Creating a Paper on History for Your Class
History is the subject that allows time traveling without the actual time machine. Studying it and subsequently writing a paper on history is crucial for the period setting. Historians who are on the road trip to discover the artifacts of the past are just as much involved as the students who are sitting down at their desk and staring at a blank piece of paper. Why is history so complicated, anyway? With people trying to disclose their side of the story, truthfulness and trustworthiness can go down the drain.
The records that come from the past force us to evaluate the current state of affairs. This is one of the main reasons history writing should not be taken for granted. It is an entire philosophy, based on the understanding of meaningful topics and interpretation of them according to the primary source. When the primary source is not available, a secondary one comes into play. Also, you get to construct the supporting points and arguments that move your essay forward.
Most scholars are very skeptical when it comes to analyzing the work of their predecessors. You probably know they are willing to scrutinize any history writing that comes into the public eye. This is an inevitable process of drawing comparisons between the two studies. Students have to remember they have every right to participate in the academic conversation. Even if you are lacking experience, you will realize that facts and figures can be tossed to one’s personal advantage. Moreover, access to global information will make it easier.
The Types of History Papers for College Students
There are different types of history papers one can engage in while studying. While preparing for your exam, do not forget to categorize the following papers:
- Narrative history paper. This type of paper is structured using the chronology of events from the past. The historians are focused on sequences rather than logical conclusions and seek hidden meanings between the lines of the text.
- Analytical history paper. Analytical papers rarely deal with chronological structure since the writers are more concentrated on getting the facts right. According to professional researchers, analytical papers are mainly created to show the internal logical connections between the said events.
- Reflective history paper. Reflective essays do not only analyze what happened. Their main goal is to provide sufficient reasoning for the readers. For example, a reflective paper writer needs to go into detail when it comes to describing the events of the social revolution. After making a statement, students are bound to explain how it actually happened. Primary sources are used extensively.
- Cultural history paper. This is the kind of essay that comes in handy when you have to depict a certain period in the history of humankind. Events are portrayed through the lens of social justice, economic stability, and the general rate of human life. Cultural essays are considered to be one of the most entertaining papers out there due to their emphasis on social events. This is the genre of history that needs to be explored more in order to give a new perspective to some of the past events.
- Review essays. Essays that have the word “review” in them are mostly assigned in undergraduate studies. These are primarily based on the academic reply to the college lectures. Your syllabus acts as a background for future studies, helping other students to pursue the same course without fear. Review essays also require historians to pay attention to detail and take notes in class.
- Research papers. Interpreting research papers can be a real challenge. These demand students to dive into the archives of the university library and extend the topic on their own. If the university research is not enough, you need to come up with historical arguments that can convince the teacher’s committee your studies are innovative. Struggling to define the idea of a research paper? Think of the rhetorical questions historians often ask to find out the truth.
It is easy to get lost in the overwhelming number of history papers. Thankfully, there are drastic distinctions between the essays to make student’s life easier. We all want to find a perfect way to study in class in order to craft a believable paper.
These approaches are nothing more than suggestions you can base individual research on. Once you have figured out the right tactic, you can customize the paper according to the demands. Do not forget that valid arguments are going to make your history paper ten times more convincing. Workable supporting points help structure a succinct essay that won’t be too long or vague in terms of understanding. An opening section of the paper needs to contain the thesis statement for preliminary research.
Follow the Steps to a Complete Research
As a researcher, you will need to determine the type of history paper that is at stake. Once you have completed the arrangements, it is time to focus on research. Here is what you need to do:
- Collect information. After studying for the basic background, you need to locate a source that is going to act as an assistant for your current paper. Choose an orientation that is going to reflect the theme of the paper you are dealing with. When it comes to historical data, facts can be easily manipulated. To prevent this from happening, do not rely on a single source. If confused, discuss the following points with a teacher and ask for a direction that will help you find an argument that sounds convincing.
- Create a bibliography. Building a proper bibliography is a cornerstone of any essay that focuses on historic themes. We will explain: Historical Abstracts that can be found in the reading rooms of the library will become your friend and helper in the art of editing information. Ask around for more sources if you feel like the archives are not enough. However, most students need to remember that specific bibliographies have to be searched separately. The data that is found on these can be relevant only if taken from an eligible source. Otherwise, reports suggest that information from the archives can be a bit outdated due to the fact that it has been years since anyone requested it for a particular assignment.
- Read the articles. Read all the recently published articles that are centered on the problem you are researching. Surely, this sounds like a lot of work, but this is the only way you will be able to find answers to the questions that have been put forward. Tie in the information that has been found with the topic at hand. Create a full bibliography list for future references and do not forget to address it. Most full bibliographies are created to make sure that students are dealing with the topic they have chosen as an initial one.
- Write an outline. This has been said more than once, but we can’t avoid mentioning the importance of having a draft. It will help you determine whether a paper on history is analytical or reflective. Moreover, you will be able to navigate between the sources without the fear of getting lost and confused. Those who have actually encountered history essays from the past know that it is essential to describe what happened while arguing a position. Without it, the supporting points ring hollow. Specialists in history recommend establishing a theme in the first paragraph and conducting research throughout the work.
- Pose a question. Although posing a problem that needs to be debated is a method that is widely known among scholars, we won’t skip it due to its effectiveness. History essays are mostly designed to persuade other researchers they have some valid points to consider. It is impossible to achieve the goal without having a draft. Once you have completed the step, follow up with a coherent thesis. Arguments that have been constructed using the principles of logic will most likely win the hearts of the readers that are waiting for legit reasoning and debate. Be ready to support the statement or a claim using the knowledge that you have acquired previously.
- Include relevant information. As we have stated before, it is better to start with an outline. It helps make the history essay more organized. The outline is something that makes a positive impression on the audience. Please remember that only relevant facts are accepted as arguments. In other cases, you may want to change the source of information to render the message clearly. Students do not need to use obscure language in order to come across as smart. Conciseness is something that is valued in the academic community.
We should remember that most history papers come in various formatting styles. There is no universal style that will be acknowledged by scholars around the world. The introduction of the paper will contain a brief version of what you are going to say in the paragraph that follows. After making a thesis statement, it is recommended to come up with a few generalizations only to narrow down the topic a few sentences later. Each paragraph has to provide an answer to the problem that has been indicated in the first sentence.