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How to Write a History Research Paper 1. How do I pick a topic? But I can't find any material How do I put this together? Research Guide and Writing Guide 1. Picking a topic is perhaps the most important step in writing a research paper.
To do it well requires several steps of refinement. First you have to determine a general area in which you have an interest if you aren't interested, your readers won't be either. You do not write a paper "about the Civil War," however, for that is such a large and vague concept that the paper will be too shallow or you will be swamped with information.
The next step is to narrow your topic. Are you interested in comparison? Once you reach this stage try to formulate your research topic as a question. For example, suppose that you decide to write a paper on the use of the films of the 's and what they can tell historians about the Great Depression.
You might turn that into the following question: By asking yourself a question as a means of starting research on a topic you will help yourself find the answers. You also open the door to loading the evidence one way or another. It will help you decide what kinds of evidence might be pertinent to your question, and it can also twist perceptions of a topic.
For example, if you ask a question about economics as motivation, you are not likely to learn much about ideals, and vice versa. 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?
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.A typical Carolina history course includes several kinds of writing assignments: Research papers —As the name suggests, these assignments require you to engage in full-fledged historical research.
You will read sources (primary and/or secondary), think about them, and . In writing a historical research report, it is best to: a.
avoid mentioning alternative interpretations of events proposed by other scholars. b. leave most of the interpretation of data to the reader rather than impose your own point of view.
c. point out the weaknesses in the arguments or assertions you are making. Writing Theory and Practice in the Second Language Classroom: A Selected Annotated Bibliography Torild Homstad & Helga Thorson for Grant Recipients.
The term historical Jesus refers to attempts to "reconstruct the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth by critical historical methods", in "contrast to Christological definitions ('the dogmatic Christ') and other Christian accounts of Jesus ('the Christ of faith')." It also considers the historical and cultural context in which Jesus lived..
Virtually all scholars . How to Write a Research Paper That Earns an A Write a Great Research Paper in 10 Steps. Share Flipboard Email Print How to Write an Art History Paper. 5 Steps to Write a Strong Position Paper.
Documentation in Reports and Research Papers.
10 Places to Research Your Paper: Including and Beyond the Internet. 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.