How to Write

Writing an Essay about French Revolution: Quick Guide

Jacky M.
Min Read
Last updated:
Mar 15, 2022
Mar 15, 2022
Writing an Essay about French Revolution: Quick Guide
french revolution essay

Steps to help write an essay

The Post-Writing Stage

French Revolution Essay Topics

Events in the French Revolution

Symbols of the French Revolution

Historical Figures

Writing an essay might be a daunting task. However, composing a French Revolution thematic essay is even more challenging. Before you tackle the question of how the revolution started (spoiler alert - bankruptcy and income inequalities), organize your writing process into steps. Start with conducting profound research: read peer-reviewed articles and watch documentaries. Decide whether you should consult museums online or in person. Collect your data, outline it, and draft the essay. Editing and proofreading are the last stages to consider. 

Feel overwhelmingly confused with the writing process? Check the guidelines from our experts below.

Steps to help you write an essay on the topic french revolution

Whether you have to write my paper on French Revolution in 300 words or 10 pages, the essay writing process is the same. Below, the academic writing tips will teach you how to effectively organize the data in your French Revolution essay.

The Planning Stage

The greatest writers plan their work meticulously. Remember Joan Katlin Rowling? Before creating the first book of Poterriana, she thoroughly elaborated the universe, its laws, and the characters residing in it. The same goes for the French Revolution essay or any other academic project. In other words, think about the main elements and how they relate to each other. 

Steps to consider in this stage are:

  • Choosing the topic. Pick the one that sparks your interest and has enough peer-reviewed data to collect;
  • Think of the essay structure. Will it be a traditional 5-paragraph essay? Will your work include more than three body paragraphs?

Creating an Essay Outline

This stage implies you put all the necessary essay parts on paper. Start with the Intro section. What are you going to begin your essay with? Work out the thesis statement and add it to the end of the first paragraph. Are you going to add some French Revolution facts or statistics as an attention grabber?

When working on body paragraphs, you may write them in the form of French Revolution essay questions to be answered. By doing so, you’ll outline the main ideas your writing should focus on later. Here, you can also ‘assign’ the academic sources which you're going to use for the proof of the thesis statement.

Start Writing Your French Revolution Essay

Once you’ve successfully completed the outline stage, time to start the actual writing. In fact, you’re pretty settled up. Why so? Your outline already includes your essay ideas and the sources to prove them. What is left is coherence. You should link the sections with each other so the whole writing is smooth and well-balanced with facts and answers to the counterpoints. 

For instance, your essay focuses on the effects of the French Revolution. Obviously, your thesis statement will contain three effects to be explored in the project. If you’ve chosen a 5-paragraph style, make sure you use at least one different source for each paragraph.


The introductory part familiarizes your reader with the topic you’re going to explore. We advise you to use an effective attention grabber. This element allows you to set a tone and establish close contact with the reader. Think of a fun fact or surprising French Revolution statistics.

In your French Revolution Essay introduction, Describe the time period in a few sentences. By doing so, you’ll let your reader stay on track. For instance, mention when did the French revolution start and end.

The last sentence of your intro is a thesis statement that contains the main idea to be proved in your essay.

Body Paragraphs

When writing the body of your essay (which might equal 80% of the entire writing), keep your thesis statement in mind. For instance, your essay focuses on the French Revolution causes, three of which you’ve already mentioned in your thesis statement. To effectively organize your body paragraphs and prove the causes of the french revolution essay, follow this paragraph structure:

  • 1st sentence. State the cause you're going to analyze;
  • 2-3rd sentences. Write down what you think about the cause. For instance, why it was important;
  • 4-5th sentences. Cite facts from the sources to prove your thoughts;
  • 6-7th sentences. Conclude the paragraph by summarizing the idea.


Once you google ‘essay topics French Revolution,’ you’ll find a daunting number of them. Easy topics make easy conclusions. Hence, the complexity of your topic will directly influence the amount of effort you’ll have to put into writing your essay conclusion. Don’t worry; writing the essay's concluding paragraph is not as tedious as you might think.

  • 1st sentence. Restate your thesis;
  • 2-3rd sentences. Write down the results of your study. As a tip, follow the ideas you’ve explored in the body paragraphs;
  • 4th sentence. Some essay instructions might ask you to add the impediments your study encountered or some general ideas about future research.

Just don't feel like it? Let us handle your task and go on with your life!

Get help

The Post-Writing Stage: Proofreading and Editing

The last stage of your essay writing process is editing and proofreading. So, you’ve written the last sentence of your French Revolution essay conclusion. Which activities do proofreading and editing include? 

