Visit the library's History Research Guide for tips on the research process and on using library resources. You can also schedule an appointment with a librarian to talk specifically about your research project. Or, make an appointment with staff at the History Writing Center for research help. Visit our section about using electronic resources as well. By this point, you know what the prompt is asking, you have brainstormed possible responses, and you have done some research.
Now you need to step back, look at the material you have, and develop your argument. Based on the reading and research you have done, how might you answer the question s in the prompt? What arguments do your sources allow you to make?
Draft a thesis statement in which you clearly and succinctly make an argument that addresses the prompt. If you find writing a thesis daunting, remember that whatever you draft now is not set in stone. Your thesis will change. As you do more research, reread your sources, and write your paper, you will learn more about the topic and your argument. For now, produce a "working thesis," meaning, a thesis that represents your thinking up to this point.
Remember it will almost certainly change as you move through the writing process. For more information, visit our section about thesis statements. Once you have a thesis, you may find that you need to do more research targeted to your specific argument. Revisit some of the tips from Step 3. Now that you have a working thesis, look back over your sources and identify which ones are most critical to you--the ones you will be grappling with most directly in order to make your argument.
Annotating sources means writing a paragraph that summarizes the main idea of the source as well as shows how you will use the source in your paper. Think about what the source does for you.
Does it provide evidence in support of your argument? Does it offer a counterpoint that you can then refute, based on your research?
Does it provide critical historical background that you need in order to make a point? For more information about annotating sources, visit our section on annotated bibliographies. While it might seem like this step creates more work for you by having to do more writing, it in fact serves two critical purposes: Having dissected your sources and articulated your ideas about them, you can more easily draw upon them when constructing your paper. Even if you do not have to do outside research and are limited to working with the readings you have done in class, annotating sources is still very useful.
Write down exactly how a particular section in the textbook or in a primary source reader will contribute to your paper. An outline is helpful in giving you a sense of the overall structure of your paper and how best to organize your ideas. You need to decide how to arrange your argument in a way that will make the most sense to your reader. Perhaps you decide that your argument is most clear when presented chronologically, or perhaps you find that it works best with a thematic approach.
There is no one right way to organize a history paper; it depends entirely on the prompt, on your sources, and on what you think would be most clear to someone reading it. An effective outline includes the following components: Be as detailed as you can when putting together your outline. This step can feel overwhelming, but remember that you have already done a lot of work and--armed with your working thesis, source annotations, and outline--have all the tools needed. Do not feel that you have to work through your outline from beginning to end.
Some writers find it helpful to begin with the section in which they feel most confident. Look at your outline and see if there is one part that is particularly fleshed out; you may want to begin there. Your goal in the draft is to articulate your argument as clearly as you can, and to marshal your evidence in support of your argument. Do not get too caught up in grammar or stylistic issues at this point, as you are more concerned now with the big-picture task of expressing your ideas in writing.
If you have trouble getting started or are feeling overwhelmed, try free writing. Free writing is a low-stakes writing exercise to help you get past the blank page. Set a timer for five or ten minutes and write down everything you know about your paper: Do not edit or judge what you are writing as you write; just keep writing until the timer goes off.
You may be surprised to find out how much you knew about your topic. Of course, this writing will not be polished, so do not be tempted to leave it as it is. Remember that this draft is your first one, and you will be revising it. When you are writing up the evidence in your draft, you need to appropriately cite all of your sources. Appropriate citation has two components. You must both follow the proper citation style in your footnotes and bibliography, and document always but only when such documentation is required.
Remember that you need to cite not just direct quotations, but any ideas that are not your own. Inappropriate citation is considered plagiarism. For more information about how and when to cite, visit our section on citations. After you have completed an entire first draft, move on to the revision stage. Think about revising on two levels: The global level refers to the argument and evidence in your paper, while the local level refers to the individual sentences.
Your first priority should be revising at the global level, because you need to make sure you are making a compelling and well-supported argument.
A particularly helpful exercise for global-level revision is to make a reverse outline, which will help you look at your paper as a whole and strengthen the way you have organized and substantiated your argument. Print out your draft and number each of the paragraphs. Then, on a separate piece of paper, write down each paragraph number and, next to it, summarize in a phrase or a sentence the main idea of that paragraph.
