506 Interesting History Topics to Research

Did you know that time travel is possible? Researching historical topics allows us to do that. It not only reveals the origins of our existence. It also tells us who we are, and even enables us to glimpse into the future!

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The process of investigating a topic in history is called a historical inquiry. Here are some recommendations on how to get started:

  • Select an interesting history topic. It can be focused on an event, a person, or an idea.
  • Define a research question within that topic. Make it narrow and manageable.
  • Analyze historical data from different sources .
  • Create a historical narrative using the data you’ve found. Use evidence to support your ideas.

Remember: working on a history project can be easy and fun if you find a research idea that excites you! Custom-writing.org experts are here to help in case you’re stuck when choosing a history topic. In our collection below, you can find cool historical events to write about. There are numerous topics on ancient and modern history of the US & the world. Go on reading to find the most inspiring idea! After you’re done but still not sure about a suitable variant, you can try a history topic generator with all the keyword options from our list.

  • 🔝 Top 10 Topics
  • 🇺🇸 US History
  • 🌎 World History
  • 🏰 European History
  • 💂 British History
  • 📜 History before 1500
  • 🏭 Modern History
  • 📡 20th Century History
  • 🔝 20 Research Questions
  • 🔍 References

🔝 Top 10 Interesting History Topics

  • The US’s role in World War I
  • Child labor during the Puritan era
  • Religion during the Aztec times
  • Causes of the Battle of Germantown
  • Economic impact of the Titanic ’s sinking
  • Bracero Program’s economic effect
  • Cultural impact of the Spanish-American War
  • Industrial Revolution’s impact on the environment
  • The goal of Protestors at the 1968 Democratic Convention
  • Women’s employment during the Great Depression

🇺🇸 Interesting US History Topics

The history of the United States starts before the European colonization . Then it follows a turbulent period of building an entirely new nation. In a short time, America became a global superpower. From the first colonies to Roaring Twenties and the Cold War – discover the highlights of American history!

New-York city skyline.

  • What were the relations between the first American colonies? That is a fascinating historical question for a research paper. See how the early settlements co-existed before the 1760s. Learn how their alliances were used for asserting defense and control.
  • Alternatively, you could study the Stamp Act crisis of 1765 . See how it helped to unite the colonies and set the basis for future partnerships.
  • The society of Puritans : truth and myths is a fascinating topic for those who are interested in people’s psychology and motivations. Puritans were a rigorous and highly religious society rooted in misogyny. See if they were really as prudent as today’s media portrays them.
  • Tobacco Trade in early American colonies is another great US history topic. Tobacco plantations in Virginia became a way for laborers to be granted freedom. This caused a rapid expansion of the New World colonies.
  • What are the reasons behind the Salem witch trials ? That is one of the best US history research topics. A group of girls caused mass hysteria in superstitious Puritan society. Learn about their possible motives and the gruesome consequences of their actions.
  • In the early colonies, there existed laws aimed at restricting slaves’ behaviors. Choose Slave Codes and their influence on society as your essay topic and learn about the ruinous consequences of this practice.
  • The Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party were the culmination of the growing tension between the colonists and the British authorities. You can write an excellent paper about the reasons behind these events.
  • One of the iconic documents in US history, the Declaration of Independence , can be the subject of your essay. See how different colonies contributed to the drafts of the Declaration.
  • The American Revolution was a conflict between America and Britain. You can write about the way the two countries perceived each other and how it influenced the outcome of the revolt.
  • You can choose to write about an important person in US history. What made George Washington a key figure in Revolutionary America? That is a fascinating paper topic. One of the greatest leaders in US history, he proved that he could be trusted with power.
  • How the Battle of Saratoga changed the course of the war? This one is another excellent history research essay topic. The victory in this battle provided Americans with much-needed confidence and gave them a new ally – France.
  • What factors helped Americans win the revolutionary war ? That is an exciting topic for high school students who want to understand early American history. You can mention the difficulties faced by the British, as well as the most prominent advantages of the American army.
  • You can write a fascinating argumentative essay on the American Revolution and its effects on society.
  • Another topic is life after the Revolution. Discover how life in America changed for women, African Americans , and Native Americans after the Revolution.
  • The creation of the American constitution is full of twists and turns. Americans had many different views on how their country should be governed. See how they managed to reach a compromise.
  • Southern society before the Revolution is a topic that includes the analysis of the most prominent features of the Old South, such as its conservatism and emphasis on honor.
  • Closely connected to it is the topic of the American South as a slave society before 1865.
  • See how the early Americans justified slavery from the Biblical, historical, and economic points of view.
  • The American North before the revolution had many intriguing features, such as Manifest Destiny , progressiveness, and a riotous optimism… you can discuss it in an essay!
  • Reconstruction of the South took place after the Revolution. See how it was planned and carried out over the course of 12 years. (You can focus on a particularly interesting aspect, such as the lives of African American people during the Reconstruction.)
  • How the US became the world’s largest industrial nation? That is an interesting history research paper idea. During the second half of the 19th century, the US developed very rapidly. See how the Industrialization led to the birth of Capitalism as we know it today!
  • Women in American society of the late 19th century were on the way of transforming the old values. They didn’t like the cult of domesticity and wanted to take an active part in society. Learn how the traditional female roles were changing during that epoch.
  • The cowboy era: truth and myths is an exciting topic about one of the quintessential American images. Discover how the cowboys really lived, and what led to the decline of the cattle industry.
  • The conflicts with Native Americans in the late 19th century is an important controversial topic. The closure of the final frontier was achieved through bloodshed and horrifying violence. Learn about the reasons behind these events.
  • An exciting essay can be written about urbanization and immigration of the early 20th century. The glamour of American big city life was alluring to many people from different countries. Unfortunately, the reality was not all that glamorous…
  • If you choose the Progressive Era of the USA as your essay topic, you can learn about the origins of modern activism groups. See how they were fighting with organized crime, inequality, and many other vital issues.
  • A closely connected topic is women’s suffrage movement . The long struggle for women’s right to vote resulted in the Nineteenth Amendment. It was an essential step towards equality.
  • The preservation movement of the early XX century is another topic concerning activism. President Roosevelt recognized that industrialization damages America’s wildlife. See how his policies gave rise to nature conservation and even Scouting!
  • You can write a great essay on what caused the financial panic of 1907. The financial panic rocked Wall Street and exposed many problems with the American economy at the time.
  • The Spanish-American war: causes and consequences is an intriguing essay topic. Learn how the United States managed to win the war while not being prepared for it at all.
  • Write an essay about American expansion after 1877 and see how America was stretching its boundaries overseas. There were many reasons for it, including nationalist, economic, and religious.
  • USA and Asia: the Boxer Rebellion is a topic closely connected to the expansion policies. In 1900, an attempt to occupy China resulted in disaster. Discuss the conflict and its consequences in an essay.
  • An essential part of American history is wars. When Germany sank the ship Lusitania, killing many Americans, the country stopped being neutral. Choose the USA in World War I as your essay topic and see where it led.
  • One of the most fascinating United States history research paper topics is Roaring Twenties : the culmination of the industrial era. During that epoch, the standard of living increased like never before. See how the country changed in just ten years.
  • Prohibition era: the rise of organized crime is a topic that includes many interesting aspects, such as highly romanticized gangsters. However, the reality was not all that romantic. You can write about the reasons why Prohibition era turned out to be a disaster.
  • The birth of mass media: radio, cinema, early television is one of fun and easy history topics for research paper for middle school students. Learn about the origins of the entertainment culture and mass media stars in times of great uncertainty.
  • Alternatively, you can focus on the question of what led to the birth of consumerism ? Back in the 1920s, there were many technological advances for the middle-class people. This gave rise to advertising as we know it today.
  • When America seemed to be at the peak of its triumph, everything fell apart. The beginning of the Great Depression is an intriguing subject. Learn about the chain of events that plunged the US into the longest and deepest crisis in its history.
  • Write about the role of the USA in World War II and see how unresolved tension left after World War I influenced the political decisions of the Allies.
  • The Vietnam War has left many scars on the American nation. Learn about the causes and consequences of the war that kept influencing US foreign policy for many decades.
  • Watergate scandal and its lasting legacy is one of the most interesting American history topics. Discuss how the scandal led to paranoia and disillusionment in the US government.
  • You may like to explore the question: who won the Cold War ? While no one actually won the Cold War, it did influence ex-Soviet countries and the US in many negative ways. Discuss them in your essay!

