildings protected by law are part of a nation’s history. Some people think they should be knocked down and replaced by news ones.


How important is it to maintain old buildings?

Should history stand in the way of progress?


Nowadays, due to massive construction work availability of space is the serious problem that needs to be addressed. The building constructed decades back are being removed and demolished for the sake of erecting new structures. However, I tend to believe that ancient buildings are part of nation’s history and they represent the attraction of modern cities therefore, they should not be demolished. The historic buildings should be preserved, protected and renovated for future generations to come.

Firstly, the buildings that were constructed in the previous era represent the history of the nation. For instance, it will inform how used people used to live previously. The concept, design, architecture and techniques of construction when there were not enough facilities and options as we have now in the 21st century. This example depicts clearly that building of the last century signified the history of country. Thus it can be seen that preserving the history in the form of old architectural building will be an asset for upcoming generation reminding them about the life of their ancestors rather than constructing the modern style of building.

Secondly, the old aged construction is actually the charm and magnetic attraction for the local residents. For instance, when they will be passing by the all the new buildings and all of a sudden they stare an old building their eyes will be glued to the old construction and they will not even bother to see the new building again because these building have now become unique and rare. This example supports the point that old construction appeases the local people. Therefore, it can be seen that old style of building seen to catch people eyes more than the newly designed and constructed buildings.

Further, I reckon that history is not hindering the nation’s development or progress rather it is teaching a lesson and motivation for the people. For instance, the people can learn from the mistakes, problems, issues, difficulties which will move them a step forward and they won’t repeat those errors in future.

To conclude, the historic buildings are a part of nation’s history and local people sightseeing. I firmly believe that newly constructed building should not be constructed at the cost of erasing old building. I suppose that old buildings will always be sacred for the every nation in the times to come also.

***

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Essay on Protecting Old Buildings

by Rima

Last month I sat for ielts exam and got overall 7, but in writing I got 5.5. I need at least 6.

Will you evaluate my writing on these following essay. My next exam date is 30th march.


Many old buildings protected by law are part of a nation’s history. Some people think they should be knocked down and replaced by new ones.

How important is it to maintain old buildings? Should history stand in the way of progress?

Almost every nation has its own historical places, buildings and cultural heritage, those are assets of a nation and authorities are liable to protect and take care of them. However, some of us claimed that those buildings are valueless and need to replace with new one to progress. But, to me the law provided by for the protection of nation's history is rational due to following reasons.

First of all, those old architecture tells about a countries efforts how they change situations for better, also about the heroic people who did good to provide facilities for better generation. For instance, The great wall of china is representing the dedication of the king and effort of the people to protect nations from other. The Tajmahal was built by king Shahjahan to express his love for her wife. Those building are the wonders now as they are acting as inspiration for us, so it is totally meaningless not to protect them.

Secondly, historical places are main tourist attraction of a country. Not only it represents ones culture and art but also sets a good tourist business. Millions of money are being added to countries economy for those historical monuments. So destroying them is a way of big economic loss.

Finally, a historical building is a great object for architectural historian. Many lost civilization has come in front of us with all those buildings, also act as a source of information for research work. There are many buildings in the world which is a wonder of engineering work that acts as inspiration for modern engineer.

Therefore, replacing all old one with new buildings is just a big loss for whole nations both culturally and economically. And most importantly those monuments are taking a small place of a county. If anyone wants to build new buildings that can be done in another places without destroying those valuable work. Those history inspired us and lead us develop for far better way. With the economy that earned from tourist is helping countries to progress. Thus, history working silently to forward us.

To sum up, a historical architecture is a master piece of nations as well as a valuable asset. Government should be more dedicated and careful to beautify and protect them.

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