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Navigating Historical Debates: History Argumentative Essay Topics

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Dipping your toes into the vast ocean of history is an adventure. Each dive deep into its depths brings a new perspective, a fresh understanding, or a challenging contradiction. As a student of history, you don’t just learn about the past; you argue, debate, and discuss it. That’s where “history argumentative essay topics” come in, giving you the perfect platform to exhibit your persuasive skills while furthering your historical understanding.

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The Importance of Studying History

History isn’t just a record of ancient days; it’s a vibrant tapestry woven with countless threads, each representing a story, an era, a civilization, or an individual. Understanding history empowers us to make sense of our present, forecast future patterns, and appreciate humanity’s collective journey. Delving into argumentative essays adds depth to this exploration, honing your critical thinking, research understanding, and writing prowess.

The Art of Writing an Argumentative History Essay

In a history argumentative essay, your task goes beyond presenting facts. It would help to form an opinion, defend it with strong evidence, and persuade your reader to view history through your lens. Such essays often explore controversial issues, diverse interpretations, or underrepresented perspectives, making them thrilling.

Remember, an effective argumentative essay balances rigor with creativity. Your arguments should be based on solid research, but your writing style should maintain the reader’s interest. Short sentences, active voice, and transitional words will help ensure your essay is clear, concise, and captivating.

History Argumentative Essay Topics: Your Guide to an Engaging Argument

Picking the right history argumentative essay topics is crucial. Your topic should spark your curiosity, offer ample sources for research, and pose a challenge that motivates you to explore, argue, and persuade. The past is brimming with potential argumentative essay topics, from historical events and famous figures to social movements and cultural trends.

Here are a collection of history argumentative essay topics spanning different eras, regions, and themes to get you started. Use them as they are, or let them inspire you to develop your own.

  • The Crusades: Religious Devotion or Political Expediency?
  • Was the Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Justifiable?
  • The Impact of Colonialism: Development or Exploitation?
  • The Role of Women in World War II: Homefront or Battlefield?
  • The American Civil War: Slavery or States’ Rights?
  • The French Revolution: Fight for Liberty or Reign of Terror?
  • The Renaissance: A Cultural Rebirth or a Period of Conflict?
  • Martin Luther King Jr. vs. Malcolm X: Who Had a Greater Impact on the Civil Rights Movement?
  • The Age of Exploration: Discovery or Destruction?
  • The Industrial Revolution: Progress or Plight?
  • The Fall of the Roman Empire: Invaders or Internal Decay?
  • Was the Cold War Inevitable Post-World War II?
  • Christopher Columbus: Hero or Villain?
  • The Impact of the Protestant Reformation: Unity or Division?
  • The Age of Imperialism: Prosperity or Oppression?
  • The Vietnam War: A Necessary Stand or a Futile Endeavor?
  • The American Revolution: Liberty or Economic Motives?
  • The Russian Revolution: People’s Uprising or Bolshevik Coup?
  • The Enlightenment: Philosophical Breakthrough or Social Disruption?
  • The Emancipation Proclamation: Sincere or Strategic?
  • The Role of Propaganda in Nazi Germany
  • Was Alexander the Great Really Great?
  • The Partition of India: Religious Freedom or Colonial Divide-and-Rule?
  • Did the Suffragette Movement Achieve Its Goals?
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis: Near-Apocalypse or Diplomatic Triumph?
  • The Influence of the Printing Press: Information Revolution or Religious Turmoil?
  • The Crusades: A Pathway to Enlightenment or a Dark Age Misstep?
  • The Atomic Age: A New Era or a Dangerous Precedent?
  • The Impact of the Ming Dynasty on China’s Global Presence
  • The American Westward Expansion: Manifest Destiny or Brutal Displacement?
  • The British Raj in India: Beneficial or Destructive?
  • The War of 1812: Forgotten War or Critical Conflict?
  • The Cultural Revolution in China: Necessary Purge or Disastrous Policy?
  • Slavery: The True Cause of the American Civil War?
  • The Role of Espionage in the Cold War
  • The Contributions of Nikola Tesla: Overlooked or Overrated?
  • The Great Depression: Natural Economic Cycle or Result of Poor Policy?
  • Was the League of Nations Doomed to Fail?
  • The Impact of Napoleon’s Reign on Europe
  • The Salem Witch Trials: Mass Hysteria or Religious Extremism?
  • The Influence of the Ottoman Empire on Modern Middle East
  • Did the Treaty of Versailles Cause World War II?
  • The Role of the Catholic Church in Medieval Europe
  • Manifest Destiny: Expansionism or Cultural Imperialism?
  • The Impact of Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire
  • The Spanish Inquisition: Religious Persecution or Political Power Play?
  • The Influence of the Harlem Renaissance on African American Culture
  • The Ethics of Using Atomic Bombs in WWII
  • The Role of Britain in the Creation of Israel
  • The Egyptian Revolution of 2011: A Springboard for Democracy?
  • The Effect of the Gold Rush on California’s Development
  • The Role of Social Media in the Arab Spring
  • The Implications of the Scramble for Africa
  • The Battle of Stalingrad: Turning Point in World War II?
  • The Meiji Restoration: Western Influence or Japanese Initiative?
  • The Role of Women in the French Revolution
  • The Impact of the Black Death on European Society
  • The Effect of the Viking Raids on European History
  • The Fall of the Berlin Wall: Inevitable or Surprising?
  • The Contributions of the Ancient Greeks to Modern Society
  • The Influence of the Catholic Church on the European Age of Discovery
  • The Impact of Gunpowder on Medieval Warfare
  • The Influence of the Spanish Civil War on WWII
  • The Causes and Consequences of the Thirty Years’ War
  • The Role of the Railroad in the Expansion of the United States
  • The Significance of the Magna Carta in the Modern Legal System
  • The Impact of the Silk Road on the Exchange of Cultures
  • The Role of the Mafia in Prohibition
  • The Effect of Charlemagne’s Reign on Europe
  • The Implications of the Columbian Exchange
  • The Influence of the Persian Empire on the Modern Middle East
  • The Impact of Marco Polo’s Travels on Europe
  • The Effect of the French Revolution on European Politics
  • The Influence of the Great Schism on Christianity
  • The Impact of the Space Race on the Cold War
  • The Legacy of the Aztec Empire
  • The Effect of the Transatlantic Slave Trade on Africa
  • The Role of the Knights Templar in the Crusades
  • The Influence of Gutenberg’s Printing Press on the Reformation
  • The Impact of the Han Dynasty on China
  • The Causes and Effects of the Boxer Rebellion
  • The Significance of the Pax Romana
  • The Influence of Confucianism on East Asian Cultures
  • The Impact of the Opium Wars on China
  • The Role of the French Foreign Legion in Colonial France
  • The Effect of the Suez Crisis on the Middle East
  • The Influence of the Renaissance on Modern Art
  • The Impact of the Zulu Nation on South Africa
  • The Causes and Consequences of the Irish Potato Famine
  • The Role of the Samurai in Feudal Japan
  • The Effect of the Hundred Years’ War on England and France
  • The Influence of the Roman Republic on Modern Democracies
  • The Impact of the US Constitution on the French Revolution
  • The Role of the Huns in the Fall of the Roman Empire
  • The Causes and Effects of the Haitian Revolution
  • The Influence of the Enlightenment on the US Constitution
  • The Impact of the Homestead Act on the American West
  • The Effect of the Plague of Justinian on the Byzantine Empire
  • The Role of the Medici Family in the Italian Renaissance

Remember, the goal is not just to recount history but to form an argument and defend it persuasively. Use reliable sources like scholarly articles, credible news outlets, and respected history websites for your research ( History.com , JSTOR , Fordham University’s Internet History Sourcebooks Project , etc.).

Conclusion: Your Historical Argument Awaits

Choosing from these argumentative history essay topics is just the beginning. You can turn your chosen topic into a compelling essay with thorough research, careful planning, and passionate writing. As you debate the past, you’re not just learning history but contributing to its discussion. Let these argumentative essay topics be your first step toward a thrilling historical discourse.

📎 Related Articles

1. Hot Topic History: A Journey Through Pivotal Moments 2. Engaging 8th Grade Research Paper Topics for Budding Historians 3. Dive Deep into Western Civilization Research Paper Topics 4. Navigating Through the Labyrinth of Ancient History Topics 5. Stirring the Pot: Controversial Topics in History for Research Paper

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439 History Argumentative Essay Topics to Get an A [Writing Tips Included]

Who hasn’t been puzzled when it comes to choosing historical argument topics?

It is hard to memorize all the information given in a class. Undoubtedly, all historical issues can be developed into excellent history essay topics. The question to resolve is how to discover your case.

You can find 300+ unique world history argumentative essay topics in our article, as well as some essay writing tips. If our topics are not enough for you, use our instant and completely free research title generator .

  • 🚧 History Essay Challenges
  • 📜 Top 15 Topics
  • ✊ Revolution Topics
  • 🗺️ Regional Topics
  • 🤴 Key Figures Topics
  • 🏳️‍🌈 Key Movements
  • 📿 Topics on Traditions
  • 👁️‍ Topics on Mysteries
  • 📝 Historical Topics – 2024

📢 History Persuasive Essay Topics

  • 👉 Choosing a Topic
  • ♟️ Writing Strategies

🚧 History Essay Topics Main Challenges

History shapes our present. To study the rules of our modern world and society, we need to research historical argument topics. They can show us which conflicts led to a better future and which destroyed our civilization.

History assignments for high school students contain many pitfalls. The five most critical of them are listed below.

  • Avoid thinking that any event was inevitable. First, we rarely dispose of a complete picture of a historical period. Second, some events are Force-Majeure and unpredictable. However, human choices matter. Focus on what could have been changed and which lessons we could learn from the alternative result.
  • Listing events is pointless. It can be read in any chronicle. Instead, your purpose is to analyze them. An untrivial perspective is what makes your essay a good one.
  • People often change their opinions. Historical figures also did. Try not to perceive their beliefs as a consistent and invariable set of ideas. Explore how they reached their wisdom or why they made errors.
  • Not all events are relevant to your history essay question . Make a list of the significant events and personalities that refer to your topic. Cross out all that can be omitted. Then add minor events related to those that left. It is what you should write about.
  • Avoid vague words. Great, prominent, positive, or negative are obscure words that make your writing limited and unilateral. Most personalities and events were multifaceted. Work in this direction.

List of do's and don'ts of history essay.

📜 Top 15 History Argumentative Essay Topics

History is full of mystery, riddles, and conflicting points. Writing a history paper will undoubtedly be fun if you choose an exciting history essay topic. Meet our list of the most provocative history questions.

  • How could The 1896 Anglo-Zanzibar last only 38 minutes?
  • Did Arab people invent the Arab numerals or Hindus?
  • Hitler as the man of the year in 1938, according to Time magazine.
  • The average life expectancy of peasants In the Middle Ages was about 25 years.
  • Why were Roman soldiers using baths as rehabilitation centers?
  • What was the importance of the Battle of Stalingrad?
  • The wars with the most considerable losses took place in China.
  • In 400 BC, Sparta had only 25,000 inhabitants but over 500,000 slaves.
  • Out of the last 3500 years, how many years were peaceful?
  • How important is tea time for British people?
  • In the middle of the 20th century, the whole British royal court got sick because of improperly cooked potatoes.
  • Compare the number of Soviet soldiers who died in World War II and the number of American ones.
  • Has any part of the Roman Empire existed 1000 years after the Fall of Rome?
  • Were the Egyptian pyramids actually constructed using slaves’ labor?
  • Did Leonardo Da Vinci have dyslexia?

⚔️ History Essay Topics on War

“There never was a good war or a bad peace,” — wrote Benjamin Franklin in one of his letters. Did we learn what peace is, after all? Discussion and analysis of armed conflicts that humanity has faced throughout its existence are still massive jobs researchers do. Below, you can find excellent topics on war and peace.

Detailed categorization to help you write a good essay about war!

  • How did the Second World War change family traditions? It lasted for six years, and families learned how to survive without a father. What were the psychological implications for mothers, children, and returning soldiers?
  • Food packages for long-term storage quickly developed during both World Wars . Explore which products changed the most. How did their modified form affect the cuisine and rations?
  • WWII spurred the creation of new professions . Find out which jobs appeared during this period. How were they linked to warfare? Did they change after the termination of the war?
  • Many scientific advances came to our understanding through dubious ways. The research and experiments of Nazi Germany on humans led to a breakthrough in medicine, anthropology, genetics, psychology, etc. Is it moral to use their findings for peaceful purposes?
  • Soldiers spread the Spanish Flu during WWI. It killed more people than died in military actions. Did it influence the outcome of the war? Analyze how the pandemic might have unfolded if it had happened in a time of peace.

1918 influenza pandemic killed 3% to 6% of the global population.

  • Explain how trench warfare slowed the military actions in WWI. What were the common diseases in trenches, and how did they affect the conflict? The Germans dug trenches not to lose any more ground.
  • American Women in History of World War II.
  • To which extent was Hitler not responsible for the Second World War? He was obviously the one to blame for the many atrocities of the Nazis. Still, which circumstances were out of his control and led to the war?
  • Japanese American Life During and after the World War II.
  • Compare the economic conditions in which Britain entered WWI and WWII.
  • The Treaty of Versailles in World War II History .
  • What was the military potential of Russia in WWI?
  • World War II People in “Hitler’s Army.”
  • Is it correct to say that the results of WWI caused WWII?
  • Minority Civil Rights in the US after the WWII.
  • Was Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria so influential that his death caused the outbreak of WWI?
  • What Was the Second World War Impact on the USSR?
  • The Russian population scarcely supported the Bolsheviks. What helped them to seize power during the October Revolution? The provisional government was occupied by the war. The Red Army followed the same interests, and Vladimir Lenin led the entire group.
  • Francisco Franco was the dictator of Spain from 1939 till 1975, when he died. How did the Spanish Civil War bring him to power? Why did Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy help him?
  • The monarchy in Uganda was abolished in 1967. Several years later, from 1971 to 1986, the country was torn apart by the Civil War . What were the causes of this dark period, and how did it end? Is Uganda peaceful now?
  • Describe the role of climate in the collision between the North and South in the US. Did long agricultural seasons make the South depend on fieldwork? Was the traditional use of slavery a way to get rich?
  • The polarized opinions of the left and right political forces caused the Greek Civil War. Based on the history of this conflict and the thematic in-country clashes of other countries, analyze the eternal and unending struggle between the left and right ideologies.
  • The American Civil War Outbreak and the Role of the Federal Government.
  • The English Civil War (1642 – 1651) was about ruling England, Scotland, and Ireland. What were the variants, and which one do you support?
  • Short- and Long-term Causes of the Civil War .
  • Describe the differences between the free Northern States and the slave Southern states during the American Civil War.
  • The Economics of the Civil War.
  • How did the Second Civil War in Sudan entail the creation of South Sudan through the referendum of 2011 ?
  • The Motives of Individual Soldiers Who Fought in the Civil War .
  • Why was Pugachev’s Rebellion (1773 – 1775) in Russia defeated?
  • Post-Civil War Political, Economic, Social Changes.
  • Austrian Civil War: The shortest possible conflict (12-16 February 1934).
  • Petersburg in the Civil War: History Issues.

Intercountry Wars

The image depicts the main reasons of international conflicts.

  • Analyze the possible reasons for an international conflict and how they can be regulated through warfare. List the ideas that motivated people to get into a war. This essay will illustrate the debatable history of wars.
  • Describe the relationship between the emergence of nuclear weapons and the Cold War. Why was America afraid of the Soviet Union and communism?
  • Why was the Spanish-American War one of the cheapest conflicts in history? It lasted for only several months and did not take many lives, as other military actions did. What secured its swift completion?
  • What Were the Major Diplomacy Steps of J.F. Kennedy in Cuba During the Cold War?
  • Why did Canada play a peacekeeper role at the beginning of the Cold War?
  • The Seven Years War and its Impact on the First British Empire.
  • How did the history of the Palestinians impact the Arab-Israeli conflict?
  • Outline the reasons for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
  • The Vietnam War’s Impact on the United States.
  • Describe the collaboration between the American and Australian troops in the Vietnam War.
  • United States Role in the Korean War: History Analysis.
  • How did the Soviet Union and US intervention cause Afghanistan’s War on Terror?

Religious Wars

  • Why did the Huguenots fail in the French Religious Wars (1562 – 1598)? They could not rely on settlements that supported them. Thus, they were less autonomous than the Catholics.
  • How did the Thirty Years’ War change the geopolitical image of Europe? Why was it transformed into a group of independent states with equal rights? The most important consequence of the war was the creation of the modern notion of national borders.
  • Describe the relationship between the Second Great Awakening and the abolishment of slavery in the US. It also entailed several philanthropic reforms and women’s emancipation. Why did the movement inspire a new vision on slavery and encourage questioning the British monarchy control?
  • Quackers: The religion of pacifism and non-violence. Did their peaceful worldview prevent their faith from popularization? Which controversy with other confessions did they face?
  • How did the English Civil War (1642 – 1651) lay the modern parliamentary monarchy’s foundation in the UK?
  • Islam and War: True Meaning of Jihad.
  • How did the Second Great Awakening participants expect to bring America to a Golden Age through religion?
  • Comparison of Jewish and Muslim Experiences.
  • Which role did religion play in the American Revolutionary War (1775 – 1783)?
  • Christian Europeans vs. Islamic Arabs: Why did the fight for Jerusalem affect the Jews who lived in Europe?
  • Judaism, Christianity, and Islam .
  • Why did the Catholics fight with Protestants during the Thirty Years’ War?
  • Religious Beliefs and Political Decisions.
  • How did the Protestant Reformation lead to the European Wars of Religion?

