95 Original History Essay Questions: Examples and Topics

Thinking about history, people often imagine famous military and political events. However, history is so much more than battles between armies and international politics. There are lots of small but engaging details that people usually miss.

But what are those intriguing aspects?

In this article, you’ll see history essay questions with examples. They concern unusual events and historical viewpoints. To ease your essay writing, we divided the article into subheadings. Plus, here, you’ll find topics according to your essay type.

💁 Topics for Various Essay Types

There are many types of essays for an academic assignment. It may be a simple short essay or a long structured essay. Each one has its format and rules. Here, we are going to talk about essays that you might have questions about.

🔎 History Extended Essay Topics

An extended essay (EE) is an obligatory part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP). For an IB diploma, a student should do extensive research. It should be finished with a 4000-word paper.

The extended essay provides practice for undergraduate research. Besides, it gives a chance to explore a topic of personal interest. Here, we dive into history EE topics.

  1. Oldest human settlements according to archeological sources.
  2. The suffrage movement in the United States of the early XXth century.
  3. How Dior’s bar suit revolutionized women’s fashion.
  4. History of Chemistry in Europe during the Age of Enlightenment.
  5. Psychology essay: evolution of treatment for various mental disorders. Psychological methods and medicine.
  6. Development of black rights following the US Civil War.
  1. History of physics: from Antiquity to modern times.
  2. Principles of medieval economics: a historical analysis. Analyze the financial structure in medieval Europe and the Middle East.
  3. How did industrialization affect global climate change?
  4. Expansion of traffic jams in China. The root of a problem and China’s solution.
  5. The effects of capitalism on Caribbean republics.  Study the history of capitalism in the Caribbean. What were the effects of plantation produce on their economy?
  6. The use of sun reflection in the military. A historical analysis of the utilization.
  7. Analysis of Victorian literature and culture by Carolyn Williams.
  8. Biology in warfare. The use of biological weapons from Antiquity to modern times.
  9. A study of malnourishment in African societies. Explore the historical roots of malnutrition in Africa. How did it affect their societies?
  10. Research question: why Western countries have dominated the world in modern history?
  11. Otto Skorzeny. How did Nazi Germany’s most effective agent become Mossad’s advisor? Dive in the biography of Otto Skorzeny. Analyze his character and post-war activity.
  12. The history of visual arts in Christianity. How did religion shape the art of Western civilization?
  13. Six-Day War of 1967. Examine the strategies of Israel and The United Arab States.
  14. Imperial Japan in the late period of WWII. Its non-standard means of warfare.

📝 Historiographical Essay Topics

Now, let’s look into another type of essay—a historiographical essay. It analyzes and evaluates how scholars interpret a historical topic. Usually, the essay is problem-centered. So, compare the viewpoints of two or more historians on the same event.

Here you will find good topics for historiographical essays:

  1. The Soviet internment camps of the Stalin Era.
  2. What is the classification of a “historical fact?”
  3. The fate of Japanese Americans during WWII.
  4. Mongolian aid to the Soviet Union during World War II.
  5. An analysis of the main areas of historical research.
  6. What defined a nation’s sovereignty in the XIXth century?
  7. The activity of Pamela Parsons in the 70s.
  8. “The Life of the Prophet” by Ibn Hisham.
  9. The history of Earth: from its formation to modern times. Make detailed research on the history of Earth. Talk about major geophysical and chemical processes. What did impact the Earth’s formation and evolution?
  10. An argumentative essay. How substantial was the Allies’ aid of “Land Lease” to the USSR in WWII?
  11. Things to know when studying cultural heritage.
  12. Processes of detecting historical excavation sites.

📌 History Persuasive Essay Topics

A persuasive essay is a piece of academic writing where you list two or more points of view on a subject. In such a paper, you use facts and logic to support your perspective.

  1. An argumentative essay on American involvement in WWI. How crucial was it in defeating the German Empire and its allies?  Analyze the impact of America’s contribution to WWI.
  1. Slavery played one of the key roles in Ancient Rome’s rise to power. Discuss the structure of slavery in Ancient Rome. Provide evidence for/against this argument.
  2. Festivals in India are an essential part of the nation’s identity. Analyze the role of local and national Indian festivals. Did they form identities of different cultural groups?
  3. Why did the Soviet Union lose the Cold War? Could it be because of its involvement in Afghanistan? Explore the impact of the Soviet-Afghan War on countries of the Warsaw Pact.
  4. Psychedelic substances allow people to think more creatively. Discuss the effects of different drugs on the human mind. Examine notable cases and experiments with drug testing.
  5. The presentation of the American Revolution in movies. Research a few pieces of cinematography about the American Revolution. Analyze their historical accuracy.
  6. Bipolar disorder essay and Vincent Van Gogh. Analyze activity and medical records of Vincent Van Gogh. Give arguments for/against the aforementioned idea.
Bipolar disorder causes shifts in a person's mood.

