How to Write an Essay About a Famous Person in History
There are lots of things to think about when writing a paper about a famous person from history.
Your teacher may have given you this assignment with exact instructions on who to write about and what information to include, or they may have just asked you to write about someone from history that you admire without telling
you exactly what information to include
Most of his professions involves the computer software. He holds the position of Technology Advisor of Microsoft Corporation. Besides, he is the Co-Chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an organization which is named after him and his sister. They were born into a family with a rich
history of business, politics and community service as their father was a successful lawyer. He is the CEO of Cascade Investment and holds the highest position as the Chairman of Corbis. He and his partner, Paul Allen built the world’s largest software business
When writing the essay, take your time and rely on good information that you have collected from books and respected internet resources. Don’t underestimate the time you will need to edit your essay in order to have a final product that you can feel proud of.
Part One of Three:
Preparing to Write Your EssayEdit
Read the assignment carefully. If your teacher has provided a handout of what they want from you, then read this handout very carefully.
It probably includes all of the information you will need to get a good grade on your essay. If your teacher only told you about the essay assignment in class, hopefully you have taken notes on what you should be doing
. If you didn’t take notes, go back to your teacher and politely
ask them questions about the assignment to get all the instructions you need.
- Should you choose your person or has one been assigned?
- Does your teacher want you to use a citation style? For example, they may want you to use the MLA format or maybe they want you to use Chicago Style. If your teacher says they don't care, then there's nothing to worry about, but make sure that you include a “References” page at the end of your essay.
On this page, you should include all of the different websites, books, and/or magazines that you used to write the essay.
Due to his excellence software invention and his contribution to the world, Gates has received many big awards and achievements. He was listed as the 400 richest people in America Issue and one of the 100 most influential people in the
twentieth century. He was named CEO of the year by Chief Executive Officers magazine in 1994. He has proved his profoundness and was ranked number one in the Top 50 Cyber Elite in 1998. He was the fourth most powerful person in the world in 2012. Apart from that, Queen Elizabeth II has made Gates an Honorary Knight Commander of The Order of The British Empire in
2005. He and his wife were awarded The Order of
The Extec Eagle for their philanthropic works around the world in the areas of health and education.
- Is there a word limit? Does your teacher require a specific font or font size? Should you double-space the essay? If you're not sure, ask you teacher.
Choose a person that did a lot in their life.
If you are able to choose who you write about, then think about it carefully. Don’t just pick the first person that comes to mind.
Everyone has their own favorite personality and so do I. My favorite personality or is often called idol is William Henry Bill Gates III. He is usually known as Bill Gates. He was born on October 28, 1955 and was a local resident of Seattle, Washington
, United States
. In his early ages, he began to show an interest in computer
programming. Gates excelled in Mathematics and Science. Because of his excellence, he enrolled in Lakeside, an exclusive preparatory school.
Choose someone that is interesting to you personally. This will make learning about this person and writing your essay more fun.
- Try to think about the things you know the person has done. Did they live a pretty normal life, but did one really cool thing? A person who was more or less “normal” could be harder to write about if your teacher wants a ten page essay.
I admire Bill Gates very much. He can be the inspiration for me to be more determined to achieve my dream as he is the person who always shows an improvement from time to time. For example, he has been the fourth most powerful person in the world up from fifth in 2011. He completed the computer research on his own
until he can see the success of his research and this proves him to be an independent and
For example, although Adolf Hitler was not in any way an admirable human being, writing a historical essay about his life would be pretty easy because he did a lot of different things.
- On the other hand, if there is a historical figure you are really interested in, you will have a good time researching and writing about your person whether they led very busy lives or not. The most important thing is to choose someone you find fascinating.
Outline your essay.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to get started on an essay. Writing an essay outline will help get you started and will also help you have a clear idea about what information you want to include.
- In your outline, write down all of the questions you want to answer about your person. If your teacher told you what questions to answer, then use those. If your teacher did not, then this is up to you. Make sure you talk about when and where they were born, whether they had a good childhood or not, what makes them special and interesting, what they accomplished (whether good or bad), and why you find them interesting.