✊ History Essay Topics on Revolution

Pick a revolution, any famous and well-documented one, and be sure to find a bunch of yet unresolved questions. Numerous mysteries held by revolutionary events give us a lot of topics to debate. Now, here are themes to study about the world and local revolutions.

Political Revolutions

  • The European Revolutions (1848) affected almost 50 countries. Battles and executions took tens of thousands of lives. How did nationalism incentivize the political and economic struggle?
  • How did the French invasion of Spain (1807) entail the Spanish-American Wars? The Spanish side aimed for political independence from America. What was their motivation?
  • Fulgencio Batista, the Cuban President, was an elected president. He gradually seized power and became a dictator. Why did the US politically support him before Fidel Castro ousted and replaced him?
  • The Shah’s regime brought economic shortages and inflation. Some people thought he was the puppet of the non-Muslim West (i.e., the US). How did Shah’s oil policy lead to the Iranian Revolution?
  • During the Storming of the Bastille , there were only seven political prisoners. Why did the revolutionaries attack this building and not the Versailles or some other royal building? Why was Bastille the symbol of monarchy and its abuse of power?
  • Various Propaganda Tools Shaped People’s Vision of the State and Themselves during the Cultural Revolution in China .

"When dictatorship is a fact, revolutions becomes a right" - Victor Hugo

  • The Events That Led to the American Revolution .
  • Describe and analyze the conflict between the Three Estates that led to the French Revolution .
  • Who won in the Spanish American War of Independence and why?
  • The Proclamation and the Stamp Act: Discriminatory laws that led to the American Revolution.
  • Economic Factors Contributing to the Cause of the American Revolution.
  • A political revolution does not change the property relations inside the country. Give examples of such events.
  • Cold War Role in the Iranian Revolution .
  • Haitian Revolution (1791–1804): The only successful revolt of self-liberated slaves.
  • The Effects of Social Media on Egyptian Revolution of 2011 .

Social Revolutions

  • Boston Tea Party (1773) was a protest of merchants against the British tax on tea. Why is it considered as the precursor of the American Revolution? How does it symbolize the birth of American patriotism?
  • The French nobility was not concerned with the problems of ordinary people. They dedicated themselves to leisure and intrigues. Do you agree with this statement? How does it fit with the idea that France had authoritarianism?
  • What is the difference between a political and a socio-economic revolution? Which event takes more time and has more dramatic consequences? Give several examples of the experience in different countries.
  • The Neolithic Revolution was the first social revolution in the history of humanity. Describe the shift from nomadic life to permanent settlements. How did the transformation change people’s lives and their sources of food?
  • Could we consider the Enlightenment as a social revolution? Was this transformation a peaceful one? What were its causes, and what did people strive for?
  • Syrian Arab Spring: Why Was it Late? Conflict Evolution and Solutions.
  • How did the burning of Cinema Rex theatre trigger the Iranian Revolution?
  • The American Revolution as a Social Revolution.
  • How did hope and idealism fuel the French Revolution?
  • The Revolution of Women in Society.
  • What was achieved by the Civil War in the USA (1861-1865)?
  • Child Labor During Industrial Revolution.
  • Analyze the existing theories of what does and does not constitute a revolution.
  • Karl Marx’s Ideas on Society Alienation and Conflict Theory.
  • What were the precursors of the Age of Revolution in Europe and America?
  • The Revolution of Transportation Systems.

🗺️ World History Argumentative Essay Topics

Time to examine history from a local perspective! Below you can find multiple excellent topics on regional history. The US history, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and more. Make sure to look at all of them precisely – this will require some effort.

US History Essay Topics

  • American history before 1877: The New World before Christopher Columbus. Which sources of knowledge about the first settlements do historians draw from? Which civilizations existed there before the invasion of the Europeans?
  • Explore the role of women in Colonial America . What rights did they have? What was their standard daily routine? Why was their work sometimes more complicated than that of their male relatives?
  • How did slavery appear in British America? What were the circumstances that led to forced labor? Why was the trans-Atlantic slave trade so prosperous?
  • How did the Founding Fathers treat Indian history and tribes? Were their actions legitimate? Did these deeds favor the establishment of the New World? Can such or any other “ethnic cleansing” ever be justified?

8 Founding Fathers of the United States.

  • Were Jim Craw Laws necessary for a smooth transition from slavery to democracy? Or were they a big mistake that provided freedom to African-Americans without giving them any rights?
  • The Roles Played by Different Presidents on American Civil Rights Movement.
  • Comment on the inflow of immigrants pursuing the American Dream after the Civil war.
  • The Enslaved Blacks and Free Blacks During the American Civil War.
  • How did Prohibition in the US cause the proliferation of the Italian-American Mafia?
  • American Revolution: The “History” and “Memory”.
  • Franklin Roosevelt led the US into the Second World War as the biggest debtor but exited it as the most significant creditor.
  • In Search of the American Dream throughout the History.
  • Describe the main problems the first British settlements faced in America.
  • The Right to Vote in the USA Throughout the History.
  • What were the psychological consequences of the Great Depression on ordinary American citizens?

Latin America History Essay Topics

  • How did smallpox influence the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire ? How did the disease contribute to other advantages of the Spanish forces? Why did Cortez wish to defeat the Aztecs?
  • The Panama Canal made Panama the second-fastest growing economy in Latin America after Chile. It brings about $2 billion in yearly revenue. However, more than five thousand people died during its construction. Was it possible to avoid the deaths by postponing the construction?
  • How the history of Peru would be different if Francisco Pizarro did not initiate the homicide of the Aztecs. Would modern Peru benefit from its pre-colonial natives? Which historical monuments would have been preserved?
  • Gold or silver was never found in Uruguay. How did this fact influence the present-day prosperity and stability in the country? Why did it present almost no interest for the colonial conquest?
  • In 1848, General Santa Anna sold a big part of Mexico to the United States. Why did he do so? What would Latin America look like now had he not sold the land to feed the army?
  • Nationalism and Development in the Countries of Latin America.
  • Why did Latin America wish to declare independence from Spain (1810)?
  • Haitian Migration History, and the Role of Jamaica in This Process .
  • Explore the benefits of the Chilean victory in the War of the Pacific (1879 – 1883).
  • Brazil and the European Union: The Relations.
  • Why did America win the Mexican-American War?
  • Criminal Justice Systems of the US and Colombia.
  • Describe how the borders of modern Brazil were decided back in 1494 .
  • Which consequences of Gen Alfredo Stroessner’s dictatorship in Paraguay can you name?
  • Mexico’s Globalization and Democratization.

European History Essay Topics

  • Why did ordinary people believe in Fascist propaganda? Analyze the psychological factors and the cultural precursors that made people susceptible to Nazism. Did the fear of being killed influence their willingness to obey the ruling party?
  • Find out the difference between the perception of gods in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. Did both nations truly believe in gods? Was the Pantheon a cultural phenomenon? Why did they use the same gods with different names ?
  • Would Roman Empire have become so influential if it had never used slavery? Why was slavery an essential part of the economy of many countries? What changed then? Was the abolishment of slavery dictated only by humanism?
  • How did the relationships between lords and their vassals transform into modern government standards? Which positive and negative features were preserved throughout the ages? Compare the ancient tradition and the present-day government using historical and contemporary figures.
  • What is the difference between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment ?
  • Why Capitalism Started in Europe and Dominated the World ?
  • Analyze the evolution of peace-maintaining methods inside the country and around its borders throughout European history.
  • Building a Communist Society in East Germany.
  • What does the classical and vulgar language distinction in Ancient Rome tell us about the structure of its society?
  • Austria and France: Impacts and Causes of World War I and World War II.
  • Compare and contrast the role of Russia in WWI and the Napoleonic Wars .
  • Trace the development of European liberalism.
  • Germany at the End of the World War I.
  • List the six ancient civilizations and compare the causes that led to their fall .

Asian History Essay topics

  • What made the Mongol Empire the second-largest kingdom in human history? How did the empire use technology and production to ensure its prosperity? What helped Genghis Khan unite the nomadic tribes?
  • The Black Death is traditionally associated with Europe since it killed one-third of its population. Still, the bubonic plague started in Asia. Explore its outburst in 1330 – 1340 and its origins (presumably, in China).
  • Explore the consequences of numerous conflicts between nomads and settled people in Asia. How did this rivalry shape the history of the continent? Analyze the contribution of trading between nomads and towns.
  • A crossbow was invented in Asia. It revolutionized warfare. How did the weapon make archery a more democratic art? Which benefits did crossbow offer the army? Describe the history of the arm.

A crossbow was invented in Asia.

  • The word Aryan comes from Iran and India. It meant “a noble person.” How did it turn into the most abused words of anti-Semitism?
  • The Causes and Effects of Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976).
  • What are the social effects of female infanticide in China, India, South Korea, and Nepal?
  • China’s New Silk Road for Trade and IGo to demoessays.commplications.
  • Compare and contrast the Indian castes and Feudal Japanese classes.
  • The Development of Tension Between South and North Korea.
  • How did the Battle of Gaugamela (331 BC) open Asia to be invaded by Alexander the Great?
  • Japan’s Withdrawing From the International Whaling Commission.
  • Describe the weapons of Ancient Asian civilizations as the mirror of their culture.
  • How did some Asian countries (Japan, China, and Siam) escape European colonization ?
  • Nationalism in East Asia, Japan and China.

Russian History Essay Topics

  • Which tribes created modern Russia? Were they Slavic or Finno-Ugric? Why does this history argumentative essay topic cause debates among historians? What are the implications of either variant for the Russian national identity?
  • How did the Tsardom of Moscow transform into the Russian Empire in 1721? What did Peter I do for this reformation? How did it change Russian society’s standard of living?
  • Why did Boris Godunov come to power breaking the Rurik family dynasty? Before his ascension to the throne, he was a Tatar nobleman and served as an advisor to Tsar Fyodor I. Why did his rule start at the Time of Troubles (1598 – 1613)?
  • Is it appropriate to call Moscow the “Third Rome” ? Sophia Palaiologina, the daughter of the last emperor of Constantinople, married Ivan III. Analyze the reasons for the statement that Moscow is the successor of the Roman Empire
  • What were the causes and consequences of the existence of the four “False Dmitrys”? Explore the under-the-carpet battle that led to the killing of the dynasty’s successors. How did the four imposters entail the decay of the institution of Tsardom?
  • Long-Term Strategies to Address Threats to the US’ Interest From Russia.
  • Which personal traits helped Ivan the Terrible establish the Tsardom of Russia and make it a powerful state?
  • Why Is There a Strong Russian Influence in Syrian Crisis?
  • Debate the phenomenon of Peter the Great : Was he the result of the epoch or the random person who changed Russian history?
  • Crisis on European Borders and Russia’s Threats.
  • What were the merits and drawbacks of Catherine the Great ?
  • Communist Nations Divisions During the Cold War.
  • How did other countries react to the Russian version of communism?
  • The Cold War Between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
  • Did the communist regime make Russia stronger, or did it throw it back in time?
  • The Collapse of the Soviet Union .

African History Essay Topics

  • Why did the imperial historiography propagate that Africa had no history? They wanted to create the image of Africa as the “dark continent.” How did the historians justify these statements and relate them to the absence of writing?
  • The Kingdom of Kush : The most powerful African kingdom. Describe the period of its existence and outline the possible reasons for its decay. Which historical monuments have been found of that era?
  • Do you support the idea that humanity originated in Africa? Why does this statement insult the Western World? Is there enough evidence that proves the idea?
  • We know about African history from the perspective of Western scholars. Even the locally educated people who study history have adopted the Western way of looking at the past. What can be done about that?
  • Before European colonization , there were about 10,000 states in Africa. Describe their ethnic similarities and shared customs that we know nowadays.
  • What do we know about prehistoric Africa, i.e., the one that existed before the Ancient Egypt civilization?
  • China in Africa: Aspects of Sino-African Relations.
  • Why is slavery often mentioned as the initial reference point in African history?
  • African Americans Fight for the Rights.
  • Which problems arose in some African societies as a result of decolonization ?
  • The History of African American Women’s Fights for Suffrage.
  • Describe how decolonized Africa tried to decolonize its history.
  • Colonialism, Ideology, Ethnicity, Religion, Social Class, and Legitimacy in Africa’s Politics.

Australian History Essay Topics

  • James Cook was not the first one to discover Australia. Who were his predecessors? Why didn’t they gain as much fame as Cook did?

Who came to Australia before Captain James Cook?

  • King O’Malley : The founder of the Australian capital. How did he favor the creation of the Commonwealth Bank? How did Prime Minister Fisher ensure trust in the bank among the population?
  • Why did the Ballarat Rebellion finish just in 30 minutes? What did the rebels struggle for? How did the event lead to the signing of the Electoral Act of 1856?
  • The first colonizers of Australia were prisoners. How does this fact impact the contemporary image of the country? What were the historical implications of such a demographical situation?
  • Why do Australians consider the battle of 25 April 1915 (during WWI) as “the birth of the nation?” Describe the reasons that made Australian Imperial Forces participate in the war and attack the Turkish coast?
  • Why were Afghan cameleers important in Australia, and what caused their disappearance?
  • Aboriginal and Chinese Australians: Cultural Diversity.
  • What were the causes of the Rum rebellion of 1808, and which role did William Bligh play in it?
  • How Have Australian Attitudes Towards ‘Asia’ Changed Since the 1890?
  • Describe the role of Merino sheep in the Australian economy since they were first brought there by Captain John Macarthur in 1797.
  • Is Australian Foreign Policy Now Independent?
  • Ned Kelly : A ruthless killer or a symbol of resistance to the colonial power?
  • Multiculturalism in Australian Society .
  • Describe the Brisbane Line and its role in the Japanese invasion.
  • China’s and Australia’s Management of International Disputes.

🤴 History Essay Topics on Key Figures

The significance of historical figures is something challenging to measure and compare. And there is indeed no need to do that; everyone has their place, time, and role. With these topics below, we offer you to dive into biographies of some fascinating people. Take a deep breath; we are almost there!

Central Figures of Ancient History

  • Plato vs. Aristotle : The abstract vs. the empirical. Both of them are the most influential figures in Western philosophy. Aristotle was Plato’s disciple. What made their ideas so different?
  • Why was Diogenes a controversial personality? How did he manage to criticize social conventions through his simple lifestyle? Is poverty a virtue, as Diogenes claimed?
  • Aeschylus: The father of Tragedy . What were his contributions to the image of Ancient Greek theater? Explore his influence beyond his own time.
  • Homer created the ancient Greek identity. Did he formulate the qualities already present in his compatriots ? Alternatively, did he idealize the past to make the Greeks aspire for more?
  • Cleisthenes : The father of the Athenian democracy. Explore his contribution to the governance of Athens. How different was it from the modern idea of democracy?
  • The Ancient City of Tikal: Mayan Cultural, Social, Astronomy and Political Influence .
  • Why did Mark Antony and Cleopatra trust one another so much?
  • Plutarch : Our window to the ancient times.
  • Cleopatra’s Life and Political Impact .
  • How did Alexander the Great and his conquest change the ancient world?
  • Ethical Life Issues in Works by Cicero and C.S. Lewis .
  • Why do we consider Hippocrates as the father of medicine ?
  • Aristotle and Relationships at Work .
  • Describe the difference between the historical and fictional accounts of the assassination of Julius Caesar.
  • Alaric I the Visigoth: The person responsible for the Sack of Rome in 410.
  • Jesus & Mohammed: Comparison and Contrast.
  • Why was Leonidas I encircled by a hero cult?
  • Moses in Christianity, Judaism and Islam .