  • First of all, cite your sources. If you don’t know how to do it properly (most of us don’t, let’s be honest), use the online magic tools. For instance, the Citation Machine. It will save you time and organize your source details properly; 
  • Secondly, correct grammar, style, and punctuation mistakes. Again, use online software like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor to make sure your essay has a cohesive structure and is error-free;
  • Thirdly, avoid plagiarism. For this purpose, use tools like PlagScan or PlagTracker. 

Other things to check for are:

  • No passive voice;
  • The paragraphs transition is smooth;
  • Each body paragraph explores only one idea;
  • Each paragraph follows a clear structure;
  • The in-citations follow the necessary academic formatting style;
  • The whole essay is coherent and easy to read.

How to Choose the One and Only from French Revolution Essay Topics?

As a Humanities student, there is a high chance you’ll be told to compose an essay on the French Revolution. Why so? The French Revolution is one of the most significant revolutions that happened in France but changed world history. It was the French Revolution that inspired the 19th-century abolitionists or 20th-century socialists to act for human rights. Guess what? The first Declaration of Human Rights emerged due to French revolutionaries too.

When choosing a topic, aim for the one which presents a deep interest for you. Make sure you have at least minimum expertise in it. Meanwhile, keep the topic concise and clear.
In case you don’t feel like writing an essay and searching topics, you can ask our expert writers, “write my paper for me,” and they will deliver an A-worth paper at a friendly price.

Possible Topics to Focus Your Essay On

  • The Opposition of the Divine and Secular as a Premise for the French Revolution
  • How the Enlightenment Changed the Human Thought and Led to the French Revolution
  • Robespierre’s Influence on the French Revolution
  • The Uprise of Nationalism as the Main Post-Revolutionary Effect
  • Power Dynamics as One of the Main Causes for the French Revolution
  • Absolutism and Democracy as Two Oppositions during the French Revolution Period
  • Social Classes: Division Before and After the French Revolution
  • Is Napoleon the Epitome of the French Revolution? 
  • How Industrialism Influenced the French Revolution
  • French Revolution in Art and Music

The Key Milestones and Events in the French Revolution

Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same proverb speaks about the French Revolution that lasted not for weeks or days - but years. It started in 1789. When did the French Revolution end? Ten years later, in 1799. One decade was the time required to remind the country about democracy and, ironically, come back to Napoleon’s dictatorship. 

key symbols

French Revolution Timeline

  • 14th of July, 1789. French people who were neither aristocrats nor clergy stormed the Bastille tower. The latter was a symbol for the absolute monarch’s power and the oppression of the poor; 
  • 1793 - 1794. Robespierre introduces the Reign of Terror against the Revolution opponents; 
  • 1791. The royal family (Louis and Marie Antoinette) were captured at Varennes. The attempt to start a counterrevolution was prevented;
  • 1793 - 1802. French Revolutionary Wars in and against other countries start;
  • 1793. The ‘commons’ storm Tuileries Palace and capture Louis XVI. The Parisians proclaim the first French Republic that will exist till 1975;
  • 1794. The Thermidorian Reaction or a parliamentary revolt happened;
  • 1795. The Directory was established;
  • 1799. Napoleon was inaugurated as the First Consul of France.

Other Revolutions in France 

  • 1830 - the July Revolution. The House of Orleans took the entire power from the House of Bourbons;
  • 1848 - another French Revolution. Algeria fights for freedom; the Second French Republic is introduced.

The Key Symbols of the French Revolution

Just like a cross is a symbol for Christianity, so is a Phrygian cap for the French Revolution. Why is symbolism important? Any ideology has symbols. A symbol is a visual sign, an object, or even a sound one can relate to a specific event or a historical period. 

The guillotine, the Phrygian cap, the French flag, and ‘La Marseillaise’ are the French Revolution symbols.

The Guillotine - French Revolution Symbol

Sure, not the most peaceful symbol one can associate with the French Revolution. However, the guillotine is the epitome of the French Revolution and Robespierre’s power. It tells you about how the revolution was held. The Parisians executed the monarchs, while during the Reign of Terror, the tool was used for capital punishment of the Revolution opponents.

The Phrygian Cap - Symbol of Liberty

The symbol of ennoblement of the ‘commons.’ The Phrygian cap or the Liberty cap was worn by all revolutionaries and had roots in Greek and Roman culture. When a Roman slave was given freedom, they received a bonnet. Yeap, the same tradition is in ‘Harry Potter’ when Dobby gets a sock from Mr. Malfoy (obviously, unintentionally). Pretty cool, right?

