Professor Celia A. Easton Department of English State University of New York College at Geneseo  

Read a successful essay on Thucydides written by a student in my Fall 1999 section of Humanities 220.

Conventions of Writing Papers in Humanities

approximately one inch margins on all sides page numbers in the upper right hand corner of each page (you may do this by hand; do not number page one) your name, the course number, your professor's name, and the date typed in the upper right hand corner of the first page of your paper (no cover sheet). one staple or paper clip to hold the pages together (no report covers) a final page (which should be numbered but does not count in your total pages) headed with the title "Works Cited."  Do not put that phrase in quotation marks.  List all books you have cited, even if there is only one book in your list. no footnotes or endnotes, unless they are explanatory (all citations will be parenthetically noted in your text).
Fielding satirizes the hypocritical intellectualism of the clergy through the utterances of Parson Barnabas in Joseph Andrews .  Pushed for an explanation of spiritual requirements by Joseph, who believes he will die shortly, Barnabas defines by tautology: "Joseph desired to know what [Christian] forgiveness was.  'That is,' answered Barnabas, 'to forgive them as -- as -- it is to forgive them as -- in short, it is to forgive them as a Christian'" (Fielding, 49).  Exhausted by his physical condition, Joseph abandons his spiritual quest. Fielding implies that Barnabas' healthy parishioners are regularly exhausted by their spiritual leader's obfuscated doctrine.
Pantheon, 1985.
Heights: Harlan Davidson, Inc., 1982.
Mifflin, 1960.
Literary History 10 (1979): 557-580.
in Europe from Prehistory to the Present .  Vol. 1.  New York: Harper and Row, 1989.  2 vols.

The Royal Literary Fund

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Humanities essays

What are the humanities.

The humanities refer to subjects that study people, their ideas, history, and literature. To put that another way, the humanities are those branches of learning regarding primarily as having a cultural character.

For example, one of the UK’s academic funding bodies, the Arts & Humanities Research Board or AHRB, tends to concentrate on the following sorts of subjects: Classics, Visual Arts and Media, Modern Languages, Music and Performing Arts, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Medieval and Modern History.

Key features – primary & secondary texts

In the majority of these subjects you begin with a primary text – e.g. a play or a film or a set of historical events. You are expected to show good knowledge of the primary text and to mount a discussion of it – or of aspects of it – that is located within current critical debate about it. You are expected to use your own judgement about other people’s judgements of the primary text.

Key features – logical argument

Readers of your essay will look for an argument that is clearly expressed in a logical order. They will not expect your essay to follow a specific set structure. For example, an English Literature essay might start with a plot summary of the work being discussed, a quote from the work or a quote from critical writing on the work. The important thing is to use your starting point to say clearly what you are going to write about and why; and to make the rest of your discussion flow naturally from it

Key features – balanced discussion

This is probably the one feature that distinguishes humanities essays from other sorts of writing. This does not mean that scientific papers or social science essays aren’t balanced discussions: it means that a humanities essay is more likely to have review various opinions and interpretations.

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Writing in Philosophy   values logical reasoning — in other words, Philosophy is interested in  how  you argue. Writing in Philosophy can include   several types of writing tasks, like original arguments, argument reconstruction, objections and replies, and/or thought experiments. As the UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Center’s Philosophy writing guide points out, each type of writing has a different goal to achieve and so needs a different approach from the writer.

For example, an objection to an argument must give reasons for why the argument or its reasoning is flawed: maybe the premises don’t really support the claims, or the argument doesn’t use its terms consistently, or the conclusion relies on unspoken assumptions; etc. When building arguments in Philosophy, writers need to be careful to avoid logical fallacies, which create flaws in an argument and weaken its reasoning. 

Remember, also, that writing in Philosophy often uses specialized terminology with meanings that are specific to Philosophy itself. When defining these terms in an argument — like ‘vague,’ ‘logical,’ or ‘truth’ — writers should  not  use a standard dictionary. For philosophical terms, look up Philosophy reference materials or even Pryor’s “Philosophical Glossary for Beginners” for a head-start.

Writing in Philosophy should be clear and straightforward so that a reader does not misinterpret the argument. So, writers should use plain prose and a clear structure. To help your reader follow your argument, try to ‘signal’ to them what you’re doing (for example, “As I have just explained” or “Smith’s next premise that…”).

Writing in Music can involve several types of assignments, and   UNC-Chapel Hill’s Writing Center’s Music writing guide talks about approaches for argumentative papers, concert reports, historical analyses, song analyses, and performance or media comparisons. They also give tips for describing music, using music terminology (and terms to avoid), and making arguments about music.

Writers in Music should be careful to avoid common pitfalls, like projecting emotional content, mixing or misusing terminology, or using the wrong tense.   When writing technical descriptions of music, explain why the details you’ve described are important — try to avoid giving a “‘blow-by-blow’ analysis.”   Duke University’s Writing Studio’s Music writing guide explains more “actions” for writing in Music, including tips like providing the relevant sections of the score in your examples, supporting your evaluations with evidence from the music, and always explaining your examples.

The ultimate goal in writing in the humanities is to explain or understand the human experience and human values. The humanities—also called the liberal arts—include philosophy, religion, art, music, literature, history, and language. These fields are a broad way of studying and understanding how people express ideas, information, and feelings—the experience of what makes us human. Sometimes mislabeled as the “opposite” of the applied sciences or professional programs such as business, the humanities are in fact at the core of every human endeavor to pursue, discover, and pass on knowledge.

A good literature paper has a debatable argument (or thesis) that is well supported. This argument is your own original idea, based on a thorough understanding of the text and supported with careful reasoning. So, what makes a good literature paper? 

An argument:  when you write an extended literary essay, often one requiring research, you are essentially making an argument. You are arguing that your perspective-an interpretation, an evaluative judgment, or a critical evaluation-is a valid one.

A Debatable Thesis Statement:  like any argument paper you have ever written for a first-year composition course, you must have a specific, detailed thesis statement that reveals your perspective, and, like any good argument, your perspective must be one which is debatable.

  • You would not   want to make an argument of this sort:

Shakespeare's Hamlet is a play about a young man who seeks revenge.

That doesn't say anything-it's basically just a summary and is hardly debatable.

  • A better thesis would be this:

Hamlet experiences internal conflict because he is in love with his mother.

That is debatable, controversial even. The rest of a paper with this argument as its thesis will be an attempt to show, using specific examples from the text and evidence from scholars, (1) how Hamlet is in love with his mother, (2) why he's in love with her, and (3) what implications there are for reading the play in this manner.

  • You also want to avoid a thesis statement like this:

Spirituality means different things to different people. King Lear, The Book of Romans, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance each view the spirit differently.

Again, that says nothing that's not already self-evident. Why bother writing a paper about that? You're not writing an essay to list works that have nothing in common other than a general topic like "spirituality." You want to find certain works or authors that, while they may have several differences, do have some specific, unifying point. That point is your thesis.

Lear, Romans, and Zen each view the soul as the center of human personality.

Then you prove it, using examples from the texts that show that the soul is the center of personality.

Research papers are perhaps the most common form of writing you should expect in a history course.   As the name suggests, these assignments require you to participate in historical research. After reading through primary and secondary sources, you will need to interpret them in a way that can answer some question about the past.

When writing a historical research paper, your goal is to choose a topic and write a paper that:

      1) Asks a good historical question—your inquiry should capture the complexities of history, examining how certain factors contributed to an event or how an event could be examined or understood in a new light, apart from what previous historians have suggested.

      2) Tells how your ideas connect to previous work by other historians, and

      3) Offers a well-organized and persuasive thesis of your own.

Art History

Evaluating and writing about visual material uses many of the same analytical skills that you have learned from other fields, such as history or literature. In art history, however, you will be asked to gather your evidence from close observations of objects or images. Beyond painting, photography, and sculpture, you may be asked to write about posters, illustrations, coins, and other materials.

Some helpful tips when writing for theology classes:

1. Know what kind of paper you are writing.

  • If it is a spirituality/reflection paper, you can use first person.
  • If it is a biblical studies/analysis paper, use third person only.

2. Be extremely clear. Theological writing is very academic. If it helps, state what you will be doing or the purpose of your paper directly in the thesis/introduction.

  • In this paper, I will _______.

3. Read sources carefully

  • Be able to understand what the author is saying and summarize it in your own words.
  • Read footnotes.
  • Make use of sources frequently in your paper.
  • When including a quote, make sure you explain it and incorporate it into the sentence.

4. Useful sources

  • Commentaries: analyses on scripture
  • Good for: exegesis, passage analysis, biblical studies
  • Examples: Anchor Bible Commentary
  • Practical sources: applying theology to the public sphere
  • Good for: ethics, philosophy, history, spirituality
  • Examples: St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Reinhold Niebuhr, H. Richard Niebuhr, Catholic Church catechisms

Philosophy Links

  • Arguments in Philosophy
  • UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Center’s Philosophy writing guide
  • Harvard College's Philosophy writing guide

Theatre Links

  • UNC-Chapel Hill’s Writing Center’s drama guide
  • University of Wisconsin’s Writing Center’s play review guide
  • University of Richmond’s Guidelines for Writing Critiques for Theatre Performances

Literature Links

  • William H. Hannon Library Literature Guide

Music Links

  • UNC-Chapel Hill’s Writing Center’s Music writing guide
  • Richmond University’s Writing Center’s Music writing guide
  • Duke University’s Writing Studio’s Music writing guide

Writing about theatre or drama includes writing about plays, productions, and performances. UNC-Chapel Hill’s Writing Center’s drama guide explains that “writing about drama often means explaining what makes the plays we watch or read so exciting.” They provide a handout for writing about drama, including mini-guides to what elements to consider and analyze when writing specifically about a play, a performance, or a production. 

For a brief overview of some general principles for writing about theatre, refer to the University of Richmond’s Guidelines for Writing Critiques for Theatre Performances. 

