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How to Write a History Research Paper

August 15, 2016 - Posted to Tips

Content how to write a history research paper

Writing a research paper concerning a certain historic event is not unlike writing a paper on any other subject matter. The slight adjustments and changes that students need to apply in order to write a history research paper are simple to understand and implement. It’s important to note that papers such as these are grounded in historic events and facts, which often happens to be the most common problem that students overlook. So how should you go about writing a research paper based on a historic event or development and get your project done properly?

Consider the topic

Choosing a topic on which to base your research paper is a very touchy part of your project. The reason for this is that there are often numerous research papers already written on the subject that you want to analyze. By definition, a research paper should develop and add to an established event or an argument. So how can you find a proper topic for your research paper and make it original?

More often than not, you will have to make compromises with your topic. Chances are that the specific event or development that you want to write about has already been deconstructed. It might be hard to find an argument that will advance the research further. Try looking for alternatives and think about different perspectives that you could use to pitch your topic and develop a thesis. The research paper will not only serve to develop the event. It will also speak volume about who you are and how you think, so take everything into consideration before deciding on a specific topic.

Research your topic

Once you’ve decided on what topic you will tackle, it’s time to do proper research and gather sources on the matter. Keep in mind that all the sources for your research paper need to be credible and add to the argument. If the source does not do one of those things, discard it immediately and keep looking. When it comes to resource gathering, the world is your oyster, and the pros of traditional colleges offer you to use libraries and seek help from professors.

Make sure to use every opportunity available to you in order to gather everything you need. In order to write a research paper, you will need just enough resources and literature to prove your point, so don’t fret about finding too little of it. Any and all sources are eligible to become resources for your research paper. Anything from books to web sites will do the trick, so don’t shy away from different sources simply because they are different.

Just keep in mind that anything you use has to be credible in order to be taken seriously. This means that the author needs to be a respected expert in the field and a contributor to the argument that you are trying to make.

Follow your outline

As with any research paper, creating a proper outline is a part of the process. Make sure that you clearly mark your intro, body and conclusion in order to start shaping them into your first draft. At first it will seem difficult to organize all the thoughts and notes into a coherent whole. Try adding a few headings and subheadings to your body in order to get the writing process started. It may be a good idea to find some research paper assistance if you get stuck, since you need to abide by your deadline and need to keep things going.

The outline of your paper is more important than you think. It will serve to measure the complexity of your research paper as well as give the reader a guideline as to how your thought process works when you present your theories. The purpose of research paper writing isn’t only to pass the course; it’s to allow your superiors to evaluate your academic progress and the way you think. Try to organize your research paper in a way that will make it accessible and engaging to read.

Ask for feedback

It’s important to allow your professor an inside look into your research paper writing and ask for any pointers while the paper is being written. It’s not just about submitting the paper and calling it a day. The professor will be interested in how the paper is coming along, what conclusions have you derived so far, how your thesis is holding up against the sources and so forth. Make sure to be open about your research paper and ask for any feedback that you can apply in order to make the paper even better than it is.

Students often overlook this as a sign of weakness on their part and to their research paper writing autonomously, without asking for opinions. This rarely works out okay, so be open-minded and objective about any comment that you might receive. It’s better to ask and discuss any problems that you might be facing instead of rewriting half of your paper due to a lack of communication.

Cite your sources

More important than in other forms of research paper writing, citing and referencing sources in history papers is essential to a successful project. Keep in mind everything that you might have quoted, paraphrased, or copied from a certain source. It’s important to honor all the work and research that has been done before your research paper was written. This will keep you away from any plagiarism charges as well. Historical facts are often well known among academic circles, so failing to cite or reference a source could prove devastating to your research paper.

There are numerous ways of citing each different source and it’s important to do it properly for each one. While it may sound like a trivial technicality, it’s just as important as the research and writing you did so that time to do it properly. It’s more important in history research paper writing than in any other form of writing.

Proofread your paper

It goes without saying, and yet students make the mistake of not proofreading all the time. Make sure that you check your research paper for any grammar, proofreading or formatting errors before submitting it. More important than in any other form of paper writing, you need to check each date, name and event in your paper. Try reading the paper as if you were a casual reader and check if the tone of voice is consistent throughout the paper. All the sections of your paper should be a cohesive whole that falls into place like puzzle pieces, so the style and tone has to be the same in each section.

When all is said and done, all that remains is to submit your paper for review and make your thesis more concrete by preparing a defense that argues in your favor. This should be easy considering all the work you did up to this point but make sure to prepare either way. Again, keep in mind to stick to historical facts and don’t stray into fantasy territory. It’s too easy to mix your dates and events up in research paper writing and discussion on historical events.

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