Many students find it difficult to choose a great topic for their high school or college research paper on history. It is quite understandable, especially if we consider how many significant and important events happened in the course of time. To prepare a solid and interesting history essay, one needs to know the answers to these and other important questions: “What are the winning history topics for research papers?”, “What is a history paper outline?”, “How to start a history essay?” Luckily, with the helpful bits of writing advice and a list of topics that we provide in this post, you’ll find out how to write a history research paper that’s worth an excellent grade.
Tips on Choosing Topic Ideas and a History Research Paper Example of an Outline
The subject of history has tight connections to the concepts of space and time. To be able to analyze a particular event, you should be aware of where and, most particularly, when it took place. As soon as you know location and period you can figure what caused an event to happen, what were its aftermaths, as well as its long-term effect on the life of society.
The principle of defining time and place can also be applied when you’re looking for good history research paper ideas. If it’s hard for you to decide what to write about, you can do the following:
- Choosing a particular time period and a geographical location.
- Determine what significant events took place within this time frame.
- Think of all possible research essay topics that fall for these events and narrow down your choice to the ones which you find to be the most interesting.
You can check scientific publications (scholar journals, magazines, and reference books) and online databases for inspiration. Make preliminary research on your first-choice topic to see if you can find enough information for the essay. Come up with 2-3 back-up topics.
Conduct in-depth research, opting only for reliable sources of information. Make detailed notes while researching, form a thesis statement, and alter it in the process if needed. Write an outline and use it as a basic plan to follow. Your outline should include main points for each of these structural elements:
- Introduction with a thesis.
- The ‘body’ part (usually 3-5 paragraphs long; provide one argument in each rubric).
Add a proposal, methodology, literature review, and other parts if required by your teacher. Make sure you stick to the right format (Chicago style, APA, MLA) throughout the entire piece. Find a sample history research paper on the same or a similar topic – it can become a fair example of how your article should be written.
Remember that you don’t have to limit yourself to historical events alone. Writing about the history of arts and sports (e.g. literature, music, dance, film, theatre, football, basketball) is also possible.
US History Research Paper Topics for College Students
It is common for students in the US to prepare an oral history research paper or standard written history essays for the National History Day or on the Black History Month. Here are a few great ideas for such occasions.
- What were the main causes of confrontation between the North and the South during the Civil War?
- The biggest changes brought by westward expansion and the transcontinental railroad
- The aftermath of 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco
- The reasons and outcome of the Texas Revolution
Casual Topics for a History Research Paper
To enjoy the process of writing a history paper, opt for the topics that you find exciting and interesting – such as these:
- How has the role of the British Royal Family changed throughout the 20th century?
- The phenomenon of hippie culture and its impact on social and cultural life
- Can the economic wonder of Japan be repeated in other countries?
- The role of sports and games in the life of Ancient Greece
Controversial Topics for History Research Papers
Controversial topics in history explore both positive and negative reasons and outcomes of historical events. Controversial papers require in-depth knowledge of an issue and thorough planning.
- Was the landing of Apollo on the Moon a hoax?
- Who is to blame for causing WWI?
- Which reason for the Western Roman Empire’s fall can be called the main?
- Was the US 1945 use of atomic bombs on Japan justified?
Advanced Ideas for Writing a History Research Paper
Despite being challenging, these topics will help you score higher with your history paper.
- The influence of ancient conquests on the formation of today’s world map
- What were the effects of the Cuban missile crisis on the world?
- Which European country was the quickest to recover after the Second World War?
- Which discoveries made during the Scientific Revolution can be called the most important?
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