Here are some other samples of American history research paper topics:

  • Quakers: their views and legacy.
  • Survival in the Jamestown colony.
  • French intervention in the American revolution .
  • The true story of Pocahontas.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt and her role in American history .
  • How did Valley Forge change the course of the Revolutionary war ?
  • What is Manifest destiny as a concept?
  • American political and economic history .
  • Daniel Boone and the Wilderness Road.
  • Donner party: the true story of survival.
  • American revolutions in Early 19th century
  • The historical significance of the Oregon Trail.
  • Californian Gold Rush : outcomes and consequences.
  • Why and how did the US get involved in the Korean war?
  • The Lewis and Clark expedition.
  • Railroads and their impact on the US economy.
  • Social welfare history in the USA
  • What were the relations between America and France during the revolutionary war?
  • The Underground Railroad: history and impact.
  • Colonial unrest in Virginia, New York and Massachusetts .
  • African Americans in the Civil War.
  • The Civil War. The letters from the soldiers .
  • How did the Federalist Party create the basis for the national economy and foreign policy?
  • In what ways was the Whiskey Rebellion important?
  • Benjamin Franklin’s biography .
  • The American identity during Revolution: Loyalists vs. Patriots.
  • James Madison and his role im shaping the American Constitution .
  • Founding Fathers and republicanism.
  • In what ways does the Constitution reflect the principles of both republican and democratic forms of government ?
  • Shay’s rebellion and its aftermath.
  • What is the legacy of the Amistad Case?
  • Malcolm X as civil rights activist .
  • Women in the Civil War.
  • Racism in America between 1783 and 1836 .
  • Alexander Hamilton and the foundation of American government.
  • The legacy of John Brown .
  • The civil rights movement in USA .
  • Roger Sherman and the Connecticut Compromise.
  • How did the Missouri Compromise trigger the Civil War?
  • Dunmore Proclamation and its impact.
  • What was the controversy around the Tenure of Office Act?
  • How did the Mexican-American war help to shape the geographical boundaries of the USA?
  • How did Black Laws affect the lives of African Americans?
  • Ulysses S. Grant as a military leader and as a president.
  • The true story of the notorious Wyatt Earp.
  • Frederick Douglass’ fight for freedom.
  • What are the reasons behind the lasting legacy of the Monroe doctrine ?
  • Indian reservations: truth and myths.
  • Native Americans in the 19th century: assimilation and resistance.
  • Outstanding Native American leaders: Sitting Bull, Tecumseh, Geronimo.
  • What was the impact of the Great Chicago Fire?
  • Muckrakers and the birth of investigative journalism.
  • Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt : the first tycoons.
  • Why did the Homestead Strike fail?
  • Child labor in the 19th century US.
  • The 19th century nationalism in America.
  • World War I and the Christmas Truce.
  • The Battle of the Somme and its legacy.
  • How did the building of the Panama Canal affect world trade?
  • San Francisco earthquake: immediate and long-term effects.
  • The history of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.
  • The reaction of the American citizens to the US entry into World War I .
  • What was the impact of the Spanish flu epidemic in the US?
  • Outstanding women: Dorothea Dix, Ida B. Wells , Alice Paul.
  • The controversy of the Scopes Monkey Trial .
  • The beginning of the Hollywood industry.
  • Woodrow Wilson’s first and second administrations.
  • Presidency and post-presidency of Theodore Roosevelt .
  • What factors fuelled the rise of the Ku Klux Klan ?
  • Dust Bowl : causes and consequences.
  • Harlem Renaissance and its impact on art and culture.
  • What was the role of women in World War II ?
  • The American Dream in the postwar US.
  • Howard Hughes: magnate, aviator, eccentric.
  • Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964: whites in the movement .
  • How did the 1968 Democratic Convention change America’s political landscape?
  • Orangeburg Massacre: reasons, backlash, and the aftermath.
  • 1969 Moon landing and the Space Race.
  • The legacy of the Woodstock Music Festival.
  • What was the cultural impact of the Kennedy assassinations ?
  • The Freedom of Information Act: pros and cons.
  • Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.
  • Women in the Vietnam War.
  • Manson family : truth and myths.
  • The changing attitudes of the 60s.
  • The history and legacy of Pop Art .
  • Three Mile Island : the worst commercial nuclear accident in the history of the USA.
  • The global nuclear arms race and the anti-nuclear movement.
  • What were the lasting effects of the energy crisis ?
  • McCarthyism and Red Scare.
  • Richard Nixon: presidency and impeachment.
  • Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy.
  • How did the Exxon Valdez oil spill change the oil industry?
  • Bill Clinton’s New Economy.
  • The aftermath of 9/11: Ground Zero.

🌎 Interesting World History Topics

World history studies past, present, and future from a global perspective. It includes many cultures and nations, each with their unique qualities. You can focus on differences or common features between cultures. Choose a global history research paper topic that you find particularly interesting and write an excellent world history research paper!

Cultures by ethnicity.