Typically, you should format and organize a theatre paper in the same way you would format a paper for your humanities classes, including English 101 and 102. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Begin with an introduction paragraph that includes your thesis. A good thesis for a theater paper will be an argument or central claim about some aspect of the play, production, or performance (such as the ones discussed above) that is specific, bold, and, most importantly, supportable by the evidence you will present in the body paragraphs of the paper.
  • Evidence includes both primary sources (the play or production itself as well as analysis based on your own interpretation) and secondary sources such as scholarly publications you may consult. 
  • End with a conclusion paragraph that reiterates the main points of the paper and gestures beyond its scope to the larger significance of what you have accomplished.
  • Citations should be in MLA format (unless otherwise indicated by your instructor)
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  • 16.8 Spotlight on … Humanities
  • 1 Unit Introduction
  • Introduction
  • 1.1 "Reading" to Understand and Respond
  • 1.2 Social Media Trailblazer: Selena Gomez
  • 1.3 Glance at Critical Response: Rhetoric and Critical Thinking
  • 1.4 Annotated Student Sample: Social Media Post and Responses on Voter Suppression
  • 1.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About a “Text”
  • 1.6 Evaluation: Intention vs. Execution
  • 1.7 Spotlight on … Academia
  • 1.8 Portfolio: Tracing Writing Development
  • Further Reading
  • Works Cited
  • 2.1 Seeds of Self
  • 2.2 Identity Trailblazer: Cathy Park Hong
  • 2.3 Glance at the Issues: Oppression and Reclamation
  • 2.4 Annotated Sample Reading from The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
  • 2.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about How Identity Is Constructed Through Writing
  • 2.6 Evaluation: Antiracism and Inclusivity
  • 2.7 Spotlight on … Variations of English
  • 2.8 Portfolio: Decolonizing Self
  • 3.1 Identity and Expression
  • 3.2 Literacy Narrative Trailblazer: Tara Westover
  • 3.3 Glance at Genre: The Literacy Narrative
  • 3.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • 3.5 Writing Process: Tracing the Beginnings of Literacy
  • 3.6 Editing Focus: Sentence Structure
  • 3.7 Evaluation: Self-Evaluating
  • 3.8 Spotlight on … The Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN)
  • 3.9 Portfolio: A Literacy Artifact
  • Works Consulted
  • 2 Unit Introduction
  • 4.1 Exploring the Past to Understand the Present
  • 4.2 Memoir Trailblazer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • 4.3 Glance at Genre: Conflict, Detail, and Revelation
  • 4.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
  • 4.5 Writing Process: Making the Personal Public
  • 4.6 Editing Focus: More on Characterization and Point of View
  • 4.7 Evaluation: Structure and Organization
  • 4.8 Spotlight on … Multilingual Writers
  • 4.9 Portfolio: Filtered Memories
  • 5.1 Profiles as Inspiration
  • 5.2 Profile Trailblazer: Veronica Chambers
  • 5.3 Glance at Genre: Subject, Angle, Background, and Description
  • 5.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Remembering John Lewis” by Carla D. Hayden
  • 5.5 Writing Process: Focusing on the Angle of Your Subject
  • 5.6 Editing Focus: Verb Tense Consistency
  • 5.7 Evaluation: Text as Personal Introduction
  • 5.8 Spotlight on … Profiling a Cultural Artifact
  • 5.9 Portfolio: Subject as a Reflection of Self
  • 6.1 Proposing Change: Thinking Critically About Problems and Solutions
  • 6.2 Proposal Trailblazer: Atul Gawande
  • 6.3 Glance at Genre: Features of Proposals
  • 6.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Slowing Climate Change” by Shawn Krukowski
  • 6.5 Writing Process: Creating a Proposal
  • 6.6 Editing Focus: Subject-Verb Agreement
  • 6.7 Evaluation: Conventions, Clarity, and Coherence
  • 6.8 Spotlight on … Technical Writing as a Career
  • 6.9 Portfolio: Reflecting on Problems and Solutions
  • 7.1 Thumbs Up or Down?
  • 7.2 Review Trailblazer: Michiko Kakutani
  • 7.3 Glance at Genre: Criteria, Evidence, Evaluation
  • 7.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Black Representation in Film" by Caelia Marshall
  • 7.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Entertainment
  • 7.6 Editing Focus: Quotations
  • 7.7 Evaluation: Effect on Audience
  • 7.8 Spotlight on … Language and Culture
  • 7.9 Portfolio: What the Arts Say About You
  • 8.1 Information and Critical Thinking
  • 8.2 Analytical Report Trailblazer: Barbara Ehrenreich
  • 8.3 Glance at Genre: Informal and Formal Analytical Reports
  • 8.4 Annotated Student Sample: "U.S. Response to COVID-19" by Trevor Garcia
  • 8.5 Writing Process: Creating an Analytical Report
  • 8.6 Editing Focus: Commas with Nonessential and Essential Information
  • 8.7 Evaluation: Reviewing the Final Draft
  • 8.8 Spotlight on … Discipline-Specific and Technical Language
  • 8.9 Portfolio: Evidence and Objectivity
  • 9.1 Breaking the Whole into Its Parts
  • 9.2 Rhetorical Analysis Trailblazer: Jamil Smith
  • 9.3 Glance at Genre: Rhetorical Strategies
  • 9.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Rhetorical Analysis: Evicted by Matthew Desmond” by Eliana Evans
  • 9.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about Rhetoric
  • 9.6 Editing Focus: Mixed Sentence Constructions
  • 9.7 Evaluation: Rhetorical Analysis
  • 9.8 Spotlight on … Business and Law
  • 9.9 Portfolio: How Thinking Critically about Rhetoric Affects Intellectual Growth
  • 10.1 Making a Case: Defining a Position Argument
  • 10.2 Position Argument Trailblazer: Charles Blow
  • 10.3 Glance at Genre: Thesis, Reasoning, and Evidence
  • 10.4 Annotated Sample Reading: "Remarks at the University of Michigan" by Lyndon B. Johnson
  • 10.5 Writing Process: Creating a Position Argument
  • 10.6 Editing Focus: Paragraphs and Transitions
  • 10.7 Evaluation: Varied Appeals
  • 10.8 Spotlight on … Citation
  • 10.9 Portfolio: Growth in the Development of Argument
  • 11.1 Developing Your Sense of Logic
  • 11.2 Reasoning Trailblazer: Paul D. N. Hebert
  • 11.3 Glance at Genre: Reasoning Strategies and Signal Words
  • 11.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Book VII of The Republic by Plato
  • 11.5 Writing Process: Reasoning Supported by Evidence
  • 12.1 Introducing Research and Research Evidence
  • 12.2 Argumentative Research Trailblazer: Samin Nosrat
  • 12.3 Glance at Genre: Introducing Research as Evidence
  • 12.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth" by Lily Tran
  • 12.5 Writing Process: Integrating Research
  • 12.6 Editing Focus: Integrating Sources and Quotations
  • 12.7 Evaluation: Effectiveness of Research Paper
  • 12.8 Spotlight on … Bias in Language and Research
  • 12.9 Portfolio: Why Facts Matter in Research Argumentation
  • 13.1 The Research Process: Where to Look for Existing Sources
  • 13.2 The Research Process: How to Create Sources
  • 13.3 Glance at the Research Process: Key Skills
  • 13.4 Annotated Student Sample: Research Log
  • 13.5 Research Process: Making Notes, Synthesizing Information, and Keeping a Research Log
  • 13.6 Spotlight on … Ethical Research
  • 14.1 Compiling Sources for an Annotated Bibliography
  • 14.2 Glance at Form: Citation Style, Purpose, and Formatting
  • 14.3 Annotated Student Sample: “Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth” by Lily Tran
  • 14.4 Writing Process: Informing and Analyzing
  • 15.1 Tracing a Broad Issue in the Individual
  • 15.2 Case Study Trailblazer: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
  • 15.3 Glance at Genre: Observation, Description, and Analysis
  • 15.4 Annotated Sample Reading: Case Study on Louis Victor "Tan" Leborgne
  • 15.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About How People and Language Interact
  • 15.6 Editing Focus: Words Often Confused
  • 15.7 Evaluation: Presentation and Analysis of Case Study
  • 15.8 Spotlight on … Applied Linguistics
  • 15.9 Portfolio: Your Own Uses of Language
  • 3 Unit Introduction
  • 16.1 An Author’s Choices: What Text Says and How It Says It
  • 16.2 Textual Analysis Trailblazer: bell hooks
  • 16.3 Glance at Genre: Print or Textual Analysis
  • 16.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Artists at Work" by Gwyn Garrison
  • 16.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Text
  • 16.6 Editing Focus: Literary Works Live in the Present
  • 16.7 Evaluation: Self-Directed Assessment
  • 16.9 Portfolio: The Academic and the Personal
  • 17.1 “Reading” Images
  • 17.2 Image Trailblazer: Sara Ludy
  • 17.3 Glance at Genre: Relationship Between Image and Rhetoric
  • 17.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Hints of the Homoerotic” by Leo Davis
  • 17.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically and Writing Persuasively About Images
  • 17.6 Editing Focus: Descriptive Diction
  • 17.7 Evaluation: Relationship Between Analysis and Image
  • 17.8 Spotlight on … Video and Film
  • 17.9 Portfolio: Interplay Between Text and Image
  • 18.1 Mixing Genres and Modes
  • 18.2 Multimodal Trailblazer: Torika Bolatagici
  • 18.3 Glance at Genre: Genre, Audience, Purpose, Organization
  • 18.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Celebrating a Win-Win” by Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
  • 18.5 Writing Process: Create a Multimodal Advocacy Project
  • 18.6 Evaluation: Transitions
  • 18.7 Spotlight on . . . Technology
  • 18.8 Portfolio: Multimodalism
  • 19.1 Writing, Speaking, and Activism
  • 19.2 Podcast Trailblazer: Alice Wong
  • 19.3 Glance at Genre: Language Performance and Visuals
  • 19.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Are New DOT Regulations Discriminatory?” by Zain A. Kumar
  • 19.5 Writing Process: Writing to Speak
  • 19.6 Evaluation: Bridging Writing and Speaking
  • 19.7 Spotlight on … Delivery/Public Speaking
  • 19.8 Portfolio: Everyday Rhetoric, Rhetoric Every Day
  • 20.1 Thinking Critically about Your Semester
  • 20.2 Reflection Trailblazer: Sandra Cisneros
  • 20.3 Glance at Genre: Purpose and Structure
  • 20.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Don’t Expect Congrats” by Dale Trumbore
  • 20.5 Writing Process: Looking Back, Looking Forward
  • 20.6 Editing Focus: Pronouns
  • 20.7 Evaluation: Evaluating Self-Reflection
  • 20.8 Spotlight on … Pronouns in Context

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Describe various disciplines in the humanities.
  • Evaluate employment opportunities for graduates with humanities degrees.

Although all college instructors value good writing, each area of study has its own set of criteria by which writing is judged. For instance, the loose informal style and speculative content of a reflective essay might be appropriate for an English class but inappropriate for an anthropology class in which the instructor would expect the more formal structures established in that subject area.

As a discipline, the humanities include subjects that focus on human culture and values. Some subjects are literature, languages, classics, art history, film, musicology, philosophy, religion, and often history, which sometimes is placed in the social sciences. The humanities are the foundation of liberal arts and, as such, include a wide variety of writing genres. Research reports, biographies, literary analyses, ethnographies, quantitative reports, proposals, books, journal articles, poetry, film scripts, novels, stories, technical writing, and professional documents are forms of writing particular to the humanities.

As a rule, knowledge in the humanities focuses on texts and on individual ideas, speculations, insights, and imaginative connections. Interpretation in the humanities is thus relatively subjective. Accordingly, much of the writing and research in the humanities is characterized by personal involvement, lively language, and speculative or open-ended conclusions.

The field of English includes the study of not only literature but of literary theory and history, and not only composition but creative and technical writing. In addition, English departments often include linguistics, journalism, folklore, women’s studies, cultural or ethnic studies, and film. In other words, within even one discipline, you might be asked to write several distinct types of papers: personal experience essays for a composition course, analyses for a literature course, abstracts or case studies for a linguistics course, procedural texts for a technical writing course, and short stories for a creative writing course. Consequently, any observations about the different kinds of knowledge and the differing conventions for writing about them are only generalizations. The more carefully you study any one discipline, the more complex it becomes, and the harder it is to make a generalization that does not have numerous explanations.

Careers in the Humanities

Because humanities subjects emphasize critical thinking and clear writing, the skills humanities students obtain are valued in many fields other than the most obvious ones. Humanities majors have gone on to careers in law, medicine (humanities plus pre-med), advertising, journalism, TV and film writing and production, public relations, graphic design, teaching, technical and medical/scientific writing, human resources, and many others. For more information about career opportunities for humanities students, see these sites:

  • Humanities and Social Sciences Careers
  • Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs for Liberal Arts Majors
  • 25 Great Jobs for Humanities Majors

Students’ Stories

Despite strong interest in the humanities—especially in reading, writing, and language—some students avoid humanities subjects as majors because they think they won’t find jobs after graduation. Such fear, however, is unwarranted, as many organizations actively seek students who major in languages or in other humanities disciplines. These graduates are valued for their ability to interpret and analyze text and to write clear, concise, and compelling prose. Moreover, employers realize that students who concentrate on studying people—whether real or fictional—develop insights into human behavior and understanding of how to deal with it. For example, these students who graduated with degrees in humanities subjects have found rewarding work in humanities-related and business fields.

Gabriela Torres majored in film studies, with a minor in theater. Although more interested in the technical aspects of both, she took creative writing classes and enjoyed performing in several college productions. Soon after graduation, Gabriela joined the human resources (HR) department of midsized corporation. Her job is to train new hires and conduct in-service workshops for current employees. Recently her role has expanded to writing, producing, and acting in training videos in which she uses the skills she learned in college—and more.

Derrek Wilson became an international studies major after he received a summer stipend to study in Europe. After only a few weeks there and trips to historic sites, Derrek says he got “hooked on history.” The broad focus of his interdisciplinary major allowed him to take courses in humanities subjects: history, geography, religion, archaeology, and world literature. He had studied Spanish in high school and continued in college. Derrek graduated last year and now works as an international program coordinator for his university. Responsible for logistics of foreign students coming to the United States and for American students going abroad, he oversees housing accommodations, student visas, and travel arrangements. He loves his job and the time he gets to spend in different countries, but he plans to go to law school in a few years—with, you guessed it, a specialty in international and immigration law.

Despite his parents’ warnings that he’d never find a good job, Nick Marelli majored in English. He put his literary interests to work in college as managing editor of the literary magazine and arts editor of the newspaper. When he graduated, he applied, on a whim (and to please his parents), for a management trainee position at a large insurance company. Thinking he would get nowhere without business courses, he was surprised when a recruiter called him for an interview. The interviewer then told him that the company actively seeks English majors because they know how to read carefully, digest and summarize information, think critically, and write clearly, concisely, and correctly. Nick says, “I was surprised when I heard someone other than an English teacher say that. I really like my work, where I’m learning a lot on the spot rather than in a classroom.”

Thinking, Writing, and Publishing

Critical writing requires critical thinking. When an individual or collaborative team articulates their perspective, they provide new knowledge for audiences. In essence, all texts have potential to create new knowledge. A writer of any type of text has the potential to enter a conversation and show audiences new ways to look at a subject.