Central Figures of Medieval Ages

  • Tomás de Torquemada was the first Grand Inquisitor of Spain. Why did his name become the synonym of religious fanaticism and cruelty? What made him the most notorious Inquisitor?
  • Charlemagne was the creator of modern Europe. He divided the Carolingian Empire between his sons. He also added more parts to Europe that had never been under Roman or Frankish control before. Explore his activity.
  • Avicenna (980 – 1037) was the most important polymath of the Islamic Golden Age. Analyze his contributions to modern science.
  • Constantine was the last Byzantine emperor . He was killed when protecting Constantinople from the Ottoman Turks. What makes him a legendary figure in Greek culture?
  • Thomas Aquinas was the first theologian that linked religion and science. He connected Christian principles with Aristotelian ideas. How did he influence our perception of God and faith?
  • Did Marco Polo travel to China, or was he a big liar?
  • Joan of Arc as a Military Heroine .
  • Why was Sir William Marshal called “the greatest knight” in human history?
  • St. Thomas Aquinas’ Cosmological Argument Analysis .
  • Describe the leadership qualities of Richard the Lionheart in his battle for Jerusalem with sultan Saladin.
  • Was Genghis Khan a great ruler? Analyze his leadership style.
  • British Culture – Tudors, Henry VIII and Anglican Church.
  • William the Conqueror and his Domesday Book : The most critical statistical document in European history.
  • Why was Peter the Hermit the critical figure in the First Crusade ?
  • Elizabeth I’s Leadership. English History .
  • What was the role of Joan of Arc in the Hundred Years’ War?
  • Pope Innocent III: The person who invented the Crusades.

Central Figures of Modern Period

  • How did Otto von Bismarck change the European map and reinforce Germany? He was the first chancellor of Germany for 20 years. This fact made him the mastermind of European affairs for two decades.
  • Alexander II and Nicolas II: The grandfather and the grandson. Fifty years separated prosperity from decay. The first abolished slavery, and the latter caused the collapse of the Russian Empire.
  • Stalin: From a collective leadership to dictatorship. He was the man that defined the epoch. Why was he the longest ruler of the USSR? How did his activity shape the international image of the Soviet Union?
  • Mahatma Gandhi liberated India from Britain . Yet, he invariably insisted on non-violent methods. Could the liberation have happened in more favorable conditions for India if he had used more aggressive measures?

Gandhi wrote a letter to Hitler, addressing him as "Dear Friend," and beseeched him to stop the war. Hitler never wrote back.

  • Churchill: The ideologist of the anti-Hitler coalition and the creator of the Entente. Why do we consider him the inspirer of the British movement against Nazi Germany? What were the main postulates of his ideology?
  • The Civil Rights Movement by Martin Luther King.
  • From the modern point of view, did Lenin fulfill his intentions by introducing communism?
  • Einstein and his Contribution to Science .
  • If we abstract from the issues of morality, was Hitler a positive figure for his country?
  • Hitler’s Interests: Nazi Germany and the Jews.
  • What was the role of Margaret Thatcher’s activity in the process of entailing deep divisions in British society?
  • Leadership Management: The Case of Mahatma Gandhi .
  • Analyze the life story of Sigmund Freud that brought him to become the father of psychoanalysis.
  • How did Anne Boleyn help to create the Church of England?
  • US Foreign Policies from Eisenhower to Kennedy.
  • How did Jane Austen’s stories about unremarkable situations turn into social satire?
  • George Washington: Life, Presidency, Challenges as a Commander.
  • How did El Greco transform icon painting by using ordinary people as models?

Central Figures of Contemporary History

  • Mao Zedong drew inspiration from the Soviet Communistic ideology. How did his principles differ from the USSR scenario? Analyze the policy of Mao Zedong from the modern Chinese point of view.
  • Albert Einstein changed our perception of reality through his theory of relativity . It explained how objects behave in space and time. The approach gave us a chance to predict the future.
  • Analyze the personality of Usama bin Ladin as the founder of Al-Qaeda and the most famous terroristic leader. Explore his ideology and motivation for killing civil citizens. Can we change this ideology through education?
  • Stanley N. Cohen was the first person who managed to cut DNA into pieces. But Paul Berg is considered the father of genetic engineering. Which personality did more for genetics?
  • Harry Truman was a Vice President only for several weeks. Truman, the 33rd US President, ordered the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Why did he do so?
  • Queen Elizabeth’s II contributions to the UK we know now.
  • Truman Doctrine in the United States History.
  • Anne Frank: The girl whose diary united millions of human tragedies.
  • Barack Obama’s Political Doctrine and Its Elements.
  • Describe the role of Douglas MacArthur in Japan’s restoration after WWII .
  • Maria Curie: The woman who taught us to use X-rays.
  • Merkel’s Germany and Trump’s Us Stances on Migration Policies.

Both Pierre and Marie Curie had no idea of the dangers of radioactivity.

  • How did Grace Kelly contribute to the image of Monaco as a touristic paradise?
  • Why did Gorbachev win the Nobel Peace Prize?

🏳️‍🌈 Argumentative History Topics on Significant Movements

Each epoch has had some movements that perform the leading ideas and soul of the corresponding time. Political, social, religious, and other movements have left multiple traces in different spheres of life. The necessity to explore these traces is pretty obvious, right? Let’s do it together.

Political Movements

  • Why does extreme libertarianism reject the authority of the state?
  • Anarchy and Sovereignty in International Relations .
  • Is it correct to regard feminism as a political movement ?
  • Analyze the incorrect interpretation of Nietzsche’s philosophy by the German Nazi.
  • “Manifesto of the Communist Party” by Karl Marx.
  • How do eugenic policies entail the loss of genetic diversity?
  • Discussion of Capitalism and Socialism.
  • Why are there two major parties in US politics?
  • Explore the development of the Women’s Suffrage movement in your local area.
  • Why does any political movement require access to state power to be successful?
  • Islamism: Political Movement & Range of Ideologies.
  • Does lobbying influence the development of various political movements in power?
  • Democratic Regime and Liberation Movements.
  • Describe communism as a secular religion.
  • Is anti-capitalism a viable ideology?

Social Movements

  • What are the achievements of the animal rights movement?
  • White Society’s Reaction to Civil Rights Movement.
  • Which women’s rights movements do you know, and what are their goals?
  • Civil Rights and #BlackLivesMatter Social Movements.
  • Do you believe that some psychological problems make people participate in social movements?

Picture showing examples of different social movements.

  • What did the Black Power Movement (1960 – 1980s) achieve?
  • Women’s Rights Movement Impact on Education.
  • What are the psychological effects of volunteering in hospices?
  • The Strategy of the National Popular Vote Movement.
  • Analyze the success of the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Greta Thunberg : The inspirer of the international movement against climate change.
  • Free Movement of Workers in the EU Single Market.
  • Why does the majority of the population negatively look at all sorts of social movements?
  • #MeToo movement and its results: The cancellation culture.

Art Movements

  • How did the return of the African culture to the natives after WWII give birth to a new art movement?
  • Why are modern art movements so numerous, and what does this fact characterize?
  • Futurism. Artistic and Social Movement.
  • Which art movement do you consider the most recognizable?
  • Do you think Cubism is an art or a protest against artistic tradition?
  • An artistic movement: Copying geniuses or drawing inspiration from them?
  • Andy Warhol’s Paintings .
  • How did the Hudson River School of Art shape American painting?
  • Why did art in late Medieval Europe face decay?
  • Art Movements in History: Baroque .
  • What is the difference between the Baroque and Rococo styles?
  • Which artistic movement initiated the use of perspective in painting, and why did it happen?

Religious and Spiritual Movements

  • Explore the influence of fundamentalism on evangelicalism in America.
  • Look for similar features between new religious movements and radical Islamic groups .
  • Describe the distinctive traits of new religious movements that differentiate them from older religions.
  • Which methods does the Religious Right movement use against the LGBT community?
  • Do religious movements favor or impede globalization ?
  • Which psychological reasons drive young people to Satanism?
  • Why do people create new cults , and are they detrimental to society?
  • Explore the difference between a spiritual and religious movement.
  • Relation Between God, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit .
  • Is it correct to consider atheism as a religious movement?
  • Modern spiritual movements: business or altruism?

📿 Interesting History Essay Topics on Traditions

No matter the military history of a state or region, cultural heritage and traditions are something every society has. Now, the most exciting part is to explore these traditions and rituals. It can be a long journey!

  • Trace the difference between Vlad the Impaler as a historical and mythical figure.

Prince Charles of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, is the descendant of Vlad Dracula in the sixteenth generation.

  • Which events and traditions shaped the way we imagine a witch?
  • False and Folk Etymologies of Words .
  • Analyze Baba Yaga as the symbol of mother nature in Russian folklore.
  • How does German folklore reflect in the tales of the Brothers Grimm ?
  • The Thousand & One Nights: Folk Collection Overview.
  • Is there any scientific explanation for weather prediction by natural signs is present in many cultures’ folklore?
  • Witch-Hunt in Europe During the Middle Ages .
  • Half-human creatures of ancient times: Who were they, and which archetype did they represent?
  • Explore the folklore origins of the Swastika , which became the Nazi symbol.
  • The mythology of Achilles’ heel: What does it symbolize?
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh – A Classic Tale.
  • Describe the meaning of fireflies in Japanese culture.
  • “The Tale of Kieu” by Nguyen Du .
  • What is the link between zombies and voodoo?
  • Discover the origins of putting a pickle ornament on Christmas trees in Germany.
  • Why Saturnalia, Mithras, and Hanukkah were the precursors of modern-day Christmas?
  • What is the link between the Festival of Lanterns and Chinese New Year?
  • What are the origins of Imbolc in Celtic tradition?
  • Chinese Spring Festival .
  • Which African-American harvest celebrations were unified under the name of Kwanzaa?
  • What does Jewish Hannukah commemorate, and why does it last eight days?
  • Why does the US celebrate Veterans Day at the 11th hour on the 11th day and 11th month?
  • Why did the US presidents start racing Easter Eggs?
  • What is the relation between Daylight Savings time and WWI?
  • Analyze the geography and calendar of Christmas in different parts of the world.
  • Why are most rituals practiced in modern world religions?
  • Buddhism: History, Origins, and Rituals .
  • Describe human sacrifice rituals in Ancient Rome .
  • Why do civilized countries use rituals in politics, for example, during the presidential inauguration?
  • Crusades from a Christian Viewpoint .
  • Compare male and female initiation rituals in African countries.
  • How do funeral rituals help humans overcome the pain of loss?
  • Marriage rituals in Japan: History that is preserved to nowadays.
  • Explore pagan rituals that remained in the Christian culture.
  • Is Baptism a ritual of initiation?
  • What do the burial rituals of native Americans tell us about their culture?

👁️‍ Essay Topics on Historical Mysteries

Have you ever thought about how many things around us are still covered with layers of questions? Humanity has still not resolved some events, places, and people that took place throughout history. Let’s have a look at some breathtaking historical mysteries.

  • Think of the reasons for the Great Leap Forward . Why did people start painting caves and making jewelry?
  • During the Middle Ages, English speakers changed the way they pronounced vowels. What are the theories of the Great Vowel Shift ?
  • The Green Children of Woolpit: A scary folk tale or a historical event?
  • The Inca civilization: Highway and postal system, skull surgeries, and other signs of culture.
  • The Sea Peoples caused the Bronze Age Collapse. Who were they? Where did they come from?
  • What are the available explanations of the Phoenix Lights?
  • The Salem Witch Trials and Their Impact on Massachusetts .
  • Analyze the theories explaining the Baghdad batteries and select the most true-to-life version.
  • What do we know about the “ Nazi Bell. ” Why is there so little information about the secret weapon?
  • What do we know about the Philadelphia Experiment ? Discuss the major theories and opinions on that case.
  • The Tunguska event: Military experiments or a meteoroid impact?
  • The mystery of Yonaguni Island and its underwater structures: Who were their creators?
  • The Bermuda Triangle: Human error camouflaged as a mystery.
  • Was the uncanny nature of The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park created by Stephen King?
  • Delano Roosevelt’s bomb shelter : Why did the President order to construct the chamber in 1941?
  • What is known about the secret passageways and hiding rooms of the British Queen?
  • The chief designer of the “hall of records” in Mount Rushmore died before completing his work. Was it a conspiracy?
  • Why do the scientists believe that the secret of Stonehenge will be revealed in some decades?
  • Find out the facts that point to the existence of Atlantis.
  • The Lock Ness Lake and the monster: A non-extinct dinosaur?
  • Money Pit on the Oak Island : A geologic formation or a place to hide treasures?
  • What traits make Jack the Ripper so attractive to historians and fiction writers?
  • Italian Americans Portrayed as Mafia Members in Films .
  • Keth Arnold saw some “flying saucers” that traveled faster than jet airplanes. Was it a UFO or a flock of birds?
  • David Blair: The person who was guilty in the Titanic catastrophe.
  • Was Joan of Arc executed for heresy or for dressing in male clothes?
  • The mystery of Amelia Earhart: Dead or alive?
  • Was Grigori Rasputin really capable of predicting the future?
  • Did the lost Grand Duchess Anastasia die when the rest of the Romanov family was killed?
  • Explore the mystery of the Babushka Lady , who recorded the assassination of John F. Kennedy. What is known about her and the purposes of her filming?
  • The Man in the Iron Mask and his sentence in the Bastille: Who could he be?
  • Perseus in the Manhattan Project: How did he manage to hide from the US for so long?

📝 Historical Topics to Write About – 2024

  • Geopolitical consequences of the USSR collapse for the world.
  • The influence of Confucianism on modern society in China.
  • How did the formation of NATO impact the Cold War?
  • The significance of Napoleon Bonaparte in European history.
  • The development of democracy in ancient Athens.
  • Reagan’s tax reform and its impact on the modern economy.
  • What were the key consequences of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings?
  • The September 11th events and their impact on global security.
  • The Manhattan Project and the development of nuclear weapons.
  • The influence of slavery on African American families.
  • Mahatma Gandhi and his influence on the ideology of modern India.
  • What was the role of the first moon landing in astronomy?
  • The ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its value.
  • The true history of the Confederate flag.
  • How much regulation is necessary for capitalism to function?
  • The main causes of the Vietnam War.
  • Historical events should be reexamined through a contemporary ethical lens.
  • The debate over the role of the United States in the Middle East.
  • The controversy behind the Israel-Palestine conflict.
  • Operation “Barbarossa”: aggression or attack prevention?
  • The reasons for Martin Luther King’s assassination.
  • The efficiency of the United Nations.
  • Christopher Columbus: heroic explorer or the harbinger of genocide?
  • The disputes about the origins of Shakespeare.
  • Was Donald Trump an effective president?
  • The benefits of communism in Eastern Europe.
  • Is the world doing enough to prevent the destruction of historical sites?
  • The real motive behind the Watergate scandal.
  • South Korean provocations of the Korean War.
  • Should the United States have entered World War I?
  • Princess Diana’s death as the subject of a conspiracy theory.
  • The effect of the Cuban Missile Crisis on the Cold War.
  • Is the international community doing enough to commemorate the Holocaust?
  • The debate over the use of internment camps during WWII.
  • The factors contributing to the Nazi Party’s rise in Germany
  • Did the attack on Pearl Harbor push the USA into WWII?
  • The leading causes of the Roman Empire’s fall.
  • Mysteries of the disappearance of the Mayan civilization.
  • Disputes about the role of women in medieval society.
  • The corruption of the Catholic Church: myth or truth?
  • Capitalism is the best economic system.
  • The injustices experienced by Muslims after 9/11.
  • What would have happened without Hitler?

👉 History Essay Topics: How to Choose

Selecting the proper essay topic can sometimes be rather tricky. Especially after reading all these fascinating questions above😏

Jokes aside, perfect topic choice is crucial if you want to write a good essay or a research paper and get a high grade. Here are some useful tips that will help you make the right choice and write a great history essay.

Writing a good history paper on something you find boring and do not care about is impossible. If you like your history essay topic, you will enjoy researching it, and your reader will enjoy reading your piece.
Ask yourself if you will be able to explore the topic for your history essay on several pages. Your first idea is almost always likely to be too big. Refine it to a manageable size.
Figuring out the best angle for your college history essay topic will help you control your writing, give it structure and define your thesis.
If you have some vague thought of what you want to write about but do not know how to start, use online and offline sources to look them through for ideas.
Write a list of things you are interested in. Make it as long as possible and take a short break. Look through the list and find the idea you like most. Then brainstorm the idea you have chosen separately. This way, you’ll narrow down your topics to the one that is best for you.
Maybe you just do not know the subject well enough, which is why you cannot find the idea for your history essay. What sources are available? Make sure your topic has enough references to do thorough research.

♟️ Strategies for Historical Argument Topics

When it comes right to writing a historical essay, you should consider several scenarios of how to build your text. Depending on your topic and the point of view, you might need different strategies.

Now, let’s see the differences between descriptive and research argumentative essays on historical topics.

  • Historians debate my topic. I agree with some of them, and I’m going to prove that. I will use their arguments to show their correctness.
  • Historians disagree on my topic. I think they shall start their debate all over again, as they have reached a dead end.
  • Historians relatively agree on my topic. I have developed a better interpretation of the events in question.
  • Historians disregarded my topic. I will explain its topicality and list what should be researched.
  • Several historians have examined my topic, but their findings are inconsistent. I will present more constructive evidence to clarify things.
  • Many historians have studied my topic. However, I will take a fresh look at the subject matter from the perspective of new research or methodologies.

And we are done here.

