Organizing a history research paper

International Public Library Subject Specific software e. Check out public and university libraries, businesses, government agencies, as well as contact knowledgeable people in your community. Bookmark your favorite Internet sites. Printout, photocopy, and take notes of relevant information.

Organizing a history research paper

Take the number of pages the final draft of the paper is supposed to be, and multiply that by 3. This represents the approximate number of paragraphs your paper should have in it.

Each of those paragraphs needs at least two, and preferably three details in it. Those details must come from your research. An outline's purpose is to determine where the individual pieces of research should go, and in what order. Ideally, related pieces of information should go together.

If you are doing research on the history of seige warfare, you should not jump from the Persian seige of Amida to the seige of Vicksburg to the seige of Stalingrad and back again in the same paragraph.

Instead, each of those major themes should be a separate group of paragraphs. Perhaps you will arrange them in historical order, with Amida coming first and Stalingrad last.

Perhaps you will apply the lessons of Amida and Vicksburg to Stalingrad. Perhaps you will begin with Stalingrad before flashing back to Vicksburg and Amida. You can always shuffle the different parts of your outline around, but it is helpful to have an idea of what details belong in which portion of the paper.

The early drafts of your outline will also help you see where the research you have already done fits, and what portions of your paper are weak. Details, Details[ edit ] Details come in four basic types for many research papers.

By CE, the Romans had stationed 15 legions along the Rhine. The third type of detail is a definition: Latifundias were large slave-run plantations in Roman-ruled Italy.

The fourth type of detail is a direct quotation from one of your research sources, along with a date and location: Each of your details should be backed up with appropriate citations, whether these be footnotes, parenthetical notes, endnotes, or other attributions, from the source materials you are using.

Research papers should have some kind of underlying story they wish to tell, whether that be the results of the War of the Spanish Succession, or the consequences of the Treaty of Westphalia. Your story should support the thesis, but you will impress your history teacher, and likely earn a higher grade, if you are doing more than merely reciting a laundry list of facts and figures.

What is the Story?

Organizing a history research paper

This is an extremely important part of your work.Organizing your paper can be a daunting task if you begin too late, so organizing a paper should take place during the reading and note-taking process. As you read and take notes, make sure to group your data into self-contained categories.

D.

Organizing a history research paper

Major Research: Now do the bulk of your research. But do not overdo it. Do not fall into the trap of reading and reading to avoid getting started on the writing. After you have the bulk of information you might need, start writing. You can fill in the smaller gaps of your research more effectively later.

Organization of the Parts of the Argument. The two most common ways to organize a history paper are chronologically and topically. Another common way would be geographically, such as the thesis about medieval monarchies described earlier.

This is the silver rule: do a rough draft bibliography, a middle draft bibliography, and a final draft; Organize your paper according to several outlines, to find the one that suits your research best; find more information than you need, in more sources than you think are necessary; write and revise your final paper several times; have more than one back-up copy.

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assigned readings from the course syllabus) and research papers (typically requiring additional research in a library or archive on a topic of your own choosing). Different types of history papers naturally require different amounts of research, analysis, and interpretation.

Despite this variety, historical arguments often assume a common form.

Organizing a history research paper