Getting Good History Topics For Research Papers Online
Sometimes, your teacher will give you a very specific topic for a history paper, and tell you exactly what they want you to talk about. Other times, they will give you more control over the subject, giving you just a time period, empire, or figure to talk about. When your teacher asks you to write a paper about the Civil War, or the Roman Empire, it can seem really overwhelming: there’s so much to talk about! How do you narrow down all the information out there and find a topic that will work for you? The internet is a great resource, and you’ll want to take advantage of it. Here are some tips for using the internet to your advantage when choosing a history topic.
- Before you get online, know what to look for.
- Think about what interests you.
- Read through a Wikipedia page.
- If you’re still stumped, review some lists of topics available from websites.
Before you start searching, you should know what makes a good history paper topic. A good history research paper should be based on a question: how did citizens in Nazi Germany feel about the Holocaust? How did math affect the development of early China? What were the effects of the Hundred Year War? Keep this in mind while you are reviewing information online: is this something that I can ask a question about, and answer at length?
Do you like astronomy? Religion? Math? Literature? Are you interested in people’s experiences? Do you like to think about money, and the economy? All of these are subjects that can be explored through the lens of history. After all, almost every culture from almost every age has had some form of language, mathematics, worship, currency, and science. Do a very broad Google search, like “Ottoman Empire, poetry,” and see what comes up. You may decide to do a broad paper exploring all aspects of a subject from a certain time period, or you might find a very specific phenomena to write about.
Usually, you should avoid Wikipedia like the plague when you are writing any sort of essay, unless you are combing through the citations section at the bottom to find good sources. But, if you’re stuck trying to find a topic, Wikipedia can actually be a good resource. It’s a great way to get a general idea of a time period, historical figure, or particular event without getting weighed down with too many details right in the beginning. It can also take you to other interesting articles that will spark ideas for you. So feel free to read through the Wikipedia page for the period or figure you are considering writing about, and when something strikes your eye, start thinking about the sort of question you could ask. Just remember that this is your jumping off point, not the end of your research! Take the idea you get from Wikipedia and find more reputable sources to actually write your paper from. Another great resource that provides a similar service is www.history.com.
The best websites to look at will be websites from universities or reputable organizations; these guys really know their stuff, and know what topics make for a good history paper.
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