- Try to write your outline so that the questions you want to answer are in the same order that they will be in in the paper. For example, don't put questions about how they died before the questions about where they were born and who their parents were.
Research the questions you want to answer in your essay.
Now that you have outlined your essay, you can start finding out all the information you need to know to write your paper. This is called research. Start by searching the internet for information about your person. Don’t forget to search your school library for information
- Write down anything you find interesting and want to include. At the same time that you do this, write down the source of that information. For example, the name and author of the book or the address of the website.
- If you are having a hard time finding information about your person in the library, ask the librarian to help you search. They’re there to help you, and may have ways of finding information that you hadn’t thought of. Plus, if you find the information through the library, there is a better chance that you will find high quality information.
Gates have shown to have many positive qualities. Although he was born rich naturally, he still has a strong desire to achieve his dreams on his own effort. Due to his determination, he has been famous and became the world’s idol. Unlike me, I was born much poorer than him. Of course, I am determine to change my family life by
fulfilling my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Gates has been yearning so much for knowledge and so, he traveled from countries to countries to receive the honorary doctorates from universities around the world such as in Netherlands
, Sweden, Japan, China and Stockholm.
- Make sure that you understand what is considered an acceptable source of information by your teacher. For example, some teachers may consider it OK to use websites such as Wikipedia, while other teachers may not. If you’re not sure, just ask them.
Review other essays.
Ask your teacher if they have an example essays that you can look through. Many teachers keep one or two really good essays written by past students.
- Don’t plagiarize though! If you copy someone else's work without giving them credit for their work, this is called plagiarism. If you do find something interesting that you want to include, be sure to give credit to that person. Plagiarism is a big deal, so it’s best to learn early that it isn’t worth the risk.
Part Two of Three:
Writing the EssayEdit
Start with the body of the essay.
In most cases, essays will be made up of three parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. In the introduction you will introduce your person, and talk briefly about what you will be writing about. It's hard to write the introduction well if
you haven’t written the body yet
. This is because the introduction is suppose to be a preview of what’s in the rest of the essay. It will be easy to write the introduction if you first write the body.
- In the body, you will write about all of the information that you found when you were researching. It is the part of the paper where you answer any and all questions you have come up with.
- Your essay will be more clear if you separate different parts of this person’s life into paragraphs. For example, the first paragraph might start out by explaining when, where, and to whom this person was born. In this paragraph you might talk about what kind of childhood this person had, and whether they had any big experiences that made them into the person they were.
- In later paragraphs, you can talk about what the person did that made them famous. You might also want to include interesting things that you found about this person’s personal life. For example, whether or not they got married or whether or not they suffered from any mental disorders.
Write the conclusion.
The conclusion of the essay is where you will summarize everything you have written about this person in the body. In the conclusion you will not bring up anything new about the person. If you find yourself trying to include something new, then go back and find a place to include this in the body of the paper.
- Don't write more than one or two paragraphs for your conclusion. It should simply go over what you have written in the body about who this person was and why they were interesting and important.
- For example, you might write, “In summary, Martin Luther King Jr. was a driven man who, although his life was tragically cut short, accomplished amazing things in his life. Though his upbringing presented many challenges, he went on to become a great man who wasn’t afraid to stand up for what he believed in.”
- In the next paragraph, you can summarize what you wrote about why you find him so interesting. For example, “This great man inspires me every time I read about him. I hope that I too can stand up for the right thing if I am ever in a position to do so, even if it is difficult or scary to do so.”
Finish your first draft by writing the introduction.
Now that you have written the body and conclusion of the paper, you will have no problem writing the introduction. In this section, introduce the person you are writing about, and state what they were most famous for. Then, in a few sentences
, outline what you will be talking about.
- For example, you can say, “In this essay, I will be discussing a man that nearly everyone has heard of. He was a minister who became famous during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s for standing up for the rights of not only African Americans, but for all human beings.”
