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How To Write A History Research Paper: The Essentials


History research papers tend to be rather tedious assignments. They usually require specific details about important historical events and students can often be overwhelmed completing the papers. Instead of focusing on the minute details, students should focus on the essentials so the little details can simply fall into place. In most cases, the essentials for a history research paper are similar to the essentials for a research paper for any other liberal arts class.

  • Pick a Provable Thesis
  • Writing a history research paper is challenging, because they often require looking deeply into the event to create a thesis. Since historical events have been around for so long, it is challenging for students to find anything new to argue. Instead of worrying about being unique, students should simply worry about writing a thesis that they can effectively argue.

  • Find Research to Support Your Opinion
  • Once you decide on the argument, the next step is to find research that will support it. The research will include the historical events as well as what the experts say about the causes and effects of the event. Since you are only a student, your opinion will not be valid until you have an expert who can support it. If you cannot find anyone who will support your ideas, you can always change your ideas to fit the research you can find.

  • Write an Outline to Organize Your Paper
  • The next step is to organize your thoughts and the research into a logical paper. The best way to do this is with a working outline. You can always use the traditional outline with Roman numerals or you can design your very own outlining style. With an outline, you can arrange your research paper and rearrange it if you find any discrepancies. Many historical research papers are best organized in chronological order, but you can also organize one in a cause-and-effect style, too.

  • Know the Formatting and Documentation Style
  • You should also be aware of the documentation style that you need to use. Your history instructor will tell you whether you need to use MLA or APA or another documentation style that is specific to your course. As you collect your research, you can begin to create your bibliography so you do not have to create it at the last minute. You can also begin to pull the quotes that you want to use to support your ideas, too.

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