The French Flag - Blue, White, and Red

The same combination of colors was used in tricolor cockades. Traditionally, blue and red are the colors of Paris. Later, white, the color of nobility, was added to the red-and-blue pair. The new colors were supposed to symbolize the new state of affairs. At the same time, the combination of colors was used to distinguish the Parisian military forces

La Marseillaise - France National Anthem

Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle is the author of the song that later became the official anthem of the First French Republic in 1795. The song has a melody and lyrics that evoke a solemn mood. The first time the song was performed publicly was during the peaceful march organized by the Marseille volunteers.  

The song is considered an anthem of the French Revolution.

Historical Figures Who Took Part in the French Revolution

Revolution is made by people. Hence, you’ll need to mention a few historical figures in your essay. Those are names to mention in your French Revolution essay answers. Make sure you indicate representatives from the aristocracy, famous politicians, clergymen, and the advocates of the Revolution. This will help you write a paper.

Check the main participants of the French Revolution and learn the facts about their lives below. 


Louis XVI 

Louis XVI was among the monarchs who felt the anger of the ‘commons’ and the guillotine’s power on their heads. The King of France and Navarre disappeared into history books as the last absolute monarch in France. He was criticized for leading the country to bankruptcy due to supporting the American colonies when it came to military action.

Marie Antoinette

Queen of France and Navarre, Marie Antoinette, was guillotined along with her husband Louis XVI. She is the last absolute queen in French history. Marie Antoinette is known for opposing the French Revolution and keeping the court resistant to social changes. She failed to organize the counterrevolution, was accused of treason, and was publicly punished in 1793. 

Maximilien de Robespierre

The voice of the poorest and a former lawyer, Robespierre, is the first historical figure you have to mention when asked, ‘who was involved in the French Revolution?’ The Robin Hood of the French, Robespierre became a member of the Committee of Public Safety. Along with radical Jacobins, he punished the opponents of the revolution. Ironically, Robespierre was publicly executed a few years later. 

Jean Paul Marat

With ink and paper, Marat is an example of a journalist and politician who inspired others without directly ordering them to participate in the revolution. Marat defended the need for violence while spreading pamphlets. The latter triggered bloodshed and gave rise to radical nationalism. As a politician, he supported Jacobins. In 1793, Marat was stabbed to death. 

Georges Jacque Danton

The president of the Committee of Public Safety, Danton, was both a lawyer and politician. Just like his colleague Robespierre, Danton radicalized the Revolution and made the capital punishment of the Revolution opponents legal. Along with Robespierre, he introduced the Revolutionary Tribunal. In 1794, Danton was stabbed by Charlotte Corday, a political activist who saw the revolution through the eyes of a modern liberal. 

Marquis de Lafayette

A notorious general of the army and politician, Lafayette is mostly known for his active participation in Revolutionary Wars. Before the latter started, Lafayette ignited the French Revolution in 1789 and drafted the first document on human rights - the Declaration of the Rights of Man itself. The general later supported the American colonies in their war against the British and defended democracy till his death in 1834.

Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes

A clergyman and politician, Sieyes was a National Assembly member. He participated in creating the first draft of the Declaration of the Rights of Man. As a politician, he voted for the monarch’s execution, wrote pamphlets that contained the values of revolutionaries, and supported them during the most difficult days. Later, Sieyes helped Napoleon come to power as the First Consul of France.


A prominent journalist and politician, Mirabeau was among the top members of the National Assembly. He is mostly known for Revolutionary speeches at Versailles that persuaded the masses to join the Revolution and stand against tyranny. When the Revolution turned into a radical movement, Mirabeau started supporting King Louis XVI, trying to save the country from Terror. Eventually, his views led to a nationwide scandal. 

Jacques Necker

A banker and politician, Necker, is known for introducing economic reforms that positively affected the ‘commons’ and the country’s budget. First of all, he introduced an economic policy that reduced royal expenditures and increased interest rates rather than taxes. Necker persuaded the crown to introduce a system of loans when France decided to contribute to the American revolution. He was later dismissed because of his sympathy for the ‘commons.’

Camille Desmoulins

A lawyer and journalist, Desmoulins is known for writing the ‘Free France’ pamphlet. The document inspired the Third Estate to take arms and dethrone the monarch. Desmoulins is known for his less radical views on the French Revolution and his friendship with Robespierre, which was later destroyed by a difference in their political views. Under Robespierre’s order, Desmoulins was guillotined in 1794.

What was changed: