Writing a Humanities Essay

October 31, 2019 Choosing to Study the Humanities

The humanities is an all-encompassing broad term for the study of people and how they have and continue to process and document their experiences through time, across cultures and around the world. Colleges and universities typically include many programs and faculties in their Humanities programs, including history, philosophy, languages and linguistics, religion, fine and performing arts, anthropology and law. Rather than having an empirical focus, the humanities question and explore what has happened and how humanity has reacted.


As it is not a quantitative field, humanities essays are expected to be more critical and analytical, with fresh theses and ideas. You will be expected to provide information and also to explore that information, often bringing several ideas, concepts or historical details together in a clear and concise manner. You will also be expected to cite and provide references to support your thesis.


Like all essays, you will need to start with a thesis statement, the main point of your essay, summarized into one concise statement. This will be the foundation for your essay, so it is important that your thesis statement accurately portray what you will be discussing. The body of your essay will be exploring your thesis, providing supported arguments for it, including those citations. You may have several points you’d like to pursue – be sure that do so in a systematic and clear manner. Your final paragraph will be your closing statement, summarizing your thesis and the main points of your essay, being sure to echo your thesis statement (and being sure that you actually wrote to the thesis as you intended). The final result should be a thoughtful, thought provoking analytical essay.