Perhaps one of the most challenging things to do concerning history is researching it. Following these steps will help you effectively write a historical research paper.
Understand and analyze the part of history for which you choose to research. Some parts of liberal arts can be researched without expert understanding or analysis. A full understanding of history is required for selecting a narrow topic, knowing what to write about and understanding the point of your research. If you are having trouble understanding or analyzing history, ask your teacher or professor for help.
Thoroughly consider and brainstorm your topic before researching or writing about it. If you’re having trouble choosing a topic or brainstorming it, ask a classmate or a teacher for help.
Execute proper citation style of your historical research. Modern Language Association (MLA) and Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) are the two styles that can be used in writing historical research papers. Although both styles can be used, CMS is most preferred because it looks better to most college professors. The CMS style features footnotes at the end of each page containing wording or quotations from a documented source. A modified version of CMS allows you to have an endnotes page at the end of a research paper to take the worry out of putting footnotes on every page like you would do in the traditional version.
The typical historical research paper has no less than five consulted sources and no more than twelve. You should avoid consulting Internet sources, not only because of the likelihood of opinionated statements, but because Internet sources take away from overall style of a historical research paper. If you are having difficulties with the citation style of your history paper, ask your teacher or consult a citation manual for help.
- Image Courtesy: State University of New York at Albany