Learning how to write analytically and critically offers a skill set for crafting various genres, such as information reports, proposals, cost/benefit analyses, instructions, and so on. After you have completed your analysis for this chapter, consider submitting it to an open-access academic journal that highlights the work of undergraduate students in the humanities, such as these:

Undergraduate Journal of Humanistic Studies

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Your Guide to Writing a Humanity Essay

Humanity Essay

Humanity is showing compassion and kindness to others. Writing a humanity essay involves analyzing various aspects of humanity in detail. This article gives you a guide on how to write a humanity essay.

Humanity essay examines the traits, beliefs, relationships, and experiences of people. It focuses on what it is to be human, as well as the struggles, victories, and bonds we make. The human experience is vast and complex, and writing a humanity essay paper allows you to explore this whether your assignment is to write on historical events, personal experiences, philosophical ideas, or societal issues.

How to write a humanity essay

Below is how you write a humanity essay:

  • Choose a topic

Humanity is a broad subject thus you should narrow it down to one of its subtopics. For instance, on a topic like war, you can narrow down to the causes and effects of a war. You should choose a topic that you are interested in and compose a good essay about it.

  • Write an essay outline

After choosing the topic, you should conduct in-depth research and write the information from the research in an essay outline. You should properly structure your essay outline where you note down the key points of every section of the essay. This includes the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Once you start writing your humanity essay, you should use the essay outline as the point of reference.

  • Write the introduction

You should begin the introduction with a hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be an interesting fact about your topic or a rhetorical question. Give background information on the topic and state its relevance. Write a strong thesis statement describing the essay’s main idea. For a better understanding of how to write the introduction, you should research various humanities essay introduction examples.

  • Write the body

The body describes the essay’s theme in depth. You should write well-structured paragraphs with a topic sentence that introduces the paragraph’s key point. Then write middle sentences giving fact-based information or examples of the paragraph’s key point. You should also give your interpretation. Complete the paragraphs with a concluding sentence.

Each paragraph should have a unique key point and if two paragraphs are about the same point use proper transition words such as ‘in addition’, ‘however’, or ‘moreover’. When writing the paragraphs, you should explore the essay’s theme giving your analysis and backing it with factual information or statistics. Always cite all the sources you researched your essay from using the instructed writing format.

  • Write the conclusion

The conclusion is a summary of the humanity essay thus you should not bring new information to it. You should summarize the essay’s key point. Rephrase the thesis statement and state its significance. Complete the conclusion with a closing statement or a call to action.

Using the steps above, you will be able to compose a good humanity essay. You can structure your humanity essay into a 5-paragraph essay . Research various humanities essay examples to properly comprehend the humanities essay structure.

What kind of essays do humanities use

Below are the various kinds of essays that humanities use:

  • Analytical essays

Analytical essays dissect a complicated subject into its constituent parts and examine the connections, importance, and ramifications of each. Critical thinking and making connections between various aspects are prerequisites for these writings.

  • Expository Essays

Expository essays give in-depth explanations of a concept on a topic. These essays offer a thorough and impartial investigation of the topic, frequently with the use of illustrations, proof, and understandable explanations.

  • Comparative essays

A comparative essay entails comparing and analyzing two or more concepts, books, artworks, and historical events. These essays draw attention to the similarities and differences between the concepts being compared as well as a thorough comprehension of each.

  • Literary Analysis Essays

Literary analysis essays analyze and interpret literary works, including plays, novels, and poetry. The topics, characters, symbolism, storytelling devices, and historical background of the work are all explored in depth in these studies.

  • Argumentative essay

Argumentative essays provide a coherent argument and back it up with facts, logic, and refutations. These essays require the writer to take a stance on a certain subject and defend their argument throughout the essay.

Importance of humanities in our lives

Below is the importance of studying humanities and the importance of humanities in our lives:

  • Promoting cultural understanding and empathy

People can immerse themselves in many cultures and historical eras through the study of the humanities. This exposure develops empathy and promotes a culture that is more understanding and aware of the world around them by enabling children to recognize the challenges, victories, and distinctive viewpoints of others.

  • Investigating the state of humanity

The humanities investigate the fundamental aspects of life on Earth, including feelings, goals, worldviews, and social structures. Students learn to struggle with age-old concerns about life, morality, and purpose as well as gain knowledge about the intricacies of human nature via the analysis of literature and philosophy.

  • Developing analytical and problem-solving skills

Education in the humanities fosters critical thinking, the assessment of opposing points of view, and the methodical solution to challenging issues. Students can challenge presumptions, take into account different viewpoints, and make well-informed decisions by delving into complex texts, artwork, and historical settings.

  • Improving expression and communication

Good education is characterized by effective communication. Humanities studies improve one’s ability to write, speak, and read critically, allowing one to express ideas nuancedly, convincingly, and clearly.

  • Cultural heritage preservation

Humanities subjects like literature and art conservation guarantee that human civilization is preserved for coming generations. Societies can comprehend the development of human expression and preserve a close relationship to their historical heritage by studying ancient writings, artifacts, and creative works.

Using the key points above you can compose an importance of humanities in our lives essay and the importance of studying humanities essay.

Tips for writing a humanity essay

  • Write an outline

Before you start writing your essay, you should write an outline. Writing an outline helps to properly plan and organize your ideas for the essay. In the outline, you should write the key points of the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Once you begin writing the essay, use the outline as a guide.

  • Come up with a strong thesis statement

The thesis statement describes the main purpose of the essay. It should be able to show the reader what your essay entails. For an argumentative essay, the thesis statement should be your stance in the argument while for an expository essay, the thesis statement should be the essay’s key idea.

  • Use the correct structure

When writing your essay, you should use the correct humanities essay structure. This ensures there is a flow of information throughout your essay. You should start with the introduction describing what your essay will entail, write the body paragraphs that describe the theme of the essay in-depth, and complete with a conclusion which is a summary of the whole essay.

  • Use proper transition words

When transitioning from one paragraph to the next, you should use proper transition words. You should always have a unique idea for each paragraph and if one paragraph has the same idea as the next you should use proper transition words. Examples of transition words include ‘additionally’, ‘therefore’, or ‘however’. Using transition words provides a consistent flow of information throughout your essay.

  • Cite all the sources

When writing humanities essays, you conduct research from different academic sources such as books, articles, journals, or internet blogs. You should properly cite all the sources used in your essay. When citing the sources, you should use the writing format instructed to use in your essay.

  • Follow all the instructions

When writing your essay, you should follow all the given instructions. This includes the word count and the writing format. You should avoid plagiarism and write an original paper. Plagiarized essays can be easily detected and you can get harsh academic repercussions for that.

  • Proofread the essay

You should proofread the humanity essay severally to omit any mistakes. Proofreading also helps you to check if your work is properly organized. In addition, you can also run your essay on Grammarly to remove any missed mistakes.

Humanities topics ideas

Below are the humanities topics for the essay:

  • Importance of human rights
  • Social changes in third-world countries
  • Causes of interstate conflicts
  • Eradication of worldwide poverty
  • Importance of preservation of historical facts
  • Ethical issues in the society
  • Ways to fight corruption in developed countries
  • Benefits and disadvantages of early marriages
  • The role of the judicial system
  • Effects of racism

The above are a few humanities research paper topics you can use for your humanities papers. When choosing a topic, you should choose a topic that you are interested in and can write a good essay about it.

Writing a humanity essay requires you to choose a topic, do research, and compose a well-structured essay. This article gives you a guide on how to write a humanity essay. If you need help with your humanity essay, we provide professional help with essays .

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How to Write a Humanities Essay

The Uni Tutor is very much aware of the challenges that students need to bear while learning how to write a humanities essay. Humanities essay uses a lot of topics. Other topic associated to humanity may include philosophy, literature, world history, sociology, news, education, international studies and more. Our essay writing service in UK will not just aid you in picking a subject for the paper, but we will also help you in giving your lecturers with different sources, originality, and analysis and in submitting the paper with a precise and lucid conclusion.  Getting to enough know how on how to write a humanities essay recommend the use of solid skills & expertise too. With our affordable essay writing service in UK, pupils can work on full pledged study & eagerness along with devoutness.

When you chose a subject that captures your interest, the humanities essay will have an attention from the readers. The Uni Tutor assignment writers will be the one to work on the paper according to your specifications, structure requirement and it will be crafted with a good humanities paper. To structure the essay accordingly, you must split the subject into different parts like the headings & sub-headings, but there must be a logical & comprehensible approach. The paper must be interlinked, neglecting inconsistent details & broken thoughts or concepts.

Writing the paper

  A humanities essay must start with an introduction where you will indicate the subject. In the introduction, you must be able to describe the subject that will be measured in the description part of the essay. Every description should be carefully justified, with quotes, ideas, concepts taken from different sources. While you are seeking for ways to find out how to write a humanities essay, our team of experts will help you by validating argumentative thoughts to be able to make your essay one of a kind and eye catching at the same time.

It is important that every paragraph in the body has 1 primary idea. The Uni Tutor give academic support and guide for pupils who need a hand while working on persuasive paragraphs of an essay, this will make sure that the paper will be filled with consistent and comprehensible content. Keep in mind that this part gives sustaining material to justify the paper. The paragraphs are interconnected, so that the accuracy of the paper is kept.

The conclusion must be very enticing. It must conform to the statement of the paper in a logical manner by simply using some resources. When you buy The Uni Tutor UK essay writing service, we highly guarantee that you will get the value for your money. You will also learn how to become a good writer of humanities essay according to the writing style set by the lecturers nowadays like the Chicago, Harvard & APA. W have writers that are MSc & PhDs in different aspects of Humanities, so they are very much qualified to compose your paper.

The Uni Tutor offer affordable paper in the UK, which is especially made to aid the pupils in proofreading the essay to recheck for any plagiarized content, and to also be sure that the conclusion will adhere to your paper. The student who has learned the ways to compose an essay in humanities must always keep in mind that there must be cited pages of the essay.

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how to start off a humanities essay

Writing Core Humanities essays

Writing is a major component of the Core Humanities program. It is also an essential skill that will help you to succeed in other courses and in your life beyond college. People who can express themselves clearly in writing have definite advantages over those who cannot, so take advantage of the writing opportunities provided in each course to practice getting better at this.

To write well, you must first have a sound grasp of the rules of grammar, but this alone is not enough to ensure good writing. You also need to think about the way you organize your ideas, how you present your argument, how you incorporate evidence and how you move from one idea to another in your essay. The following guidelines will help you to produce clearly written, well-supported, persuasive essays and to hone your communication skills.

Start early . Unless you are incredibly brilliant, you will not be able to write a really good essay the night before it is due. Insightful, well-organized papers result from careful thinking, re-reading of texts and re-writing of rough drafts, all of which take time.

Decide on a thesis . Good essays are more than just collections of facts or quotations from the readings. They are written with a clear point in mind - something the author wants to say. If the assignment is in the form of a question, your thesis will be your answer to the question. Make sure you have an answer before you begin to write. Do not simply write down everything you know about a topic without addressing the question.

Make an outline . Once you have decided what you are going to say, think about how you are going to say it. What evidence will you use to support your thesis? How will you arrange the evidence? How will you make sure your reader sees the same connections between your evidence and argument that you see? Making an outline forces you to think in an organized manner and arrange your thoughts in a sequence that makes sense. You can always change the organization of your essay later if you think of a better way to arrange your material, but you should always draw up some kind of plan before you begin to write.

Pay attention to structure . The "classic" essay structure (introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion) is classic for a reason: it works. Your introduction should set out clearly and succinctly the thesis of your essay, each body paragraph should provide evidence and/or analysis relating to the main point, the conclusion should summarize (again, succinctly but in different words from the ones you use in your introduction) what you have said.

Use graceful transitions . Your essay should flow logically and coherently from one paragraph to the next. Start a new paragraph for each new idea and try to make the first line of each paragraph relate in some way to the point you made in the preceding one. This is called a transition, or how you get from one idea to another. Just like changing gears, accelerating, or braking in a car, your transitions should be smooth, so that the reader hardly notices them. Good transitions can turn an above-average paper into one that is really classy.

Acknowledge any words and ideas that are not your own . You must properly recognize other people's words by enclosing any phrases taken directly from another source in quotation marks and providing the source information (author's last name, followed by the page number) in parentheses at the end of the sentence in which the quotation appears [e.g.: (Casper and Davies, 49)]. Ideas taken from outside sources and paraphrased in your own words, as well as little-known facts and statistics, must be acknowledged in the same way as direct quotations. See the advice about  avoiding plagiarism  for more information about how to acknowledge and cite sources.

A first draft does not mean you are finished . Read over, correct and re-write your first draft to eliminate bad grammar and syntax, unclear sentences, clumsy transitions, typing errors and spelling mistakes. Keep in mind that the spelling and grammar-check functions on your computer, although useful for a first run through, are no substitute for reading your paper carefully yourself.

Keep to the page limit . Being able to express your ideas clearly and succinctly is a valuable skill and revising an over-long paper to keep within a defined limit helps you to get better at this. If your first draft exceeds the page limit, go back and cut out any unnecessary words or sentences. Finding ways to restate your ideas more directly usually results in a better paper.

