Writing a history paper

College » social sciences » are herehome » steps for writing a history for writing a history g a history paper is a process. Successful papers are not completed in a single moment of genius or inspiration, but are developed over a series of steps. If you think of writing as a process and break it down into smaller steps, you will find that paper-writing is manageable, less daunting, and even enjoyable. Writing a history paper is your opportunity to do the real work of historians, to roll up your sleeves and dig deep into the is a history paper? 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. It might seem like this paper is straightforward and does not require an argument, that it is simply a matter of finding the "right answer. Any history paper you write will be driven by an argument demanding evidence from y writing assignments can vary widely--and you should always follow your professor's specific instructions--but the following steps are designed to help no matter what kind of history paper you are writing. Remember that the staff of the history writing center is here to assist you at any stage of the writing process. Make sure you know what the paper prompt is mes professors distribute prompts with several sub-questions surrounding the main question they want you to write about. They offer ideas you might consider, but they are not, usually, the key question or questions you need to answer in your paper.

Writing a history research paper

Otherwise, your paper may sound like a laundry list of short-answer essays rather than a cohesive argument. Write out the key question at the top of your draft and return to it often, using it to guide you in the writing process. Start ing on the paper prompt, you may be required to do outside research or you may be using only the readings you have done in class. You might be able to use some of those same words as search that the library website has different databases you can search depending on what type of material you need (such as scholarly articles, newspapers, books) and what subject and time period you are researching (such as eighteenth-century england or ancient rome). Visit the library's history research guide for tips on the research process and on using library resources. Draft a thesis statement in which you clearly and succinctly make an argument that addresses the you find writing a thesis daunting, remember that whatever you draft now is not set in stone. As you do more research, reread your sources, and write your paper, you will learn more about the topic and your argument. Annotating sources means writing a paragraph that summarizes the main idea of the source as well as shows how you will use the source in your paper. For more information about annotating sources, visit our section on annotated it might seem like this step creates more work for you by having to do more writing, it in fact serves two critical purposes: it helps you refine your working thesis by distilling exactly what your sources are saying, and it helps smooth your writing process. Having dissected your sources and articulated your ideas about them, you can more easily draw upon them when constructing your paper. Write down exactly how a particular section in the textbook or in a primary source reader will contribute to your paper.

Writing a historical research paper

Draft an outline of your outline is helpful in giving you a sense of the overall structure of your paper and how best to organize your ideas. There is no one right way to organize a history paper; it depends entirely on the prompt, on your sources, and on what you think would be most clear to someone reading effective outline includes the following components: the research question from the prompt (that you wrote down in step 1), your working thesis, the main idea of each body paragraph, and the evidence (from both primary and secondary sources) you will use to support each body paragraph. Do not get too caught up in grammar or stylistic issues at this point, as you are more concerned now with the big-picture task of expressing your ideas in you have trouble getting started or are feeling overwhelmed, try free writing. Free writing is a low-stakes writing exercise to help you get past the blank page. Set a timer for five or ten minutes and write down everything you know about your paper: your argument, your sources, counterarguments, everything. Do not edit or judge what you are writing as you write; just keep writing until the timer goes off. Of course, this writing will not be polished, so do not be tempted to leave it as it is. Remember that this draft is your first one, and you will be revising you are writing up the evidence in your draft, you need to appropriately cite all of your sources. The global level refers to the argument and evidence in your paper, while the local level refers to the individual sentences. Particularly helpful exercise for global-level revision is to make a reverse outline, which will help you look at your paper as a whole and strengthen the way you have organized and substantiated your argument. Then, on a separate piece of paper, write down each paragraph number and, next to it, summarize in a phrase or a sentence the main idea of that paragraph.

Revising at the local level, check that you are using strong topic sentences and transitions, that you have adequately integrated and analyzed quotations, and that your paper is free from grammar and spelling errors that might distract the reader or even impede your ability to communicate your point. One helpful exercise for revising on the local level is to read your paper out loud. Hearing your paper will help you catch grammatical errors and awkward is a checklist of questions to ask yourself while revising on both the global and local levels:- does my thesis clearly state my argument and its significance? Put it all together: the final you have finished revising and have created a strong draft, set your paper aside for a few hours or overnight. Read your paper out loud again too, catching any errors you might have missed this stage in the process, you need to make sure you have taken care of all the details. Your paper needs to have a title that does not just announce the topic of the paper, but gives some indication of your argument. Reread the paper assignment and make sure you have met all of the professor's requirements: do you need page numbers? You make sure that we readers know too, by signalling to us both thesis in the the body of the paper, argue your case for your answers to the have set youself. Should try to persuade the reader of the validity of your aim to write an analytical paper in which you discuss the thesis, draw a conclusion for the preceding debate. Paper simply turned in late, without prior negotiation, will may need to go through multiple plans before writing the paper,To clarify your questions and their ordering (crucial) and to out the argument with which you bring together the different have set yourself. The conclusion should reinforce,In the reader's mind, the persuasiveness of your whole : write in clear, concise the least number of words possible to make your write in the past tense: this is, after all, history.

Couple of minor points for medieval history know many medieval figures by toponymic names, , after some place with which they are associated. Hopefully those who follow will feel work is solid enough for them to build on to it, for that is how ons: once you have paper, read it through again. If certain phrases are repeated often enough to seem boring, accurate synonyms in the your sentence structure from the usual subject-verb-object, your paper more effective and to stimulate your reader's interest. They point to the vast amount of doubtful information which you can reach quickly and insert into your papers all to easily. Good liberals foam at the mouth when be hate sites, putting out in writing and graphics obscene and -facts (read: lies) about child pornography, the holocaust,The private lives of the rich and famous, and so counter argument in this country is of course the first it is unnecessary to invoke the u. Statements made in pretty writing on are no more authoritative there than if mouthed off in front of ht through a megaphone, or scrawled as graffiti on a wall. It is also much harder work sweeping any material that looks usable into your skirts and g the catch out into your paper. 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. For example, suppose that you decide to write a paper on the use of the films of the 1930's and what they can tell historians about the great depression. There are other questions, of course, which you could have asked, but these two clearly illustrate how different two papers on the same general subject might be. These two checks should make sure your paper is in the realm of the possible.

Many sources are also available your research paper takes shape you will find that you need background on people, places, events, etc. You cannot count on a good research paper coming from browsing on one shelf at the library. For specific article searches "uncover" (press returns for the "open access") or possibly (less likely for history) "first search" through "connect to other resources" in muse can also be do the bulk of your research. Do not fall into the trap of reading and reading to avoid getting started on the writing. Do not get too detailed at this the basis of this thesis statement and outline, start writing, even pieces, as soon as you have enough information to start. It is important that you try to get to the end point of this writing as soon as possible, even if you leave pieces still in outline form at first and then fill the gaps after you get to the al advice for larger papers:It is often more effective not to start at the point where the beginning of your paper will be. Especially the introductory paragraph is often best left until later, when you feel ready and "second draft" is a fully re-thought and rewritten version of your paper. It is at the heart of the writing , lay your first draft aside for a day or so to gain distance from it. After that break, read it over with a critical eye as you would somebody else's paper (well, almost! But keep questioning your paper along the following lines: what precisely are my key questions? How or in what order can i structure my paper most effectively to answer those questions most clearly and efficiently for my reader?

You must write conceptually a new paper at this point, even if you can use paragraphs and especially quotes, factual data in the new is critical that in your new draft your paragraphs start with topic sentences that identify the argument you will be making in the particular paragraph (sometimes this can be strings of two or three paragraphs). The third or final draft:You are now ready to check for basic rules of good writing.