  • Genghis Khan is an outstanding Mongol leader who can be the subject of your essay. Learn how he managed to establish the largest land empire in history while bringing together the East and the West.
  • Or you can choose to write about an extraordinary woman, such as the Empress Dowager Cixi. She has been called a ruthless despot for many years, but currently, her legacy is being re-evaluated.
  • An exciting period in the history of China, the fall of the Qing Dynasty , marked the end of the Chinese Empire. A study of these events could be a great essay subject.
  • Alternatively, you can write about the fall of the Aztec civilization. It’s one of the most interesting world history research paper topics. Discover what led to the end of the most intricate civilization in Mesoamerica.
  • Persian Gulf War is one of the most significant military operations of the past 50 years. What started as a “limited” war turned into a decades-long conflict and had severe environmental consequences, which you can discuss in your essay.
  • Alternatively, you can choose the Korean War . The conflict between Soviet-backed North Korean and pro-Western South Korean countries was the first military manifestation of the Cold War . The peninsula remains divided to this day.
  • Or you can write about the Russo-Japanese war. It is sometimes called World War Zero because the consequences of this conflict influenced both subsequent World Wars.
  • You can also choose a significant event from the Vietnam War , such as the fall of Saigon. It marked the end of the war and the unification of Vietnam into the Socialist Republic we know today.
  • The Russian Revolution lasted for ten days in the 1900s. It shook the world and led to the rise of communism. You can write about the chain of events that triggered it or discuss its long-lasting consequences.
  • Samurai culture is a fascinating world history topic for those interested in Japanese history. The influence of samurai and their philosophy – bushido still manifests itself in Japanese culture.
  • The political activism of Dalits in India is a great and inspiring topic. See how the activism of a minority group formerly known as “untouchables” led to drastic changes in Indian politics and mentality.
  • Another topic concerning human rights activism is Nelson Mandela . The first president of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, he is considered to be an icon of democracy.
  • Yet another outstanding person who influenced human rights activism, Mahatma Gandhi . See how his philosophy of nonviolent resistance shaped the ideas of Martin Luther King and others.
  • The Great Wall of China is an excellent topic for an essay. See who and why built the longest wall in the world, and learn about its legends and myths.
  • Taj Mahal is one of the world’s most beautiful and majestic buildings. You can discuss the history of Mughal architecture and the Taj Mahal in particular in your essay.

Global network connection world map.

Here are some other ideas of interesting world history research paper topics:

  • Korea in the Middle Ages.
  • History of Aztec music
  • Unification of China: the “warring states” period.
  • How did the Han dynasty develop its highly efficient civil service?
  • India’s first empire and the rise of Buddhism.
  • The revival of Persia: the period of Sassanid rule.
  • What were the key reforms during the Song dynasty?
  • Lost empires: Khmer, Pagan, Dai Viet.
  • The Persian war and Athenian progress .
  • The rise of the Ottoman Empire .
  • The age of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent .
  • Why was the Tang dynasty considered China’s golden age?
  • The tribes of the steppes: Scythians and Kushans.
  • Antiquity: the Golden Age .
  • What were the major trading centers south of Sahara?
  • Palestine and the Crusades .
  • Women empowerment: role of women in Chinese society .
  • Constantinople : the capital of the Byzantine Empire.
  • The rise and fall of Babylonia.
  • Baghdad as the Islamic world in 8th-11th centuries
  • The cities and civilization in the Indus Valley .
  • The cultures of South America and Mesoamerica: Maya , Zapotec, and Nazca.
  • What were the three kingdoms of ancient Egypt ?
  • How did the Islamic faith spread around the world?
  • How were the islands of the South Pacific colonized?
  • Bastet the Goddess and her role in Egyptian history .
  • Japan’s “great peace”: the Edo period.
  • Japan’s development of a unique cultural identity during the period of isolation.
  • The “prosperous age” of China and the tree emperors.
  • India: the jewel in the crown of the British Empire.
  • What were the high and low points of the Byzantine Empire under the Palaiologan dynasty?
  • The Seven Years War: the first global conflict.
  • How did Europeans colonize the African continent?
  • The Young Turks revolt.
  • How and why were Africans sent to work in colonial plantations?
  • The rise and fall of Assyrian civilization.
  • The Soviet rule: collectivization, industrialization, and oppression.
  • How did the former colonies in the Middle East and Southeast Asia assert their independent rule?
  • The State of Israel : its foundation and effects on the Middle East.
  • The foundation of the Islamic state of Iran.
  • The end of the system of Apartheid.
  • Tiger economy and the economic boom in Asia.
  • What are the reasons behind Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Over Jerusalem?
  • How did the Soviet satellite states become independent?
  • The Hanging Gardens of Babylon – truth or myth?
  • Delhi Sultanate: the great Islamic state in India.
  • Pre-Columbian Americas: Aztecs and Incas .
  • The struggle for freedom in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies.
  • Opium Wars and other conflicts between Britain and China.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev and the collapse of the USSR.
  • Protests Theatre role in Apartheid South Africa .
  • What factors led to the Yugoslav wars?
  • The colonization process of New France .
  • Oil crisis in the Middle East.

🏰 European History Research Topics

Europe is the cradle of modern civilization. From the Roman Empire to the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution – the history of Europe is vibrant and colorful. The countries of Europe are very diverse, yet many leaders attempted to unify them. Discover how geography and definition of Europe changed over time!

Europe is the cradle of modern civilization.

  • The philosophy of Niccolo Machiavelli is an excellent topic for history students. Discover the individual whose name inspired the term “Machiavellian.” You can also include the analysis of some “machiavellian” characters.
  • Great artists of the Renaissance period is a fun history topic to research. It can be even better if you make a presentation to accompany your essay!
  • Marie-Antoinette is a fascinating person. You can choose to study her public image or her role in the Revolution.
  • Another topic related to the French Revolution is Maximillian Robespierre and the Terror. The Reign of Terror was a period of massacres and executions. It’s an example of what fear and paranoia can lead to.
  • Or you can research the question why was Louis IV known as the Sun King? Learn how he transformed France into one of the most powerful countries in Europe. You could also discuss Versailles in your essay.
  • Choose “ How did Bismarck unite Germany ?” as the topic of your essay and discuss the policies of the Iron Chancellor. See how his policies influenced both World Wars.
  • Alternatively, you could write about Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt. Learn how it influenced Egyptian language studies and more!
  • Bastille Day is an essential date in the history of France. Discuss how the Bastille fortress became a symbol of Liberty.
  • What was the role of Joan of Arc in the Hundred Years War? is one of the best history research paper topics. Joan of Arc ‘s charisma helped her lead the French army to victory. Despite her tragic demise, she continues to be celebrated today.
  • Voyages of Ferdinand Magellan can be an exciting topic for your essay. Discuss the impact of Magellan’s explorations, his background, and more!