Source: Adamhscc.org

  1. Florentine art history. How did the noble patronage of artists contribute to Florentine art? To prove your perspective, examine several famous art patrons of Florence.

⚙ History of Technology Essay Topics

Technology has been the cornerstone of powerful civilizations that moved the world forward. Advancement of technology is a curious phenomenon. It moved at a faster pace with every century of the last millennium.

Here, we will take a look at thought-provoking topics on the history of technology. Besides, you’ll see a few history essay questions on technology.

  1. Advancement of farming technology in the Bronze Age.
  2. Technological advancements of Ancient Rome. Discuss Roman technological inventions. How did they impact the world for many centuries?
  3. Structure of a Roman road. Explain the structure of a Roman road. Discuss how the road system connected the Empire. Did it help to spread Christianity?
  4. The history of genetically modified food: corporation profits and risks.
  5. The history of sanitation in Paris. A tale of revolutionary engineering solutions.
  6. Evolution of heart surgeries.
  7. The scientific contribution of Dr. Ivan Pavlov to physiology.
  8. Avicenna (Ibn Sina) and the history of medieval medicine. Talk about Avicenna’s contribution to medicine. How accurate were his thoughts on it?
Avicenna memorized the entire Qur'an by age 10.

Source: Britannica.com

  1. The trebuchet: the deadliest siege weapon of Medieval Europe.
  2. The history of limb surgery: from pirates to modern medicine.
  3. Japanese experiments on humans during WWII.  Did they provide humanity with valuable data on the human organism?
  4. Naval technology throughout human history. Research military and civic solutions of naval engineering during various periods. Consider Antiquity, Middle Ages, Age of Discovery, Age of Enlightenment, etc.
  5. Rapid European scientific advancement of the Age of Enlightenment. Why did the advancement of science and technology in Europe increase in the 18-19th centuries?
  6. History of blimps: strengths and weaknesses.
  7. First computers of WWII. Study the first computer systems of WWII. Explain their technical capabilities and flaws.
  8. How did the new technology make WWI so high with casualties?
  9. The science of an atomic bomb: a case study.
  10. How online social media impacted global society in the 2010s?
  11. How China introduced new types of censorship with the creation of the Internet.
  12. Compare college education of the XIXth century and modern times.
  13. The city of Tenochtitlan. The technological marvel of the Aztecs.

🎶 Music History Essay Topics

Music is one of the most effective examples of human genius. People have made music to express their emotions to each other. Thus, the history of music is extensive and rich in detail. Exploring it can be just as fascinating as listening to music.

Below, you’ll find the best ideas on the history of music to talk about:

  1. Jazz, New Orleans, and the Roaring Twenties: a musical phenomenon. Discuss the genre’s origins and technical aspects.
  2. The music of the Antiquity of the Mediterranean region. From Egypt and Greece to Rome.
  3. The use of music in Ancient Rome.
  1. Techniques a style of Mozart and Beethoven. A critical analysis.
  2. Studio 54 – a story of disco, glamour, and exclusivity.
  3. The history of organum and organ music.
  4. Advancement of music technology in the early XXth century.
  5. Baroque music and its famous composers. Analyze the technical details behind baroque music. Give examples of its notable composers.
  6. Music theater as the main source of musical innovation of the late classical era.
  7. Detailed analysis of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Examine the composer’s final symphony. Explore Beethoven’s health complications during the last years of his life.
  8. Religion and music: how Christianity employed the vocal skills of monks. Research the history and characteristics of the Gregorian chant.
  9. The golden era of classical music of the XVIIth-XIXth centuries in Germany and Austria.
  10. The musical experiments by Andy Warhol.
  11. The musical instruments of the Renaissance and modern times. What are the similarities and differences?
  12. Musical instruments and chants of Bronze Age Mesopotamia.
  13. Bohemian Rhapsody: a musical analysis. Discuss the story behind the creation of Queen’s famous song.
  14. Lively music and deadly drugs. How did narcotics become a part of the music industry in the 60s and 70s?
  15. The history of the club culture of New York. Discuss the history of clubs in New York. How did the advocates for gay rights start the new idea of clubbing?
  16. The emergence of hip-hop and rap in Uptown Brooklyn and the Bronx. Analyze how the new genre started commenting on the reality of streets and black rights.
  17. The history of Woodstock – America’s most iconic music festival.

