How to Describe Important Events in History

History is always an interesting subject to write about. There are so many events in history that are note-worthy. But finding the right words to describe an important historical event can be challenging. Where should you start? How can you make it sound interesting? What imagery should you deploy? Well, we’re here to help you out with a quick guide on how to describe an important event in history. This can come in handy for writing assignments and tests like the IELTS.

When describing events in history, you need the help of imagery and descriptive words to tell what took place and its significance. Keep reading for new tips and steps to make an exciting and informative description.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

What Historical Events Can You Write About?

History is riddled with hundreds of important events, everything from political conflicts and medical breakthroughs to the start of the space race. All of these have had significant impacts on society.

There’s an endless number of topics from the past that you can write about. Writing tests like the one in IELTS will usually give you several choices as to the event you can write about.

You can write about important events in a country or your personal life. To give you an idea, here are some crucial events in history from different countries that you can choose from:


  • Birth of Christianity.
  • Birth of Muhammad (570 AD).
  • The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (1914).
  • Invasion of Poland by Germany (1939).
  • 9/11 – World Trade Center Attack (2001).
  • The French Revolution.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis.

In the USA:

  • The assassination of John F. Kennedy.
  • The Civil War.
  • 9/11, 2011.
  • The assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

In India

  • Partition of India and Pakistan (1947).
  • Babri Masjid demolition (1991).
  • Birth of Gautam Buddha (563 BC).
  • Alexander’s invasion of India (327 – 26 B.C.).
  • First Battle of Panipat (1526 AD).

In Australia:

  • 1787 First Fleet (May 1, 1787).
  • Victoria became a Colony (1851).
  • Gold Rush Settlement.
  • Canberra was chosen to be the capital of Australia.
  • Queen’s birthday (1788).

In Russia

  • The collapse of the USSR (1911).
  • Victory in World War

In Canada

  • The battle of Vimy Ridge (1917).
  • Royal Canadian Navy was established (in 1910)
  • Great Depression in Canada (1929).
  • Canada joins UN (1945).

In Nepal

  • British East India Company gains control (1768).
  • Anglo-Nepalese War (1814)
  • Nepal joins the U.N. (1855).
  • Nepal becomes a republic (2008).

In order to describe an event in history, you must consider a few elements beyond the primary occurrences. After considering the facts of the event, you have to consider their context, the people who participated, and their lasting effects on the world.

How to Describe An Important Event in History

Describing an event in history doesn’t necessarily need to be complicated. You are not obligated to rewrite history; instead, you must focus on offering a good and accurate overview.

Try following these simple steps.

Choose a topic that you’re familiar with

If you’ve been given the liberty to choose your own topic, try to choose something you’re familiar with. You can talk about significant events in your country’s history or maybe even a social movement that had a large impact on your community.

Determine the facts

Depending on the type of event, you might need to answer the following before you begin writing your description.

  • What happened?
  • What was the overall effect of the event?
  • How did these events change the world into what it is today?
  • Who was involved?
  • How did it happen?
  • How should people feel about it?

It’s essential to conduct thorough research and get your facts straight. List down the day or year it occurred, the people who played a significant role, and so on.

Create a Detailed Picture

Delve into the details of the event in your content. Try to think of words that can accurately describe what took place. You can look for strong adjectives to use in your sentences.

If it was a war, you could describe where it occurred to give your readers an accurate picture. Maybe you can also write about how people lived during this time. Whichever way you want to go about it, share the correct details to make your description more credible. 

Historical Event Description Examples

Sample 1: Presidential Assassinations

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln was an important event in the history of the United States. On April 14, 1865, the 16th President of the United States was murdered while attending a play in Washington. John Wilkes Booth was involved in this crime, and he was the assassin. Likewise, the killing of President George W. Bush resulted in a massive change in the course of American history. During the President’s tenure, the country took several approaches, but this path was terminated with his death.

Sample 2: The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was a long and tragic battle lasting for over a decade. It was between opposing forces, mainly communist North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Both countries were fighting for their conception of how a country should be governed. This war was widely known in foreign countries as a struggle between two different doctrines. The United States of America supported South Vietnam. At the same time, North Vietnam found allies in the Soviet Union and China.

The war ended with a cease-fire agreement in 1973. It was an expensive war that changed millions of people’s lives. The U.S. military estimates that between 200,000 and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died. Throughout this time, many countries got involved, including France, Laos, Cambodia, South Korea, and Other U.S. Allies.

Sample 3: Separation of India and Pakistan

India and Pakistan’s partition played a vital role in the history of this region. The event took place in 1947. It is also known as ‘Partition Year.’ Two new states were born due to the separation, India, and Pakistan. India was eventually referred to as Hindustan because most people who lived there believed in Hinduism. On the other hand, Pakistan was formed by a Muslim majority population who used to live in the ‘greater India’ at the time. This was also the cause of the separation of East and West Pakistan in 1971.

Sample 4: Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-ruling British monarch, ruling for over seven decades. During her time, she saw the British Empire lose its colonies. She lived through the formation of the Commonwealth in 1931, Beatlemania in the 1960s, and the Decolonization that started in 1945. The queen also witnessed the formation of the European Union in 1993 and even the advent of new technology. At the time of her death on September 8, 2022, she was 96 years old.


Every country has its unique history. And when you describe an important event in history, it’s essential to have a thorough understanding of that country’s past. Get to know what they are known for and how this event shaped the world.

With this background knowledge, you’ll understand how to recreate their history to keep their cultural integrity and allow the reader to make the connection.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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