Here are some other ideas of European history research topics:

  • The policies of Cesare Borgia.
  • Mercantilism in Europe
  • Medici family and their impact on the Renaissance.
  • What philosophical movements triggered the Renaissance?
  • What were the characteristics of the Third French Republic?
  • The effects of French Revolution on European peasantry .
  • What was the influence of the Communist Manifesto ?
  • Scientific discoveries of the Renaissance period.
  • Why was Galileo Galilei accused of heresy?
  • What made Pope Alexander VI controversial?
  • The War of 1812 .
  • Torquemada: the great inquisitor.
  • What was the legacy of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile ?
  • The creation of Austria-Hungary.
  • Rise and fall of the Carolingian Empire.
  • Great Viking leaders: Leif Erickson and Eric the Red.
  • What are the characteristics of Gothic art and architecture?
  • Renaissance and Ancient Greece : a comparison.
  • What were the first universities in Europe?
  • Why is Charlemagne considered “the father of Europe”?
  • Feudalism and social hierarchy in medieval Europe.
  • What were the achievements of St. Thomas Aquinas ?
  • Enlightenment in philosophy, politics, and art.
  • What led to the emergence of Romanticism ?
  • Ludwig II of Bavaria: the Fairy Tale king.
  • Great composers of the 18th century: Mozart, Bach, Beethoven .
  • Peter the Great and Catherine II: cultural revolution of the Russian Empire.
  • Legacy of the Crusades .
  • How was printing invented?
  • Spain under the reign of the Bourbon kings.
  • How Prussia influenced the history of Germany?
  • Turkish war: background and consequences.
  • Why did Napoleon lose the battle of Waterloo?

💂 British History Research Topics

The history of the United Kingdom begins in 1707. However, the nations have existed on the British Isles long before that. Many invasions, wars, and revolutions have shaped Britain as we know it today. There is plenty of interesting research topics in the history of the UK. Learn about major events or study the lives of extraordinary people – the choice is yours!

Oscar Wilde quote.

  • Paston family letters is a fascinating topic for a history research paper. The first-hand account of a family surviving the Plague offers a unique glimpse into the past.
  • Alternatively, you can study Henry V: myth and facts. See how literary works and propaganda shaped the public’s perception of the king.
  • Perhaps you would like to learn about the origins of everyday things. The King’s Posts is an interesting topic concerning the beginning of the English Mail and postage system as we know it.
  • Another great topic is the marriages of King Henry VIII. Learn the fate of all six wives: from Catherine of Aragon to Catherine Parr.
  • Or you can write an essay about one of Henry VIII’s wives. For example, Anne Boleyn in popular culture is an interesting topic that lets you explore the real person behind the myths.
  • Princess Diana’s influence on British culture is an intriguing topic. Explore the legacy of Diana and charitable acts that made her a legend.
  • > What if the Gunpowder Plot didn’t fail? can be the theme of an exciting essay for college students. Study the available theories and formulate a what-if scenario.
  • Highland Clearances is an important and controversial topic. See why many people were dispossessed of their land, and what is the cultural impact of the evictions.
  • Another good history topic for a research paper about Scotland is Edinburg: the Athens of the North. See how Edinburg grew from a small town into one of the most important cities in Britain.
  • Margaret Thatcher’s influence in 20th century Britain was immense. Still, her legacy remains controversial. Present your point of view on the Iron Lady in an essay!

Here are some other ideas of British history research paper topics:

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  • What is the difference between the English Law before and after Henry II? 
  • Normans and their reforms. 
  • Humanities and justice in Britain during 18th century  
  • What tactics were used by William of Normandy during the Battle of Hastings ? 
  • The creation of Magna Carta. 
  • King John and Richard I : the “good” king and the “bad” king. 
  • How did the Hundred Years War change England? 
  • Political influence of William Shakespeare in XVI century in England . 
  • What led the crisis of authority during the reign of Richard II? 
  • Marriage of Margaret Tudor and James IV: what were the long-term consequences? 
  • How and why did England become Protestant? 
  • English colonization in the 18th century . 
  • How did Mary I earn the nickname “Bloody Mary”? 
  • What was Elizabeth I’s approach to religion? 
  • Characteristics of the Elizabethan Era. 
  • What makes Oliver Cromwell a pivotal figure in the history of England?  
  • The public’s reaction to the execution of Charles I. 
  • The Great London Fire and its aftermath. 
  • What caused the Glorious Revolution? 
  • What were the tactics used by the commanders of three armies at the battle of Waterloo? 
  • Admiral Nelson and Battle of Trafalgar: consequences and legacy. 
  • Britain’s reaction to the French Revolution . 
  • British Empire in the East. 
  • How did the industrial revolution cause social reforms in Britain? 
  • Industrial revolution and its effects on British workers’ lives . 
  • British Naval supremacy during the Victorian Era. 
  • What caused the Potato Famine in Ireland? 
  • How did the Crimean War influence World War I ? 
  • The Home Rule movement in Ireland. 
  • Urbanization and rural exodus in Victorian England. 
  • How did women’s status in Britain change after World War I ? 
  • Winston Churchill : a politician, a soldier, a hero. 
  • The role of Britain in World War II. 
  • Britain as a member of EU. 

📜 Topics in History of Ancient World (before 1500)

This section includes ideas for history research papers starting from ancient civilizations up to the pre-modern era. At that time, many cultures had their “golden age” epochs. Ancient Greece and Egypt, the Roman Empire, Mesoamerica, and the Byzantine Empire still fascinate us today. Discover for yourself some of the greatest civilizations of the past!

Ancient egypt hieroglyphics.

  • Probably the most interesting subject in ancient history is Egypt. For example, you can write about the Old Kingdom of Egypt – an epoch known as the “Age of Pyramids.” 
  • Or you can write about the iconic personalities of ancient Egypt, such as Imhotep. He was not only an outstanding architect, but also a priest, a poet, a physician, and an astronomer! 
  • Science and technology of ancient Egypt is a great essay topic in itself. The inventions and scientific achievements of ancient Egyptians continue to fascinate us even today. 
  • Besides, their civilization was very progressive when it comes to gender roles. Write an essay about women in ancient Egypt and discover it for yourself! 
  • Another iconic civilization of that period is ancient Greece. You can choose to write about the beginning of Greek culture – the Mycenaean civilization and its mythology. 
  • Or you can discuss the Golden Age of Greece: science and philosophy in your essay. Democracy, drama, history, atomic universe theory – ancient Greece is the birthplace it all! 
  • Sparta and its fighters is a fascinating essay topic. Learn about the legendary Spartans, their society, and their military. 
  • Or perhaps you would like to learn about another great civilization, the Roman Empire. Choose several great leaders of ancient Rome (for example, Julius Caesar , Pompey the Great, and Marcus Antonius) and compare their policies. 
  • In an essay about Pompeii before the volcano eruption, you can discuss the daily life of ancient Romans . See what discoveries were made on the richest archaeological site in the world. 
  • There were also other civilizations with an exciting history in the ancient world. Hammurabi : the conqueror of Mesopotamia is an excellent topic for high school history essay. Learn about his Code that served as a blueprint for many civilizations. 
  • Or you can write about Phoenicians as traders. See what helped Phoenicia become one of the greatest trading powers of its time! 
  • You could even write an essay about the production and trading of chocolate in Mesoamerica! Chocolate was immensely popular across the Americas. It was often enjoyed as a drink and even used as a form of currency. 
  • Tartessos and its culture is a fascinating history essay topic. Discover the place that gave rise to the legend of El Dorado. 
  • You could also write about the Akkadian Empire during the reign of Sargon the Great. Sargon came from a humble background. Learn how he rose to power and created the first multinational empire in history. 
  • Women rulers of the ancient world can be the topic of an excellent essay. Hatshepsut , Cleopatra, Semiramis – these outstanding women changed history and became legendary. 

