Successfully writing a history research paper depends on following a process. The first step is finding a topic and researching it. After this you begin organizing your research before writing, editing, and rewriting. Most people who write history research papers are writing for a class; in that case, be sure to follow all of the instructions given to you by your professor or instructor. A good paper can still earn a bad grade if it does not follow the style and formatting rules specified for the class.
The first step in writing a history research paper is choosing your topic. In most cases, the topic will be something you studied in the class and would like to know more about. Be sure your topic is not too broad to cover within the page limit but not so narrow that you cannot write a full paper about it. For example, war in the United States may be too broad a topic, but African-Americans soldiers in the Civil War is a manageable paper.
After choosing your topic, the next step is research. Be sure you choose reputable sources. Encyclopedias and printed biographies are good sources for a history research paper. Civil War Joe's web page may be less reliable.
Remember to take notes while you read. Some people find that writing each fact on a note card helps them to stay organized. Now is also the time to write down the source information from the books, magazines, or websites you are using for research. This will come in handy when it is time to write your bibliography.
With the research done, you can now start organizing your information. If you used note cards to take notes, you can simply make piles of cards relating to different topics. If you wrote your notes on paper, use some differently colored highlighters to mark topics you may cover in your history research paper.
Finally, it's time to start writing. First, frame your topic with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is one or two sentences that explain what the paper is going to be about. This helps the reader understand what he or she is about to read and helps you stay on topic while you're writing.
The thesis of your history research paper should form part of your introduction. You can then add another couple of sentences to tell the reader what you will discuss in the paper. This is a great time to mention some of the important people or events you plan to discuss in your history research paper.
Follow your introduction with a body. This is where most of your research will be. Be sure to organize the information in a way that is easy to follow, either chronologically or by stringing together related topics.
Finally, write your conclusion. The conclusion should recap the thesis statement. It should also offer some insight as to what the information in your paper means or how it all fits together.
When your paper is done, be sure to edit it. First edit for content. Make sure your information is correct and that the paper flows logically from one topic to another. Then edit for grammar and spelling.