Writing a History Paper: A Quick Guide

Great papers can’t be completed in moments of inspiration or genius but instead are developed over a series of steps, meaning that writing a history paper can be a daunting process. When you read a paper prompt for the first time, you may feel intimidated, but if you think about your writing as a process that you can break down into smaller steps, then you will see that paper-writing can be manageable and even fun.

The first thing that you need to understand when learning how to write a history research paper is that arguments drive history papers. Even if your paper is not based on outside research, it will still require you some kind of argument. Just like with essays, college teachers can assign the students to write a history paper on various topics, but luckily, there are various essay examples by Writingbros online that you can easily get access to. And of course, you can use those free samples as writing inspiration. Although still, your teacher will give you specific instructions for your writing, so you need to make sure that you follow all of them.

The following steps and tips that we will share will help you with your writing process, no matter what kind of history paper you are writing, and we will try to assist you with every stage of the writing process.

Have a Clear Understanding of the Paper Prompt.

Sometimes college teachers distribute prompts that have several sub-questions around the main question. The sub-questions are there to help you think about the topic, and they may give you some ideas, but they are not the main questions that you need to answer in your paper, so make sure that you distinguish the main one from the sub-questions.

Brainstorm Possible Arguments and Responses

Before you start drafting or researching everything you know about the topic, write down everything you think of and every idea you get. When done, read it over and, based on your brainstorming, decide what you still need to learn about the topic.

Start Researching

Depending on the prompt, you may need only the knowledge that you got in class, or you may be required to do outside research. The best way to research your topic is by looking for answers to the key questions that you discovered in your essay prompt. You can look at the resources that your school library offers, or you can use electronic resources and even get answers from history research paper examples that you can find online.

Draft a Thesis Statement

Writing a thesis statement can be hard, but don’t worry because it will change as you continue to work on your paper. By trying to write the thesis, you will understand if you need more research or revisit some steps.

Draft an outline of your paper

Creating an outline will give you a sense of the overall structure and help you organize your ideas better. An effective History paper outline should include the research question from the prompt, your thesis, the main idea of every paragraph, the evidence that supports each of your body paragraphs, and your conclusion. Make sure that your outline is clear when reading it and get into details as much as you can. And if you have problems with it, simply check some of the many free samples of history papers online. Going through them will give you a clear idea.

Write your First Draft

You don’t have to write your first draft from beginning to end. Instead, you can start writing from the part that you feel most confident about. The goal is for you to write every argument as clearly as you can and provide evidence for those arguments. When writing your draft, you need to pay attention to citation. Appropriate citation means that you need to follow the proper citation style in your bibliography and footnotes and document, but only when required. You need to cite every quotation and every idea that you used but is not your own. When done with your draft, you should continue to revise it. Find and fix any grammatical error or unclear sentences; you can do that by reading your paper out loud or by asking someone to check your paper for you.

Put it all together

After you have gone through all of the steps above, you need to pay attention to the details. Make sure that your title, besides announcing the paper’s topic, also indicates your arguments. Also, check if your paper meets all the requirements, all the history paper formatting guidelines, the bibliography, etc. And then congratulate yourself, you have your paper!

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