As you produce this list, notice if any paragraphs attempt to make more than one point: Once you have compiled the list, read it over carefully. Study the order in which you have sequenced your ideas. Notice if there are ideas that seem out of order or repetitive.
Look for any gaps in your logic. Does the argument flow and make sense? When revising at the local level, check that you are using strong topic sentences and transitions, that you have adequately integrated and analyzed quotations, and that your paper is free from grammar and spelling errors that might distract the reader or even impede your ability to communicate your point.
One helpful exercise for revising on the local level is to read your paper out loud. Hearing your paper will help you catch grammatical errors and awkward sentences. Here is a checklist of questions to ask yourself while revising on both the global and local levels:. Remember, start revising at the global level.
Once you are satisfied with your argument, move onto the local level. After you have finished revising and have created a strong draft, set your paper aside for a few hours or overnight. When you revisit it, go over the checklist in Step 8 one more time.
Read your paper out loud again too, catching any errors you might have missed before. Should a president be impeached for personal moral issues? Bill Clinton It is impossible to avoid personal biases, but the president should focus on the nation. Waves of slavery in the USA A typical history research paper focuses on the fact that slaves were first brought to America in the 18th century and similar practices were conducted in the 19th century as well.
Alterations in slave laws While some people believed that having slaves who have no rights is normal, others started speaking about the necessity to provide them with more opportunities, which led to changes in slave laws.
The role of the Sons of Liberty in the US history This organization was created to protect the rights of the colonists. It protested against the Stamp Act and British taxation. The influence of George Washington on the outcome of the American Revolution The president developed a strategy that provided the country with an opportunity to win significant battles. What were the reasons for the creation of the Articles of Confederation?
This agreement united the US states, ensuring their independence and sovereignty. It was a significant step towards the creation of the US Constitution. Have the Embargo Act provided expected influences on the US economy?
The US trade suffered significantly, which led to a financial disaster. How the North and the South differ in the framework of politics? They treated political views in different ways. While the North fought for the federal power, the South believed that states should have more independence. The role of female politicians in the US history Even though women were not allowed to be involved in politics for a long time, they managed to provide the USA with numerous benefits.
American fights for diversity and equality America has been a melting pot for many years. Being full of minorities, its population often fought for the equality of its rights. Can the fact of having an African American President prove that racial discrimination is not a problem for the USA already?
Do not forget about essay quotations when stating that even though racial discrimination does not exist in the USA officially, associated issues can be still observed. However, the situation is not the same today. Differences in male and female education in the 20th century As women started to fight for their rights , they emphasized the necessity for girls and boys to have the same access to education. These warriors were created for the first Emperor of China to reveal his army. The Opium Wars in China.
Anglo-Chinese disputes affected trade significantly and weakened China. Who was Grigoriy Rasputin, and what were his relations with the Romanovs? He proclaimed himself as a holy individual. Being tightly connected with the family of Tsar Nicholas II, he turned into a very influential person.
Communism ideology and the top reasons for its failure in Russia. During its history, Russia was ruled in different ways. Nevertheless, the idea of shared ownership and equality failed to last for a long time. The tragedy of Holocaust. Intentional murders of millions of people made extreme influence not only on the suffering nation but also on the whole world. Showing that women can become outstanding leaders, the prime minister of the UK made numerous decisions that determined the future of her country.
The history and global spread of AIDS. Modern history essay can be connected even with the spread of AIDS. People all over the world know about it for a long time, but the cure is still not found. What were the main preconditions for the Arab Spring? This revolutionary wave started as an opposition to the government and involved several countries.
The Muslim conquest of India. Great discoveries often happen unexpectedly or turn out to be made by chance. The influence of the Catholic Church on European leaders An essay on history can reveal that starting from the Middle Ages, religious leaders had enormous influence on the government.
The characteristics of the patronage system and its effects This system presupposes that an influential individual can use their power on behalf of another person. Why are the Dark Ages called this way? This term is used to reveal that there were many wars and deaths at that time. Moreover, people faced the lack of resources and were not educated enough.
How religious views affected the Chinese empire? Historical analysis essay can discuss how Chinese people, including their emperors, highly valued ideas revealed by Buddhism and Confucianism, which affected all their decisions.