Think you are done?  Not quite. Proofread your paper again before you submit it to eliminate any new mistakes that might have crept in when you were revising it. It is often helpful to ask a friend or family member to read your paper before submitting it to make sure it all makes sense and to pick up any errors you may have missed.

Ask for help if you need it . Remember that your instructors are here to help you if you get stuck. If you are having trouble understanding the readings or lectures, email or make an appointment to see your discussion leader or professor. Your discussion section meeting each week is also a good time to ask any questions you have about the material.

Student sat writing at a table. Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

Essay and dissertation writing skills

Planning your essay

Writing your introduction

Structuring your essay

  • Writing essays in science subjects
  • Brief video guides to support essay planning and writing
  • Writing extended essays and dissertations
  • Planning your dissertation writing time

Structuring your dissertation

  • Top tips for writing longer pieces of work

Advice on planning and writing essays and dissertations

University essays differ from school essays in that they are less concerned with what you know and more concerned with how you construct an argument to answer the question. This means that the starting point for writing a strong essay is to first unpick the question and to then use this to plan your essay before you start putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).

A really good starting point for you are these short, downloadable Tips for Successful Essay Writing and Answering the Question resources. Both resources will help you to plan your essay, as well as giving you guidance on how to distinguish between different sorts of essay questions. 

You may find it helpful to watch this seven-minute video on six tips for essay writing which outlines how to interpret essay questions, as well as giving advice on planning and structuring your writing:

Different disciplines will have different expectations for essay structure and you should always refer to your Faculty or Department student handbook or course Canvas site for more specific guidance.

However, broadly speaking, all essays share the following features:

Essays need an introduction to establish and focus the parameters of the discussion that will follow. You may find it helpful to divide the introduction into areas to demonstrate your breadth and engagement with the essay question. You might define specific terms in the introduction to show your engagement with the essay question; for example, ‘This is a large topic which has been variously discussed by many scientists and commentators. The principle tension is between the views of X and Y who define the main issues as…’ Breadth might be demonstrated by showing the range of viewpoints from which the essay question could be considered; for example, ‘A variety of factors including economic, social and political, influence A and B. This essay will focus on the social and economic aspects, with particular emphasis on…..’

Watch this two-minute video to learn more about how to plan and structure an introduction:

The main body of the essay should elaborate on the issues raised in the introduction and develop an argument(s) that answers the question. It should consist of a number of self-contained paragraphs each of which makes a specific point and provides some form of evidence to support the argument being made. Remember that a clear argument requires that each paragraph explicitly relates back to the essay question or the developing argument.

  • Conclusion: An essay should end with a conclusion that reiterates the argument in light of the evidence you have provided; you shouldn’t use the conclusion to introduce new information.
  • References: You need to include references to the materials you’ve used to write your essay. These might be in the form of footnotes, in-text citations, or a bibliography at the end. Different systems exist for citing references and different disciplines will use various approaches to citation. Ask your tutor which method(s) you should be using for your essay and also consult your Department or Faculty webpages for specific guidance in your discipline. 

Essay writing in science subjects

If you are writing an essay for a science subject you may need to consider additional areas, such as how to present data or diagrams. This five-minute video gives you some advice on how to approach your reading list, planning which information to include in your answer and how to write for your scientific audience – the video is available here:

A PDF providing further guidance on writing science essays for tutorials is available to download.

Short videos to support your essay writing skills

There are many other resources at Oxford that can help support your essay writing skills and if you are short on time, the Oxford Study Skills Centre has produced a number of short (2-minute) videos covering different aspects of essay writing, including:

  • Approaching different types of essay questions  
  • Structuring your essay  
  • Writing an introduction  
  • Making use of evidence in your essay writing  
  • Writing your conclusion

Extended essays and dissertations

Longer pieces of writing like extended essays and dissertations may seem like quite a challenge from your regular essay writing. The important point is to start with a plan and to focus on what the question is asking. A PDF providing further guidance on planning Humanities and Social Science dissertations is available to download.

Planning your time effectively

Try not to leave the writing until close to your deadline, instead start as soon as you have some ideas to put down onto paper. Your early drafts may never end up in the final work, but the work of committing your ideas to paper helps to formulate not only your ideas, but the method of structuring your writing to read well and conclude firmly.

Although many students and tutors will say that the introduction is often written last, it is a good idea to begin to think about what will go into it early on. For example, the first draft of your introduction should set out your argument, the information you have, and your methods, and it should give a structure to the chapters and sections you will write. Your introduction will probably change as time goes on but it will stand as a guide to your entire extended essay or dissertation and it will help you to keep focused.

The structure of  extended essays or dissertations will vary depending on the question and discipline, but may include some or all of the following:

  • The background information to - and context for - your research. This often takes the form of a literature review.
  • Explanation of the focus of your work.
  • Explanation of the value of this work to scholarship on the topic.
  • List of the aims and objectives of the work and also the issues which will not be covered because they are outside its scope.

The main body of your extended essay or dissertation will probably include your methodology, the results of research, and your argument(s) based on your findings.

The conclusion is to summarise the value your research has added to the topic, and any further lines of research you would undertake given more time or resources. 

Tips on writing longer pieces of work

Approaching each chapter of a dissertation as a shorter essay can make the task of writing a dissertation seem less overwhelming. Each chapter will have an introduction, a main body where the argument is developed and substantiated with evidence, and a conclusion to tie things together. Unlike in a regular essay, chapter conclusions may also introduce the chapter that will follow, indicating how the chapters are connected to one another and how the argument will develop through your dissertation.

For further guidance, watch this two-minute video on writing longer pieces of work . 

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Humanities LibreTexts

5.2: Writing in the Humanities

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Introduction

"All great literature addresses directly or indirectly two questions:  What kind of world is this?  and  How should we live in it? "

--Christopher Clausen

Writing in the humanities includes posing questions dealing with human values. The ultimate goal in writing in the humanities is to explain/share the human experience, to use writing as a tool to reflect upon life, and to tell how life should, or should not, be lived. "Humanities" as a discipline includes not only literature, but also philosophy, ethics, performing arts, fine arts, history, aspects of anthropology and cultural studies, foreign languages, linguistics, jurisprudence, political science, and sociology. In a humanities class, you might be asked to attempt the analysis of a poem, a performance or a play, a painting, a film or even a musical performance.

There is often a difference in feel between writing in the Sciences and writing in the Humanities. Writing in the Sciences is often convergent (meaning oriented toward finding or articulating a specific answer to a specific question). Writing in the Humanities is often divergent (meaning oriented toward exploration of multiple answers to multiple questions).

Categories of Humanities Writing

Writing in the Humanities falls into three categories: theoretical writing, creative writing, and interpretive and analytical writing. Term papers and research papers are included in this discipline of writing when their topics pertain to the field of humanities.

Theoretical Writing

Theoretical writing involves writing on a topic from a theoretical perspective. In physics, for example, there is a theory on how the galaxy operates called the "string theory." A physics paper centered around the string theory would be considered a theoretical paper.

Creative Writing

Creative writing attempts to achieve, or create, an affect in the minds of the readers. The intended affect differs depending on the goals of the writer. The intention may be to expound on the grieving process (catharsis), or to make a person laugh or cry. The potential results are unlimited. Creative writing can also be used as an outlet for people to get their thoughts and feelings out and onto paper. Many people enjoy creative writing but prefer not to share it. Creative writing can take place in a variety of forms. Poems, short stories, novels, and even song lyrics are all examples of creative writing. Viewpoints regarding what exactly is encompassed under the term  creative writing  differ. To some, non-fiction can be considered creative writing because it is done from the author's point of view and may be written in an individual style that engages the reader. In fact, many universities offer courses in "Creative non-fiction." Others like to separate non-fiction from creative writing because it deals with details that actually took place, even if viewed subjectively. Regardless, the outlook of the writer is what matters, and whether something is considered creative writing or not is less important than producing a product that you can be proud of.

A narrator is the voice or person who tells the story. One must never assume that a narrator of a story is related to the author in any way. Even if we, as an audience, are aware that the author of the story once had a similar experience to that of the narrator, we cannot make assumptions that there is any truth to the text. When writing or discussing criticism, the intent of the author is also off limits because regardless of the author intent, the value of a text is determined by reader response alone. An example of an author having a similar experience to the narrator of a story she'd written, is Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story  The Yellow Wallpaper.  Because the author had released statements revealing that she'd had a smilar medical treatment in her life to the narrator of her story, we still cannot assume that the narrator and Gilman are one in the same person.

A  First-Person  narrator is when one person narrates the story. Thus, a reader will recognize a first-person narrator because the pro-nouns "I" and "my" will be used. Because the story is narrated by one person, we are limited to the thoughts and observations of that person. There are many reasons that an author may choose to use a first-person narrator, but the reason is mainly to demonstrate the changes within one particular character, and also to build suspense. For example, if an author were to suddenly switch a first-person novel to a third-person narrator, the "who-done-it" aspect of the story would be ruined because we would suddenly be able to dive into the minds of multiple characters.

There is also  Third-person limited  and  Third-person omniscient.  Third-person limited is when the narrator is limited to the thoughts of one particular character, but there is a little more freedom than with a first-person narrator because the narrator can more easily observe the behavior of others. Finally, a third-person omniscient narrator is when the lens of the storyteller is pulled back even further, but we are able to dive into the minds of any and all characters. Therefore, a third-person omniscient narrater is rather God-like in that it enables us to know absolutely anything and everything that is happening in the novel. This may sound like the most enjoyable way to compose, but as stated earlier, there are drawbacks to this kind of narrator in that it may be harder to create an element of surprise for the reader.

Literary Periods

Deconstructionism  is an approach to literature which suggests that literary works do not yield a single, fixed meaning because we can never say what we truly mean in language.

Early Modern Era  Period extending from about 1500 to 1800, marked by the advent of colonialism and capitalism.

Modernism  Writing and art roughly made in at the start of WWI (1914) through the end of WWII (1945).

Postmodernism  is a literary and artistic movement that flourished in the late twentieth century, partly in response to Modernism. A common theme in this kind of work is self-reflexiveness.

Interpretive and Analytical Writing

Interpretive writing.

  • An interpretation involves the discovery of meaning in a text (or film or painting, etc.) or the production of meaning in the process of reading a text. Therefore, interpretive writing must address many questions. It tries to assist the reader in understanding specific events (literary, cultural, or otherwise) rather than just engaging in summary. For example, a student writing an interpretive paper about a specific book may try to explain the author's attitudes or views on a specific subject matter. The writer of the paper then uses the evidence found in that book to back up his or her claims. A poor example of interpretive writing is a book report. A good example of interpretive writing is a scholarly article about another text.

Writing might ask questions such as, "Why did these events happen?" or "What was the significance of these events to the author or main character?" as opposed to, "What happened" or "How did these events come about?" The former questions encourage writers to explore their own thoughts or to delve into the mind of the writer of the text, or even attempt to put himself in the shoes of the protagonist. The latter is less challenging, as the book or piece of literature will plainly lay this type of information out for the reader.

Analytical Writing

  • Analytical writing examines the components of a text. Writers of analytical essays or articles consider information, break it apart, and reconstruct it in order to describe the information so another reader can make sense of it. Writers must make sense of a work before they can begin to describe its constituent parts.
  • Analytical writing focuses on the words "how" and "why." A writer often uses each of these two terms to give proof of their current analogies. By using these strong terms, a reader can feel that the writer is confident in their work and know "how" and "why" they should react.
  • Analytical writing happens in four steps. The  first  step is to clearly identify the problem, the question, or the issue. The  second  step is to define the issue. The  third  step is the actual analysis of the topic. Finally, the  fourth  step defines the relationship between the issue and the analysis of that issue.

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

  • There is a lot of overlap in the processes of analysis and interpretation, especially when writing about literature. Writing about literature (poems, short stories, plays, etcs) often involves making an argument that can be backed up with specific examples from the text. When interpreting a poem the writer should expect that they will have to include specific references to the lines, words, or phrases to which they are referring. A writer analyzing the main character in  The Great Gatsby  should include specific references that explain why they have reached a particular conclusion.
  • An essay dealing with literature should not be a summary of the text. It doesn't always hurt to give a few background examples, but the writer should focus on talking about the portions of the text that emphasize their points, not summarizing the entire piece for the reader. If the reader isn't familiar with the primary text, they can go back and read it themselves. The interpreter's job isn't to recap, but to make an argument, and hopefully provide some sort of illumination of the work.
  • A piece of literature should always be referred to in the present tense.
  • Take a look at this sample essay on the play  A Midsummer Night's Dream

Sample Essay

It’s hard to read A Midsummer Night’s Dream without noticing at least some duality within the play. While it’s relatively easy to spot in the “lamentable comedy” performed by the mechanicals, there are also more nuanced examples that are introduced in Act 2, Scene 1. This scene reveals some of the play’s duality, specifically in regards to the fairies, as it continues to build on Act 1’s theme of conflict between lovers.

