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Tips for a Good IB History Essay

Shorthand Comments sp = spelling wc = word choice vt = verb tense abb = abbreviation inc = incomplete sentence pp = personal pronoun cap = capitalization Verb tense In history essays, always refer to events that happened in the past using the past tense. bbreviations !ever use abbreviations or contractions "e#ample$ %%&'. (he only e#ception is commonly accepted acronyms "e#ample$ )!' *ersonal pronouns In academic writing never use personal pronouns such as I, you, we, us. Capitalization lways capitalize the first letter of any proper noun "specific person, place or thing' Introduction +our introduction should always directly address the ,uestion and e#plain how you will answer it. good introduction will suggest why the ,uestion is significant and how the essay will be organized. It should be short and to the point, avoiding unnecessary bac-ground. .ody paragraphs lways start each body paragraph by stating the main point in a short clear sentence. +our ne#t sentence should ma-e a claim related to that main point followed by several more sentences that present evidence or e#amples to prove the claim. /nly once you have supported a claim with evidence should you move on to the ne#t claim. )se short clear sentences to ma-e your meaning clear to the reader. (ry to include many specific facts such as names, dates, and events Conclusion 0eturn to the original ,uestion and directly state your answer to it. .riefly summarize the arguments you have made in support of this answer. Common 1ista-es 2eneralization %hen you state that something is always categorically true when it is not. Simplification %hen you ignore the comple#ity of an issue by describing it in an overly simplified way. Vague Something you stated is probably accurate but needs to be clarified or elaborated upon. 3egibility %rite clearly and in print. 4rase or fully cross out material you with the reader to ignore. Informal language +ou must always remember that your I. 5istory essay is formal writing and will be graded by an e#aminer you6ve never met. .e careful to use words and phrases that are sophisticated and represent a widely understood meaning. 7o not use slang, slogans or idioms. 7escriptiveness 1ost I. 5istory essays have two parts. /ne acts you to describe8e#plain and the other as-s you to evaluate8analyze. 1ost students want to focus on description and neglect analysis. 1a-e sure that you provide analysis that is directly related to the ,uestion. 7on6t 9ust state facts.

4#aggeration It is tempting to ma-e a point more strongly by adding e#tra ad9ectives or distorting the evidence to ma-e it sound more overwhelming. 7on6t do this. Simply state what the evidence indicates with balance and ob9ectivity, and without 9udgment.