Now, have a break if you’ve read all 396 topics. Though, wait, did you find something fitting you? In that case, you are free for a break 👼

In case if you are still not sure what to write about, we recommend you to read these topic compilations:

  • The Best Argumentative Essay Topics for 2024
  • Hot Problem-Solution Essay Topics
  • 250+ Interesting Topics to Research
  • Cause & Effect Essay Topics for Students
  • Top 138 Awesome Sociology Essay Topics & Questions for 2024

We are pretty sure there’s no hopeless situation. It’s just a matter of time and effort. And everyone needs a different amount of each. So, keep calm, and let’s rock this history essay!

Good luck, friends 🍀

Research Paper Analysis: How to Analyze a Research Article + Example

Film analysis: example, format, and outline + topics & prompts.

Writing a Thesis and Making an Argument

Almost every assignment you complete for a history course will ask you to make an argument. Your instructors will often call this your "thesis"– your position on a subject.

What is an Argument?

An argument takes a stand on an issue. It seeks to persuade an audience of a point of view in much the same way that a lawyer argues a case in a court of law. It is NOT a description or a summary.

  • This is an argument: "This paper argues that the movie JFK is inaccurate in its portrayal of President Kennedy."
  • This is not an argument: "In this paper, I will describe the portrayal of President Kennedy that is shown in the movie JFK."

What is a Thesis?

A thesis statement is a sentence in which you state an argument about a topic and then describe, briefly, how you will prove your argument.

  • This is an argument, but not yet a thesis: "The movie ‘JFK’ inaccurately portrays President Kennedy."
  • This is a thesis: "The movie ‘JFK’ inaccurately portrays President Kennedy because of the way it ignores Kennedy’s youth, his relationship with his father, and the findings of the Warren Commission."

A thesis makes a specific statement to the reader about what you will be trying to argue. Your thesis can be a few sentences long, but should not be longer than a paragraph. Do not begin to state evidence or use examples in your thesis paragraph.

A Thesis Helps You and Your Reader

Your blueprint for writing:

  • Helps you determine your focus and clarify your ideas.
  • Provides a "hook" on which you can "hang" your topic sentences.
  • Can (and should) be revised as you further refine your evidence and arguments. New evidence often requires you to change your thesis.
  • Gives your paper a unified structure and point.

Your reader’s blueprint for reading:

  • Serves as a "map" to follow through your paper.
  • Keeps the reader focused on your argument.
  • Signals to the reader your main points.
  • Engages the reader in your argument.

Tips for Writing a Good Thesis

  • Find a Focus: Choose a thesis that explores an aspect of your topic that is important to you, or that allows you to say something new about your topic. For example, if your paper topic asks you to analyze women’s domestic labor during the early nineteenth century, you might decide to focus on the products they made from scratch at home.
  • Look for Pattern: After determining a general focus, go back and look more closely at your evidence. As you re-examine your evidence and identify patterns, you will develop your argument and some conclusions. For example, you might find that as industrialization increased, women made fewer textiles at home, but retained their butter and soap making tasks.

Strategies for Developing a Thesis Statement

Idea 1. If your paper assignment asks you to answer a specific question, turn the question into an assertion and give reasons for your opinion.

Assignment: How did domestic labor change between 1820 and 1860? Why were the changes in their work important for the growth of the United States?

Beginning thesis: Between 1820 and 1860 women's domestic labor changed as women stopped producing home-made fabric, although they continued to sew their families' clothes, as well as to produce butter and soap. With the cash women earned from the sale of their butter and soap they purchased ready-made cloth, which in turn, helped increase industrial production in the United States before the Civil War.

Idea 2. Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write.

Main Idea: Women's labor in their homes during the first half of the nineteenth century contributed to the growth of the national economy.

Idea 3. Spend time "mulling over" your topic. Make a list of the ideas you want to include in the essay, then think about how to group them under several different headings. Often, you will see an organizational plan emerge from the sorting process.

Idea 4. Use a formula to develop a working thesis statement (which you will need to revise later). Here are a few examples:

  • Although most readers of ______ have argued that ______, closer examination shows that ______.
  • ______ uses ______ and ______ to prove that ______.
  • Phenomenon X is a result of the combination of ______, ______, and ______.

These formulas share two characteristics all thesis statements should have: they state an argument and they reveal how you will make that argument. They are not specific enough, however, and require more work.

As you work on your essay, your ideas will change and so will your thesis. Here are examples of weak and strong thesis statements.

  • Unspecific thesis: "Eleanor Roosevelt was a strong leader as First Lady."  This thesis lacks an argument. Why was Eleanor Roosevelt a strong leader?
  • Specific thesis: "Eleanor Roosevelt recreated the role of the First Lady by her active political leadership in the Democratic Party, by lobbying for national legislation, and by fostering women’s leadership in the Democratic Party."  The second thesis has an argument: Eleanor Roosevelt "recreated" the position of First Lady, and a three-part structure with which to demonstrate just how she remade the job.
  • Unspecific thesis: "At the end of the nineteenth century French women lawyers experienced difficulty when they attempted to enter the legal profession."  No historian could argue with this general statement and uninteresting thesis.
  • Specific thesis: "At the end of the nineteenth century French women lawyers experienced misogynist attacks from male lawyers when they attempted to enter the legal profession because male lawyers wanted to keep women out of judgeships."  This thesis statement asserts that French male lawyers attacked French women lawyers because they feared women as judges, an intriguing and controversial point.

Making an Argument – Every Thesis Deserves Its Day in Court

You are the best (and only!) advocate for your thesis. Your thesis is defenseless without you to prove that its argument holds up under scrutiny. The jury (i.e., your reader) will expect you, as a good lawyer, to provide evidence to prove your thesis. To prove thesis statements on historical topics, what evidence can an able young lawyer use?

  • Primary sources: letters, diaries, government documents, an organization’s meeting minutes, newspapers.
  • Secondary sources: articles and books from your class that explain and interpret the historical event or person you are writing about, lecture notes, films or documentaries.

How can you use this evidence?

  • Make sure the examples you select from your available evidence address your thesis.
  • Use evidence that your reader will believe is credible. This means sifting and sorting your sources, looking for the clearest and fairest. Be sure to identify the biases and shortcomings of each piece of evidence for your reader.
  • Use evidence to avoid generalizations. If you assert that all women have been oppressed, what evidence can you use to support this? Using evidence works to check over-general statements.
  • Use evidence to address an opposing point of view. How do your sources give examples that refute another historian’s interpretation?

Remember -- if in doubt, talk to your instructor.

Thanks to the web page of the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Writing Center for information used on this page. See writing.wisc.edu/handbook for further information.

UCLA History Department

Thesis Statements

What is a thesis statement.

Your thesis statement is one of the most important parts of your paper.  It expresses your main argument succinctly and explains why your argument is historically significant.  Think of your thesis as a promise you make to your reader about what your paper will argue.  Then, spend the rest of your paper–each body paragraph–fulfilling that promise.

Your thesis should be between one and three sentences long and is placed at the end of your introduction.  Just because the thesis comes towards the beginning of your paper does not mean you can write it first and then forget about it.  View your thesis as a work in progress while you write your paper.  Once you are satisfied with the overall argument your paper makes, go back to your thesis and see if it captures what you have argued.  If it does not, then revise it.  Crafting a good thesis is one of the most challenging parts of the writing process, so do not expect to perfect it on the first few tries.  Successful writers revise their thesis statements again and again.

A successful thesis statement:

  • makes an historical argument
  • takes a position that requires defending
  • is historically specific
  • is focused and precise
  • answers the question, “so what?”

How to write a thesis statement:

Suppose you are taking an early American history class and your professor has distributed the following essay prompt:

“Historians have debated the American Revolution’s effect on women.  Some argue that the Revolution had a positive effect because it increased women’s authority in the family.  Others argue that it had a negative effect because it excluded women from politics.  Still others argue that the Revolution changed very little for women, as they remained ensconced in the home.  Write a paper in which you pose your own answer to the question of whether the American Revolution had a positive, negative, or limited effect on women.”

Using this prompt, we will look at both weak and strong thesis statements to see how successful thesis statements work.

While this thesis does take a position, it is problematic because it simply restates the prompt.  It needs to be more specific about how  the Revolution had a limited effect on women and  why it mattered that women remained in the home.

Revised Thesis:  The Revolution wrought little political change in the lives of women because they did not gain the right to vote or run for office.  Instead, women remained firmly in the home, just as they had before the war, making their day-to-day lives look much the same.

This revision is an improvement over the first attempt because it states what standards the writer is using to measure change (the right to vote and run for office) and it shows why women remaining in the home serves as evidence of limited change (because their day-to-day lives looked the same before and after the war).  However, it still relies too heavily on the information given in the prompt, simply saying that women remained in the home.  It needs to make an argument about some element of the war’s limited effect on women.  This thesis requires further revision.

Strong Thesis: While the Revolution presented women unprecedented opportunities to participate in protest movements and manage their family’s farms and businesses, it ultimately did not offer lasting political change, excluding women from the right to vote and serve in office.

Few would argue with the idea that war brings upheaval.  Your thesis needs to be debatable:  it needs to make a claim against which someone could argue.  Your job throughout the paper is to provide evidence in support of your own case.  Here is a revised version:

Strong Thesis: The Revolution caused particular upheaval in the lives of women.  With men away at war, women took on full responsibility for running households, farms, and businesses.  As a result of their increased involvement during the war, many women were reluctant to give up their new-found responsibilities after the fighting ended.

Sexism is a vague word that can mean different things in different times and places.  In order to answer the question and make a compelling argument, this thesis needs to explain exactly what  attitudes toward women were in early America, and  how those attitudes negatively affected women in the Revolutionary period.

Strong Thesis: The Revolution had a negative impact on women because of the belief that women lacked the rational faculties of men. In a nation that was to be guided by reasonable republican citizens, women were imagined to have no place in politics and were thus firmly relegated to the home.

This thesis addresses too large of a topic for an undergraduate paper.  The terms “social,” “political,” and “economic” are too broad and vague for the writer to analyze them thoroughly in a limited number of pages.  The thesis might focus on one of those concepts, or it might narrow the emphasis to some specific features of social, political, and economic change.

Strong Thesis: The Revolution paved the way for important political changes for women.  As “Republican Mothers,” women contributed to the polity by raising future citizens and nurturing virtuous husbands.  Consequently, women played a far more important role in the new nation’s politics than they had under British rule.

This thesis is off to a strong start, but it needs to go one step further by telling the reader why changes in these three areas mattered.  How did the lives of women improve because of developments in education, law, and economics?  What were women able to do with these advantages?  Obviously the rest of the paper will answer these questions, but the thesis statement needs to give some indication of why these particular changes mattered.

Strong Thesis: The Revolution had a positive impact on women because it ushered in improvements in female education, legal standing, and economic opportunity.  Progress in these three areas gave women the tools they needed to carve out lives beyond the home, laying the foundation for the cohesive feminist movement that would emerge in the mid-nineteenth century.

Thesis Checklist

When revising your thesis, check it against the following guidelines:

  • Does my thesis make an historical argument?
  • Does my thesis take a position that requires defending?
  • Is my thesis historically specific?
  • Is my thesis focused and precise?
  • Does my thesis answer the question, “so what?”

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  • How to write an argumentative essay | Examples & tips

How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

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Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
  • Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.

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An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

  • Make a claim
  • Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
  • Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

  • Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
  • Cite data to support your claim
  • Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
  • Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

  • Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
  • Highlight the problems with this position
  • Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
  • Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

  • Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
  • Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
  • Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
  • Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

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An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

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A guide to writing history essays

This guide has been prepared for students at all undergraduate university levels. Some points are specifically aimed at 100-level students, and may seem basic to those in upper levels. Similarly, some of the advice is aimed at upper-level students, and new arrivals should not be put off by it.

The key point is that learning to write good essays is a long process. We hope that students will refer to this guide frequently, whatever their level of study.

Why do history students write essays?

Essays are an essential educational tool in disciplines like history because they help you to develop your research skills, critical thinking, and writing abilities. The best essays are based on strong research, in-depth analysis, and are logically structured and well written.

An essay should answer a question with a clear, persuasive argument. In a history essay, this will inevitably involve a degree of narrative (storytelling), but this should be kept to the minimum necessary to support the argument – do your best to avoid the trap of substituting narrative for analytical argument. Instead, focus on the key elements of your argument, making sure they are well supported by evidence. As a historian, this evidence will come from your sources, whether primary and secondary.

The following guide is designed to help you research and write your essays, and you will almost certainly earn better grades if you can follow this advice. You should also look at the essay-marking criteria set out in your course guide, as this will give you a more specific idea of what the person marking your work is looking for.

Where to start

First, take time to understand the question. Underline the key words and consider very carefully what you need to do to provide a persuasive answer. For example, if the question asks you to compare and contrast two or more things, you need to do more than define these things – what are the similarities and differences between them? If a question asks you to 'assess' or 'explore', it is calling for you to weigh up an issue by considering the evidence put forward by scholars, then present your argument on the matter in hand.

A history essay must be based on research. If the topic is covered by lectures, you might begin with lecture and tutorial notes and readings. However, the lecturer does not want you simply to echo or reproduce the lecture content or point of view, nor use their lectures as sources in your footnotes. They want you to develop your own argument. To do this you will need to look closely at secondary sources, such as academic books and journal articles, to find out what other scholars have written about the topic. Often your lecturer will have suggested some key texts, and these are usually listed near the essay questions in your course guide. But you should not rely solely on these suggestions.

Tip : Start the research with more general works to get an overview of your topic, then move on to look at more specialised work.

Crafting a strong essay

Before you begin writing, make an essay plan. Identify the two-to-four key points you want to make. Organize your ideas into an argument which flows logically and coherently. Work out which examples you will use to make the strongest case. You may need to use an initial paragraph (or two) to bring in some context or to define key terms and events, or provide brief identifying detail about key people – but avoid simply telling the story.

An essay is really a series of paragraphs that advance an argument and build towards your conclusion. Each paragraph should focus on one central idea. Introduce this idea at the start of the paragraph with a 'topic sentence', then expand on it with evidence or examples from your research. Some paragraphs should finish with a concluding sentence that reiterates a main point or links your argument back to the essay question.

A good length for a paragraph is 150-200 words. When you want to move to a new idea or angle, start a new paragraph. While each paragraph deals with its own idea, paragraphs should flow logically, and work together as a greater whole. Try using linking phrases at the start of your paragraphs, such as 'An additional factor that explains', 'Further', or 'Similarly'.

We discourage using subheadings for a history essay (unless they are over 5000 words in length). Instead, throughout your essay use 'signposts'. This means clearly explaining what your essay will cover, how an example demonstrates your point, or reiterating what a particular section has added to your overall argument.

Remember that a history essay isn't necessarily about getting the 'right' answer – it's about putting forward a strong case that is well supported by evidence from academic sources. You don't have to cover everything – focus on your key points.

In your introduction or opening paragraph you could indicate that while there are a number of other explanations or factors that apply to your topic, you have chosen to focus on the selected ones (and say why). This demonstrates to your marker that while your argument will focus on selected elements, you do understand the bigger picture.

The classic sections of an essay

Introduction.

  • Establishes what your argument will be, and outlines how the essay will develop it
  • A good formula to follow is to lay out about 3 key reasons that support the answer you plan to give (these points will provide a road-map for your essay and will become the ideas behind each paragraph)
  • If you are focusing on selected aspects of a topic or particular sources and case studies, you should state that in your introduction
  • Define any key terms that are essential to your argument
  • Keep your introduction relatively concise – aim for about 10% of the word count
  • Consists of a series of paragraphs that systematically develop the argument outlined in your introduction
  • Each paragraph should focus on one central idea, building towards your conclusion
  • Paragraphs should flow logically. Tie them together with 'bridge' sentences – e.g. you might use a word or words from the end of the previous paragraph and build it into the opening sentence of the next, to form a bridge
  • Also be sure to link each paragraph to the question/topic/argument in some way (e.g. use a key word from the question or your introductory points) so the reader does not lose the thread of your argument
  • Ties up the main points of your discussion
  • Should link back to the essay question, and clearly summarise your answer to that question
  • May draw out or reflect on any greater themes or observations, but you should avoid introducing new material
  • If you have suggested several explanations, evaluate which one is strongest

Using scholarly sources: books, journal articles, chapters from edited volumes

Try to read critically: do not take what you read as the only truth, and try to weigh up the arguments presented by scholars. Read several books, chapters, or articles, so that you understand the historical debates about your topic before deciding which viewpoint you support. The best sources for your history essays are those written by experts, and may include books, journal articles, and chapters in edited volumes. The marking criteria in your course guide may state a minimum number of academic sources you should consult when writing your essay. A good essay considers a range of evidence, so aim to use more than this minimum number of sources.

Tip : Pick one of the books or journal articles suggested in your course guide and look at the author's first few footnotes – these will direct you to other prominent sources on this topic.

Don't overlook journal articles as a source. They contain the most in-depth research on a particular topic. Often the first pages will summarise the prior research into this topic, so articles can be a good way to familiarise yourself with what else has 'been done'.

Edited volumes can also be a useful source. These are books on a particular theme, topic or question, with each chapter written by a different expert.

