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How to Write an American Revolution Essay
The American Revolution was a pivotal event in the history of that nation. It originated in the 1760s when the British government began to levy more taxes on the colonies to support the empire in the wake of the French and Indian War. A series of crises over the issue of colonial representation in Parliament led to an independence movement, as the colonies divided into “patriots” and “loyalists.” A long war ensued, finally ending with the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The first American government was formed with the Articles of Confederation in 1781, and revised with the U.S. Constitution in 1788.
Because this period is so complex and has so many contributing factors, economic, political, ideological, military, the American Revolution can be an intimidating subject to write an essay about. But if you follow the basic guidelines for writing good research papers, you can write a great American Revolution essay. Here are some tips.
Brainstorm to come up with specific essay topics before you begin researching. That way you will not waste time gathering information you won’t use. What interests you most about this topic? The military aspects of the war? Try to make topic appropriate to the scope of your essay. If it’s a long term paper, you can analyze the differing tactics of the British and American armies and how they contributed to the eventual American victory. If it’s a shorter paper, you might want to focus on a particular battle.
Have a thesis. A good thesis is a specific idea that can potentially be argued against. This thesis is clear and arguable: “The economic aid of France was the key factor in the colonial victory.” You’ll need to provide evidence for your thesis, of course. But having a thesis is the best way to keep your research and your writing focused and relevant.
It’s important to have your facts right, but good writing is what makes a good essay. Don’t just list dates and names and statistics. Some of the classic documents of the period can actually be a great source of both facts and well-articulated, passionate writing. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, The Federalist Papers, and the Declaration of Independence are not only great historical resources, but make for great reading as well.
Multiple drafts: reread and edit your essay, and write several versions of your thesis statement.