Here are some other ideas of history research paper topics before 1500:

  • Ancient Rome: economy and trade. 
  • The murder of Caligula: what were the circumstances? 
  • Who were the five “Good Emperors” of Rome?  
  • What was the role of trade contacts in Greek colonization? 
  • Women in ancient Greek society . 
  • Ancient explorers: Hanno, Polybius , and others. 
  • The fall of Jerusalem and its consequences. 
  • Antiquity: the Golden Age . 
  • Akhenaten and the Amarna Period. 
  • How did Amenhotep IV reform Egyptian religion? 
  • Wari civilization and their art. 
  • The Lost City of Atlantis . 
  • Vandals and the fall of Rome. 
  • Battle of AlQadisiyyah  
  • How and where did the Vikings travel? 
  • What were the main attributes of ancient Chinese philosophy? 
  • What was the importance of the Olympic Games ? 
  • First Punic war: causes and consequences. 
  • The foundation of the Caliphate . 
  • The destruction and re-development of Carthage. 
  • Achaemenid Empire under the reign of Cyrus II. 
  • The Arab conquest of Egypt. 
  • Cambodia: the Angkor period. 
  • How did Harold I unify Norway? 
  • Rurik and the founding of Russia. 
  • How did Boleslav I turn Poland into one of the most powerful nations at the time? 
  • What was the origin of Christianity? 
  • Alexius I and the First Crusade. 
  • Who was Leonidas I of Sparta? 
  • The amazing life of Telemachus  
  • The rise and fall of Gauda Kingdom. 
  • What was the role of Corinth in the ancient world? 
  • The Koryo Dynasty and the unification of Korea. 
  • Why did the Second Crusade end in a disaster? 
  • Valdemar II: the expansion of the Danish Empire. 
  • What were the possible causes of the Bronze Age Collapse? 
  • Korea: the Three Kingdoms period. 
  • Confucius and his philosophy. 
  • The Umayyad-Hashemite civil war and the birth of the Sunni-Shiite islamic schism . 
  • What did Alexander the Great do for the popularization of Greek culture? 
  • The architecture of Toltec civilization. 
  • What is “ the great migration ”? 
  • What was the usage of Circus Maximus? 
  • Ptolemaic dynasty: Greek monarchs in Egypt. 
  • Sumerian religion and mythology. 
  • The early history of Franks. 
  • The Hatti and their culture. 
  • Why is Justinian I considered one of the greatest Byzantine emperors? 
  • The Lombard kingdom under the reign of Alboin. 
  • How did the Roman Republic become the Roman Empire? 
  • Rome from 140 BCE to the reign of Octavian  
  • Octavian : the first and greatest Roman emperor. 
  • Etruscan society, religion, and art. 

🏭 Topics in History of Modern World

From the late medieval period up to the 19th century – modern history covers a period of intense development and industrialization. Old civilization fell, and new ones replaced them. Almost every major country faced a revolution, and the standard of living around the world started to grow rapidly. There are many good history topics to research – choose one for yourself!

Andre Maurois quote.

  • How the Aztec military compared to the Spanish army? is an interesting essay question that can help you in better understanding Mesoamerican culture. Aztecs had a complex military structure and tactics specific only to them. 
  • Witch hunts in England and America is an interesting essay topic. You can also include your opinions on why witches were usually women. 
  • Discussion of positive and negative outcomes of the Columbian Exchange can be a basis for an excellent essay. 
  • Re-evaluation or Greek and Roman texts by Humanist authors is a topic concerned with philosophy and art. You can include an analysis of authors such as Petrarch and Machiavelli and discuss the influence if classical texts in their works. 
  • Or you can focus on the daily lives of people from the past. Food and diet during the Industrial Revolution can be an interesting health topic. (This includes changes in people’s health.) 
  • You can choose to write about the Golden age of piracy and learn the truth about one of the most romanticized periods in the history of early modern Europe. 
  • Or choose life in the Wild West as the topic of your history essay and see if the popular perception of the era is accurate. 
  • Thomas More’s Utopia and its legacy is an interesting topic for history research paper. Learn about the origins of Utopia and how it influenced the Communism in the 20th century. 
  • The Great Famine was a turning point in Irish history. Study the aftermath of the Great Famine and see how it influenced rebel movements in Ireland. 
  • Alternatively, you can write about extraordinary people from the modern era. For example, the childhood of Elizabeth I includes the education and upbringing of the future Queen, as well as the development of her qualities as the nation’s leader. 
  • Lucrezia Borgia is a prominent historical figure whose legacy is now being reevaluated. You can explore popular myths about Lucrezia Borgia and see if they have any factual basis. 
  • You can focus your research on great explorers, such as David Livingstone : a missionary in Africa . He greatly influenced the popular perception of Africa in positive as well as negative ways. 
  • Another good topic for a history research paper is the social impact of the Little Ice Age . Learn how emerging cultures survived in a colder climate, and what psychological effects the Little Ice Age had on people. 
  • The Dutch East India Company is an interesting example of an early corporation. See how it pioneered business practices that we still use today. It’s a good topic for International Studies students. 
  • Russia in the 17th century was a multiconfessional and multiethnic country. You can write about the exploration of Siberia and other ways by which Russia was expanding its territory. 