One way to assess the reliability of a source is to check the footnotes or endnotes. When the author makes a claim, is this supported by primary or secondary sources? If there are very few footnotes, then this may not be a credible scholarly source. Also check the date of publication, and prioritise more recent scholarship. Aim to use a variety of sources, but focus most of your attention on academic books and journal articles.

Paraphrasing and quotations

A good essay is about your ability to interpret and analyse sources, and to establish your own informed opinion with a persuasive argument that uses sources as supporting evidence. You should express most of your ideas and arguments in your own words. Cutting and pasting together the words of other scholars, or simply changing a few words in quotations taken from the work of others, will prevent you from getting a good grade, and may be regarded as academic dishonesty (see more below).

Direct quotations can be useful tools if they provide authority and colour. For maximum effect though, use direct quotations sparingly – where possible, paraphrase most material into your own words. Save direct quotations for phrases that are interesting, contentious, or especially well-phrased.

A good writing practice is to introduce and follow up every direct quotation you use with one or two sentences of your own words, clearly explaining the relevance of the quote, and putting it in context with the rest of your paragraph. Tell the reader who you are quoting, why this quote is here, and what it demonstrates. Avoid simply plonking a quotation into the middle of your own prose. This can be quite off-putting for a reader.

  • Only include punctuation in your quote if it was in the original text. Otherwise, punctuation should come after the quotation marks. If you cut out words from a quotation, put in three dots (an ellipsis [ . . .]) to indicate where material has been cut
  • If your quote is longer than 50 words, it should be indented and does not need quotation marks. This is called a block quote (use these sparingly: remember you have a limited word count and it is your analysis that is most significant)
  • Quotations should not be italicised

Referencing, plagiarism and Turnitin

When writing essays or assignments, it is very important to acknowledge the sources you have used. You risk the charge of academic dishonesty (or plagiarism) if you copy or paraphrase words written by another person without providing a proper acknowledgment (a 'reference'). In your essay, whenever you refer to ideas from elsewhere, statistics, direct quotations, or information from primary source material, you must give details of where this information has come from in footnotes and a bibliography.

Your assignment may be checked through Turnitin, a type of plagiarism-detecting software which checks assignments for evidence of copied material. If you have used a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, you may receive a high Turnitin percentage score. This is nothing to be alarmed about if you have referenced those sources. Any matches with other written material that are not referenced may be interpreted as plagiarism – for which there are penalties. You can find full information about all of this in the History Programme's Quick Guide Referencing Guide contained in all course booklets.

Final suggestions

Remember that the easier it is to read your essay, the more likely you are to get full credit for your ideas and work. If the person marking your work has difficulty reading it, either because of poor writing or poor presentation, they will find it harder to grasp your points. Try reading your work aloud, or to a friend/flatmate. This should expose any issues with flow or structure, which you can then rectify.

Make sure that major and controversial points in your argument are clearly stated and well- supported by evidence and footnotes. Aspire to understand – rather than judge – the past. A historian's job is to think about people, patterns, and events in the context of the time, though you can also reflect on changing perceptions of these over time.

Things to remember

  • Write history essays in the past tense
  • Generally, avoid sub-headings in your essays
  • Avoid using the word 'bias' or 'biased' too freely when discussing your research materials. Almost any text could be said to be 'biased'. Your task is to attempt to explain why an author might argue or interpret the past as they do, and what the potential limitations of their conclusions might be
  • Use the passive voice judiciously. Active sentences are better!
  • Be cautious about using websites as sources of information. The internet has its uses, particularly for primary sources, but the best sources are academic books and articles. You may use websites maintained by legitimate academic and government authorities, such as those with domain suffixes like .gov .govt .ac or .edu
  • Keep an eye on word count – aim to be within 10% of the required length. If your essay is substantially over the limit, revisit your argument and overall structure, and see if you are trying to fit in too much information. If it falls considerably short, look into adding another paragraph or two
  • Leave time for a final edit and spell-check, go through your footnotes and bibliography to check that your references are correctly formatted, and don't forget to back up your work as you go!

Other useful strategies and sources

  • Student Learning Development , which offers peer support and one-on-one writing advice (located near the central library)
  • Harvard College's guide to writing history essays (PDF)
  • Harvard College's advice on essay structure
  • Victoria University's comprehensive essay writing guide (PDF)

argument essay history

How to write an introduction for a history essay

Facade of the Ara Pacis

Every essay needs to begin with an introductory paragraph. It needs to be the first paragraph the marker reads.

While your introduction paragraph might be the first of the paragraphs you write, this is not the only way to do it.

You can choose to write your introduction after you have written the rest of your essay.

This way, you will know what you have argued, and this might make writing the introduction easier.

Either approach is fine. If you do write your introduction first, ensure that you go back and refine it once you have completed your essay. 

What is an ‘introduction paragraph’?

An introductory paragraph is a single paragraph at the start of your essay that prepares your reader for the argument you are going to make in your body paragraphs .

It should provide all of the necessary historical information about your topic and clearly state your argument so that by the end of the paragraph, the marker knows how you are going to structure the rest of your essay.

In general, you should never use quotes from sources in your introduction.

Introduction paragraph structure

While your introduction paragraph does not have to be as long as your body paragraphs , it does have a specific purpose, which you must fulfil.

A well-written introduction paragraph has the following four-part structure (summarised by the acronym BHES).

B – Background sentences

H – Hypothesis

E – Elaboration sentences

S - Signpost sentence

Each of these elements are explained in further detail, with examples, below:

1. Background sentences

The first two or three sentences of your introduction should provide a general introduction to the historical topic which your essay is about. This is done so that when you state your hypothesis , your reader understands the specific point you are arguing about.

Background sentences explain the important historical period, dates, people, places, events and concepts that will be mentioned later in your essay. This information should be drawn from your background research . 

Example background sentences:

Middle Ages (Year 8 Level)

Castles were an important component of Medieval Britain from the time of the Norman conquest in 1066 until they were phased out in the 15 th and 16 th centuries. Initially introduced as wooden motte and bailey structures on geographical strongpoints, they were rapidly replaced by stone fortresses which incorporated sophisticated defensive designs to improve the defenders’ chances of surviving prolonged sieges.

WWI (Year 9 Level)

The First World War began in 1914 following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The subsequent declarations of war from most of Europe drew other countries into the conflict, including Australia. The Australian Imperial Force joined the war as part of Britain’s armed forces and were dispatched to locations in the Middle East and Western Europe.

Civil Rights (Year 10 Level)

The 1967 Referendum sought to amend the Australian Constitution in order to change the legal standing of the indigenous people in Australia. The fact that 90% of Australians voted in favour of the proposed amendments has been attributed to a series of significant events and people who were dedicated to the referendum’s success.

Ancient Rome (Year 11/12 Level)  

In the late second century BC, the Roman novus homo Gaius Marius became one of the most influential men in the Roman Republic. Marius gained this authority through his victory in the Jugurthine War, with his defeat of Jugurtha in 106 BC, and his triumph over the invading Germanic tribes in 101 BC, when he crushed the Teutones at the Battle of Aquae Sextiae (102 BC) and the Cimbri at the Battle of Vercellae (101 BC). Marius also gained great fame through his election to the consulship seven times.

2. Hypothesis

Once you have provided historical context for your essay in your background sentences, you need to state your hypothesis .

A hypothesis is a single sentence that clearly states the argument that your essay will be proving in your body paragraphs .

A good hypothesis contains both the argument and the reasons in support of your argument. 

Example hypotheses:

Medieval castles were designed with features that nullified the superior numbers of besieging armies but were ultimately made obsolete by the development of gunpowder artillery.

Australian soldiers’ opinion of the First World War changed from naïve enthusiasm to pessimistic realism as a result of the harsh realities of modern industrial warfare.

The success of the 1967 Referendum was a direct result of the efforts of First Nations leaders such as Charles Perkins, Faith Bandler and the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

Gaius Marius was the most one of the most significant personalities in the 1 st century BC due to his effect on the political, military and social structures of the Roman state.

3. Elaboration sentences

Once you have stated your argument in your hypothesis , you need to provide particular information about how you’re going to prove your argument.

Your elaboration sentences should be one or two sentences that provide specific details about how you’re going to cover the argument in your three body paragraphs.

You might also briefly summarise two or three of your main points.

Finally, explain any important key words, phrases or concepts that you’ve used in your hypothesis, you’ll need to do this in your elaboration sentences.

Example elaboration sentences:

By the height of the Middle Ages, feudal lords were investing significant sums of money by incorporating concentric walls and guard towers to maximise their defensive potential. These developments were so successful that many medieval armies avoided sieges in the late period.

Following Britain's official declaration of war on Germany, young Australian men voluntarily enlisted into the army, which was further encouraged by government propaganda about the moral justifications for the conflict. However, following the initial engagements on the Gallipoli peninsula, enthusiasm declined.

The political activity of key indigenous figures and the formation of activism organisations focused on indigenous resulted in a wider spread of messages to the general Australian public. The generation of powerful images and speeches has been frequently cited by modern historians as crucial to the referendum results.

While Marius is best known for his military reforms, it is the subsequent impacts of this reform on the way other Romans approached the attainment of magistracies and how public expectations of military leaders changed that had the longest impacts on the late republican period.

4. Signpost sentence

The final sentence of your introduction should prepare the reader for the topic of your first body paragraph. The main purpose of this sentence is to provide cohesion between your introductory paragraph and you first body paragraph .

Therefore, a signpost sentence indicates where you will begin proving the argument that you set out in your hypothesis and usually states the importance of the first point that you’re about to make. 

Example signpost sentences:

The early development of castles is best understood when examining their military purpose.

The naïve attitudes of those who volunteered in 1914 can be clearly seen in the personal letters and diaries that they themselves wrote.

The significance of these people is evident when examining the lack of political representation the indigenous people experience in the early half of the 20 th century.

The origin of Marius’ later achievements was his military reform in 107 BC, which occurred when he was first elected as consul.

Putting it all together

Once you have written all four parts of the BHES structure, you should have a completed introduction paragraph. In the examples above, we have shown each part separately. Below you will see the completed paragraphs so that you can appreciate what an introduction should look like.

Example introduction paragraphs: 

Castles were an important component of Medieval Britain from the time of the Norman conquest in 1066 until they were phased out in the 15th and 16th centuries. Initially introduced as wooden motte and bailey structures on geographical strongpoints, they were rapidly replaced by stone fortresses which incorporated sophisticated defensive designs to improve the defenders’ chances of surviving prolonged sieges. Medieval castles were designed with features that nullified the superior numbers of besieging armies, but were ultimately made obsolete by the development of gunpowder artillery. By the height of the Middle Ages, feudal lords were investing significant sums of money by incorporating concentric walls and guard towers to maximise their defensive potential. These developments were so successful that many medieval armies avoided sieges in the late period. The early development of castles is best understood when examining their military purpose.

The First World War began in 1914 following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The subsequent declarations of war from most of Europe drew other countries into the conflict, including Australia. The Australian Imperial Force joined the war as part of Britain’s armed forces and were dispatched to locations in the Middle East and Western Europe. Australian soldiers’ opinion of the First World War changed from naïve enthusiasm to pessimistic realism as a result of the harsh realities of modern industrial warfare. Following Britain's official declaration of war on Germany, young Australian men voluntarily enlisted into the army, which was further encouraged by government propaganda about the moral justifications for the conflict. However, following the initial engagements on the Gallipoli peninsula, enthusiasm declined. The naïve attitudes of those who volunteered in 1914 can be clearly seen in the personal letters and diaries that they themselves wrote.

The 1967 Referendum sought to amend the Australian Constitution in order to change the legal standing of the indigenous people in Australia. The fact that 90% of Australians voted in favour of the proposed amendments has been attributed to a series of significant events and people who were dedicated to the referendum’s success. The success of the 1967 Referendum was a direct result of the efforts of First Nations leaders such as Charles Perkins, Faith Bandler and the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. The political activity of key indigenous figures and the formation of activism organisations focused on indigenous resulted in a wider spread of messages to the general Australian public. The generation of powerful images and speeches has been frequently cited by modern historians as crucial to the referendum results. The significance of these people is evident when examining the lack of political representation the indigenous people experience in the early half of the 20th century.

In the late second century BC, the Roman novus homo Gaius Marius became one of the most influential men in the Roman Republic. Marius gained this authority through his victory in the Jugurthine War, with his defeat of Jugurtha in 106 BC, and his triumph over the invading Germanic tribes in 101 BC, when he crushed the Teutones at the Battle of Aquae Sextiae (102 BC) and the Cimbri at the Battle of Vercellae (101 BC). Marius also gained great fame through his election to the consulship seven times. Gaius Marius was the most one of the most significant personalities in the 1st century BC due to his effect on the political, military and social structures of the Roman state. While Marius is best known for his military reforms, it is the subsequent impacts of this reform on the way other Romans approached the attainment of magistracies and how public expectations of military leaders changed that had the longest impacts on the late republican period. The origin of Marius’ later achievements was his military reform in 107 BC, which occurred when he was first elected as consul.

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Module 4: Imperial Reforms and Colonial Protests (1763-1774)

Historical arguments, learning objectives.

  • Describe a historical argument

Argumentation

You’ve learned now about some of the major events in early American history, but just because you read about them in a textbook doesn’t mean that you have a complete understanding of the events or how they happened. For example, we didn’t have time in the course to dive into the English Restoration in great detail. We know that the Glorious Revolution describes when Mary, daughter of King James II, and her husband, William of Orange, became the new British monarchs following the ousting of King James II, but the details of what and how that all happened are more nuanced, and some details are open to interpretation. The fact that Mary and William were British monarchs after James II is just that—a fact. It can be confirmed by thousands of various resources and is not open to interpretation. But, the biggest issues of their reign, their effectiveness as leaders, and the consequences of their rule are all things that could be discussed or debated.

When historians collect data and work to interpret the facts that they gather about an event, they create historical arguments. A historical argument related to the Glorious Revolution could be: “William and Mary saved the British monarchy by modeling how to work effectively with Parliament.” This statement could be refuted. Sometimes arguments are based on an opinion or a hypothesis you have about something, and other times, arguments pull various facts together to create a coherent position. For example, another position related to the Glorious Revolution could state: “The Glorious Revolution and the reign of William and Mary weakened the control of the monarchy and led to increased parliamentary power in Great Britain.” With this as the guiding statement, or thesis, we could expect that an essay about this would describe the Bill of Rights of 1689, highlight specific instances showing a weaker monarchy, and explain how Parliament gained more power.

Historians work to construct an idea of what happened based upon the facts that they gather about an event. This is called a historical argument. Let’s just clear this up, though: a historical, or academic, “argument” isn’t the same as an argument over what to eat for dinner, or who was heading for a prime parking spot first. An academic argument defends a certain point of view through writing or speech.

A woman yelling at a man in a parking lot.

Figure 1 . An academic argument isn’t like an argument over a parking spot.

An argument must take a stance

What distinguishes an argumentative essay from a descriptive essay or “report” is that the argument must take a stance; if you’re merely summarizing “both sides” of an issue or pointing out the “pros and cons,” you’re not really writing an argument. For example, “Stricter gun control laws will likely result in a decrease in gun-related violence” is an argument. “Americans are divided over gun control laws” isn’t an argument yet, because it’s presenting an issue (but not taking a stance). Arguments don’t just have to be about controversial political issues, though: many kinds of writing make arguments without touching on politics at all. For instance, an essay can take a stance by offering a particular interpretation of a song or a movie, or by showing the reader a new way to look at a historical event.

Arguments can have an opinion, but should not be  based  on opinion

When someone says: “well, that’s just your opinion,” what do they mean? Usually, this phrase implies that the other person doesn’t have a good  reason  for a particular view. If an argument is all about providing reasons for our views, does that mean we can’t express an opinion through argument? No! In fact, academic arguments usually articulate an opinion. Importantly, though, this opinion is always carefully defended with good reasoning, and often supported by research. If I claim that Michael Jordan was the greatest athlete of all time, but don’t offer any reasons, then that’s just my opinion. If I claim that “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias was a more accomplished athlete than Jordan because she dominated golf, basketball, and track-and-field, while Jordan was only good at basketball and golf, then we’re moving toward an argument. As the example of Zaharias vs. Jordan is supposed to show, the difference between opinion and argument comes down to  reasons . If you can give reasons to support your claim, then it’s closer to an argument. But that still doesn’t clarify things entirely. After all, as every parent knows, “because I said so!”  is  a reason, just not one that can be argued with.

If you can’t disagree with it, it’s not an argument

“I like the  Fast and Furious  movies” is an opinion, because no one can disagree with it: it wouldn’t make sense to say: “No, you don’t like those movies.” By comparison, here’s an argument: “Although they might seem like mindless action flicks, The  Fast and Furious  movies actually have a lot to say about changing ideas about family in modern America.” (Of course, you’d then have to give your  reasons  for this claim). Now your reader could agree or disagree: “Yes, that makes sense to me” or “No, I see it differently.”

Formulating a Valid Argument

Formulating an argument can be a scary thing. Making an assertion that someone else might challenge or criticize is intimidating and you may be tempted to simply argue a point that no one could refute, like “The American Revolution resulted in significant social, political, and economic changes in America.” This is a true statement, but it’s not yet an argument. You could argue about the ways in which social, political, and economic life changed, but the fact that it did change is undisputed.

