Selecting Catchy History Term Paper Topics: 3 Main Tips
To find a really good topic for a history research paper you can simply follow your gut, or you can follow one or all of these tips if you find yourself complete at a loss for ideas:
- Browse through research within your field of study. Allocate a broad topic that vaguely interests you and start digging into it, exploring the field and the work of other scholars in the field. You will have to go through a very large amount of information, a big number of books and research papers, maybe even historic manuscripts and actual historians. Pick a lot of different contiguous topics, surround yourself with various sources and make sure you have supplied yourself with a full range of material in various areas of research. That can take a lot of time, but research is all about learning a whole lot of new information and finding something new, standing on the foundation of the existing research. If you start your search for a topic with the existing data, you will be able to see the bigger picture of your field of study. That will allow you to figure out which directions are the most popular, and which are the least explored and it’s possible you will be able to come up with your topic at this point.
- Narrow down the direction in which you are moving. When you look at the general direction of your research, be it a historic era, a historical figure, or a war, you should be able to find some aspects of it, which are of the biggest interest to you. Take that branch and narrow it down by picking a denser time scale, or a set of relationships of the chosen historical figure with a spouse, or family, if it’s important, or center around some specific key decisions they made. Ask several questions you have for this topic and choose the most interesting one. You may already have a topic. Perform this sequence several times, shooting in different directions and you will have a number of topics to choose from.
- Be prepared to shift and transform your topic. It is a natural process and you should not see it as failure or unnecessary work. It is likely that your mentor will advise you to change your topic a little bit or focus on a slightly different aspect. It could even be on your own initiative, and you should go with it as many times as you feel like it, but within the reasonable boundaries, of course.