How to Write an Essay on Christopher Columbus?

Christopher Columbus is one of the most-studied figures in American history. American children are taught the ditty “In fourteen-hundred-ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” when they are in elementary school. Yet, it is not until much later that they begin to research and write essays about Columbus. If you have reached this point, there are several tips that can help you write an effective essay about Christopher Columbus.

  1. Keep an open mind. Much of the information about Christopher Columbus Americans are taught as children, is a romanticized version of history. It is likely that over the course of your research you will uncover information that contradicts your preconceptions. It is important that you consider this new information, instead of dismissing it because it contradicts what you “know” to be true.
  2. Consider your sources. Most students use the internet to conduct research for essays. It provides a wealth of information in an instant, but it is not an infallible tool. There are websites that do not require articles to be verified by experts (peer-review) prior to publication, making it possible to publish erroneous information. When you conduct the research for your essay, make sure you examine the sources of information. Generally speaking, it is best to use information from peer-reviewed sources whenever possible. If that is not possible, use sources that verify information prior to publication, such as government (.gov) and university (.edu) sites.
  3. Follow an Academic Essay-Writing Model. Once you have compiled your sources, you can use an academic writing model to construct your paper. The standard model involves the following steps:
  • Literature Review – read your sources
  • Annotated Bibliography – Notate pertinent information from your sources and cite in the correct format (AMA, APA, MLA, etc.)
  • Write an Outline – Your outline will form the framework of your paper, so the more detailed your outline; the easier it will be to write the essay. Take the time to make sure your citations and reference page are formatted correctly.
  • Write the Essay – Using your outline as the base, you will complete your essay.
  • ***Hint: Write the conclusion so that it mirrors the introduction; this provides a sense of closure, and increases the impact of your essay***

  • Proofread and Revise – Take the time to make sure your essay is cohesive, free from spelling and grammatical errors, and is written in the correct format. This is the step gives the essay the polish that can set it apart from other essays. Whenever possible, have someone else proofread your essay, as well. A different perspective may catch errors you may have missed.

Writing essays about Christopher Columbus is an assignment that most Americans will be asked to complete, at some point during their school years. Following the above steps can help you create a winning essay of which you can be proud!