The start of this scene opens with Puck talking with another fairy. This is the first appearance of any fairies and it adds a fantasy, or dream-like, element to the play. The unnamed fairy announces that, “I serve the Fairy Queen, / To dew her orb upon the green” (2.1.8-9). This fits the idea that many people have of fairies; they are pleasant folk associated with nature. Nothing about this fairy is threatening or even mischievous. This is directly at odds with the character of Puck. Puck spends his time pretending to be footstools that women can sit on, “Then I slip from her bum, down topples she, / And ‘Tailor’ cries, and falls into a cough” (2.1.53-54). He “frights the maidens of the villagery” (2.1.35) and does things like, “mislead might wanderers, laughing at their harm?” (2.1.39). While the unnamed fairy is out spreading dew upon blades of grass, Puck is out spreading mischief. The unnamed fairy represents the good within fairy-kind, while Puck represents the potentially threatening. An examination of Puck’s name adds to this. According to the unnamed fairy, Puck is also known as Robin Goodfellow (2.1.34); but, he doesn’t go by that name, he goes by Puck. If Puck were a more good-natured fairy, he might prefer to go by the name Robin Goodfellow. However, his decision to play a darker role than the other fairies mirrors his decision to go by a less pleasant sounding moniker. Puck is more of an imp than a fairy. He has a trickster mentality that isn’t present in the other fairies.

Puck and the unnamed fairy are representative of two larger factions, which are each headed by a more powerful fairy. At the beginning of the scene the unnamed fairy says she serves the fairy queen, and Puck later reveals who he serves by saying, “I jest to Oberon and make him smile” (2.1.44). Later in this scene Oberon will ask Puck to run an errand for him, and the sensitivity of the errand suggests that Oberon wouldn’t trust just anyone with it. In addition to being Oberon’s jester, Puck is also his confidant.

Oberon’s entrance into the scene matches the more threatening demeanor that Puck embodies. Puck notes that, “Oberon is passing fell and wrath, / Because that she as her attendant hath / A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king” (2.1.20-22). Oberon and all he represents is at odds with Titania and all that she represents. Oberon and Titania’s conflict is in addition to the other conflicts in the play between couples: Theseus and Hippolyta and the Lysander/Hermia/Demetrius/Helena quartet. It’s also fitting that Oberon and Titania are arguing over a human boy. The human world has created conflict in the fairy world, just as the fairy world will later on intensify the conflict of the human world of the four lovers.

Oberon and Titania are shown in this scene as having emotions like any ordinary human. This reinforces the bond between the two worlds in the play; the world of fantasy and the more concrete world that the humans live in. Oberon and Titania both have other lovers. Titania notes that Oberon has been spending time with Phillida and Hippolyta (2.1.66-71), while Oberon counters that Hippolyta has been intimate with Theseus (2.1.76-80). They argue over infidelity like any humans would in a similar relationship. The fact that they both appear to have cheated on one another may not entirely add up since Titania appears to represent a kinder, gentler fairy demographic, as opposed to Oberon’s more threatening one. But Titania says why she cheated. She calls her infidelities, “the forgeries of jealousy” (2.1.81). Titania is arguing that she only cheated because Oberon drove her to it. Perhaps, she needed more attention than Oberon was willing to give. Perhaps, she was trying to hurt Oberon like he had hurt her. These are very human reactions and impulses.

Yet, these are not mere humans, but fairies: not just fairies, but fairy royalty. Because of this wrinkle, their actions, and their discord, has a marked effect on the world around them. Once Oberon started cheating on Titania,

         The winds, piping to us in vain,          As in revenge, have sucked up from the sea          Contagious fogs which, falling in the land,          Hath every pelting river made so proud          That they have overborne their continents.  (2.1.88-92)

In addition to the floods there are also droughts, famine and a host of other issues (2.1.93-114). The relationship of these two is clearly the reason for the disturbance in nature. This is shown when Titania says, “And this same progeny of evils comes / from our debate, from our dissension. / We are their parents and original” (2.1.115-117). The trouble that has overtaken the natural world is at odds with the preparations concerning the festival that are taking place within Athens. Much as the forest world is a different place than the stone walls of Athens. Yet, despite their differences, nature and the civilized world will interact. It’s impossible to keep them completely apart despite their separate natures.

It’s also worth noting how the relationship between Oberon and Titania was prior to their discord,

         Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead,          By paved fountain or by rushy brook,          Or in the beached margent of the sea,          To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind.  (2.1.83-86)

They were like two young lovers, who met everywhere and couldn’t get enough of each other before Oberon ruins things. Titania says to him, “But with thy brawls thou hast disturbed our sport” (2.1.87). Certainly, many relationships encounter problems after an initial period of bliss; but, it should also be noted that abusive people often appear to be sweet and caring before their true colors show. Oberon may just be that cruel. He only wants the Indian boy because Titania has him; perhaps, specifically because Titania loves him. After all, Oberon wants the boy to be a, “Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild” (2.1.25). As the fairy king Oberon must have plenty of others whom he could get to fill that type of position. Titania, on the other hand, genuinely cares for him. We know this because she, “Crowns him with flowers, and makes him all her joy” (2.1.27). Oberon can’t quite comprehend why Titania shouldn’t do what he says and he says so, “Why should Titania cross her Oberon?” (2.1.119). Because Oberon can’t comprehend why Titania would cross him, he sends Puck to get him a juice that will allow him to force Titania into submission (2.1.169-174). Oberon’s unwillingness to allow Titania’s free spirit to go unpunished is a perfect example of the cruel and threatening demeanor of his. The element of fantasy that the fairies add can be dreamlike, but dreams can become nightmares, and Oberon is a darker personality to counter Titania’s light.

This scene also has Demetrius and Helena in it, and provides us great insight into their characters. Demetrius is brushing off Helena and she says,

         I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,          The more you beat me I will fawn on you.          Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,          Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,          Unworthy as I am, to follow you.  (2.1.203-207)

This works on a variety of levels. For one, it brings into the play a darker, more masochistic, idea of love that is at odds with the pure notion of love that the audience may assume that Lysander and Hermia share. It also reveals Helena as a woman who acts the opposite of Titania. Titania handles her abusive relationship by seeking love in another’s arms, by spending time with the people who care for her, and by devoting her time to a boy. She separates herself from her abuser, Oberon, rather than seeking his company. Hermia seeks the abuse out. She views any attention, no matter how negative, as positive simply because it’s some sort of attention. If Demetrius gave her positive attention, perhaps she wouldn’t be happy for long. Demetrius, on the other hand, tells Helena that looking at her makes him sick (2.1.213). He talks to her as if he hates her, and it takes a hard-heart to look so cruelly on someone so pathetic. Oberon happens to witness the exchange between these two and he sends Puck to put Demetrius under the same spell that he wants Titania put under (2.1.259-266). It’s this part of the scene that sets into motion the rest of the play, as Titania is put under the spell’s effects, and Puck inadvertently finds Lysander instead of Demetrius.

In addition to setting the stage for the action that will come afterward, this scene reveals much about the characters within it. It introduces the fairies and their duality, and it builds up a darker aspect of the play through the continuation of conflict that acts to counteract some of the lightheartedness of the play.

Here the writer has chosen to focus on one specific scene in the play, and how it fits their argument about the duality and conflict present within the play. Notice that throughout the entire essay there are numerous examples from within the text. Had the author not included these, or had they just summarized everything briefly, the essay wouldn't be as strong as it currently is. Here the reader can see exactly what lines make the writer think the way they do. Also, notice that the paper isn't a summary of what happens in the scene. When the writer gives details about what happens in the scene, it is because these details relate directly to the topic of their paper.

Research Papers and Term Papers

Term papers have a variety of elements that make them stand out from other papers. They carry three distinct characteristics. First, there is a large amount of research that goes into a term paper. The research contains various findings such as: facts, statistics, interviews, quotes, etc. Researching and gathering data must include understanding that information once it is compiled. The second characteristic is the amount of preparation it takes in gathering, compiling, analyzing, and sorting through everything in order to create a draft of your data. Finally, the third characteristic involves knowing the rules that must be followed when writing a specific term paper in the humanities discipline. These rules will generally be conveyed by your instructor.

Writing the research paper involves a bit of detective work. While there is much reading to be done on the chosen topic, reading is not the only pathway to gain information. As a writer in the humanities, you can also conduct interviews, surveys, polls, and observation clinics. You should research and discover as much information as you can about the given topic so you can form a coherent and valid opinion.

Elements of the Humanities Paper

Many styles of documentation are used when writing the humanities paper. Choosing the style depends on the subject being addressed in the paper and the style your instructor may prefer you use.

When it comes down to actually writing your paper, be sure to include the following elements: an introduction, a thesis statement, the body of the paper (which should include quotations, and, of course, the citations), and the conclusion.

Like most papers and essays, an introduction is absolutely necessary when writing in the humanities. There can be some confusion as to which should come first; the introduction or the thesis statement. This decision could probably be clarified by asking your instructor. Many writers include the thesis statement in their introduction. Generally speaking, however, the introduction usually comes before the thesis statement.

The introduction should grab your reader and make them interested in continuing to read your paper. Ask a question, say something powerful, or say something controversial. Be specific, not vague. Say something interesting, not mundane. Relay something the reader may not know, not something that is public knowledge. The idea is to get the reader's attention, and keep it.

A good intro may go something like this:

"Imagine yourself walking out of class feeling refreshed and relaxed because your day is almost done. You race down the stairs and out the doors just to take in the amazing scent of fresh outside air when suddenly you smell something completely wretched. You notice something that resembles a small grey cloud coming out of a fellow student's mouth. Then your throat begins to feel clogged and just when you can't take it any longer, your lungs give in and you feel as if you can no longer breathe. You think to yourself, 'What's happening to me? Am I dying?' No, not exactly. Your lungs and the rest of your body have just been affected by what is commonly known as passive smoking, which is becoming one of the leading causes of death in the United States."

After the introduction has been written, you can then go into your thesis statement. Many people regard the thesis statement as a continuation of the introduction, only in the next paragraph.

Thesis Statement

The thesis statement should come at the beginning of the paper. It will introduce the reader to the topic you intend to address, and gives them a hint of what to expect in the pages that follow. Thesis statements should avoid words and phrases such as, "In my opinion..." or "I think that..." Start your thesis by taking a stand immediately; be firm in your statement, but not pushy. You'll either be given your topic for your paper or you will choose it yourself. In either case, after the topic is chosen, write a thesis statement that clearly outlines the argument you intend to address in the paper. The thesis statement will be the center of your paper. It should address one main issue. Throughout the paper, whatever you write will be focused on the thesis statement. As your paper develops, you may find you will want to, or need to, revise your thesis statement to better outline your paper. As your paper evolves, so does your thesis. In other words, when writing your thesis statement, keep your paper in mind, and when writing your paper, keep your thesis statement in mind. Your paper will defend your thesis, so write your paper accordingly.

For example, if the topic is "Analyzing Mark Twain's 'Huckleberry Finn,'" your thesis statement might address the social implications or meanings behind the characters chosen for the story. Keeping the thesis statement in mind, you would then write your paper about the characters in the story. Let's say you are writing a philosophy paper. Your thesis statement might include two opposing arguments, with the hint that you intend to argue or prove one side of the argument. Many thesis statements are written in such a way as to try to prove an argument or point of view, but challenge yourself; make your thesis statement a statement of how you plan to  disprove  an argument. Maybe you want to attempt to show your readers why a specific point of view does  not  work.

Your thesis statement should address one main issue. It takes a point of view or an argument, and the paper is the development of this argument. If your thesis statement is too simple, obvious, or vague, then you need to work on it a little more. You should try to write it in a way that will catch your reader's attention, making it interesting and thought-provoking. It should be specific in nature, and address the theme of the entire paper. The thesis statement may be written to try to convince the reader of a specific issue or point of view. It may also address an issue to which there is no simple solution or easy answers; remember, make it thought-provoking. Many thesis statements  invite  the reader to disagree.

Don't be alarmed if you find yourself midway through your paper and wanting to change your thesis statement. This will happen. Sometimes a writer will start out thinking they know  exactly  the point they want to make in their paper, only to find halfway through that they've taken a slightly different direction. Don't be afraid to modify your thesis statement. But a word of caution; if you modify your thesis statement, be sure to double check your paper to ensure that it is supported by the thesis. If you have changed your thesis statement, it would be wise, even advisable, to have a third party read your paper to be sure that the paper supports the thesis and the revised thesis describes the paper.

