A good historian does not adopt a thesis until quite late on in the process of preparing a paper. First, find good questions to ask yourself, questions that deserve and actually call for an answer, real world questions even if the paper is about a remote period of the past.
To read the article, click Steps for Writing a History Paper Writing a history paper is a process. Successful papers are not completed in a single moment of genius or inspiration, but are developed over a series of steps.
When you first read a paper prompt, you might feel overwhelmed or intimidated. If you think of writing as a process and break it down into smaller steps, you will find that paper-writing is manageable, less daunting, and even enjoyable.
Writing a history paper is your opportunity to do the real work of historians, to roll up your sleeves and dig deep into the past. What is a history paper?
History papers are driven by arguments. In a history class, even if you are not writing a paper based on outside research, you are still writing a paper that requires some form of argument.
For example, suppose your professor has asked you to write a paper discussing the differences between colonial New England and colonial Virginia. It might seem like this paper is straightforward and does not require an argument, that it is simply a matter of finding the "right answer.
You might argue that the main differences between colonial New England and Virginia were grounded in contrasting visions of colonization. Or you might argue that the differences resulted from accidents of geography or from extant alliances between regional Indian groups.
Or you might make an argument that draws on all of these factors.
Regardless, when you make these types of assertions, you are making an argument that requires historical evidence. Any history paper you write will be driven by an argument demanding evidence from sources.
Remember that the staff of the History Writing Center is here to assist you at any stage of the writing process. Make sure you know what the paper prompt is asking. Sometimes professors distribute prompts with several sub-questions surrounding the main question they want you to write about.
The sub-questions are designed to help you think about the topic.
They offer ideas you might consider, but they are not, usually, the key question or questions you need to answer in your paper. Make sure you distinguish the key questions from the sub-questions.
Otherwise, your paper may sound like a laundry list of short-answer essays rather than a cohesive argument. A helpful way to hone in on the key question is to look for action verbs, such as "analyze" or "investigate" or "formulate. Then, carefully consider what you are being asked to do. Write out the key question at the top of your draft and return to it often, using it to guide you in the writing process.
Also, be sure that you are responding to every part of the prompt. Prompts will often have several questions you need to address in your paper. If you do not cover all aspects, then you are not responding fully to the assignment. For more information, visit our section, "Understanding Paper Prompts.
Brainstorm possible arguments and responses.
Before you even start researching or drafting, take a few minutes to consider what you already know about the topic. Make a list of ideas or draw a cluster diagram, using circles and arrows to connect ideas--whatever method works for you.
At this point in the process, it is helpful to write down all of your ideas without stopping to judge or analyze each one in depth. You want to think big and bring in everything you know or suspect about the topic. After you have finished, read over what you have created. Look for patterns or trends or questions that keep coming up.
Based on what you have brainstormed, what do you still need to learn about the topic?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. Sep 03, · How to Write an Essay About a Famous Person in History.
In this Article: Preparing to Write Your Essay Writing the Essay Editing Your Essay Community Q&A There are lots of things to think about when writing a paper about a famous person from history%(34). In a history class, even if you are not writing a paper based on outside research, you are still writing a paper that requires some form of argument.
For example, suppose your professor has asked you to write a paper discussing the differences between colonial New England and colonial Virginia. Sep 28, · If your assignment is to write a research paper on history topic and you feel lost and confused, don’t panic!
We can help you to grasp the idea on how to pick the best history research paper topics and get a perfect grade!History research papers are there to demonstrate your knowledge of certain events and your ability to analyze them.
Your research paper presents your work, ideas and. A Brief Guide to Writing the History Paper The Challenges of Writing About (a.k.a., Making) History that is, that you started reading this guide.
Because no one person can possibly consult all of these records, no work of history can ever pretend to be comprehensive or universal. Familiar Arguments in Research Papers sScenario #1: No. 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.