👍 Good History Essay Questions

Writing an essay about countries should be divided into European and American theaters. Each region has a history rich in events and personalities.

Below, there are great European and US history essay questions for your paper:

🌄 American History Essay Questions

  1. How did medics deal with casualties during the US Civil War? Talk about the organization of medical staff on both sides of the war. Analyze the treatment methods applied to wounded soldiers.
  2. What factors contributed to the victory in the American Revolution?
  3. US economy and culture of the 1920s. How did it develop?
  4. How did civil rights develop during the Reconstruction era?
The Civil Rights Act became law over a president's veto.

Source: Britannica.com

  1. Why was slavery so popular in the southern states? Analyze the economy of the southern states in America. Explain why slavery has such deep roots there.
  2. Why did the United States emerge as a superpower after WWII?
  3. Who were the main benefactors of the US economy in the early 20th century?

🏘 European History Essay Questions

  1. The Renaissance essay. Why and how did naturalistic beauty become the main element of art?
  2. What are the key ideas in Robin Briggs’s historical research on witchcraft?
  3. The Modern European history question. How did the Mafia operate in Italy? Analyze the roots of Italian Mafia, its organizational structure. What were its spheres of influence?
  4. Which scientific innovations were discovered in the late XIXth and early XXth century Europe?
  5. Tudor history: what caused the English Reformation?
  6. How did colonization transform the economies of European empires?
  7. Which economic and political benefits were introduced at the creation of the European Union? Elaborate on the history of the EU. Analyze its economic and political aspects.

🔥 5 Tips for Writing an Essay in Class

For whatever reason, you need to write an in-class essay. It could be an exam or an ordinary assignment. It doesn’t matter as the goal remains the same. You have to compose a coherent paper in a short amount of time under supervision.

What is the best way to handle working under such pressure? By following our tips:

1. Practice beforehand

Any sort of training makes a person comfortable with the upcoming task. Practice writing an essay so that you memorize the format. Keep in mind how to outline the paper and some useful words for transitions. Even when you’re unfamiliar with the topic, you’ll still know where to begin without thinking.

2. Forget to panic

Students can lose time by bracing themselves. By staring on the blank page with the essay question can help no one. The sooner you start the task, the better. Don’t let your brain panic!

3. Plan before you write

Starting the essay right away may be tempting and promising, but that’s how you make mistakes. Reread and analyze the given question, notice the keywords. Make sure you’re answering what’s asked, not more or less. Come up with a thesis statement and make an outline.

Clear your thoughts to focus on your task.

Properly organizing your paper saves your time and reduces stress. It ensures that you addressed every issue. Plus, it shows whether you connected every argument to the thesis statement. Besides, putting topic sentences and transitions in the outline makes them less repetitive in the essay.

4. Keep in mind your writing speed

Remember the first tip? This one comes naturally from practicing. The more you write, the better you understand your pace. Learn how much time you need to complete each part of the essay writing. Try not to exceed the estimated time for an outline, an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

5. Proofread

Writing in a rush, you may forget about your spelling and punctuation. Save some time for rereading your paper thoroughly. Pay attention to logical reasoning and grammar errors. Add sentences if necessary. Your paper may look messy as long as you do so to improve your writing and ensure the perfect flow.

Proofread. Always.

Thank you for taking some time to read this article. We hope that it will help you in your academic studies. If this article proved to be informative to you, leave a comment below. Share it with others who might need some guidance in their studies.

🔗 References

  1. How To Write a Good History Essay: Robert Pearce for History Today
  2. Elements of an Effective History Exam Essay: Mark Brilliant, Department of History, Program in American Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  3. UChicago Supplemental Essay Questions: College Admissions, University of Chicago
  4. Tips for Writing Essay Exams: Writing Center, University of Washington
  5. Popular Application Essay Topics: The Princeton Review
  6. History Essay Questions: Bartleby
  7. Historiographical Essays: Center for Writing and Speaking, Campbell Hall
  8. What Is the Extended Essay: International Baccalaureate Organization
  9. Persuasion Essays: Sheldon Smith for Eapfoundation.com

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