The "body" of your paper contains the  evidence, analysis,  and  reasoning  that support your thesis. Often the topic of the paper is divided into subtopics. Typically, each subtopic is discussed in a separate paragraph, but there is nothing wrong with continuing a subtopic throughout multiple paragraphs. It is good practice to begin each paragraph with a  topic sentence  that introduces the subject of the new paragraph and helps transition between paragraphs. A topic sentence will help keep you focused while writing the paragraph, and it will keep your reader focused while reading it.

The purpose of a conclusion is to "wrap up" the discussion of your paper. Especially if the paper is a long one, it is a good idea to "re-cap" the main ideas presented in your paper. If your paper is argumentative, you'd likely want to re-enforce the standpoint introduced in your thesis statement; however, rather than repeating your thesis, offer closing statements that make use of all the information you've presented to support your thesis. Try to "echo" your thesis so that your reader understands that you have fulfilled the "promise" a thesis statement implies, but give your reader a sense of  closure  rather than simply restating everything you said above just ending it.

Here are some strategies for closing your discussion:

After summing up your main points/thesis you might

  • Comment on the significance of the topic in general: why should your reader care?
  • Look to the future: Is there more work to be done on the topic? Are there predictions you can make about your topic?
  • Ask something of your reader: Is there something your reader can do? Should do?

Argumentative Research Papers

One of the main things that differentiates a college level research paper from research papers below the college level is they almost always will be argumentative; that is, they will be taking a stance. The research is then used to back up the argument of the writer, or to put their argument into context. Students new to college will often attempt to simply provide information that makes the research paper becoming stale and unnecessary. If all the paper is doing is repackaging old information, why not just go back to the original source? Papers that just provide information risk unintentional plagiarism. If none of the information provided contains your own insights, then failing to cite everything means that it is plagiarized. Yet, most students would be reluctant to cite the entirety of their paper.

Plagiarism results from including non-trivial information (ideas, facts, etc) from another source without acknowledging its source. Plagiarism is one of the most serious offenses that can be committed in academia and it involves varying degrees. Plagiarism at its most blatant includes handing in an entire paper that is not one's own; it also includes failing to document one's sources. When writing a research paper, avoid unintentional plagiarism. Because almost no knowledge other than eye-witness accounts is truly original, be sure to find sources for all non-trivial information. Plagiarism can be grounds for failing a paper or the course as a whole.

Resources To Use

The humanities category offers many good sources from which to gather information. The Internet is quickly becoming an important source of information for humanities writing. There are many history sites, journalism and news sites, sites focusing on the history of film, sites dedicated to women's issues, and so on. More traditional physical resources include dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographies, indexes, abstracts, and periodicals, and our old friend, the library.

As you can see, there are many resources from which to choose when writing your paper. Start at the most basic level and progress from there. For example, if you are writing about a specific work of a famous author, the obvious place to begin is with a careful reading of the work in question. Once you are done, try to articulate what you know to be true, what you think is  probably  true, and what is open to question: that is, what you might need to find out. It is helpful to actually go through the physical process of writing out two or three key questions that you would like to focus on.

At that point, you may want begin your further researches with a search through an encyclopedia, or do an online search for available resources, including interviews. After you have found the information you need there, you might then search a through a card catalog in a library for specific books. You may find that while searching for one specific book you will stumble upon many other useful books on the same subject. You can then begin to look through book reviews for information on your subject. Book reviews can be especially informative in that they will often will identify important themes, raise new questions, and broaden your sense of what is at stake in the text. Next, you may want to try searching for articles in periodicals, and even abstracts of articles, which will provide a summary of the content of the potential article.

  • The Bedford Anthology of World Literature

External Links

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  • Conventions of Writing Papers in Humanities
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How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)

how to start off a humanities essay

As an admissions officer, I reviewed thousands of essays for students seeking admission and scholarships. The essay is one of the most important parts of the scholarship application process–a strong essay can go a long way. However, with so much competition, it is important for your scholarship essay to stand out. That’s why it’s important for you to start a scholarship essay off right!

There are some very simple things that you can do to ensure that your essay is engaging from the very first sentence. In fact, beginning your essay with an exciting opening is one of the most important things you can do, because it will immediately distinguish your essay from the others. 

Keep on reading to learn more about how you can nail the very first sentence and start your essay off right!

Engage the reader with the first sentence

No matter what type of essay you are writing, you will want to ensure that the very first line grabs the attention of the reader. One of the biggest mistakes that students make when starting their essay is simply restating the prompt. This is bland and boring. 

Now, you might be wondering, “how do I engage the reader with the very first line of my essay?”. The good news is that there are several ways that you can do this that are very simple to do. 

Related:  How to answer scholarship essay questions about your career goals

Begin with dialogue

First, you could begin your essay with conversation. This can be an interesting and unexpected way to start your scholarship essay. Maybe someone asked you an unexpected question? Perhaps you were having an interesting conversation with a friend or family member? Either way, dialogue can be a powerful tool to start your essay.

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Put the reader in your shoes.

Alternatively, you can choose to start your essay by placing the reader right in your shoes and show them something from your life. Appeal to the senses and show the reader what you see, hear, smell, or taste. These specific details will help your essay come to life and make it even more memorable. 

Also recommended: What’s the best scholarship essay format?

Scholarship essay introduction example

Next,  we’ll look at a specific example of how you can open up your essay. Let’s say you are applying for the Questbridge scholarship program . One of the essays that you will be asked is:

We are interested in learning more about you and the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations, and accomplished your academic successes. Please describe the factors and challenges that have most influenced you. How are they shaping your future aspirations?

You might be tempted to rephrase the question and start your essay with something like:

“I have grown up in a rural context and this has formed my aspirations and allowed me to accomplish academic success…”

This is generic and will not engage your reader at all. 

Instead, what if you started off your essay with something like this:

“I look outside my bedroom window and see Henry, my favorite chicken, pecking at something in the dirt.” 

Makes a big difference, right? As a reader, you are probably wondering: why does this person have chickens outside their bedroom window? Why did they name this particular chicken Henry?

See also: Here are our top writing & essay scholarships for students!

Keep the ending of your essay in mind as you write the opening

While crafting your opening, be open to ideas about how to close your essay. There is no need to stress about the ending now, but being mindful of effective ways to end an essay is always a good idea. Say you are opening your scholarship essay with Henry the chicken. Is there a way for Henry to make an impactful appearance at the end of the essay to close things out in a way that perfectly wraps everything up? The key is for the essay ending to be meaningful and memorable for the reader. 

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If you can’t think of a “wow” scholarship essay beginning, keep writing!

Sometimes, we know what we want to say, point by point, but we are not ready to be creative when it comes to opening an essay. In that case, keep writing! There is always the option of going back and crafting an engaging opening after your essay is written. Simply write your main idea where the first paragraph would be to guide you as you write. After, go back when your creative juices are flowing, and craft the amazing opening (and closing) that your scholarship essay deserves!

Final thoughts

As shown, there are many questions that we as readers will have after reading an engaging essay opening such as the one just shared; We want to learn more about the student who is writing this essay. After all, as a writer trying to stand out in a pile of essays, that is our main goal. 

We hope that you have a better understanding of how to start a scholarship essay so you can maximize your chances of winning scholarships!

Additional resources

Scholarships360 is the go-to for all things college admissions and scholarships! Wondering how to write a 250 word essay and how to write a 500 word essay ? Curious how to write an essay about yourself ? Wow, do we have the resources to help! Additionally, check out our free scholarship search tool to help you finance your college education. Best of luck to you and your future endeavors! 

Key Takeaways

  • The first sentence of the essay is what makes the reader want to continue reading 
  • Engage the reader by appealing to the senses
  • Create a sense of wonder in your essay, making the reader want to learn more about you
  • Keep the ending of the essay in mind as you craft the beginning

Frequently asked questions about how to start a scholarship essay

What is an essay hook, how long should my scholarship essay be, scholarships360 recommended.

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Writing a Research Paper Introduction | Step-by-Step Guide

Published on September 24, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on March 27, 2023.

Writing a Research Paper Introduction

The introduction to a research paper is where you set up your topic and approach for the reader. It has several key goals:

  • Present your topic and get the reader interested
  • Provide background or summarize existing research
  • Position your own approach
  • Detail your specific research problem and problem statement
  • Give an overview of the paper’s structure

The introduction looks slightly different depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or constructs an argument by engaging with a variety of sources.

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Table of contents

Step 1: introduce your topic, step 2: describe the background, step 3: establish your research problem, step 4: specify your objective(s), step 5: map out your paper, research paper introduction examples, frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

The first job of the introduction is to tell the reader what your topic is and why it’s interesting or important. This is generally accomplished with a strong opening hook.

The hook is a striking opening sentence that clearly conveys the relevance of your topic. Think of an interesting fact or statistic, a strong statement, a question, or a brief anecdote that will get the reader wondering about your topic.

For example, the following could be an effective hook for an argumentative paper about the environmental impact of cattle farming:

A more empirical paper investigating the relationship of Instagram use with body image issues in adolescent girls might use the following hook:

Don’t feel that your hook necessarily has to be deeply impressive or creative. Clarity and relevance are still more important than catchiness. The key thing is to guide the reader into your topic and situate your ideas.

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how to start off a humanities essay

This part of the introduction differs depending on what approach your paper is taking.

In a more argumentative paper, you’ll explore some general background here. In a more empirical paper, this is the place to review previous research and establish how yours fits in.

Argumentative paper: Background information

After you’ve caught your reader’s attention, specify a bit more, providing context and narrowing down your topic.

Provide only the most relevant background information. The introduction isn’t the place to get too in-depth; if more background is essential to your paper, it can appear in the body .

Empirical paper: Describing previous research

For a paper describing original research, you’ll instead provide an overview of the most relevant research that has already been conducted. This is a sort of miniature literature review —a sketch of the current state of research into your topic, boiled down to a few sentences.

This should be informed by genuine engagement with the literature. Your search can be less extensive than in a full literature review, but a clear sense of the relevant research is crucial to inform your own work.

Begin by establishing the kinds of research that have been done, and end with limitations or gaps in the research that you intend to respond to.

The next step is to clarify how your own research fits in and what problem it addresses.

Argumentative paper: Emphasize importance

In an argumentative research paper, you can simply state the problem you intend to discuss, and what is original or important about your argument.

Empirical paper: Relate to the literature

In an empirical research paper, try to lead into the problem on the basis of your discussion of the literature. Think in terms of these questions:

  • What research gap is your work intended to fill?
  • What limitations in previous work does it address?
  • What contribution to knowledge does it make?

You can make the connection between your problem and the existing research using phrases like the following.

Now you’ll get into the specifics of what you intend to find out or express in your research paper.

The way you frame your research objectives varies. An argumentative paper presents a thesis statement, while an empirical paper generally poses a research question (sometimes with a hypothesis as to the answer).

Argumentative paper: Thesis statement

The thesis statement expresses the position that the rest of the paper will present evidence and arguments for. It can be presented in one or two sentences, and should state your position clearly and directly, without providing specific arguments for it at this point.

Empirical paper: Research question and hypothesis

The research question is the question you want to answer in an empirical research paper.

Present your research question clearly and directly, with a minimum of discussion at this point. The rest of the paper will be taken up with discussing and investigating this question; here you just need to express it.

A research question can be framed either directly or indirectly.

  • This study set out to answer the following question: What effects does daily use of Instagram have on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls?
  • We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls.

If your research involved testing hypotheses , these should be stated along with your research question. They are usually presented in the past tense, since the hypothesis will already have been tested by the time you are writing up your paper.

For example, the following hypothesis might respond to the research question above:

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The final part of the introduction is often dedicated to a brief overview of the rest of the paper.

In a paper structured using the standard scientific “introduction, methods, results, discussion” format, this isn’t always necessary. But if your paper is structured in a less predictable way, it’s important to describe the shape of it for the reader.

If included, the overview should be concise, direct, and written in the present tense.

  • This paper will first discuss several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then will go on to …
  • This paper first discusses several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then goes on to …

Full examples of research paper introductions are shown in the tabs below: one for an argumentative paper, the other for an empirical paper.

  • Argumentative paper
  • Empirical paper

Are cows responsible for climate change? A recent study (RIVM, 2019) shows that cattle farmers account for two thirds of agricultural nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. These emissions result from nitrogen in manure, which can degrade into ammonia and enter the atmosphere. The study’s calculations show that agriculture is the main source of nitrogen pollution, accounting for 46% of the country’s total emissions. By comparison, road traffic and households are responsible for 6.1% each, the industrial sector for 1%. While efforts are being made to mitigate these emissions, policymakers are reluctant to reckon with the scale of the problem. The approach presented here is a radical one, but commensurate with the issue. This paper argues that the Dutch government must stimulate and subsidize livestock farmers, especially cattle farmers, to transition to sustainable vegetable farming. It first establishes the inadequacy of current mitigation measures, then discusses the various advantages of the results proposed, and finally addresses potential objections to the plan on economic grounds.

