The Art of the Historian

How to Build an Effective History Essay




In this unit, students are taken through the art of writing an effective History essay by stages.  The course begins with an introductory instructional video followed by a workbook involving 8 learning activities.  Activities 1-4 involve students in constructing a historical essay:  “Why study History?”  Activity 5 asks students to reflect on the essay production process.  Activities 6-8 look at the question of bias in History through an examination and critique of a range of online sources.

Unit Skills and Objectives

· Develop an appreciation key characteristics of an effective history essay

· Develop actual essay writing skills through a controlled, staged planning and drafting process

· Improve powers of communication through exploiting this knowledge

· Better understand the power and limitations of words as vehicles of communicated experience

· Develop an appreciation of the role word order and word choice have in improving the quality of communication

· Better understand the role punctuation can play in improving comprehension

· Develop powers of description for dramatic effect in writing

· Develop a better appreciation of the roles bias and point-of-view have in modelling the past

· Develop an appreciation of the role the historian plays in interpreting the historical past