History is full of different interpretations. One historian might argue that Thomas Jefferson was the most influential of the Founding Fathers and another might argue that it was John Adams. Both historians will be able to back up their arguments with evidence and, to put it simply, neither one is wrong. Much of history is a matter of perspective. What matters is that you are able to formulate an argument and back it up using different perspectives and sources, and also that you are willing to change your argument or your own perspective when presented with evidence that refutes your points.

ACTIVITY: Make an Argument

Everyone is “opinionated” about some things. What would people say you’re “opinionated” about? Consider something you absolutely love (i.e. Soccer is the best sport, or Farmville is the best game), a restaurant you like to frequent ( _______ has the best pizza in town), or the ways you like to do things (toilet paper should always go roll side on top, or the dishes need to be loaded a particular way in the dishwasher).

There are no correct answers to these responses, but you may jot down your thoughts in the spaces provided below.

1. List three things you have strong opinions about. They can be important or trivial, big or small.

2. Choose one of your three items. Is there a way to turn this opinion into an argument? If you had to convince a friend that your opinion about this thing is “right,” what argument could you use? What reason or reasons could you use to convince your friend? Below the item you’ve chosen, write a list of 3 reasons your opinion is “correct.” Try to find reasons that go beyond taste (“I just like it”) or belief (“that’s just what I believe”).

historical argument : a position that defends a certain historical point of view through writing or speech

  • What is an Argument?. Provided by : Lumen Learning. Located at : https://courses.lumenlearning.com/englishcomp1coreq/chapter/introduction-to-what-is-an-argument/ . License : CC BY-SA: Attribution-ShareAlike
  • Analyzing an Argument. Provided by : Historical.Exploration. Located at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUI9H9VT1kU . License : CC BY: Attribution

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Good argumentative history essay topics, dr. wilson mn.

  • July 31, 2022
  • Essay Topics and Ideas

Choosing great argumentative history essay topics can be challenging. You want to pick a topic that is debatable and interesting, but also one that you feel passionate about. Here are some ideas to get you started:

The history essay ideas include good Argumentative History Essay Topics , American Argumentative History Essay Topics, World History Argumentative Essay Topics, Historical Argument Topics, and Argumentative History Research Paper Topics.

What You'll Learn

American History Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Columbus Day Should Be a National Holiday
  • Good Bourgeois and Proletarians Course Work Example
  • The New Deal: A Success Or A Failure
  • Reconstruction and Protection of The Pyramids of Giza
  • Needed Skills For Event Management
  • Causes of the Great Depression
  • The Widespread Issue Of Child Labor
  • Rosie The Riveter, The Popular Image During World War Ii
  • The War of 1812 and It is Consequences

Delegate your Paper to an Expert

  • Working class women – What were their options in the Middle Ages?
  • The women of the Middle Ages – How they rose to become leaders
  • The development of chivalry in the Middle Ages – Contributing factors
  • The “childhood” concept – Did it really exist during the Middle Ages?
  • Political thoughts of the Middle Ages – Which are still existing today?
  • The Medici – What roles did they play during the Middle Ages and of what importance?
  • The Middle Ages – Top reasons why you should read stories of the crusades
  • The Middle Ages working class – The best trades options that were open to them
  • The importance of marriage in the Middle Ages
  • The Moors and the Jews – The relationship between them

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World History Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Life in the Middle Ages – What led the urban change then?
  • The Middle Ages – Important historical event that says it all
  • The University of the Middle Ages – Determining its driving force then
  • The Middle Ages – Determining the moment that had the most significant impact on it
  • Witchcraft during the Middle Ages – What was their thought then?
  • The exploration cities and trade routes by Venice and Bari – what impact did it have on other European nations’ future explorations?
  • What was the impact of the fall of Constantinople on Europe and Africa?
  • The Roman empire – In what ways did thriving of Christianity contribute to its downfall?

Here are 130 + Best Research Topic About Nursing – Types & How To Choose A Nursing Research Topic

Historical Argument Topics

  • Which factors allowed William the Conqueror win in Britain?
  • Was there any connection between the result of WWI and the preconditions of WWII?
  • What as the influence of the Golden Age on the development of the civilization in America?
  • Which factors have neared the end of the South African apartheid?
  • How did the relationship between China and Japan develop through time?
  • What’s the reason why totalitarian governance should be banned in any of its forms?

Here’s a list of Good Argumentative History Essay Topics

Argumentative History Research Paper Topics

  • What was the cause of the industrialization of Europe?
  • Why was an average life so short in the Middle Ages?
  • What did James Cook expect to find when he discovered Australia?
  • Can a war be justified? Have there been any wars in history that can be justified?
  • What can the humanity do to prevent tragedies like Holocaust?

Guide to argumentative history essay writing

Good argumentative history essay topics, american argumentative history essay topics, world history argumentative essay topics, historical argument topics, and argumentative history research paper topics

Read the assignment instructions.

Read the instruction sheet to understand what is needed for your argumentative essay . The instruction will be the pivoting point you use to create the outline. You will know the formatting styles, paper length, and due date. When you got all the instructions at your fingertips, making a working plan will be easier.

Identify the research topic.

Until you know what you are writing about, you can’t start the writing. Look for the best research topic you would love to discuss in your assignment. This applies to those who haven’t been given a specific research topic . 

Brainstorm to come up with the most relevant topic. Additionally, you would get help from recommendations in previous research articles. Always discuss a focused argumentative essay topic .

Do research

It’s an argumentative essay, so there is no shortcut to doing research. As you are researching, look for primary sources, skim them and come up with summary notes. 

You should keep a written record when researching to ensure you don’t omit vital information. Formulate questions you will be answering as you research; that way, the process will be simple.

Find out more on Argumentative Essay Topics About Social Media [Updated]

Have a thesis and paper outline

You have acquired enough knowledge on your research topic and have all the reference materials. Next, you need to have the thesis. 

A thesis sets the objective of your research and is a map for your readers. How are you planning to present our ideas? Following the assignment’s requirements, set an outline that meets all the instructions. 

Be critical when creating the structure to ensure you have an easy way to present your arguments. Never omit the conclusion and introduction paragraphs. The body sections will vary based on the topic you are discussing but make it appealing to the readers.

You can also check out  150+ Top-Notch Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas

Write original content

After all this preparation, you can start writing. Your summary notes will be guiding your ideas but make sure you don’t copy-paste. 

Rely on what your brain is synthesizing from the research and write those points in your words. 

Add citations when you are referring to other sources to avoid plagiarism problems. Write clear sentences, use understandable grammar, and active voice tone.

Further read on 50+ Top And Best Argumentative Essay Topics

Edit and proofread

The rough draft is ready and needs editing before submission. Edit the paper for content, grammar, spelling, and other areas that requires refurbishing. 

Never submit the argumentative essay before re-reading it. Proofreading and editing are the last steps of writing a perfect argumentative essay . 

Through proofreading, you enhance the accuracy, consistency, and relevance of your paper.

Have you been looking for the right way to write an argumentative essay? With these tips, nothing can stand in your way. You have everything to write the best argumentative essay now. 

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30+ History Argumentative Essay Topics and Ideas

Author Image

by  Antony W

June 9, 2024

history argumentative essay topics

Human history is deep. Depending on whom you ask, an event can go as far back as decades or centuries. Given its depth and breadth, history leaves you with endless of possibility of topics to consider for an argumentative essay assignment.

So what topic are you going to choose?

You see, the premise on argumentative essay topics selection is quite simple. You have to pick a topic you find interesting because it’s easy to investigate an issue you understand than something you’ve never even wanted to look at in the first place.

That principle holds even for a History argumentative essay.

However, if you haven’t thought of a suitable topic to investigate yet, let us give you some ideas that you may find interesting and worth exploring altogether.

Key Takeaways

  • The topic you choose should not be too wide or too narrow. It should be specific enough to fit within the scope of argumentative essay writing.
  • Given that there are hundreds of topic ideas within this area, you should choose a topic you’re already familiar with, so you can have an easy time writing the essay.
  • You must never base your History argumentative essay on biasness, sarcasm, or offensive expression. Instead, use a more holistic approach and use an appropriate tone.

30+ History Argumentative Essay Topics

The following are 30+ history argumentative essay topics based on different categories. You can pick a topic from the list and start exploring it right away or use the list as inspiration to come up with your own unique topic.

Pre-modern History

  • Was the building of the Great Pyramids a result of human ingenuity or forced labor?
  • Was the Trojan War an actual historical event or a mythological tale?
  • Was the fall of the Roman Empire a result of external invasion or internal decay?
  • Were the Crusades a necessary defense of Christianity or an unnecessary and violent campaign?
  • Was the Inquisition a necessary tool to defend the faith or a violent and unnecessary persecution?
  • Was the colonization of the Americas a necessary expansion of European civilization or a needless exploitation of native populations?

Early Modern History

  • Was the Thirty Years War a necessary conflict or an unnecessary and devastating war?
  • Was the English Civil War a necessary struggle for liberty or a needless and destructive conflict?
  • Was the Glorious Revolution a necessary overthrow of James II or an unnecessary coup?
  • Was the Enlightenment a necessary intellectual movement or a needless challenge to traditional beliefs?
  • Was the American Revolution a justifiable response to British tyranny or an unnecessary and violent rebellion?
  • Was the French Revolution a necessary struggle for liberty and equality or a violent and unnecessary upheaval?
  • Was the Industrial Revolution a necessary transformation of society or a needless exploitation of workers?
  • Was the Age of Exploration a necessary expansion of knowledge and trade or a needless exploitation of other cultures?
  • Was the Atlantic slave trade a necessary economic activity or a violent and unnecessary exploitation of human beings?

Modern History

  • Was the American Civil War a necessary conflict to end slavery or a needless and devastating war?
  • Was the Reconstruction Era a necessary attempt to rebuild the South or an unnecessary imposition of Northern values?
  • Was the Indian Wars a necessary defense of American interests or a needless and violent campaign?
  • Was the Mexican Revolution a necessary overthrow of Porfirio Diaz or an unnecessary and violent upheaval?
  • Was World War I a necessary war to end all wars or an unnecessary and devastating conflict?
  • Was the Treaty of Versailles a necessary peace settlement to end World War I or an unjust and punitive agreement?
  • Was the Russian Revolution a necessary overthrow of the tsarist regime or an unnecessary and violent revolution?

Our experts can help you write a history argumentative essay on any topic. Click here to order an essay , get up to 15% discount on your first order, and benefit from the convenience of our custom writing.

Contemporary History

  • Was the Holocaust a necessary response to Jewish influence or an unspeakable crime against humanity?
  • Was the Partition of India a necessary division to end religious conflict or an unnecessary and violent separation?
  • Was the Chinese Cultural Revolution a necessary step to remove capitalist influences or an unnecessary and violent upheaval?
  • Was the Korean War a justifiable response to North Korean aggression or an unnecessary and costly conflict?
  • Was the Cuban Missile Crisis a necessary show of force to deter Soviet aggression or an unnecessary escalation of the Cold War?
  • Was the Vietnam War a necessary conflict to contain communism or an unnecessary and costly intervention?

Geographical History

  • Was the Silk Road a necessary expansion of trade or an unnecessary and costly enterprise?
  • Was the colonization of Africa a necessary expansion of European influence or an unnecessary and harmful occupation?
  • Was the Boxer Rebellion a necessary defense of Chinese sovereignty or an unnecessary and violent uprising?
  • Was the Opium War a necessary defense of British trade interests or an unnecessary and harmful conflict?

Social History

  • Was the feminist movement a necessary response to gender inequality or an unnecessary and divisive movement?
  • Was the civil rights movement a necessary response to racial inequality or an unnecessary and harmful campaign?
  • Was the anti-apartheid movement a necessary response to racial segregation or an unnecessary and harmful campaign?
  • Was the environmental movement a necessary response to global pollution or an unnecessary and divisive movement?
  • Was the labor movement a necessary response to worker exploitation or an unnecessary and harmful movement?

Political History

  • Was the Magna Carta a necessary step forward for individual liberties or an unnecessary and ineffective document?
  • Was the rise of democracy a necessary response to monarchic rule or an unnecessary and harmful ideology?
  • Was the rise of authoritarianism a necessary response to political instability or an unnecessary and harmful ideology?

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

Shapiro Library

HIS 270 - American Environmental History

What is an argument.

An argument is an effort to change readers' mind about an issue -- a topic of concern or urgency that is not easily agreed upon due to its complexity. Arguments arise when people disagree on what is true or false, accurate or inaccurate, sufficient or insufficient, about the subject being discussed.

An argument must possess four basic ingredients to be successful. First, it must contain as much  relevant information  about the issue as possible. Second, it must present  convincing evidence  that enables the audience to accept the writer's or speaker's claim as authentic. Third, it must fairly represent  challenging views  and then explain why those views are wrong or limited. And fourth, it must lay out a  pattern of reasoning . That is, it must logically progress from thesis to support of thesis to conclusion.

Source: White, F. D., & Billings, S. J. (2014).  The well-crafted argument: a guide and reader . Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Crafting Your Argument

A strong thesis.

You will craft your topic and research into an argument by establishing your thesis, which will present your topic as a problem that can be researched and refuted by potential counterarguments. Your thesis will clearly state your position on the topic, and your position needs to be debatable (something that reasonable people would have a disagreement on), and not just state facts. For example, if your topic is European Colonialism , your thesis might look something like this: Colonialism was essential for the development of European countries because... (list a few reasons why). 

The reasons you give to support your thesis should be meaningful and supported by evidence. You can use scholarly articles from the library as supporting evidence; for tips on how to do that, check out the Finding Your Sources page on this guide.

An Organized Argument

After writing a strong thesis statement, the next step is to organize your argument. There are a few ways you can structure your paper, but here is one simple way:

  • Introduction and Thesis
  • First Claim
  • Second Claim
  • Third Claim
  • Counterargument rebuttal

For more help on crafting an argument and writing a persuasive essay, reach out to the Academic Support Center for support.

Counterargument

Presenting a counterargument is an important component of writing a persuasive essay. Here, you provide acknowledgement and fair representation of those claims that oppose or in some way challenge the claim you are arguing. Here are some steps you can follow to establish and refute a counterargument:

  • Ask yourself, what are the possible objectives to my claim? See if you can anticipate refutations to your claim even if you cannot readily locate them.
  • Search for actual arguments that challenge your own. Be sure to summarize these arguments fairly; that is, do not omit parts of the claim that you think you would not be able to counterargue. Note: it is entirely possible that a challenging view will strike you as so convincing that you may want to revise or even abandon your original claim.
  • Look for common ground - places where the challenging claim intersects with your own.
  • Explain why the challenging claim is incorrect or flawed.

Source: White, F. D., & Billings, S. J. (2014). The well-crafted argument: a guide and reader. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Finding Resources for the Counterargument

You can use the library's resources to help you identify a counterargument and find resources that support it. One way to do this is to do a search using the Multi-Search with keywords like disadvantage, risk, negative, or other words that imply disagreement. For example, if your argument is that all children should be vaccinated, you might try a search like this one to find articles that offer an opposition: colonialism AND Europe* AND econom*.  (*note: the asterisk at the end of the word is called, truncation, or, a wildcard, and will search for a variation of that word. For example, econom* will find economy, economic, economics, economical, etc.)

You can also search for resources that discuss the overall issue or controversy, rather than focusing on one particular side. Try using additional keywords like debate, controversy, discussion, etc., in your search. Even articles that strongly argue for one side could also present a section on the counterargument to their position. Looking through the full text of any articles you find will help you identify these kinds of resources.

For more help finding resources to support your counterargument, email a librarian at [email protected] !

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45+ Excellent History Argumentative Essay Topics

history argumentative essay topics

Table of Contents

History baffles even the most seasoned academics. There is so much information that must be memorized and then analyzed to find relevant truths and facts. While writing an argumentative essay, is different than merely reading a history book or connecting the dots in an expository essay.

Ideas and questions for an argumentative essay need to be drawn carefully and then credible sources should be scoured to ensure only the facts and figures end up on paper. This is ideal for writing argumentative essays concerning historical issues and developments. But before researching and writing, it is necessary to pick a topic that transcends common bounds.

Argumentative Essay Writing 101

An argumentative essay is subjective in the writer’s approach but that approach should be proved through evidence from reliable sources. This is what makes argumentative essay writing different from others. It has structured information covered in major sections along with an unbiased tone and voice. 

The primary motive for writing an argumentative essay on a historical issue is to convince the readers about a certain viewpoint. For instance, if readers thought A to be a common reason for a conflict, then a writer can provide evidence to the reader to prove B was the real culprit.

There is more than one single type of argumentative essay which we will cover in the closing chapters of the blog.

Challenges In Choosing Argumentative Essay Topics

When students or writers pick a topic to write in a historical argumentative essay , there are challenges and issues that they face with these topics. History is a difficult subject with many technicalities and pitfalls.

