Best History Paper Writing Guide: The Basics (Step-by-Step)
History paper writing guide to assist students in the writing process.
A history paper requires a systematic approach to writing. Writing an outstanding history paper takes time and effort rather than a single stroke of inspiration. It’s normal to feel nervous or unprepared after reading the question or topic for your paper.
Writing a history paper is easier and more fun if you view it as a process and divide it down into smaller steps. Writing a history paper lets you dig into the past like a true historian.
There’s no denying that writing a history paper is a laborious endeavor that calls for deep dives into relevant primary and secondary sources. Students writing papers on it need to do a lot of reading to make sure they’re including relevant details and drawing reasonable conclusions.
Writing a history paper requires students to engage with a lot of material on many different topics and events. Writing a high-quality history paper takes time and practice, so students should allow themselves plenty of both as they work toward their deadlines.
So, What is Exactly a History Paper?
Writing a history paper is all about making a case. Even if you are not required to conduct research for your paper, you will still need to make a case if you are writing it for a history class. For instance, your professor assigns a paper in which you’re to compare and contrast colonial New England and Virginia.
At first glance, it could appear that the “correct answer” is all that’s needed for this paper and that no convincing argument is necessary. However, even in this case, you should build your paper around a central thesis. One may argue that divergent colonialist ideals were at the heart of the disparities between New England and Virginia during the early modern period.
You could also argue that geography or regional Indian alliances caused the differences. Alternatively, you could develop a case that incorporates each of these arguments.
Whatever the case may be, such claims constitute an argument that calls for supporting evidence from the past. Every argument in a history paper needs to be supported with evidence from primary sources.
Purpose of our history paper writing guide:
This history paper writing guide is meant to be useful for any form of a history paper, but you should always be sure to follow your instructor’s specific directions for your assignment. Keep in mind that you can rely on our history paper writing services for help at any point in the process.
Common Types of History Papers
There are many different types of history papers.
There are two main types of academic writing: narrative (which follows a story-like structure based on a chronological order of events) and analytical (which follows an essay-like structure based on the topic’s underlying logic).
Some studies focus on historical events (including, of course, the causes and consequences of those events) while others examine historiographical issues (the differences between, and approaches taken by, various authors, historians, and schools of thought in the writing of history).
Other studies focus on intellectual or economic history, while others focus on political or military history.
Basic Structure for History Papers
A history paper, like any other essay, consists of an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion.
Basic Steps of Writing a History Paper
When composing your history research papers, always follow the following steps:
Start off on the Right Foot
Pretentious, vapid starts should be avoided. “There have been a lot of long-running disagreements about government policy and diplomacy in history, which has made historians curious and led to a lot of different historical theories.” This is utter trash, boring the reader, and shows you have nothing to say. Get straight to the point. Better start: “The 1857 uprising forced the British to reassess their Indian colonial administration.” This line tells the reader what your work is about and sets the stage for your thesis statement in the next paragraph. To put it another way, more British sensitivity to Indian customs was hypocritical.
Clearly State Your Thesis
A thesis is required whether writing an exam essay or a senior thesis. So don’t just repeat the homework or start writing down everything you know. “What am I attempting to prove?” When you write a paper, your thesis statement tells the reader what you think, why, or how. “Famine struck Ireland in the 1840s,” is a fact, but not a conclusion. “The English caused the 1840s famine in Ireland” is a thesis (whether defensible or not is another matter). An excellent thesis answers a key research question regarding what happened. (“Who caused the 1840s Irish famine?”) Don’t forget your thesis once you’ve written it. Paragraph after paragraph, develop your thesis. Your reader should always know the origin, current, and future of your argument.
Select an Excellent Research Topic
The success of your research will be determined by the topic you choose, regardless of your field of study. Choosing a research topic that interests you and completing a well-written paper are both within the capabilities of our company’s experts, who have undergone extensive training. The topic can be honed to your specifications until you are satisfied with it and feel confident writing about it. Because we know you won’t be interested in reading about anything you don’t care about, we choose the topic for you based on your interests. With us, you can pick a broad topic, like world history, and we can tailor it to your needs.
Let us know what you need help with writing a history paper and we’ll accomplish it in the best way possible. There are so many topics we can cover. We will gladly explain the topic to the point where you are comfortable presenting your work if you don’t grasp it.
Conduct Appropriate Research and Analysis
Students sometimes wonder why professors penalize them for summarizing or narrating rather than analyzing. What is analysis? Analyzing means breaking down into bits and understanding their interrelationships. Analyzing water yields hydrogen and oxygen. History describes the origins and significance of events. Historical study reveals hidden connections and distinctions. An important part of historical analysis is evaluating sources, causes, and opposing explanations. Don’t confuse summary and analysis, rather think about them this way: Summary is who, what, when, and where; analysis is how, why, and how much. To show the professor that they know the information, many students believe they must offer a detailed synopsis first. Instead, start your analysis as soon as feasible, without any synopsis. A good analysis will “show” the facts. You can’t analyze without knowing the facts, but you can describe them without knowing them. For this reason, a summary alone never gets an “A.”