Why Roman soldiers spent years in baths? Romans soldiers fought for years, and it was not safe to let them live with the rest of the population as soon as they came home. What is the connection between the two World Wars? Why is William the Conqueror an outstanding historical figure? He managed to invade England and held it under control for years.
Was it possible to avoid the Industrial Revolution? Manufacturing is critical for the current society, and its transition to the use of machines is the most significant event in its history. Why is the gold standard not used by the UK? The gold was used as the primary type of money in Britain in the 19th century. However, this standard was withdrawn in the 20th century.
How was the spread of the bubonic plague addressed? With the spread of the bubonic plague, many people died all over the world. Fortunately, it was over in several years. How had Ancient Greece affected Romans? A historical research paper can investigate this topic because Romans are known as a well-developed nation that affected the world with its innovations. However, many of them were obtained from Greece.
Writing a term paper, you can say that both Greeks and Romans created concepts that are used in the modern world. What is unique about the Chinese Empire?
The Chinese Empire is known for its dynasties, centralization, and development. Was it possible to end the Cold War before ? Writing a historiographical essay, you can presuppose that the collapse of the Soviet Union ended the war, but there is a possibility that this process could have been facilitated. Shocking History Essay Topics History is full of unbelievably interesting facts, and some of them can be used as good history essay questions: In Ancient China doctors received payment only if they managed to cure a patient.
People always have paid for services they receive, but the costs and associated regulations differ significantly. The Anglo-Zanzibar war lasted 38 minutes only. Wars usually last for years and are associated with dramatic loses. It ended because one party lost people, while the other one remained in the same line-up. In BC, Sparta had only 25, inhabitants, but over , slaves. Slavery is considered to be a critical problem today, but centuries ago people showed their status buying more and more slaves.
Leonardo Da Vinci was dyslexic. Even the most significant personalities who amazed societies with their works have never been ideal people put in perfect conditions. Da Vinci had to cope with dyslexia on the everyday basis, but it had not prevented him from the creation of masterpieces.
History knows many mistakes associated with the discovery of various parts of the world and tools. Numerals are not an exception. They are called by the name of the nation that used it widely and spread throughout the globe, but not of those who invented them. Hitler was the man of the year in according to the Time magazine.
Even the most terrible people can turn out to be outstanding leaders and professionals. In Middle Ages, the average life expectancy of peasants was about 25 years. Innovations provide people with an opportunity to live longer. Unfortunately, our predecessors had almost no protection from the dangers of the world. Margaret Sanger was imprisoned for starting the first birth control clinic in People still argue whether abortions should be prohibited or not. Before , clocks had only one hand showing an hour.
Many things that are ordinary for us today used to look different in the past. Parrots repeat the words they hear from their owners. However, people could not have allowed a bird to swear during the funeral because particular behaviors are not acceptable.
Romans used baths as rehabilitation centers for their soldiers Roman soldiers had an opportunity to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder after the war, spending time in baths. During the Battle of Stalingrad, the control of one railway station changed more than ten times in six hours Soldiers of the Soviet Union and Germany would not give up and did their best to take control of the railway because it could be used to transport various goods.
Out of the last years, only a little bit more than years were peaceful While people are willing to live in peace, there are always tensions between various nations.
Norway women were forced to have children from Nazi officers during the occupation period The Levensborn program supported the expansion of German race this way.
As your research paper takes shape you will find that you need background on people, places, events, etc. Do not just rely on some general survey for all of your background. Check the several good dictionaries of biography for background on people, or see if there is a standard book-length biography.
History: Sample Research Paper 2 female protagonist who is struggling in an atmosphere of parental oppression. Manuel Rivas, in his short story La lengua de las mariposas (or Butterfly tongues), gives his readers a similar child-like perspective, but his is that of a little boy who struggles to understand the changes in his life brought about by.
United States History research papers cover many aspects of American history, such as Colonialism, Native American History, the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, Immigration, Industrialism, Slavery, the Vietnam War, Women's History and 20th Century modern history. Sep 28, · History Research Paper Topics: find out secerts on how to pick the best topic for your research paper in history.
WRITING A GOOD HISTORY PAPER ©Trustees of Hamilton College, Acknowledgements This booklet bears one name, but it is really a communal effort. I’d like to thank the Director of the Writing Center, Sharon Williams, who research. Get a good general stylebook and keep it by your side as you. We have created a list of US history research paper topics in order to help you with this difficult task.