In this section, we will cover the most common challenges that students while choosing a topic or writing an argumentative history essay.

Inevitability of Events

While studying the causality and inevitability of the events that happened in the past, we rarely cover the whole picture of the issue. This is a big understatement since we need to take into account all the underlying issues and their effects. The speculative nature of historical learning allows for connecting the dots where they never existed and coming up with lessons for all readers.

Useless Listing

Historical argumentative essays are not about listing all the events and their succeeding developments. Many volumes can do that by chronologically listing all the events of history. This is counterproductive for an analytical paper. The job of a writer is to connect the dots for the causes and effects of the event or the subject under consideration.

Finding Significance

Just like avoiding useless listing and chronological tables, it is necessary to find significance in what is left in your sources to write the essay. To do that, the first step is cluttering the research table. Then, omit everything that can be omitted and take things that can stand the trials of expounding, argumentation, and evidential information. Everything else will find a better place somewhere.

Avoiding Ambiguous Phrases

Both historical figures and events are considered to be either “good” or “bad”. This is a limited and misleading view of things that can be more than what they are perceived. That’s the reason students should avoid ambiguous words and phrases in their essays because they not only mislead the readers but also make their writing weak. Always aim for dynamic vocabulary.

Speculative History Argumentative Essay Topics

History is not something that must be read and memorized like scriptures. It is to be learned and understood so that the issues of the past can be identified today and their harmful effects can be materialized. In this type of argumentative essay, you need to cover all the relevant bases to ensure your conclusion coincides with the academic truth.

  • In the face of world wars, one war lasted for less than an hour only
  • The Arab numerals were invented by the Indians
  • Time magazine hailed Hitler as the man of the year
  • Middle Ages were not a good time to be a peasant
  • The Roman baths were more than just baths – they were places for the rehabilitation of soldiers
  • Battle of Stalingrad and control of railway stations
  • At one time, Sparta had only 25000 inhabitants with over 500000 slaves
  • Peace is an illusion that intoxicates the weak
  • The culture of tea-making and drinking in Britain
  • The sick British Judiciary and improperly cooked potatoes
  • China – a warring state from within
  • The fall of Rome and the endurance of the Roman Empire
  • Slave laborers in Ancient Egypt
  • The maladies of the genius and Leonardo da Vinci

Historical Argumentative Essay Topics On War

War is the behemoth that is haunting the human past and future. We have been studying it for a long time in our academic discourses but we have not found a formula or an antidote to its onslaught. While writing an argumentative essay on historical issues, war is a supreme topic of interest with much room for original thought and learning.

  • Changing family traditions in the face of Second World War
  • The boom in food packaging during world wars
  • The development of new professions in world wars
  • Fruits of Nazi labor in science and technology during the war
  • The Spanish Flu pandemic and its effects on WWI
  • The tragic reality of trench warfare in France and Germany
  • Was Hitler responsible for the Second World War?
  • Jew sympathizers in Hitler’s Army
  • The interwar period was the prelude to WWII
  • The impacts of world wars on the USSR
  • The potential of the Russian military in world wars

Top History Argumentative Essay Titles On Revolutions

There are two modes of change in our societies. One is an evolution where a change or development takes place gradually. The other one is revolution. This is what happens when evolution takes a back seat and people want to change things overnight. The revolutions used to be bloody and chaotic to bring about political or social change.

  • The effects of European Revolutions on colonies
  • Role of the French invasion in Spanish American Wars
  • The Cuban presidency quagmire
  • The misgivings of the Shah of Iran led to Iranian Revolution
  • The storming of Bastille – a symbol of monarchy
  • Three Estates and the French Revolution
  • Economic impacts that led to American Revolution
  • Cultural Revolution in China and the fruits of propaganda
  • Boston Tea Party was a prelude to American Revolution
  • The indifference of French nobility to the problems of ordinary people
  • Differences between political and socio-economic revolutions
  • The precursors of revolutions in China and Iran

Best Historical Argumentative Essay Topics On Ancient History Figures

Individuals shape the course of history more than we like to think. Behind every war or social revolution is an individual with a plan or a lack of one. This is where the historical argumentative essay comes into the picture. In this section, we have covered some of the best topics for your school or college essays.

  • Plato vs. Aristotle – who was the founder of scientific thought?
  • The controversy surrounding Diogenes
  • The father of tragedy in ancient Rome and Greece
  • The Greek Identity was born out of Homer’s toil
  • Father of Ancient Democracy – Cleisthenes
  • The effects of Alexander’s conquest in the East
  • Hippocrates – the father of medicine in the enlightened world
  • Avicenna – the polymath of the Islamic Golden Age of Learning
  • Thomas Aquinas and bridging of science and religion
  • Marco Polo travels to China

Types of Argumentative Essays

Argumentative essays cover arguments for an idea on both sides while particularly stressing one. Like expository essays, there are multiple types of argumentative essays based on their focus, subject matter, and needs.

This section is dedicated to helping students with identifying and mastering the art and science behind different types of these essays.

Persuasive Essays

As the name indicates, persuasive essays present both sides of an argument and then try to convince the readers that one side of the argument is better or more sound than the other. The author should present his stance clearly and ensure that arguments and evidence are followed through. In addition to this, writers should refute other views to add value to their values and points of view.

Research Papers

Research papers rely on academic sources and citations to make and strengthen an argument. As the name suggests, this type of argumentative essay cover topics of a wide variety including politics, war, social issues, and so on. The arguments will cover both sides of the argument to ensure that everything is clear for the readers. It is also about not siding with any argument and presenting the proof as objectively as possible.

Analytical Papers

Analysis essays are about analyzing the arguments of other writers. While doing so, writers dissect every aspect of the essay to make sure that the argument it wanted to pursue was well-founded. In addition to this, writers also judge the elements of clarity, persuasiveness, organization of information, and so on. Apart from all the objective ends, writers should make it clear the side they are on, whether they are supporting or opposing the thesis.

What are some of the best historical argumentative topics?

The best historical arguments cover the depth and scope of the issue. They are introspective without sacrificing cause for effect. In studying history and its issues, there is no better way to learn and analyze than through argumentative essays.

Can you provide an example of a historical argument?

A historical argument usually questions the scope and reach of a reason or cause that led to a major development. In that way, here is an example of a historical argument. “Homer is the father of ancient art of studying history through Egyptian studies.”

What is the significance of historical issues?

History defines our past and dictates our future. The foundations of things laid down in our yesterday come to haunt us tomorrow. In this stance, it is necessary to critically learn and examine things from a historical point of view. The lessons should be learned and applied with a clear focus in mind.

Is it possible that all historical essays are argumentative?

It is not possible because what makes an argumentative essay is its reliance on a single, well-founded argument. The writers explain and prove this argument through evidential information from multiple credible sources.

How long should an ideal historical argumentative essay be?

There is no ideal length for any argumentative essay unless its scope and thesis are defined exceptionally in the end. Still, the word count for essays is often set in schools and colleges because teachers need to gauge the research and writing chops of the writers. In that sense, an argumentative essay should not be less than 1200 words.

How to compose a historical argument thesis?

A thesis is the summation of the main idea or theme of an essay. It distills the idea into a single or a couple of sentences that can provide the stance of the writer. Writers also use it to open an essay or to bridge the introduction section with the main body.

Concluding Remarks

Historical essays are hard to tackle because students need to analyze things from a historical setting without deviating from the set path. The vastness of the subject and the differing points of view are also some of the things that can make an issue for the writers. In this blog post, we have covered different topic ideas for historical argumentative essays, including war, politics, history, and so on.

So, if you need to write an essay on a topic related to history, this will be a definitive guide for you!

Courtesy of PerfectEssay

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American History Argumentative Essay Topics

The argumentative essay is a type of composition that entails investigating a topic. You generate and collect, and assess evidence as well as establish a stand on the matter in a transparent manner. When it comes to discussing American history, you are looking at presenting an essay that helps to understand the diverse culture and how complicated history is. 

When tasked to write an essay about American history, you will need to conduct research, make arguments, and develop connections. When choosing a topic, do not limit yourself to the subjects that are popular and easy. It may be challenging to create great ideas on what to write about, attributed to the broad nature of the matter. Some factors to remember when choosing is: brainstorm on existing topics, research on the subject, come up with different thesis in advance, and find reliable sources. 

Choose a unique topic that is interesting and inspiring to you. Having an issue that you can relate to inspires you, and the same inspiration will be on your audience. Narrow down your topic to a specific and narrow point. These ensure that the subject for discussion is manageable. You can come up with your best argumentative American history essay topic ideas when you have a single focus and present your essay in a more detailed way.

The following American history theme proposal examples of argumentative American history essay topics can help you to brainstorm and settle with a topic that works for you. The list is not conclusive and should act as a guide for you.

American History Essay Topics

  • The reasons behind the creation of labor unions 
  • The necessity of the Korean War to the United States of America
  • What are the reasons behind the effectiveness of the civil rights movement in the United States of America? 
  • The reasons behind the killing of Martin Luther King
  • Why and How the American Revolution started
  • What was the reason behind the American Settlers used the Oregon Trail?
  • What were the reasons behind America entering the First World War?
  • Who were the pilgrims?
  • American revolutionary war and the results it had
  • The reasons North America went through British colonization
  • What were the differences between the southern and northern colonies?
  • The factors that led to the Vietnam war
  • What factors led to the Salem Witch trials 
  • In the constitution what purpose does the first amendment serve
  • What was the nature of the conflicts between the colonists and the native Americans?
  • What was the cold war?
  • The life of the early settlers in America 
  • What were the implications of the California gold rush? 
  • Would the United States of America enter the world war two if the Japanese had not attacked Pearl harbor?
  • What were the causes that led to the great depression?
  • Can the My Lai Massacre put in the category as a military crime
  • How significant is the contribution of women in the civil war?
  • What was the justification behind the bombing of Hiroshima?
  • What was the success of national prohibition?
  • Discovering the truth of the mystery of the colony of Roanoke
  • Colonies and the roles of women in them
  • The part that the United States of America played in the second world war
  • The mistake that was the Iraq War
  • How did slavery happen in America?
  • The mystery behind the death of John F Kennedy 
  • The discovery of the North American continent
  • Ways, the United States, benefitted from the Mexican War
  • United States: Rise to superpower
  • The influence that the puritans have on American society 
  • How the San Francisco earthquake affected the city

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Need to defend your opinion on an issue? Argumentative essays are one of the most popular types of essays you’ll write in school. They combine persuasive arguments with fact-based research, and, when done well, can be powerful tools for making someone agree with your point of view. If you’re struggling to write an argumentative essay or just want to learn more about them, seeing examples can be a big help.

After giving an overview of this type of essay, we provide three argumentative essay examples. After each essay, we explain in-depth how the essay was structured, what worked, and where the essay could be improved. We end with tips for making your own argumentative essay as strong as possible.

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is an essay that uses evidence and facts to support the claim it’s making. Its purpose is to persuade the reader to agree with the argument being made.

A good argumentative essay will use facts and evidence to support the argument, rather than just the author’s thoughts and opinions. For example, say you wanted to write an argumentative essay stating that Charleston, SC is a great destination for families. You couldn’t just say that it’s a great place because you took your family there and enjoyed it. For it to be an argumentative essay, you need to have facts and data to support your argument, such as the number of child-friendly attractions in Charleston, special deals you can get with kids, and surveys of people who visited Charleston as a family and enjoyed it. The first argument is based entirely on feelings, whereas the second is based on evidence that can be proven.

The standard five paragraph format is common, but not required, for argumentative essays. These essays typically follow one of two formats: the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model.

  • The Toulmin model is the most common. It begins with an introduction, follows with a thesis/claim, and gives data and evidence to support that claim. This style of essay also includes rebuttals of counterarguments.
  • The Rogerian model analyzes two sides of an argument and reaches a conclusion after weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each.

3 Good Argumentative Essay Examples + Analysis

Below are three examples of argumentative essays, written by yours truly in my school days, as well as analysis of what each did well and where it could be improved.

Argumentative Essay Example 1

Proponents of this idea state that it will save local cities and towns money because libraries are expensive to maintain. They also believe it will encourage more people to read because they won’t have to travel to a library to get a book; they can simply click on what they want to read and read it from wherever they are. They could also access more materials because libraries won’t have to buy physical copies of books; they can simply rent out as many digital copies as they need.

However, it would be a serious mistake to replace libraries with tablets. First, digital books and resources are associated with less learning and more problems than print resources. A study done on tablet vs book reading found that people read 20-30% slower on tablets, retain 20% less information, and understand 10% less of what they read compared to people who read the same information in print. Additionally, staring too long at a screen has been shown to cause numerous health problems, including blurred vision, dizziness, dry eyes, headaches, and eye strain, at much higher instances than reading print does. People who use tablets and mobile devices excessively also have a higher incidence of more serious health issues such as fibromyalgia, shoulder and back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and muscle strain. I know that whenever I read from my e-reader for too long, my eyes begin to feel tired and my neck hurts. We should not add to these problems by giving people, especially young people, more reasons to look at screens.

Second, it is incredibly narrow-minded to assume that the only service libraries offer is book lending. Libraries have a multitude of benefits, and many are only available if the library has a physical location. Some of these benefits include acting as a quiet study space, giving people a way to converse with their neighbors, holding classes on a variety of topics, providing jobs, answering patron questions, and keeping the community connected. One neighborhood found that, after a local library instituted community events such as play times for toddlers and parents, job fairs for teenagers, and meeting spaces for senior citizens, over a third of residents reported feeling more connected to their community. Similarly, a Pew survey conducted in 2015 found that nearly two-thirds of American adults feel that closing their local library would have a major impact on their community. People see libraries as a way to connect with others and get their questions answered, benefits tablets can’t offer nearly as well or as easily.

While replacing libraries with tablets may seem like a simple solution, it would encourage people to spend even more time looking at digital screens, despite the myriad issues surrounding them. It would also end access to many of the benefits of libraries that people have come to rely on. In many areas, libraries are such an important part of the community network that they could never be replaced by a simple object.

The author begins by giving an overview of the counter-argument, then the thesis appears as the first sentence in the third paragraph. The essay then spends the rest of the paper dismantling the counter argument and showing why readers should believe the other side.

What this essay does well:

  • Although it’s a bit unusual to have the thesis appear fairly far into the essay, it works because, once the thesis is stated, the rest of the essay focuses on supporting it since the counter-argument has already been discussed earlier in the paper.
  • This essay includes numerous facts and cites studies to support its case. By having specific data to rely on, the author’s argument is stronger and readers will be more inclined to agree with it.
  • For every argument the other side makes, the author makes sure to refute it and follow up with why her opinion is the stronger one. In order to make a strong argument, it’s important to dismantle the other side, which this essay does this by making the author's view appear stronger.
  • This is a shorter paper, and if it needed to be expanded to meet length requirements, it could include more examples and go more into depth with them, such as by explaining specific cases where people benefited from local libraries.
  • Additionally, while the paper uses lots of data, the author also mentions their own experience with using tablets. This should be removed since argumentative essays focus on facts and data to support an argument, not the author’s own opinion or experiences. Replacing that with more data on health issues associated with screen time would strengthen the essay.
  • Some of the points made aren't completely accurate , particularly the one about digital books being cheaper. It actually often costs a library more money to rent out numerous digital copies of a book compared to buying a single physical copy. Make sure in your own essay you thoroughly research each of the points and rebuttals you make, otherwise you'll look like you don't know the issue that well.

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Argumentative Essay Example 2

There are multiple drugs available to treat malaria, and many of them work well and save lives, but malaria eradication programs that focus too much on them and not enough on prevention haven’t seen long-term success in Sub-Saharan Africa. A major program to combat malaria was WHO’s Global Malaria Eradication Programme. Started in 1955, it had a goal of eliminating malaria in Africa within the next ten years. Based upon previously successful programs in Brazil and the United States, the program focused mainly on vector control. This included widely distributing chloroquine and spraying large amounts of DDT. More than one billion dollars was spent trying to abolish malaria. However, the program suffered from many problems and in 1969, WHO was forced to admit that the program had not succeeded in eradicating malaria. The number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa who contracted malaria as well as the number of malaria deaths had actually increased over 10% during the time the program was active.

One of the major reasons for the failure of the project was that it set uniform strategies and policies. By failing to consider variations between governments, geography, and infrastructure, the program was not nearly as successful as it could have been. Sub-Saharan Africa has neither the money nor the infrastructure to support such an elaborate program, and it couldn’t be run the way it was meant to. Most African countries don't have the resources to send all their people to doctors and get shots, nor can they afford to clear wetlands or other malaria prone areas. The continent’s spending per person for eradicating malaria was just a quarter of what Brazil spent. Sub-Saharan Africa simply can’t rely on a plan that requires more money, infrastructure, and expertise than they have to spare.

Additionally, the widespread use of chloroquine has created drug resistant parasites which are now plaguing Sub-Saharan Africa. Because chloroquine was used widely but inconsistently, mosquitoes developed resistance, and chloroquine is now nearly completely ineffective in Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 95% of mosquitoes resistant to it. As a result, newer, more expensive drugs need to be used to prevent and treat malaria, which further drives up the cost of malaria treatment for a region that can ill afford it.