Here are some other ideas of modern world history research paper topics:

  • The history of London Underground. 
  • What factors brought about the Age of Enlightenment ? 
  • Mona Lisa and Renaissance humanism  
  • Muhammad Ali of Egypt and his modernizing reforms. 
  • Nationalism in 18th century Europe  
  • The French in Vietnam : reasons and aftermath of the conquest. 
  • Key features of the Commercial Revolution. 
  • History: the decline of Rome in the 3rd century  
  • How did the spice trade shape the modern world? 
  • The impacts of war on social development in Europe between 1500 and 1815 . 
  • Technology that influenced the Age of Exploration. 
  • The impacts of peinted press on European society . 
  • Isolation policies of Ming Dynasty: causes and consequences. 
  • What’s the difference between shogunates and the “ Tokugawa period” in Japan? 
  • Culture and science in the Mughal Empire. 
  • Patriots: The rebellions in Lower Canada 1837-38  
  • The use of elephantry during the battle of Plassey. 
  • What caused the Protestant Reformation ? 
  • The role of gunpowder in wars during the modern period. 
  • Inquisition and censorship. 
  • The role of indulgences in religious life during the Middle Ages. 
  • Abolition of slavery in the US. 
  • Characteristics of serfdom in Russia. 
  • Ivan the Terrible : the first Tsar of Russia. 
  • What were the reasons behind Alexander II’s assassination? 
  • Frankfurt Parliament and the concept of Germania. 
  • What led to the decline of Spain in the 17th century? 
  • What caused the economic and social decline of Venice? 
  • What was the role of merchants in Europe’s development? 
  • The Paris Commune: the world’s first socialist government. 
  • The reforms of Maria Theresa. 
  • The assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  
  • What caused the Russian peasant uprising of 1773? 
  • How did Martin Luther influence the Great Peasant Revolt of 1525? 
  • How did Darwin’s theory of evolution affect society? 
  • How was the Spanish Armada defeated? 
  • The fall of the Habsburg dynasty. 
  • Cromwell and the Puritan Revolution. 
  • The consequences of the serfdom abolition in Russia. 
  • Russian anarchism and its legacy. 
  • Absolute monarchy in Germany and its decline. 

📡 Historical Topics on the 20 th Century

The last century of the second millennium saw many drastic changes. They directly influenced our contemporary world. On the one hand, there were the World Wars, revolutions, pandemics, and nuclear disasters. On the other hand, we had new technology, human rights activism, and a high standard of living. Choose the best 20th century research topic for your essay!

Just 13.00 10.40/page , and you can get an custom-written academic paper according to your instructions

P. J. O'Rourke quote.

  • During the Gandhi-led revolt against British rule, the police attacked the unarmed crowd. See how Mahatma Gandhi and his followers managed to emerge victoriously. 
  • Stalin’s collectivization policy was aimed at increasing of the food supply. It turned out to be a disaster that severely damaged Soviet agriculture. Discuss why it happened in your essay. 
  • The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the event that triggered World War I. You can write about the reasons and the consequences of the murder in your essay. 
  • Similarly, the assassination of King Carlos of Portugal was carried out in hopes of provoking a revolution. See why it didn’t work out as planned. 
  • World War I was a devastating conflict that forever changed Europe. Its course was strongly influenced by the first battle of Marne. Write an essay about how it stopped the advance of Germany. 
  • Or you can choose another battle, such as the Second battle of Ypres, during which poison gas was used for the first time. 
  • One of the best 20th century European history research paper topics is the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Learn about the reasons behind these conflicts. (You can include the definition of IRA and “low-level war.”) 
  • History department students can write a great essay on the aftermath of Pearl Harbor . Initially, Japan considered the attack a successful move. In reality, it doomed them to defeat. 
  • Juan Peron and Evita is a very interesting topic. See how Evita helped her husband become immensely popular, and discuss the influence of Peronism. 
  • Communism propaganda is another fascinating topic. The promotion of communist ideology was carried out in many forms. Discuss its influence on society. Use a presentation to illustrate your points. 
  • Instead, you could write about anti-communist propaganda. Discuss where it comes from and its effects on Western society. 
  • Another topic closely connected with the Cold War is the contacts between USSR and the USA after 1945. Study the events when the leaders of the two countries visited each other. Describe how the relations changed over time. 
  • The Cuban missile crisis was an event that almost triggered a nuclear war. Write an essay about it and learn how the conflict was resolved. 
  • The most notable atomic bomb explosion is an important topic connected with the current issues. Trinity test, Operation Crossroads, and Japan explosions changed the world forever. Discuss if it’s possible to justify these events. 
  • A closely connected topic is the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl . Learn about the factors that led to the tragedy, and discuss its long-term consequences. 

Here are some other ideas of 20th century research topics:

  • How did the union between Norway and Sweden end? 
  • The Senkaku islands territorial disputes . 
  • What were the consequences of Fidel Castro signing a friendship treaty with the USSR? 
  • The policies of Nikita Khrushchev . 
  • The art of the Weimar Republic . 
  • The “watershed” history moments between 1960 and 1990 . 
  • History of postmodernism . 
  • What were the consequences of Germany’s invasion of Belgium? 
  • The Velvet Revolution and the aftermath of Communism. 
  • Why are the Nuremberg Trials considered to be the greatest trials in history? 
  • Che Guevara’s biography and revolutionary path . 
  • The legacy of Che Guevara . 
  • History of post WWII . 
  • India’s nuclear weapons program. 
  • How did the US react to the launch of Sputnik? 
  • Cuban missile crisis and its aftermath. 
  • The Arab defeat reasons in the 1967 War  
  • What were the ambitions of the Nazi party during World War II? 
  • Zionism and anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany . 
  • Nazi propaganda in cinematography . 
  • How was the European Union formed? 
  • Invasion of Poland: the beginning of World War II. 
  • Social and economic Life in the Soviet Union during the 1930s . 
  • How did the dissatisfaction with the Treaty of Versailles impact Mussolini’s rise to power? 
  • What’s the difference between the Red and White Russian Army? 
  • Concentration camps and “Death Camps”: a comparison. 
  • What caused the Beer Hall Putsch? 
  • U.S atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki . 
  • What factors helped spread Communist ideology across the world? 
  • Night of the Long Knives and Hitler ‘s rise to power. 
  • Mao Zedong and Maoism. 
  • What events led to the Kashmir Crisis? 
  • Fall of the Berlin wall : what was the immediate effect? 
  • Kosovo war and propaganda. 
  • South Pole expeditions: Roald Amundsen. 
  • The invention of the PC and the Internet . 
  • What was the role of Lawrence of Arabia in the Arab Revolt? 
  • Francois Mitterrand: legacy and controversies. 
  • What was the political atmosphere during the 1936 Olympic Games? 
  • What factors led to the Communist victory in China? 
  • The consequences of civil war in El Salvador . 
  • 1968 student revolts. 
  • Kristallnacht and the world’s response to it. 
  • What is the difference between Fascism and National Socialism? 

🔝 20 History Research Questions

Research questions are derived from research topics. You answer the research question in an essay or paper.