The rise of social media has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the prevalence of body image issues among women and girls. This correlation has received significant academic attention: Various empirical studies have been conducted into Facebook usage among adolescent girls (Tiggermann & Slater, 2013; Meier & Gray, 2014). These studies have consistently found that the visual and interactive aspects of the platform have the greatest influence on body image issues. Despite this, highly visual social media (HVSM) such as Instagram have yet to be robustly researched. This paper sets out to address this research gap. We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls. It was hypothesized that daily Instagram use would be associated with an increase in body image concerns and a decrease in self-esteem ratings.

The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:

  • A hook to catch the reader’s interest
  • Relevant background on the topic
  • Details of your research problem

and your problem statement

  • A thesis statement or research question
  • Sometimes an overview of the paper

Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.

This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .

The way you present your research problem in your introduction varies depending on the nature of your research paper . A research paper that presents a sustained argument will usually encapsulate this argument in a thesis statement .

A research paper designed to present the results of empirical research tends to present a research question that it seeks to answer. It may also include a hypothesis —a prediction that will be confirmed or disproved by your research.

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These essays are usually some type of analysis or interpretation which require that you develop a thesis and then prove that thesis in the body of the paper. These are the types of papers (in contrast to lab reports or marketing proposals) closest to the style you have written in high school and UNIV 190. However, avoid doing some of the things that are common in high school papers: 1) data dumping, 2) spending too much space on summary 3) using a strict five-paragraph structure or 4) using an unintegrated comparison or counterargument.

Thesis driven

Because these papers are thesis driven, you must spend time and attention on your thesis. Here are some of the most common problems:

  • Ensuring that the thesis addresses the prompt
  • Ensuring that the thesis is analytical or interpretive so that it is not simply a fact, but is a unique position that you’re staking out and will need to defend.
  • Ensuring you are using the right style for your class. Some professors and fields prefer very bald styles: e.g. “In this paper, I argue…” They may also ask for an outline of the paper with the thesis. E.g. “I will first define the term, then demonstrate….” While other professors and fields require that you NEVER use words like “In this paper I argue…” nor give an outline. In the humanities, that is considered extremely bad style.

Analyzing a topic requires that you consider all of the following and then focus only on those which are the most appropriate:

  • Comparison – consider what you main idea/thesis can be compared to. It is useful to compare to something completely different and to something quite similar. If a large portion of your paper requires comparison, be sure to use an integrated comparison. Don’t just talk about one item in one paragraph and the other item in another. Compare both according to some point in EACH paragraph.
  • Classification–this is an extension of comparison. You classify when there are many similar items to compare. It is also a sort of vertical comparison. What broader or more general category does your idea/topic belong to?
  • Cause/Effect, Reason/Result — Look for relationships
  • Problem/Solution — This can be related to cause/effect or to comparison. What caused the problem? What effect will the solution have? Compare the alternative solutions to decide which is best.
  • Ethos/Pathos/Logos/Kairos — Have you analyzed your topic from all perspectives? Ethos = Credibility including your analysis of the counterarguments, Pathos = Values, Logos =Reason, Kairos=Timeliness/Current Relevance
  • try to use three different pieces of evidence to support each major point
  • use examples of specific actions, people or places
  • use quotes–be sure to integrate these by adding a sentence before or after to explain how you are using the quote as evidence. Many students make the mistake of paraphrasing or rephrasing the quote. That is not useful and doesn’t count as explanation. In fact, if you can paraphrase it, then there’s no point in quoting it. You use a quote because the words that author used are exactly the right words; i.e. there’s no better way to say it. In fact, you may use some space to explain why those words are so great.
  • use numbers or facts

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Writing Your Personal Statements

Your personal statement must demonstrate to the admissions committee that you have considered graduate school and their specific program seriously. It’s your opportunity to summarize your academic and research experiences. You must also communicate how your experiences are relevant to preparing you for the graduate degree that you will be pursuing and explain why a given program is the right one for you.

The personal statement is where you highlight your strengths. Make your strengths absolutely clear to the reviewers, because they will often be reading many other statements. Your self-assessments and honest conversations with peers and advisors should have also revealed your strengths. But you must also address (not blame others for) weaknesses or unusual aspects of your application or academic background.

Your personal statement should focus on two main aspects: your competence and commitment.

1. Identify your strengths in terms of competence that indicate that you will succeed in the grad program and provide examples to support your claims. Start your statement by describing your strengths immediately. Because faculty will be reading many statements, it’s important to start off with your strengths and not “bury your lede.” Consider traits of successful graduate students from your informational interviews, and identify which of these traits you have. These traits could involve research skills and experiences, expertise in working with techniques or instruments, familiarity with professional networks and resources in your field, etc.

  • Check your responses from the exercises in the self-assessment section. You may wish to consult notes from your informational interviews and your Seven Stories . Write concise summaries and stories that demonstrate your strengths, e.g. how your strengths helped you to achieve certain goals or overcome obstacles.
  • Summarize your research experience(s). What were the main project goals and the “big picture” questions? What was your role in this project? What did you accomplish? What did you learn, and how did you grow as a result of the experience(s)?

Vannessa Velez's portrait

My research examines the interplay between U.S. domestic politics and foreign policy during the Cold War. As a native New Yorker, I saw firsthand how dramatically my city changed after 9/11, which prompted my early interest in U.S. policy at home and abroad. As an undergraduate at the City College of New York, I planned to study international relations with a focus on U.S. foreign affairs. I also quickly became involved in student activist groups that focused on raising awareness about a wide range of human rights issues, from the Syrian refugee crisis to asylum seekers from Central America.

The more I learned about the crises in the present, the more I realized that I needed a deeper understanding of the past to fully grasp them. I decided to pursue a PhD in history in order to gain a clearer understanding of human rights issues in the present and to empower young student-activists like myself.

— Vannessa Velez, PhD candidate in History

Addressing weaknesses or unusual aspects

  • Identify weaknesses or unusual aspects in your application—e.g., a significant drop in your GPA during a term; weak GRE scores; changes in your academic trajectory, etc. Don’t ignore them, because ignoring them might be interpreted as blind spots for you. If you’re unsure if a particular issue is significant enough to address, seek advice from faculty mentors.
  • Explain how you’ll improve and strengthen those areas or work around your weakness. Determine how you will address them in a positive light, e.g., by discussing how you overcame obstacles through persistence, what you learned from challenges, and how you grew from failures. Focusing on a growth mindset  or grit  and this blog on weaknesses might also help.
  • Deal with any significant unusual aspects later in the statement to allow a positive impression to develop first.
  • Explain, rather than provide excuses—i.e., address the issue directly and don’t blame others (even if you believe someone else is responsible). Draft it and get feedback from others to see if the explanation is working as you want it to.
  • Provide supporting empirical evidence if possible. For example, “Adjusting to college was a major step for me, coming from a small high school and as a first-generation college student. My freshman GPA was not up to par with my typical achievements, as demonstrated by my improved  GPA of 3.8 during my second and third years in college."
  • Be concise (don’t dwell on the issues), but also be complete (don’t lead to other potentially unanswered questions). For example, if a drop in grades during a term was due to a health issue, explain whether the health issue is recurring, managed now with medication, resolved, etc.

2. Explain your commitment to research and their graduate program, including your motivation for why you are applying to this graduate program at this university. Be as specific as possible. Identify several faculty members with whom you are interested in working, and explain why their research interests you.

  • Descriptions of your commitment should explain why you’re passionate about this particular academic field and provide demonstrations of your commitment with stories (e.g., working long hours to solve a problem, overcoming challenges in research, resilience in pursuing problems). Don’t merely assert your commitment.
  • Explain why you are applying to graduate school, as opposed to seeking a professional degree or a job. Discuss your interest and motivation for grad school, along with your future career aspirations.

Jaime Fine's portrait

I am definitely not your traditional graduate student. As a biracial (Native American and white), first-generation PhD student from a military family, I had very limited guidance on how best to pursue my education, especially when I decided that graduate school was a good idea. I ended up coming to this PhD in a very circuitous manner, stopping first to get a JD and, later, an MFA in Young Adult Literature. With each degree, I took time to work and apply what I’d learned, as a lawyer and as an educator. Each time, I realized that I was circling around questions that I couldn’t let go of—not just because I found them to be fascinating, but because I did (and still do!) feel that my research could help to bridge a gap that desperately needs bridging. Because my work is quite interdisciplinary, I strongly feel that I wouldn’t have been able to pursue this line of research without the degrees and life experience I gained before coming to this program.

— Jamie Fine, PhD candidate in Modern Thought and Literature

Statement of Purpose: subtle aspects

  • Think in terms of engaging faculty in a conversation rather than pleading with them that you should be admitted. Ask reviewers to read drafts with this concern in mind.
  • With later drafts, try developing an overall narrative theme. See if one emerges as you work.
  • Write at least 10 drafts and expect your thinking and the essay to change quite a bit over time.
  • Read drafts out loud to help you catch errors.
  • Expect the "you' that emerges in your essay to be incomplete. . . that’s OK.
  • You’re sharing a professional/scholarly slice of "you."
  • Avoid humor (do you really know what senior academics find funny?) and flashy openings and closings. Think of pitching the essay to an educated person in the field, but not necessarily in your specialty. Avoid emotionally laden words (such as "love" or "passion"). Remember, your audience is a group of professors! Overly emotional appeals might make them uncomfortable. They are looking for scholarly colleagues.

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Steps For Writing an Admission Essay

1. Carefully read through the website of the university or college to which you are applying. Be sure you fully understand the mission and the direction of development and values the university or college proclaims. Furthermore, each educational institution may also have some specific requirements to narrow down and simplify your essay.

2. Make a short list of points you wish to emphasize in your admission essay. Include answers to questions such as: “Why do I want to study in this particular institution?”; “What makes me suitable for the program I chose?”; “What past experiences of mine will help me better adjust to the new environment when I enroll in the university/college to which I am applying?”

3. Plan your essay structure before you begin writing it. Start with general information about yourself, mentioning only the most relevant and preferably recent experiences that relate to your major. Then write two or three paragraphs about your motivation and rationale for studying at this particular institution. End by mentioning the extracurricular activities and hobbies you are interested in, and how these activities correlate to the institution you are applying for.

4. Conclude your admission essay with a sentence addressing the committee or board of your college directly. In a formal manner, let the person reading your admission essay know how much enrolling in this institution means to you and that you will be looking forward to the decision of the board.

5. Lay your writing aside for some time and then do thorough proofreading. Consider revising those parts that are too general or do not have a clear meaning. Make sure every sentence is not just a general statement about how much you want to become a student of this particular institution, but also presents your personality, motivation, and abilities that relate to the selected discipline of your future major.

Key Points to Consider

  • It is crucial to settle on the appropriate tone. It has to be formal but not too business-like. It has to demonstrate your positive attitude and respect for the committee, but at the same time it has to be tailored to suit the specific institution to which you are applying. Be sure to browse through all the webpages of your selected college or university, and get a clear understanding of what sort of tone would be most appropriate when applying to become a student of this particular institution.
  • Write every admission essay from scratch, even if you are applying for the same program at several institutions. Try to approach every admission essay from a new perspective based on the values and mission of the particular institution, as well as the specifics of a certain program or course.
  • Be unique in your admission essay. Remember: your essay has to be different from all the others. Make it is zestful by personalizing the general essay structure and adding particular emotions to enrich your writing. Make sure the committee will have a clear and true picture of your personality, experience, and skills after reading your essay.
  • Choose a maximum of three major points. Develop each point in a separate paragraph. Instead of including too many details about yourself, focus on these three major positive traits that best emphasize your beneficial qualities for the program, course, or institution.
  • Be logical in your writing. Instead of jumping from one idea to another, create a clear outline of how you wish to present yourself; in what order you will formulate your thoughts; at which point will you switch from personal traits to relevant practical experience, then to background information, or hobbies and interests, and so on. Make sure that your essay flows smoothly in a particular direction—the one you opted for when listing major points in your draft earlier.

Do and Don’t

Common mistakes.