We will help you look through the evidence and choose the best sources once we have chosen a topic and a theme that fits. You can always count on our team of experts to give the most relevant information and back it up with acceptable citations. The quality of your work is guaranteed, and our quality assurance team is on hand to make sure that the most relevant sources are used. In the event that you aren’t satisfied with some of the sources utilized, we’ll be happy to switch them out for better ones.
Analyze Evidence Critically
Like detectives, historians doubt their sources. Not a single detective who exclusively investigated an alibi with a suspect’s archenemy is trustworthy. You wouldn’t trust a historian who blamed the French for WWI’s origins. Consider these two points concerning WWI’s origins: The Germans ruined 1914. No one would deny…” “Neither the people nor the government wanted war…” No way can they both be right, so investigate.
Always ask: Who wrote it? Why? When? Who? Georges Clemenceau, former French president, wrote the first quote in 1929. In 1870, Clemenceau vowed vengeance on Germany. From 1917 until 1920, he presided over the Paris Peace Conference. He wasn’t a bystander. 2 93 eminent German professors signed a manifesto in 1914. Germany was accused of brutality. They were not aloof bystanders. However, analyzing and cross-checking sources is always valid. With passions and self-interests at play, the more sources you can consult, the better. A historian should be suspicious and critical, not cynical (self-interest isn’t everything).
Competent historians may weigh the same data in various ways. There is no historical “Truth” with a capital T. You can learn to discriminate between differing interpretations.
Vague remarks and generalizations reveal ignorance. Consider: “The French Revolution overthrew the regime. It shows people need freedom.” Who? Peasants? Nomads? Lawyers? Which? When? Who needed freedom, and what did it mean? The French Revolution in more detail: Price rises and food shortages spurred the Paris sans-culottes to press the Convention in 1793. Unlike grandiose Revolution generalizations, this remark can lead to a relevant Revolution analysis. Use broad abstractions like people, society, freedom, and government with care, especially as antecedents for the pronouns they and it. Recall cause and effect. People or groups cause or necessitate abstractions. Avoid broad historical generalizations. Be precise and detailed when in doubt.
Make Sure your Conclusion is Strong
Obviously, you can’t just stop because you’re out of time or ideas. Your conclusion must be conclusive. Reiterating what you wrote in your paper gives the appearance that you are unsure of its significance. Your reader will be unhappy and confused after reading your work. A strong ending adds to your opening statement. A solid conclusion summarizes the content. In a strong conclusion, your reader cares about what you stated and considers its broader ramifications. “So what?” asks your reader.
Revise and Proofread
Your professor may recognize a “one-draft wonder,” so don’t rush. Allow lots of time for revision and editing. Show your work to a writing tutor or someone else who is good at writing. Reading the draft out loud may also be beneficial. The truth is that no matter how careful you are, there are bound to be a few slip-ups. But watch out for blunders. The lack of proofreading indicates a lack of effort. Tip: Proofread your text both online and offline. Your eyes see them as distinct. Never rely solely on the spell checker to catch all of your typos. When it comes to spilling or rite-reeling, a computer is your best friend.
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Valuable History Paper Writing Guide Tips
When writing history research papers, you must be aware of the various types of evidence that exist. We have two important types of evidence, which are classified as follows:
You can get first-hand information about a time in history by looking at things from the past that was there at the time. This could be things like diaries or weapons or letters or oral evidence. Evidence like this can be used in your research to talk about and show direct evidence from the past. You can then use them to compare your topic to a time in the future. Our experts can use this evidence in your paper to make it top-notch and real.
When you write a history research paper, you use this kind of evidence to talk about something that happened after the time you are talking about it! Websites, books, and magazines are all examples of important things. It doesn’t matter if your research paper is about ancient history or not. Our writers use all of these types of evidence to make sure that your paper is written to your specifications and that your topic is well-covered, even if it is.
Things to Avoid During History Paper Writing
Avoid making blanket statements or generalizations
In the eyes of historians, vague expressions like “once upon a time” or “people usually claim that…” are worthless. Whenever you find yourself unsure of the acceptable level of specificity or depth, choose the option of including “too much” of both.
Avoid sounding too modern or too archaic
Don’t be tempted to bring all arguments or concerns from the past back to the present. The past should be explored on its own terms. Make sure you don’t mix up the order of events.
Avoid popular works in your research
Popular works are rarely scholarly, so avoid them when researching. Popular history merely aims to inform and entertain the masses. As a result, in popular histories, the art of the story often triumphs over the science of history; the simplicity of the facts over the complexity of the times; and the broad brush over the finer details.
Avoid abusing your sources
While there are many places to find useful information, it is often easy to abuse them.
Avoid “twenty-dollar words.”
Don’t use a word in an essay that you would never use in speech, and create something that you’d like to read. Don’t just throw any old word into your history paper; be sure you know what it means.
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