How to Research and Write a History Paper

A simple search on various academic platforms will expose a wide number of students confused with how to write a history research paper. This article seeks to familiarize students with writing a history paper and selecting history research topics.

With a broad range of material for historical research, you need to define your search parameters. You have to pick a topic for your paper by getting history research paper topic ideas early.

Your history research paper can either be arranged chronologically or topically. Your research should cover events and ideas of the past that have influenced and shaped the present. The guiding principle behind all historical writing should be the selection and interpretation.

Below are a few ideas on how to write a good history paper:

1. Identify an idea, topic or research question

A topic that interests you is the first step in writing a history research paper. Getting a topic or research question that you are passionate about helps in the research process. You need to begin with some general research so you can narrow your focus. By so doing you can determine whether there will be sufficient material and sources to support your research paper.

Note: The more the research material the better your paper and the easier it is for your history research paper format.

2. Conduct a background review

A historical background research identifies and describes the history and nature of a well-defined research problem. This is done with reference to the existing literature. The background section should discuss your findings in a chronological order to accentuate the progress in the field.

The background should be written as a summary of your interpretation of previous research and your study proposes to accomplish. It should fill in the missing points that need to be addressed in the research.

3. Refine the research idea and questions

A research question must not be too narrow. It needs to cover all sides of the research. You should be able to ask how and why an event happened and its consequences. Your research should discuss the intellectual origins of a particular idea. You should also be able to0 ask the cultural context of an event.

The background of the study is to provide context to the information that you are discussing in the paper. The study generates the reader’s interest in your research question and helps them understand its importance.

4. Determine that historical method will be method used

Historical method refers to the collection of techniques and guidelines that historians use to write histories of the past. It comprises the use of both primary and secondary sources while also including unpublished materials. After collecting all evidence to research and then write in form of accounts of the past.

5. Identify and locate primary and secondary data sources

Primary sources are materials that come from roughly the same time period of the topic or event. Secondary sources are works that that analyze, assess or interpret a historical event or era utilizing primary sources. A primary source gives you direct access to the subject of your research. A secondary source provides second hand information and commentary from other researchers.

Final Take

The above steps will show you how to research and write a history paper correctly.

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