Broad questions can be used for theses, Ph.D. dissertations, and proposals. Narrow questions fit better for essays. You can also use them to prepare for AP US essays. Research questions can be focused on different aspects:

  • What caused a historical event,
  • The consequences of an event,
  • The origin of something,
  • The role of a particular person in history,
  • The cultural context of an event, etc.

Here is the list of top 20 history research questions for you to choose from:

  • What was the role of Alexander the Great in the creation of the modern world? 
  • What was the importance of Roman Peace? 
  • What impact has Christianity had on Western culture? 
  • How did the Plague influence European society? 
  • How was Constantinople conquered? 
  • In what ways did the Renaissance improve life in Europe? 
  • Why is the Printing Press considered one of the greatest inventions? 
  • What were the positive and negative sides of the Protestant Reformation ? 
  • Why did Europe eventually lose control over its colonies? 
  • In what ways did the American Revolution inspire other countries ? 
  • How did the French Revolution influence the Enlightenment? 
  • What would have happened in the North lost the Civil War ? 
  • What challenges did the Industrial Revolution provide for lower classes? 
  • How did the Medical Revolution change the world? 
  • What aspects of the industrial Revolution triggered World War I? 
  • What factors led to the popularity of Communism in Russia? 
  • How did the Great Depression influence World War II? 
  • Why was Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party popular in 1930s Germany ? 
  • What is the Iron Curtain , and why was it created? 
  • In what ways did Space Race advance technology? 

🤔 Historical Topics FAQ

The importance of history can’t be underestimated. It plays a crucial in understanding other cultures as well as our own. It teaches us to think, compare, and draw conclusions. It provides us with role models and examples of how to manage societies. Besides, it covers every single facet of life, from art and television to sports and video games. That’s why history is not only important but also relatable and fun.

  • Choose a topic that will be interesting for you to research.
  • Decide on a solid historical argument.
  • Formulate a thesis statement.
  • Find reliable sources and study them from a critical standpoint.
  • Make an outline for your paper.
  • Write the first draft.
  • When you quote, cite your sources correctly.
  • Proofread and write the final draft.
  • Find reliable resources and analyze them.
  • Describe the imagery of the artwork
  • Provide a brief analysis of imagery or symbolism.
  • Describe the stylistic category to which the artwork belongs.
  • Write about the time in which the artwork was created.
  • Discuss how it relates to the author’s life.
  • Discuss the place of the artwork in a broader historical context.
  • Choose your subject.
  • Formulate your thesis statement.
  • Find credible sources, biographies, and articles.
  • Write a draft plan.
  • Describe the formative years of the historical person.
  • Discuss their most important achievements that relate to your thesis statement.
  • Include particularly interesting lesser-known facts about them.
  • Describe their legacy and impact.
  • Write a conclusion.
  • Proofread your paper.

Primary sources relate directly to the subject of the study. This includes art, literature, and documents from that period. Primary sources are created at the time of the event, usually by people who participated in the event. The best examples of primary source documents would be diaries, interviews, and letters.

Secondary sources are the sources created after the time of the event. They are usually scientific, written from a historical point of view, and include evaluation of the information derived from the primary sources. The best examples of secondary source documents would include academic analyses, research papers, reviews, critiques, scientific journals, biographies, and encyclopedias.

You might also be interested in:

  • 280 Good Nursing Research Topics & Questions
  • 226 Research Topics on Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • 204 Research Topics on Technology & Computer Science
  • 178 Best Research Titles about Cookery & Food
  • 180 Best Education Research Topics & Ideas
  • 110+ Micro- & Macroeconomics Research Topics
  • 417 Business Research Topics for ABM Students
  • 190+ Research Topics on Psychology & Communication
  • 512 Research Topics on HumSS
  • 281 Best Health & Medical Research Topics
  • 501 Research Questions & Titles about Science
  • A List of Research Topics for Students. Unique and Interesting
  • Good Research Topics, Titles and Ideas for Your Paper

🔎 References

  • Databases for Research & Education: Gale
  • Topics: History
  • Historical Research Capabilities: UCLA History
  • 25 Most Important Events In History: List 25
  • How to Write a History Research Paper: Carleton
  • Historic Places and the Inquiry Method: National Park Service
  • Historical narrative: Britannica
  • Historical Research: Oxford Academic
  • Introduction to Historical Research: UW Libraries
  • Tools and techniques for historical research: University of Cambridge
  • Historical Research – Checklist: History Detectives
  • Studies in History: SAGE Journals
  • History Research: Science PG
  • History: Academia
  • Databases for History & Culture Research: Smithsonian Libraries
  • Writing a Good History Paper: Hamilton
  • Research: Cornell, the Department of History
  • History Research Areas: McGill
  • Research Areas: History Department, Vanderbilt University
  • Areas od Study: Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine, Indiana University Bloomington
  • U.S. History and Historical Documents: US Government
  • Colonial North America: Harvard Library
  • United States of America: Topics (Colorado State University)
  • European History: ThoughtCo.
  • The history of the European Union: EU Official Website
  • The history of British slave ownership has been buried: now its scale can be revealed (The Guardian)
  • Women Creating Change (Before 1500): Albany
  • The 20th century: Khan Academy
  • Timeline of 20th and 21th century wars: Imperial War Museum
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Published since 1923,  Historical Research , flagship publication of the  Institute of Historical Research , is a leading generalist history journal, covering the global history of the early middle ages to the twenty-first century...

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Latest tweets, on history blog, gender and bathing in antiquity , bibliography of british and irish history: october 2023 update , the bloomsbury | ihr inclusive histories initiative 2023 award, vch outstanding contribution awards 2023, researching black british history, race, and ethnicity in the bibliography of british and irish history, the annual pollard prize, about the prize.

The Pollard Prize is awarded annually for the best paper presented at an Institute of Historical Research seminar by a postgraduate student or by a researcher within one year of completing the PhD. The prize is supported by Oxford University Press.

Find out more about the prize and eligibility requirements on the IHR website .

2021 prize winners

Congratulations to Merve Fejzula for winning the Annual Pollard Prize for 2021 with their paper 'Toward a History of Intellectual Labor: Gender, Negritude, and the Black Public Sphere.' Congratulations also to runner up Lucy Clarke  for their paper '"I say I must for I am the King’s shrieve": magistrates invoking the monarch’s name in 1 Henry VI (1592) and The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntingdon (1598)'.

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Research Databases

Developed to meet the increasing demands of scholarly research, Academic Search Ultimate offers students an unprecedented collection of peer-reviewed, full-text journals, including many journals indexed in leading citation indexes.

America: History and Life is the definitive index of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. Indexing hundreds of journals, it is an invaluable bibliographic database for history students. 

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Historical Abstracts is the definitive index of literature covering world history (excluding the United States and Canada) from the 15th century to the present.

Historical Abstracts with Full Text Alumni Edition offers graduates a useful database for post-college historical research. Covering world history (excluding the United States and Canada) from the 15th century to the present, it includes key full-text history journals, plus useful features such as the ability to search by time period.

