The importance of credible sources for history essays

History itself is based on documents and other primary sources that justify certain events. Without the hard analytic work of historians and careful collection of facts, we won’t be able to know about our past. When writing history essays, students use a variety of sources to better grasp the historical subject.

So, why do credible sources play an essential role in writing history essays? Everything is simple. When writing a historical paper, you take on the role of a young historian who explores a specific historical period, person, or event. To ensure all your claims are valid, you need to back them up with information from trustful primary and secondary sources (historical articles, newspaper reports, recordings of speeches, books written by professional historians, etc.).

How to Find Credible Sources for History Essay

  • Ask for help. You can contact your librarian to help you find the right information in your library. Also, you can ask professional writers from history essay writing services like and get a unique essay sample and a list of references with credible sources on your topic.

  • Read academic publications. To get information about tanks and warfare, you must focus on academic journals and books connected to warfare topics and military history. Expert historians write reputable journals that contain well-researched information. For example, search JSTOR and Google Scholar for topics you are interested in. Also, look through The Journal of Military History, the British Journal for Military History, etc.

  • Research historical organizations. Museum databases, associations of histories, archives, and historical departments of universities are excellent sources of credible information and offer various information online. Such information may be helpful for students, scholars, military history enthusiasts, and just curious individuals.

    • The International Commission of Military History

    • The Society for Military History

    • The Royal United Services Institute

    • The Imperial War Museums

    • The National Museum of American History

  • Utilize government historical archives. Such archives are repositories of various historical documents and records available for different individuals. If talking about tanks, documents may contain such information as tank development, production operations, and military strategies connected to the use of tanks.

    • US – National Archives and Records Administration

    • UK – The National Archives

    • France – Archives Nationales

    • Germany – Bundesarchiv

    • National Archives of Australia

  • Watch professional historical interviews. Many interviews with historians, veterans, and specialists have been recorded in audio and video format. If you wish to add more real-time moments to your essay, search for documentary films and podcasts with individuals who share expert viewpoints and personal experiences about the history of tanks.

  • Check the truthfulness of online sources. You must already know that information online may not be valid. But we need to pinpoint that you should double-check the source for a historical essay to be sure it’s trustworthy. Give preferences to sources that are held in cooperation with colleges, universities, historical organizations, or reputable history experts.

  • Prefer using peer-reviewed articles. What does it mean? It means that a team of subject-matter experts checks every piece before publishing. Such procedure guarantees that the facts and numbers used in the article are accurate and contain credible references.

  • Take part in historical forums and communities. It’s a great place where historical experts and enthusiasts meet to share their insights and references on various historical topics. However, you should be cautious about the information on forums and critically evaluate opinions and claims from other users.

  • Check the reference list. Even Wikipedia can list several original sources that the author used to create the article. If you have found an interesting article, continue exploring the topic by finding sources used for writing the text.

In addition, we recommend checking the publication’s reputation, author’s qualifications, and level of expertise before you decide to cite the source.

Considering Historical Bias in Sources

When you begin to research your sources for the history essay, you must understand that it’s important to consider historical bias that may contain the chosen source. It’s highly important to critically evaluate the content and look at the ideas from various perspectives.

When talking about military history, young historians’ main problem is relying only on primary sources from one region or military branch. For example, you have found several sources written by American authors about military events or tanks in WWII, and to avoid the possible biased perspective, you need to explore several articles from Russian and British authors to understand all the viewpoints better.

Also, there are a lot of moments you need to consider to avoid bias. If you have decided to write a history essay on tanks, let’s discuss how historical bias influenced the history of tanks:

Historical context. The first tanks were developed during WWI and WWII in the early 20th century. It should be considered that many countries have constructed tanks according to their own inventions and available technologies, so it’s pretty hard to find the first tank in history.

National peculiarities. Each country that was involved in tank development and warfare boasted about its inventions and deliberately underestimated the creations of others. For example, Soviet historical narratives highlighted the T-34 tanks as the most powerful and critical weapon against Nazis, while the British insisted on the innovative qualities of the Churchill tank.

Technological advancements. World wars in the 20th century have significantly influenced rapid technological improvements in armor, firepower, etc. But at the same time, some technologically developed tanks remained in the shadow of more popular but less accomplished tanks (e.g., Stridsvagn L-60, Chi-Nu, T-44, Centurion, AMX-30).

Historical recognition. Most of the well-known tanks have taken an active part in iconic battles and victories. Due to such selective focus, tanks that took part in less-known battles are overlooked.

Wrapping Up

Finding credible sources for your historical essay may take time. You may feel like a golddigger finding valuable and trustworthy information on your topic. Luckily, you have various options available over the internet: libraries, archives, and other informational services can help you find the correct information without leaving your comfortable room. Remember to verify the reliability of your sources and avoid biased representation to quickly write a well-researched history essay. Good luck!

One thought on “The importance of credible sources for history essays

  1. And then you got shitshows like Queen Cleopatra where they seem to have used zero credible sources. xD

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