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❶Based on what you have brainstormed, what do you still need to learn about the topic? Always consider too how far and why you should trust the information offered, just as you would a book or a con artist.

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For more information, visit our section about thesis statements. Once you have a thesis, you may find that you need to do more research targeted to your specific argument. Revisit some of the tips from Step 3. Now that you have a working thesis, look back over your sources and identify which ones are most critical to you--the ones you will be grappling with most directly in order to make your argument. Annotating sources means writing a paragraph that summarizes the main idea of the source as well as shows how you will use the source in your paper.

Think about what the source does for you. Does it provide evidence in support of your argument? Does it offer a counterpoint that you can then refute, based on your research? Does it provide critical historical background that you need in order to make a point? For more information about annotating sources, visit our section on annotated bibliographies. While it might seem like this step creates more work for you by having to do more writing, it in fact serves two critical purposes: Having dissected your sources and articulated your ideas about them, you can more easily draw upon them when constructing your paper.

Even if you do not have to do outside research and are limited to working with the readings you have done in class, annotating sources is still very useful. Write down exactly how a particular section in the textbook or in a primary source reader will contribute to your paper. An outline is helpful in giving you a sense of the overall structure of your paper and how best to organize your ideas. You need to decide how to arrange your argument in a way that will make the most sense to your reader.

Perhaps you decide that your argument is most clear when presented chronologically, or perhaps you find that it works best with a thematic approach. There is no one right way to organize a history paper; it depends entirely on the prompt, on your sources, and on what you think would be most clear to someone reading it. An effective outline includes the following components: Be as detailed as you can when putting together your outline.

This step can feel overwhelming, but remember that you have already done a lot of work and--armed with your working thesis, source annotations, and outline--have all the tools needed. Do not feel that you have to work through your outline from beginning to end. Some writers find it helpful to begin with the section in which they feel most confident. Look at your outline and see if there is one part that is particularly fleshed out; you may want to begin there.

Your goal in the draft is to articulate your argument as clearly as you can, and to marshal your evidence in support of your argument. Do not get too caught up in grammar or stylistic issues at this point, as you are more concerned now with the big-picture task of expressing your ideas in writing. If you have trouble getting started or are feeling overwhelmed, try free writing.

Free writing is a low-stakes writing exercise to help you get past the blank page. Set a timer for five or ten minutes and write down everything you know about your paper: Do not edit or judge what you are writing as you write; just keep writing until the timer goes off. You may be surprised to find out how much you knew about your topic.

Of course, this writing will not be polished, so do not be tempted to leave it as it is. Remember that this draft is your first one, and you will be revising it. When you are writing up the evidence in your draft, you need to appropriately cite all of your sources. Appropriate citation has two components. You must both follow the proper citation style in your footnotes and bibliography, and document always but only when such documentation is required.

Remember that you need to cite not just direct quotations, but any ideas that are not your own. Inappropriate citation is considered plagiarism. For more information about how and when to cite, visit our section on citations. After you have completed an entire first draft, move on to the revision stage.

Think about revising on two levels: The global level refers to the argument and evidence in your paper, while the local level refers to the individual sentences.

Your first priority should be revising at the global level, because you need to make sure you are making a compelling and well-supported argument. A particularly helpful exercise for global-level revision is to make a reverse outline, which will help you look at your paper as a whole and strengthen the way you have organized and substantiated your argument. Print out your draft and number each of the paragraphs. Then, on a separate piece of paper, write down each paragraph number and, next to it, summarize in a phrase or a sentence the main idea of that paragraph.

As you produce this list, notice if any paragraphs attempt to make more than one point: Once you have compiled the list, read it over carefully. Study the order in which you have sequenced your ideas. Notice if there are ideas that seem out of order or repetitive. Place a Free inquiry. Calculate the price of your order. Using our website means keeping your personal information secure. We neither disclose nor provide your private data or credentials to any third parties. Anonymity and confidentiality are our top priorities and thus they are carefully preserved.

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Prices for our service depending on your academic level and deadline. We carefully choose writers to employ, paying attention to their skills and abilities. Your order will be assigned to a competent writer who specializes in your field of study. No one should pick a topic without trying to figure out how one could discover pertinent information, nor should anyone settle on a topic before getting some background information about the general area.

These two checks should make sure your paper is in the realm of the possible. The trick of good research is detective work and imaginative thinking on how one can find information.

First try to figure out what kinds of things you should know about a topic to answer your research question. Do you need personal letters? What background information should be included? Then if you do not know how to find that particular kind of information, ASK.

A reference librarian or professor is much more likely to be able to steer you to the right sources if you can ask a specific question such as "Where can I find statistics on the number of interracial marriages?

Use the footnotes and bibliographies of general background books as well as reference aids to lead you to special studies. If Carleton does not have the books or sources you need, try ordering through the library minitex. Many sources are also available on-line. 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. If you are dealing with a legal matter check into the background of the judges who make the court decision and the circumstances surrounding the original incident or law. Try looking for public opinions in newspapers of the time. In other words, each bit of information you find should open the possibility of other research paths.

Learn to use several research techniques. You cannot count on a good research paper coming from browsing on one shelf at the library. A really pertinent book may be hidden in another section of the library due to classification quirks. The Readers' Guide Ref. R4 is not the only source for magazine articles, nor the card catalog for books.

There are whole books which are listings of other books on particular topics. There are specialized indexes of magazine articles. S62 and the Humanities Index Ref. See also Historical Abstracts Ref. Reference Librarians would love to help you learn to use these research tools. It pays to browse in the reference room at the library and poke into the guides which are on the shelves.

It also pays to browse the Internet. If you do not already have a general background on your topic, get the most recent good general source on the topic and read it for general orientation. On the basis of that reading formulate as clearly focused question as you can.

You should generally discuss with your professor at that point whether your question is a feasible one.


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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.

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Guide to writing research papers for the History Department at Le Moyne College.

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You're almost done! You will soon receive an activation email. Once you click on the link, you will be added to our list. If you do not receive this . 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.

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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. History research paper example is a written academic work that aims to summarize the research done by the researcher in the field of historical sciences.