Comprehensive Guide on Writing a History Research Paper

Comprehensive Guide on Writing a History Research Paper

The three development areas for students in history careers include writing, oral communication, and critical analysis. Given the intensive-writing nature of history, students need prerequisite writing skills to showcase their prowess in the history subject.

A common assignment most students face includes presenting a comprehensive history research paper. The history research paper assesses the student’s critical skills and research techniques in gathering and analyzing sources while marshaling evidence in presenting a cohesive and coherent argument.

How will you execute your next history research paper without the needed writing skills? Can you buy essay online and deliver a high-quality paper? Well, there are many options for executing this assignment from your instructor. This article explores the intricacies involved when writing your history research paper.

What Is It?

A history research paper presents your understanding of past events from conducting in-depth research and presenting arguments and conclusions. This is a common requirement for scholars under the history faculty.

At first, writing any research paper can prove an overwhelming task for students. History is a broad branch of study that encompasses all human affairs recorded in the past. Moreover, history content is partially irretrievable.

Therefore, history students must rely on past fragmented records to present accurate projects in the current future. The main essence behind these research papers is uncovering new ideas and concepts while adding to already established research.

A good history research paper should contribute to understanding past events, cultures, societies, phenomena, and people. Moreover, it should present coherent arguments from in-depth research with properly cited sources that connect to previous scholarly works.

Pre-Writing Phase for Your Paper

The first step before embarking on writing your research paper is proper planning. What’s your main target? What are your arguments? Are they sound? Where will you find scholarly material for research? These are questions to answer before proceeding with the writing phase.

If the nature of your arguments and defending your stance sound daunting, how will you present a coherent and cohesive research paper that convinces your instructor? Here are a few pre-writing strategies to employ before starting your writing.

  • Breakdown assignment

Did the instructor fully divulge the expectations of the assignment? Are there supporting documents or scholarly materials to base your research on? These help build the foundation while developing the original arguments for your paper.

  • Ask the right questions

A common misconception about history courses most students hold is that it’s a record of past events. However, it is more than this. It seeks to answer relevant questions, such as why did certain historical events take place? What’s their impact on the future?

For example, students might research about Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and what led to them. In addition, some pertinent questions could arise: what are the impacts of the bombings on the population? Did the bombing affect current Japan-USA international relations? What can other nations learn from this?

  • Start small

It’s important to collect all your scholarly and research materials. Include your lecture notes and article publications. After that, keep a key eye on recurring themes and plots within your research process. Do your perspectives intertwine? Does your initial hypothesis maintain its stance or evolve upon further research?

  • Think in continuity

Consider different passages during your writing process and see how different events connect. What things remained the same? What changed? Do these changes have an impact on your overall hypothesis?

  • Be creative

It’s advised to apply some skepticism when approaching your topic under discussion. Please give it fresh eyes and try to formulate new perspectives. What counterarguments does your audience have? Do your opinions about the hypothesis converge or diverge? Start questioning your basic assumptions.

Writing Phase

After pre-planning for your research paper, it is time to start writing. The writing phase is the history paper’s most time-consuming and labor-intensive aspect. Therefore, give yourself ample time to execute your ideas organically and fully. Here is a basic breakdown of proposed stages to consider during the writing process.

Step 1: Choose the Right Topic

After deliberating on the preferred topic during the pre-planning phase, it’s time to choose your subject. Experts at any essay writing service prioritize selecting the right topic since it affects your overall grades.

Finding the right topic is an uphill task, given the dense nature of historical records and their timeline. However, it does give writers plenty of choices to choose from. Also, writers can opt for topics that resonate with themselves or their passions.

There are various history research paper topics to cover, including:

Political History

  • Rise and fall of ancient democracies
  • Apartheid in South Africa
  • The collapse of the Berlin Wall
  • Civil rights movements in the USA
  • Napoleon war
  • Fall of the Soviet Union

Economic History

  • The financial crisis in 2008
  • The Great Depression
  • The Green Revolution
  • Bretton Woods Agreement
  • Rise of capitalism

Social History

  • Cultural Revolution in China
  • Fight against white supremacists in African
  • Black history month
  • LGBTQ+ rights
  • Gender equality

Modern History

  • World War III?
  • Russia/Ukraine war?
  • Rise of nationalism
  • Cold war
  • Decolonization in Africa
  • Information and digital age

Religious History

  • Spread of Christianity
  • Protestant uprise
  • Islamic golden age
  • Hindu-Muslim relations

Step 2: Form the Research Question

The second stage is formulating your research question. The research questions inform the research process and what it seeks to answer. Moreover, a research question ensures your paper is concise and precise while avoiding generalizations. Also, it narrows down your thesis statement.

Step 3: Start Research

The most intense part is conducting in-depth research while finding supporting evidence for your arguments. This refers to spending time at the library or online sources to find information related to your chosen subject.

There are multiple ways of finding research materials, such as through peer-published publications, journals, articles, websites, academic databases, and academic newspapers.

Moreover, all information in these sources should be backed up with legitimate sources. Refer to your instructor’s details to find the prescribed formatting guidelines for your paper.

Step 4: Define the Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is a clear and concise sentence or two that deeply outlines your main argument, stance, or position about the subject matter. It serves as your hypothesis throughout your research paper. Moreover, it serves as a roadmap highlighting your research’s central focus.

For example, we chose the topic of the financial crisis in 2008 under economic history. This is yet to be a thesis statement. Our research question is, what factors led to the financial crisis of 2008? Afterward, we can conclude that the crisis resulted from cheap lending that caused a housing bubble.

Even though it’s a thesis statement, it is weak. We can make a stronger rewording with the research question to form a thesis statement like, ‘The global financial crisis of 2008 started as a result of the burst in the housing bubble in the US and is the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1920s.’

Step 5: Create an Outline

An outline is a prognosis of what the entire research paper will look like. It helps organize your research paper by dividing it into different sections. A basic outline can look like this:

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Supporting evidence
  • Opposing evidence
  • Conclusion

Afterward, you can start writing your research paper’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Also, we recommend editing and proofreading to ensure the final product is quality without any mistakes.

Common Conventions When Writing Your Paper

Professional writers in historical courses follow different conventions when formulating their research papers. Here is a quick rundown of common conventions to abide by:

  • Writing in the past tense

Most students are urged to enliven their writing by embracing writing in the ‘literary present’ tense. However, these events took place in historical writing and should be written in the past tense.

  • Paraphrasing/Quoting

Using quotations in your research paper limits your writing skills in historical analysis. Therefore, quoting sparingly while embracing paraphrasing content based on your understanding is recommended.

  • Avoid vague generalizations

The historical discipline is about specificity. Therefore, bring out your main arguments and illustrate your standpoints.

  • Providing context

A good history research paper should feature active commentary with active engagement with the content. The main essence of a writer is bringing out perspectives after researching sources and finding evidence. Therefore, showcase your findings about the interplay with both text and context.

  • Formal and academic tone

Your history research paper is a professional document that needs respect and due diligence. Therefore, include a formal and academic tone when writing your paper. Avoid first or second-person voice during the writing process. These voices are considered redundant for your expository writing.

  • Proper citation style

The instructor usually instructs the type of citation style the writer should use with the research paper. Following the right citation style for your content and references means more grades on your overall score.

  • Proofread

Proofreading eliminates any minor errors missed during the writing process. It accounts for your expertise and professionalism.

Bottom Line

Writing a stellar history research paper calls for due diligence and hard work on the student’s part. It needs careful consideration of all aspects of writing before the actual writing begins. Follow these expert guidelines to inform your next assignment.