  • Repetitions throughout your admission essay are usually a sign that you do not have much to tell the committee about yourself. If you believe some personal trait or past experience of yours is extremely important, instead of repeating it several times, mention it only once, but give a vivid example or briefly outline a real-life situation to help the reader form a better picture and, in doing so, remember this particular bit of your admission essay.
  • A dryly written admission essay has a strong chance of failing. Do not confuse “formal” language with “dry” language. Using emotional adjectives and adverbs is not necessarily taboo. As long as the situation or experience you are describing calls for a bright and colorful description, go for it.
  • Overloading your admission essay with first-person pronouns. While your essay does have to be personalized, too many me , my , I , and mine will only make it sound self-indulgent and immature.
  • Using passive voice too often is another mistake applicants get trapped into, trying to sound more sophisticated and formal. Make your admission essay vivid and lively by using active voice, as this will help create a more positive image of your personality.
  • Writing in long confusing sentences, as well as run-on sentences. This is why you have to proofread your admission essay a few times. If you cannot follow your own idea halfway through the sentence, rephrase it into several short and simple sentences. Remember, reading and understanding your admission essay should be a pleasure rather than a tough, mind-boggling task.

Now that you have acquainted yourself with the basic admission essay writing tips and rules, you can check out our admission essay samples to link theory with practice.

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Feb 22 2012

Writing a Scholarship Essay

Writing a personal statement, writing a statement of purpose, samples for writing an admission essay, prompt: please state your reasons for applying for the program you have selected in our university essay sample, example, describe a person you admire essay sample, example, prompt: please tell us about yourself and how you will help the university carry out its mission essay sample, example.

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Essay on Humanity

500 words essay on humanity.

When we say humanity, we can look at it from a lot of different perspectives. One of the most common ways of understanding is that it is a value of kindness and compassion towards other beings. If you look back at history, you will find many acts of cruelty by humans but at the same time, there are also numerous acts of humanity. An essay on humanity will take us through its meaning and importance.

essay on humanity

Importance of Humanity

As humans are progressing as a human race into the future, the true essence of humanity is being corrupted slowly. It is essential to remember that the acts of humanity must not have any kind of personal gain behind them like fame, money or power.

The world we live in today is divided by borders but the reach we can have is limitless. We are lucky enough to have the freedom to travel anywhere and experience anything we wish for. A lot of nations fight constantly to acquire land which results in the loss of many innocent lives.

Similarly, other humanitarian crisis like the ones in Yemen, Syria, Myanmar and more costs the lives of more than millions of people. The situation is not resolving anytime soon, thus we need humanity for this.

Most importantly, humanity does not just limit to humans but also caring for the environment and every living being. We must all come together to show true humanity and help out other humans, animals and our environment to heal and prosper.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

The Great Humanitarians

There are many great humanitarians who live among us and also in history. To name a few, we had Mother Teresa , Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana and more. These are just a few of the names which almost everyone knows.

Mother Teresa was a woman who devoted her entire life to serving the poor and needy from a nation. Rabindranath Tagore was an Indian poet who truly believed in humanity and considered it his true religion.

Similarly, Nelson Mandela was a great humanitarian who worked all his life for those in needs. He never discriminated against any person on the basis of colour, sex, creed or anything.

Further, Mahatma Gandhi serves as a great example of devoting his life to free his country and serve his fellow countrymen. He died serving the country and working for the betterment of his nation. Thus, we must all take inspiration from such great people.

The acts and ways of these great humanitarians serve as a great example for us now to do better in our life. We must all indulge in acts of giving back and coming to help those in need. All in all, humanity arises from selfless acts of compassion.

Conclusion of the Essay on Humanity

As technology and capitalism are evolving at a faster rate in this era, we must all spread humanity wherever possible. When we start practising humanity, we can tackle many big problems like global warming, pollution , extinction of animals and more.

FAQ of Essay on Humanity

Question 1: What is the importance of humanity?

Answer 1: Humanity refers to caring for and helping others whenever and wherever possible. It means helping others at times when they need that help the most. It is important as it helps us forget our selfish interests at times when others need our help.

Question 2: How do we show humanity?

Answer 2: All of us are capable of showing humanity. It can be through acknowledging that human beings are equal, regardless of gender, sex, skin colour or anything. We must all model genuine empathy and show gratitude to each other and express respect and humility.

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What is Presidents Day and how is it celebrated? What to know about the federal holiday

Many will have a day off on monday in honor of presidents day. consumers may take advantage of retail sales that proliferate on the federal holiday, but here's what to know about the history of it..

how to start off a humanities essay

Presidents Day is fast approaching, which may signal to many a relaxing three-day weekend and plenty of holiday sales and bargains .

But next to Independence Day, there may not exist another American holiday that is quite so patriotic.

While Presidents Day has come to be a commemoration of all the nation's 46 chief executives, both past and present, it wasn't always so broad . When it first came into existence – long before it was even federally recognized – the holiday was meant to celebrate just one man: George Washington.

How has the day grown from a simple celebration of the birthday of the first president of the United States? And why are we seeing all these ads for car and furniture sales on TV?

Here's what to know about Presidents Day and how it came to be:

When is Presidents Day 2024?

This year, Presidents Day is on Monday, Feb. 19.

The holiday is celebrated on the third Monday of every February because of a bill signed into law in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Taking effect three years later, the Uniform Holiday Bill mandated that three holidays – Memorial Day, Presidents Day and Veterans Day – occur on Mondays to prevent midweek shutdowns and add long weekends to the federal calendar, according to Britannica .

Other holidays, including Labor Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day , were also established to be celebrated on Mondays when they were first observed.

However, Veterans Day was returned to Nov. 11 in 1978 and continues to be commemorated on that day.

What does Presidents Day commemorate?

Presidents Day was initially established in 1879 to celebrate the birthday of the nation's first president, George Washington. In fact, the holiday was simply called Washington's Birthday, which is still how the federal government refers to it, the Department of State explains .

Following the death of the venerated American Revolution leader in 1799, Feb. 22, widely believed to be Washington's date of birth , became a perennial day of remembrance, according to History.com .

The day remained an unofficial observance for much of the 1800s until Sen. Stephen Wallace Dorsey of Arkansas proposed that it become a federal holiday. In 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed it into law, according to History.com.

While initially being recognized only in Washington D.C., Washington's Birthday became a nationwide holiday in 1885. The first to celebrate the life of an individual American, Washington's Birthday was at the time one of only five federally-recognized holidays – the others being Christmas, New Year's, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July.

However, most Americans today likely don't view the federal holiday as a commemoration of just one specific president. Presidents Day has since come to represent a day to recognize and celebrate all of the United States' commanders-in-chief, according to the U.S. Department of State .

When the Uniform Holiday Bill took effect in 1971, a provision was included to combine the celebration of Washington’s birthday with Abraham Lincoln's on Feb. 12, according to History.com. Because the new annual date always fell between Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays, Americans believed the day was intended to honor both presidents.

Interestingly, advertisers may have played a part in the shift to "Presidents Day."

Many businesses jumped at the opportunity to use the three-day weekend as a means to draw customers with Presidents Day sales and bargain at stores across the country, according to History.com.

How is the holiday celebrated?

Because Presidents Day is a federal holiday , most federal workers will have the day off .

Part of the reason Johnson made the day a uniform holiday was so Americans had a long weekend "to travel farther and see more of this beautiful land of ours," he wrote. As such, places like the Washington Monument in D.C. and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota – which bears the likenesses of Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt – are bound to attract plenty of tourists.

Similar to Independence Day, the holiday is also viewed as a patriotic celebration . As opposed to July, February might not be the best time for backyard barbecues and fireworks, but reenactments, parades and other ceremonies are sure to take place in cities across the U.S.

Presidential places abound across the U.S.

Opinions on current and recent presidents may leave Americans divided, but we apparently love our leaders of old enough to name a lot of places after them.

In 2023, the U.S. Census Bureau pulled information from its databases showcasing presidential geographic facts about the nation's cities and states.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the census data shows that as of 2020 , the U.S. is home to plenty of cities, counties and towns bearing presidential names. Specifically:

  • 94 places are named "Washington."
  • 72 places are named "Lincoln."
  • 67 places are named for Andrew Jackson, a controversial figure who owned slaves and forced thousands of Native Americans to march along the infamous Trail of Tears.

Contributing: Clare Mulroy

Eric Lagatta covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach him at [email protected]

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  1. The Writing Center

    Some Possible Ways to Begin: Begin with questions that will be answered. Contrast two different views/aspects of a topic. Describe an experience related to the topic. Start with a narrative to set the scene. State the counterargument before leading to your own. Give a brief summary of the text or event. How much information should I give up front?

  2. How To Start a College Essay: 9 Effective Techniques

    9 Ways to Start a College Essay The Full Hemingway The Mini Hemingway The Twist The Philosophical Question The Confession The Trailer Thesis The Fascinating Concept The Random Personal Fun Fact The Shocking Image In anything you do, there's a special, pivotal moment.

  3. Conventions of Writing Humanities Papers

    The essay's body is composed of a series of close, interpretive readings of passages from the Humanities text that support the assertion of your thesis. The essay's conclusion thoughtfully reflects on what you have presented in the paper. It does not simply repeat your thesis. 1. START: Introductory pitfalls.

  4. 4.1: Basic Essay Structure

    Conclusion. Essays written for an academic audience follow a structure with which you are likely familiar: Intro, Body, Conclusion. Here is a general overview of what each of those sections "does" in the larger essay. Be aware, however, that certain assignments and certain professors may ask for additional content or require unusual ...

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    Ask The Elephant Humanities essays What are the humanities? The humanities refer to subjects that study people, their ideas, history, and literature. To put that another way, the humanities are those branches of learning regarding primarily as having a cultural character.

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    Writing for Humanities The ultimate goal in writing in the humanities is to explain or understand the human experience and human values.

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    The humanities are the foundation of liberal arts and, as such, include a wide variety of writing genres. Research reports, biographies, literary analyses, ethnographies, quantitative reports, proposals, books, journal articles, poetry, film scripts, novels, stories, technical writing, and professional documents are forms of writing particular ...

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    This page titled A Short Handbook for Writing Essays in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Allosso and Allosso) is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

  9. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Step 1: Hook your reader Your first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay, so spend some time on writing an effective hook. Avoid long, dense sentences—start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader's curiosity.

  10. Your Guide to Writing a Humanity Essay

    You should summarize the essay's key point. Rephrase the thesis statement and state its significance. Complete the conclusion with a closing statement or a call to action. Using the steps above, you will be able to compose a good humanity essay. You can structure your humanity essay into a 5-paragraph essay.

  11. How to Write a Humanities Essay

    A humanities essay must start with an introduction where you will indicate the subject. In the introduction, you must be able to describe the subject that will be measured in the description part of the essay. Every description should be carefully justified, with quotes, ideas, concepts taken from different sources.

  12. Writing Core Humanities Essays

    Writing is a major component of the Core Humanities program. It is also an essential skill that will help you to succeed in other courses and in your life beyond college. People who can express themselves clearly in writing have definite advantages over those who cannot, so take advantage of the writing opportunities provided in each course to ...

  13. PDF Writing a Research Paper in the Humanities

    Write down interesting problems, questions, tensions, and gaps in the discourse. All of these provide an opportunity for you to contribute new ideas to the conversation. Keep track of them somewhere. Every problem is a gift. Write out lists, questions, ideas that confuse you, and interesting problems.

  14. How to Start an Essay: 7 Tips for a Knockout Essay Introduction

    One way to start your essay is with a shocking, unexpected, or amusing fact about the topic you're covering. This grabs the reader's attention and makes them want to read further, expecting explanation, context, and/or elaboration on the fact you presented.

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    Writing your introduction Essays need an introduction to establish and focus the parameters of the discussion that will follow. You may find it helpful to divide the introduction into areas to demonstrate your breadth and engagement with the essay question.

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    Analytical writing happens in four steps. The first step is to clearly identify the problem, the question, or the issue. The second step is to define the issue. The third step is the actual analysis of the topic. Finally, the fourth step defines the relationship between the issue and the analysis of that issue.

  17. How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)

    The first sentence of the essay is what makes the reader want to continue reading. Engage the reader by appealing to the senses. Create a sense of wonder in your essay, making the reader want to learn more about you. Keep the ending of the essay in mind as you craft the beginning.

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    Essays in the Humanities and Social Sciences. These essays are usually some type of analysis or interpretation which require that you develop a thesis and then prove that thesis in the body of the paper. These are the types of papers (in contrast to lab reports or marketing proposals) closest to the style you have written in high school and ...

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    4. Conclude your admission essay with a sentence addressing the committee or board of your college directly. In a formal manner, let the person reading your admission essay know how much enrolling in this institution means to you and that you will be looking forward to the decision of the board. Home of A*Help rating, unbiased reviews, samples ...

  23. Essay On Humanity in English for Students

    Answer 2: All of us are capable of showing humanity. It can be through acknowledging that human beings are equal, regardless of gender, sex, skin colour or anything. We must all model genuine empathy and show gratitude to each other and express respect and humility. Previous.

  24. What is Presidents Day? Is it a federal holiday? Everything to know

    How is the holiday celebrated? Because Presidents Day is a federal holiday, most federal workers will have the day off.. Part of the reason Johnson made the day a uniform holiday was so Americans ...