To write a provisional introduction, ask yourself what the reader needs to know in order to follow your subsequent discussion.Other students write the introduction after they have written the main body of the essay – do whatever feels right for you and the piece of work you are writing.Keep the introduction short, preferably to one or two paragraphs and keep it, succinct, to the point.Some students find it best to write a provisional introduction, when starting to write an essay, and then to rewrite this when they have finished the first draft of their essay.Generally, it is important to back up the points you wish to make from your experience with the findings of other published researchers and writers.You will have likely been given a reading list or some core text books to read.Sum up the main points and briefly restate your argument.
You may include quotations from other historians and refer to primary sources (such as you can find on this website) to support a particular point. Aim for five to seven paragraphs, depending on the essay and level of course you are following.
When you are citing another author's text you should always indicate exactly where the evidence comes from with a reference, i.e.
give the author's name, date of publication and the page number in your work.
This page is concerned with the actual writing of your essay, it provides some guidelines for good practice as well as some common mistakes you'll want to avoid.
An essay should be written in a flowing manner with each sentence following on logically from the previous one and with appropriate signposts to guide the reader.