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How to Write a College History Research Paper

May 20, 2017 - Posted toStudy and Education

Content how to write a college history research paper

Writing a science paper is a complex process. You can’t simply sit down at the beginning of an evening and expect to have a completed research paper before you go to bed. There are steps for writing a history paper. In addition to this, there are several rules to learn. These include general rules of writing a research paper, rules that are specific to you citation format, and any other rules dictated by your instructor.

As a college student, you will likely have to take at least one History or Social Science class. Because these are writing-heavy courses, it is nearly guaranteed that you will have to complete at least one research paper assignment. This guide on how to write a history paper should serve as a good reference now or in the future.

Starting With Great History Research Paper Topics

It is very unlikely that you will be able to choose any research paper topic that you want. You will at the very least be limited to the scope of the class you are taking. You may even be restricted to a particular historical event. Your instructor may go as far as assigning you a singular topic.

However, if you do have some choice, you’ll want to make sure that you choose the best research paper topic possible. Choosing a topic you really like is ideal. It’s nice if that happens, but if it doesn’t, you can still find ways to narrow down your topic.

  • Make Sure it is Easy to Research
  • Pick a Topic That Shows Your Expertise
  • Consider Potential Research Paper Topics That Have Created Interest And Excitement in Your Class
  • Keep in Mind That Challenging Yourself Has It’s Benefits

Conducting Proper Research

The topic of history is complex. It involves war, cultures, religion, politics, sociology, and psychology. Even topics such as ecology, economics, and science impact the ways in which history plays out.

For thousands of years, historians have strongly disagreed with one another on a variety of topics. The subject of history has also been the target of people with an agenda. What does this mean for you? It means that you must be vigilant about bias and fake news. It means that you must be able to understand the difference between a blog post, an article, and original source material.

Of course, you’ll want your research to be done using original source material, or scholarly articles that are based on original source material. This is also where it is extremely important to take good notes and to keep them organized.

Planning Your Arguments

Writing a history research paper doesn’t simply involve gathering facts that prove a thesis. It’s not an exact science. Instead, you are building a series of arguments that when combined with one another make the thesis you have chosen an arguably valid one.

Begin by looking through your notes. Figure out the arguments you can potentially make in support of your thesis from the facts you have gathered. Then, pick the strongest arguments that you have. Those will be the basis of your research paper.

Structuring Your Outline

One of the best tips on how to write a paper for college is to create a great outline every time. It will help you to organize your thoughts and arguments. Keep in mind that it’s much easier to modify the structure of an outline than it is to alter the structure or a nearly completed paper.

Writing a Great Intro

It’s important to learn how to write a good introduction for a college research paper. Introducing your topic, laying out your thesis, and setting the tone of your paper are very important. If you aren’t very clear from the beginning, the rest of your paper will seem weak. If you can find a well written US history research paper sample, you can take note of the elements used in the introduction.

Laying Out The Body of Your Research Paper

This is where good notes and a solid outline pay off. If you have done both well, writing the body of your research paper will be fairly easy. Remember that each paragraph or section of your research paper should have a main idea (one of your arguments) and then contain information supporting that argument.

Synthesizing Everything With a Solid Conclusion

You will end your research paper with a conclusion. This is more important, and more difficult than many people realize. What you want to avoid is simply restating the arguments you have already made. Instead, use your conclusion to demonstrate how, the sum total of your arguments, when taken together provide enough proof to support your thesis.

Conclusion: Don’t Forget The Formalities

Finally, don’t forget about all of the formalities required when writing an essay. The first and most important of these is citations. Consider using an app like EasyBib to record citation information of  all of your sources. In addition to this, you should be very familiar with all of the requirements that are laid out in the rules of your chosen citation format. If you are working with an unfamiliar citation format, books on how to write college papers may have examples for each.

Keep your assignment rubric on hand at all times. You’ll want to double check everything to ensure that you have followed all guidelines on sources, spacing, word count, and any special instructions.

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