- After you introduce your person, you will state what you will be telling your reader about this person. For example, “In this essay, Martin Luther King Jr.’s life will be discussed beginning with his birth in Georgia, to his travels to Germany where he officially began to be known as ‘Martin,’ to his untimely death in 1968.”
- Don’t give everything away in the introduction. Think of the introduction like a movie preview. You want to give enough information to get the reader interested, but not so much information that they will already know everything else written in the essay before they read it.
Write a second draft.
What you have written now is considered the “first draft” or “rough draft.” In the first draft there is no reason to worry about spelling, grammar, or sentence structure. The idea is simply to get all of the things you want to say
down on paper. After you have finished the first draft, you can begin on the second draft.
- Don’t expect the second draft to come out perfectly either. The purpose of the second draft is to fix up any major spelling mistakes or grammar errors, and to see how you feel about the information you’ve written now that it’s all out there.
- A second draft is what you will give to anyone who has offered to proof read your essay, so make sure that it is easy to read. It is best to have this version typed and double-spaced so it will be easy for whoever is helping you to make notes on things you can improve in your final draft.
Part Three of Three:
Editing Your EssayEdit
Ask someone to proof read your essay.
You can ask a friend, a parent, or other family member, but try to choose someone you know will really spend time checking your paper for errors, and will also pay attention to what you've written. A lazy friend might glance
through your essay for spelling errors. However, what you really want is someone who will evaluate what you’ve written to point out places where you can improve.
- For example, a good proof reader might point out to you that your paragraph about the death of your person might be better if you put it before your paragraph which talks about the legacy this person left behind.
- Try asking a classmate to read your essay. It's a win-win for both of you because you can offer to read their essay in return. Meet up a few days after reading to talk about errors and ways to make each of your papers better.
- If the person has done a good job, they may have a lot of things to say about your paper. Try not to take anything bad they say about your paper personally. They're not trying to make you feel bad, they just want to help you get a good grade.
- Give them a physical copy of the paper that is double-spaced. This will make it easy for them to make corrections and write notes on your paper.
Proof read the essay on your own.
After you have made any corrections or changes based on the feedback from your helper, go back and proof read your own essay. Try to pretend that you are reading this for the first time, and that you are reading someone else’s
- Make notes as you read in a bright colored pen on a physical copy of your paper.
- Read your paper twice. The first time, focus on what you've written, and don't look for spelling mistakes or other grammar errors. While you're reading think about whether it is easy to follow and whether or not it makes sense. This will be the time to consider rearranging any information, adding anything extra, or removing anything that doesn't seem important.
- Read through the article a second time to check for grammar and spelling issues. Mark any misspelled words or typos, and make a note of any awkward sentences that you want to go back and change.
Read the essay backwards.
It may sound strange, but reading the essay backwards sentence by sentence helps you to focus on each sentence. This will make it easier to catch mistakes.
- You should also read the essay out loud. Reading the essay out loud will help you find sentences that sound strange.
Type your final draft.
Once you are satisfied with your work, prepare your final draft. If you have only handwritten your essay, then you will need to type the entire thing on the computer. If you already have a computerized draft, then you don’t need to re-type the entire essay, but go through and fix any mistakes that you noticed.
- Make sure to follow any instructions your teacher has given you about how to format the document. For example, with regard to font, font size, and line spacing.
- By now, you should feel confident that you have a well-written paper. If you still feel unsure, you can ask a different person to read your essay to reassure yourself that you have caught any mistakes.
- If your teacher said they don’t care about the formatting, then stick to the defaults of your word processing program. Generally, it is a good idea to stick to font size 12 and a standard font such as Times New Roman. To make your paper easier to read, consider changing the line spacing to 1.5 or 2, unless your teacher has said not to do this.
- Your teacher probably expects you to turn in a typed copy of your essay. Unless your teacher has specifically asked for handwritten papers make sure you turn in a neat, typed copy.
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