Instead of developing plans to treat malaria after the infection has incurred, programs should focus on preventing infection from occurring in the first place. Not only is this plan cheaper and more effective, reducing the number of people who contract malaria also reduces loss of work/school days which can further bring down the productivity of the region.

One of the cheapest and most effective ways of preventing malaria is to implement insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs).  These nets provide a protective barrier around the person or people using them. While untreated bed nets are still helpful, those treated with insecticides are much more useful because they stop mosquitoes from biting people through the nets, and they help reduce mosquito populations in a community, thus helping people who don’t even own bed nets.  Bed nets are also very effective because most mosquito bites occur while the person is sleeping, so bed nets would be able to drastically reduce the number of transmissions during the night. In fact, transmission of malaria can be reduced by as much as 90% in areas where the use of ITNs is widespread. Because money is so scarce in Sub-Saharan Africa, the low cost is a great benefit and a major reason why the program is so successful. Bed nets cost roughly 2 USD to make, last several years, and can protect two adults. Studies have shown that, for every 100-1000 more nets are being used, one less child dies of malaria. With an estimated 300 million people in Africa not being protected by mosquito nets, there’s the potential to save three million lives by spending just a few dollars per person.

Reducing the number of people who contract malaria would also reduce poverty levels in Africa significantly, thus improving other aspects of society like education levels and the economy. Vector control is more effective than treatment strategies because it means fewer people are getting sick. When fewer people get sick, the working population is stronger as a whole because people are not put out of work from malaria, nor are they caring for sick relatives. Malaria-afflicted families can typically only harvest 40% of the crops that healthy families can harvest. Additionally, a family with members who have malaria spends roughly a quarter of its income treatment, not including the loss of work they also must deal with due to the illness. It’s estimated that malaria costs Africa 12 billion USD in lost income every year. A strong working population creates a stronger economy, which Sub-Saharan Africa is in desperate need of.  

This essay begins with an introduction, which ends with the thesis (that malaria eradication plans in Sub-Saharan Africa should focus on prevention rather than treatment). The first part of the essay lays out why the counter argument (treatment rather than prevention) is not as effective, and the second part of the essay focuses on why prevention of malaria is the better path to take.

  • The thesis appears early, is stated clearly, and is supported throughout the rest of the essay. This makes the argument clear for readers to understand and follow throughout the essay.
  • There’s lots of solid research in this essay, including specific programs that were conducted and how successful they were, as well as specific data mentioned throughout. This evidence helps strengthen the author’s argument.
  • The author makes a case for using expanding bed net use over waiting until malaria occurs and beginning treatment, but not much of a plan is given for how the bed nets would be distributed or how to ensure they’re being used properly. By going more into detail of what she believes should be done, the author would be making a stronger argument.
  • The introduction of the essay does a good job of laying out the seriousness of the problem, but the conclusion is short and abrupt. Expanding it into its own paragraph would give the author a final way to convince readers of her side of the argument.

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Argumentative Essay Example 3

There are many ways payments could work. They could be in the form of a free-market approach, where athletes are able to earn whatever the market is willing to pay them, it could be a set amount of money per athlete, or student athletes could earn income from endorsements, autographs, and control of their likeness, similar to the way top Olympians earn money.

Proponents of the idea believe that, because college athletes are the ones who are training, participating in games, and bringing in audiences, they should receive some sort of compensation for their work. If there were no college athletes, the NCAA wouldn’t exist, college coaches wouldn’t receive there (sometimes very high) salaries, and brands like Nike couldn’t profit from college sports. In fact, the NCAA brings in roughly $1 billion in revenue a year, but college athletes don’t receive any of that money in the form of a paycheck. Additionally, people who believe college athletes should be paid state that paying college athletes will actually encourage them to remain in college longer and not turn pro as quickly, either by giving them a way to begin earning money in college or requiring them to sign a contract stating they’ll stay at the university for a certain number of years while making an agreed-upon salary.  

Supporters of this idea point to Zion Williamson, the Duke basketball superstar, who, during his freshman year, sustained a serious knee injury. Many argued that, even if he enjoyed playing for Duke, it wasn’t worth risking another injury and ending his professional career before it even began for a program that wasn’t paying him. Williamson seems to have agreed with them and declared his eligibility for the NCAA draft later that year. If he was being paid, he may have stayed at Duke longer. In fact, roughly a third of student athletes surveyed stated that receiving a salary while in college would make them “strongly consider” remaining collegiate athletes longer before turning pro.

Paying athletes could also stop the recruitment scandals that have plagued the NCAA. In 2018, the NCAA stripped the University of Louisville's men's basketball team of its 2013 national championship title because it was discovered coaches were using sex workers to entice recruits to join the team. There have been dozens of other recruitment scandals where college athletes and recruits have been bribed with anything from having their grades changed, to getting free cars, to being straight out bribed. By paying college athletes and putting their salaries out in the open, the NCAA could end the illegal and underhanded ways some schools and coaches try to entice athletes to join.

People who argue against the idea of paying college athletes believe the practice could be disastrous for college sports. By paying athletes, they argue, they’d turn college sports into a bidding war, where only the richest schools could afford top athletes, and the majority of schools would be shut out from developing a talented team (though some argue this already happens because the best players often go to the most established college sports programs, who typically pay their coaches millions of dollars per year). It could also ruin the tight camaraderie of many college teams if players become jealous that certain teammates are making more money than they are.

They also argue that paying college athletes actually means only a small fraction would make significant money. Out of the 350 Division I athletic departments, fewer than a dozen earn any money. Nearly all the money the NCAA makes comes from men’s football and basketball, so paying college athletes would make a small group of men--who likely will be signed to pro teams and begin making millions immediately out of college--rich at the expense of other players.

Those against paying college athletes also believe that the athletes are receiving enough benefits already. The top athletes already receive scholarships that are worth tens of thousands per year, they receive free food/housing/textbooks, have access to top medical care if they are injured, receive top coaching, get travel perks and free gear, and can use their time in college as a way to capture the attention of professional recruiters. No other college students receive anywhere near as much from their schools.

People on this side also point out that, while the NCAA brings in a massive amount of money each year, it is still a non-profit organization. How? Because over 95% of those profits are redistributed to its members’ institutions in the form of scholarships, grants, conferences, support for Division II and Division III teams, and educational programs. Taking away a significant part of that revenue would hurt smaller programs that rely on that money to keep running.

While both sides have good points, it’s clear that the negatives of paying college athletes far outweigh the positives. College athletes spend a significant amount of time and energy playing for their school, but they are compensated for it by the scholarships and perks they receive. Adding a salary to that would result in a college athletic system where only a small handful of athletes (those likely to become millionaires in the professional leagues) are paid by a handful of schools who enter bidding wars to recruit them, while the majority of student athletics and college athletic programs suffer or even shut down for lack of money. Continuing to offer the current level of benefits to student athletes makes it possible for as many people to benefit from and enjoy college sports as possible.

This argumentative essay follows the Rogerian model. It discusses each side, first laying out multiple reasons people believe student athletes should be paid, then discussing reasons why the athletes shouldn’t be paid. It ends by stating that college athletes shouldn’t be paid by arguing that paying them would destroy college athletics programs and cause them to have many of the issues professional sports leagues have.

  • Both sides of the argument are well developed, with multiple reasons why people agree with each side. It allows readers to get a full view of the argument and its nuances.
  • Certain statements on both sides are directly rebuffed in order to show where the strengths and weaknesses of each side lie and give a more complete and sophisticated look at the argument.
  • Using the Rogerian model can be tricky because oftentimes you don’t explicitly state your argument until the end of the paper. Here, the thesis doesn’t appear until the first sentence of the final paragraph. That doesn’t give readers a lot of time to be convinced that your argument is the right one, compared to a paper where the thesis is stated in the beginning and then supported throughout the paper. This paper could be strengthened if the final paragraph was expanded to more fully explain why the author supports the view, or if the paper had made it clearer that paying athletes was the weaker argument throughout.

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3 Tips for Writing a Good Argumentative Essay

Now that you’ve seen examples of what good argumentative essay samples look like, follow these three tips when crafting your own essay.

#1: Make Your Thesis Crystal Clear

The thesis is the key to your argumentative essay; if it isn’t clear or readers can’t find it easily, your entire essay will be weak as a result. Always make sure that your thesis statement is easy to find. The typical spot for it is the final sentence of the introduction paragraph, but if it doesn’t fit in that spot for your essay, try to at least put it as the first or last sentence of a different paragraph so it stands out more.

Also make sure that your thesis makes clear what side of the argument you’re on. After you’ve written it, it’s a great idea to show your thesis to a couple different people--classmates are great for this. Just by reading your thesis they should be able to understand what point you’ll be trying to make with the rest of your essay.

#2: Show Why the Other Side Is Weak

When writing your essay, you may be tempted to ignore the other side of the argument and just focus on your side, but don’t do this. The best argumentative essays really tear apart the other side to show why readers shouldn’t believe it. Before you begin writing your essay, research what the other side believes, and what their strongest points are. Then, in your essay, be sure to mention each of these and use evidence to explain why they’re incorrect/weak arguments. That’ll make your essay much more effective than if you only focused on your side of the argument.

#3: Use Evidence to Support Your Side

Remember, an essay can’t be an argumentative essay if it doesn’t support its argument with evidence. For every point you make, make sure you have facts to back it up. Some examples are previous studies done on the topic, surveys of large groups of people, data points, etc. There should be lots of numbers in your argumentative essay that support your side of the argument. This will make your essay much stronger compared to only relying on your own opinions to support your argument.

Summary: Argumentative Essay Sample

Argumentative essays are persuasive essays that use facts and evidence to support their side of the argument. Most argumentative essays follow either the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model. By reading good argumentative essay examples, you can learn how to develop your essay and provide enough support to make readers agree with your opinion. When writing your essay, remember to always make your thesis clear, show where the other side is weak, and back up your opinion with data and evidence.

What's Next?

Do you need to write an argumentative essay as well? Check out our guide on the best argumentative essay topics for ideas!

You'll probably also need to write research papers for school. We've got you covered with 113 potential topics for research papers.

Your college admissions essay may end up being one of the most important essays you write. Follow our step-by-step guide on writing a personal statement to have an essay that'll impress colleges.

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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COMMENTS

  1. Crafting Your Argument: 99 History Argumentative Essay Topics

    History Argumentative Essay Topics: Your Guide to an Engaging Argument. Picking the right history argumentative essay topics is crucial. Your topic should spark your curiosity, offer ample sources for research, and pose a challenge that motivates you to explore, argue, and persuade. The past is brimming with potential argumentative essay topics ...

  2. Historical Argument Definition, Steps & Examples

    A historical argument essay has to be fairly specific and have a very focused thesis, otherwise, it is simply an observation of history and not an analysis of an event. The event must be examined ...

  3. 439 History Argumentative Essay Topics: US & World History Events to

    📜 Top 15 History Argumentative Essay Topics. History is full of mystery, riddles, and conflicting points. Writing a history paper will undoubtedly be fun if you choose an exciting history essay topic. Meet our list of the most provocative history questions. How could The 1896 Anglo-Zanzibar last only 38 minutes?

  4. Writing a Thesis and Making an Argument

    Almost every assignment you complete for a history course will ask you to make an argument. Your instructors will often call this your "thesis"- your position on a subject. What is an Argument? An argument takes a stand on an issue. It seeks to persuade an audience of a point of view in much the same way that a lawyer argues a case in a court ...

  5. What Makes a Good History Argument?

    One of the hardest parts of writing a history essays—and one of the aspects most crucial to the success of an essay—is creating an argument. The argument tells your reader your main point and why it is compelling. Your argument dictates what sources and information you will need to include. And your argument determines how you will organize ...

  6. Thesis Statements

    Your thesis statement is one of the most important parts of your paper. It expresses your main argument succinctly and explains why your argument is historically significant. Think of your thesis as a promise you make to your reader about what your paper will argue. Then, spend the rest of your paper-each body paragraph-fulfilling that promise.

  7. PDF argumentative Example One Example Two

    Of course, a thesis statement does not prove your argument. Your evidence and analysis, combined with your writing's eloquence, will help persuade readers. But a strong thesis statement will make for a more compelling essay and, as Toynbee advised, demonstrate that history is more than just "one damned thing after another." Debate that.

  8. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Make a claim. Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim. Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim) Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives. The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays.

  9. How to Write a History Essay

    Step 1: Understand the History Paper Format. You may be assigned one of several types of history papers. The most common are persuasive essays and research papers. History professors might also ask you to write an analytical paper focused on a particular source or an essay that reviews secondary sources.

  10. How to write source-based history essays

    To achieve the correct structure for your argument, it is crucial to understand the separate parts that make up a written essay. If you understand how each part works and fits into the overall essay, you are well on the way to creating a great assessment piece. Most essays will require you to write: 1 Introduction Paragraph; 3 Body Paragraphs

  11. A guide to writing history essays

    Essays are an essential educational tool in disciplines like history because they help you to develop your research skills, critical thinking, and writing abilities. The best essays are based on strong research, in-depth analysis, and are logically structured and well written. An essay should answer a question with a clear, persuasive argument.

  12. Historical Arguments and Thesis Statements

    Thesis statements vary based on the rhetorical strategy of the essay, but thesis statements typically share the following characteristics: Presents the main idea. Most often is one sentence. It tells the reader what to expect. Is a summary of the essay topic. Usually worded to have an argumentative edge.

  13. How to write an introduction for a history essay

    1. Background sentences. The first two or three sentences of your introduction should provide a general introduction to the historical topic which your essay is about. This is done so that when you state your hypothesis, your reader understands the specific point you are arguing about. Background sentences explain the important historical ...

  14. Historical Arguments

    What distinguishes an argumentative essay from a descriptive essay or "report" is that the argument must take a stance; if you're merely summarizing "both sides" of an issue or pointing out the "pros and cons," you're not really writing an argument. For example, "Stricter gun control laws will likely result in a decrease in ...

  15. Good Argumentative History Essay Topics

    Guide to argumentative history essay writing Good Argumentative History Essay Topics 2 Read the assignment instructions. Read the instruction sheet to understand what is needed for your argumentative essay. The instruction will be the pivoting point you use to create the outline. You will know the formatting styles, paper length, and due date.

  16. How to Write an A+ Argumentative Essay

    An argumentative essay attempts to convince a reader to agree with a particular argument (the writer's thesis statement). The writer takes a firm stand one way or another on a topic and then uses hard evidence to support that stance. An argumentative essay seeks to prove to the reader that one argument —the writer's argument— is the ...

  17. 30+ History Argumentative Essay Topics and Ideas

    30+ History Argumentative Essay Topics and Ideas. by Antony W. June 9, 2024. Human history is deep. Depending on whom you ask, an event can go as far back as decades or centuries. Given its depth and breadth, history leaves you with endless of possibility of topics to consider for an argumentative essay assignment.

  18. Argumentative Essay Resources

    The guide provides resources relevant to the history of the American environment, paying particular attention to the impact of European settlement on the landscape and the subsequent commodification of resources that defined the American experience. ... For more help on crafting an argument and writing a persuasive essay, reach out to the ...

  19. 45+ Excellent History Argumentative Essay Topics

    While writing an argumentative essay on historical issues, war is a supreme topic of interest with much room for original thought and learning. Changing family traditions in the face of Second World War. The boom in food packaging during world wars. The development of new professions in world wars.

  20. American History Argumentative Essay Topics

    American History Argumentative Essay Topics. The argumentative essay is a type of composition that entails investigating a topic. You generate and collect, and assess evidence as well as establish a stand on the matter in a transparent manner. When it comes to discussing American history, you are looking at presenting an essay that helps to ...

  21. 3 Key Tips for How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    An argumentative essay is a type of writing that presents the writer's position or stance on a specific topic and uses evidence to support that position. The goal of an argumentative essay is to convince your reader that your position is logical, ethical, and, ultimately, right. In argumentative essays, writers accomplish this by writing:

  22. 3 Strong Argumentative Essay Examples, Analyzed

    Argumentative Essay Example 2. Malaria is an infectious disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through female Anopheles mosquitoes. Each year, over half a billion people will become infected with malaria, with roughly 80% of them living in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  23. PDF HOW TO WRITE AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY

    4. Write a rough draft. Now at last you are ready to start writing your paper. Start with a short introduction paragraph and then use your outline to draft the body and conclusion. Don't forget to begin each paragraph in the body with a topic sentence that conveys the main argument of that paragraph.

  24. Teaching & Learning

    Resources for Educators & Students K-12 Education The AHA strives to ensure that every K-12 student has access to high quality history instruction. We create resources for the classroom, advise on state and federal policy, and advocate for the vital importance of history in public education. Learn More Undergraduate Education…

  25. Rethinking English essay scores: The argument for ...

    To get high scores at essay writing tests, learners of English as a foreign language need to focus on good arguments more than on complex grammar. The finding challenges conventional approaches to ...