American History Homework Hints: Arranging Events in Chronological Order

If you’re not experienced with writing history papers or you have trouble writing in general you need to practice articulating your thoughts on paper. Writing is a skill that can be learned and mastered with the enough time and dedication. History papers in particular are difficult because the best approach is often writing your paper in chronological order.

Arranging events in chronological order ensures your audience is introduced to the topic and receives adequate background information right at the beginning. Writing in this way can seem difficult at first. But using the following hints as a guide will help you write flowing and informative history essays.

Make a plan. Analyze your essay prompt to make sure you understand the question. Underline any keywords that appear and write these down in a notebook. In your research you will need to write down as many instances these keywords show up in your readings. Make a decision on the direction you are going to take. Consider taking just one or two keywords as your starting point.

Put your ideas in order. Take down notes, facts, dates and phrases from your readings that are related to your topic. Sort and group the related notes together and organize them so that they are in order. You might want to create columns for this with the earliest events at the top and the most recent events at the bottom.

Separate your ideas. Look at your columns and choose one that is neither too long nor too short. You want to have enough content to write about but you certainly don’t want to take on a project that is too large in scope. Once you select your column you will have a general topic with related events. Look for events from other columns that could be added, and don’t be afraid to remove any items that aren’t important enough to include in your essay.

Develop a thesis and write an outline. Take your topic and write a clear and concise thesis that lets your reader know exactly what they are going to read about. Make sure your thesis doesn’t just summarize events as they occurred; your thesis should argue a particular point you choose to make. The items from your column can be arranged as topic sentences in your outline.

Research extra information. In order to fill in the subsequent pieces of your major topics you may need to do additional reading. Now that you have a topic, a thesis, and an outline you should be able to find related information more easily.

Write your first draft. Using your completed outline as a guide, write your first draft. Be sure to stay within topic and use each of your major topic points to signal potential new paragraphs. After this stage you will be well on your way to completing your paper. But make sure you take the time to revise and check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. The more drafts you write the more effective your history paper will be.

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