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Mastering Leaving Cert History: A Guide to Writing Sample Essays

Updated: Feb 17

Leaving Cert History is one of the most challenging subjects for Irish students, especially when it comes to writing essays. The exam requires students to write two essays on topics chosen from a list of options. These essays carry a significant amount of marks and can make or break a student's chances of securing a good grade. However, with the right approach, mastering Leaving Cert History essays is possible. In this blog, we will provide tips and insights on how to write sample essays for Leaving Cert History.

1. Understanding the Essay Structure

The first step to writing a great essay is to understand its structure. An essay has three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should grab the reader's attention and provide background information on the topic. The body should include the main argument, supported by evidence and examples. The conclusion should summarise the main points and restate the thesis.

2. Choosing the Right Topic

Choosing the right topic is crucial for a successful essay. The Leaving Cert History syllabus provides a list of options for essays. It is essential to choose a topic that interests you and that you are familiar with. The topic should be narrow enough to provide a focused argument but broad enough to allow for enough research and analysis.

3. Research and Analysis

Research and analysis are crucial for a well-written essay. Start by reading through relevant texts and taking notes. Use primary sources, such as diaries, letters, and speeches, to support your argument. It is also essential to analyze the information and present a clear argument, using evidence to support your claims.

4. Writing Style and Grammar

Writing style and grammar are essential for a good essay. Use clear and concise language, avoiding slang and colloquialisms. Avoid long and complex sentences that can be difficult to understand. Make sure to proofread your work to avoid spelling and grammatical errors.

5. Time Management

Time management is crucial during the Leaving Cert exam. Make sure to allocate enough time to each section of the exam, including essay writing. Plan your essay before you start writing, including a clear thesis statement, main argument, and supporting evidence. Leave enough time for proofreading and editing.


In conclusion, writing a Leaving Cert History essay can be challenging, but with the right approach, it is possible to master it. Understanding the essay structure, choosing the right topic, research and analysis, writing style and grammar, and time management are all essential components of a successful essay. Practice writing sample essays, and seek feedback from your teachers to improve your writing skills. With these tips and insights, you will be well on your way to writing successful Leaving Cert History essays. Good luck!

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