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From the New-York Historical Society, Civil War Primary Source Documents is an archive of unique manuscripts chronicling the American Civil War as it was experienced. Providing both Northern and Southern perspectives, it covers all aspects of the war, including reactions and impressions from the home front. 

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Orderly Books were the controlling document of day-to-day military life. Revolutionary War Era Orderly Books from the New-York Historical Society is a unique archive of Orderly Books from between 1748 and 1817. It includes thousands of pages of primary source material providing valuable information about soldiers' lives. 

European Views of the Americas: 1493 to 1750 is a free archive of indexed publications related to the Americas and written in Europe before 1750. It includes thousands of valuable primary source records covering the history of European exploration as well as portrayals of Native American peoples.

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing Historical Research [without getting hysterical!] In addition to being a scholarly investigation, research is a social activity intended to create new knowledge. Historical research is your informed response to the questions that you ask while examining the record of human experience. These questions may concern such elements as looking at an event or topic, examining events that lead to the event in question, social influences, key players, and other contextual information. This step-by-step guide progresses from an introduction to historical resources to information about how to identify a topic, craft a thesis and develop a research paper. Table of contents: The Range and Richness of Historical Sources Secondary Sources Primary Sources Historical Analysis What is it? Who, When, Where, What and Why: The Five "W"s Topic, Thesis, Sources Definition of Terms Choose a Topic Craft a Thesis Evaluate Thesis and Sources A Variety of Information Sources Take Efficient Notes Note Cards Thinking, Organizing, Researching Parenthetical Documentation Prepare a Works Cited Page Drafting, Revising, Rewriting, Rethinking For Further Reading: Works Cited Additional Links So you want to study history?! Tons of help and links Slatta Home Page Use the Writing and other links on the lefhand menu I. The Range and Richness of Historical Sources Back to Top Every period leaves traces, what historians call "sources" or evidence. Some are more credible or carry more weight than others; judging the differences is a vital skill developed by good historians. Sources vary in perspective, so knowing who created the information you are examining is vital. Anonymous doesn't make for a very compelling source. For example, an FBI report on the antiwar movement, prepared for U.S. President Richard Nixon, probably contained secrets that at the time were thought to have affected national security. It would not be usual, however, for a journalist's article about a campus riot, featured in a local newspaper, to leak top secret information. Which source would you read? It depends on your research topic. If you're studying how government officials portrayed student activists, you'll want to read the FBI report and many more documents from other government agencies such as the CIA and the National Security Council. If you're investigating contemporary opinion of pro-war and anti-war activists, local newspaper accounts provide a rich resource. You'd want to read a variety of newspapers to ensure you're covering a wide range of opinions (rural/urban, left/right, North/South, Soldier/Draft-dodger, etc). Historians classify sources into two major categories: primary and secondary sources. Secondary Sources Back to Top Definition: Secondary sources are created by someone who was either not present when the event occurred or removed from it in time. We use secondary sources for overview information, to familiarize ourselves with a topic, and compare that topic with other events in history. In refining a research topic, we often begin with secondary sources. This helps us identify gaps or conflicts in the existing scholarly literature that might prove promsing topics. Types: History books, encyclopedias, historical dictionaries, and academic (scholarly) articles are secondary sources. To help you determine the status of a given secondary source, see How to identify and nagivate scholarly literature . Examples: Historian Marilyn Young's (NYU) book about the Vietnam War is a secondary source. She did not participate in the war. Her study is not based on her personal experience but on the evidence she culled from a variety of sources she found in the United States and Vietnam. Primary Sources Back to Top Definition: Primary sources emanate from individuals or groups who participated in or witnessed an event and recorded that event during or immediately after the event. They include speeches, memoirs, diaries, letters, telegrams, emails, proclamations, government documents, and much more. Examples: A student activist during the war writing about protest activities has created a memoir. This would be a primary source because the information is based on her own involvement in the events she describes. Similarly, an antiwar speech is a primary source. So is the arrest record of student protesters. A newspaper editorial or article, reporting on a student demonstration is also a primary source. II. Historical Analysis What is it? Back to Top No matter what you read, whether it's a primary source or a secondary source, you want to know who authored the source (a trusted scholar? A controversial historian? A propagandist? A famous person? An ordinary individual?). "Author" refers to anyone who created information in any medium (film, sound, or text). You also need to know when it was written and the kind of audience the author intend to reach. You should also consider what you bring to the evidence that you examine. Are you inductively following a path of evidence, developing your interpretation based on the sources? Do you have an ax to grind? Did you begin your research deductively, with your mind made up before even seeing the evidence. Historians need to avoid the latter and emulate the former. To read more about the distinction, examine the difference between Intellectual Inquirers and Partisan Ideologues . In the study of history, perspective is everything. A letter written by a twenty- year old Vietnam War protestor will differ greatly from a letter written by a scholar of protest movements. Although the sentiment might be the same, the perspective and influences of these two authors will be worlds apart. Practicing the " 5 Ws " will avoid the confusion of the authority trap. Who, When, Where, What and Why: The Five "W"s Back to Top Historians accumulate evidence (information, including facts, stories, interpretations, opinions, statements, reports, etc.) from a variety of sources (primary and secondary). They must also verify that certain key pieces of information are corroborated by a number of people and sources ("the predonderance of evidence"). The historian poses the " 5 Ws " to every piece of information he examines: Who is the historical actor? When did the event take place? Where did it occur? What did it entail and why did it happen the way it did? The " 5 Ws " can also be used to evaluate a primary source. Who authored the work? When was it created? Where was it created, published, and disseminated? Why was it written (the intended audience), and what is the document about (what points is the author making)? If you know the answers to these five questions, you can analyze any document, and any primary source. The historian doesn't look for the truth, since this presumes there is only one true story. The historian tries to understand a number of competing viewpoints to form his or her own interpretation-- what constitutes the best explanation of what happened and why. By using as wide a range of primary source documents and secondary sources as possible, you will add depth and richness to your historical analysis. The more exposure you, the researcher, have to a number of different sources and differing view points, the more you have a balanced and complete view about a topic in history. This view will spark more questions and ultimately lead you into the quest to unravel more clues about your topic. You are ready to start assembling information for your research paper. III. Topic, Thesis, Sources Definition of Terms Back to Top Because your purpose is to create new knowledge while recognizing those scholars whose existing work has helped you in this pursuit, you are honor bound never to commit the following academic sins: Plagiarism: Literally "kidnapping," involving the use of someone else's words as if they were your own (Gibaldi 6). To avoid plagiarism you must document direct quotations, paraphrases, and original ideas not your own. Recycling: Rehashing material you already know thoroughly or, without your professor's permission, submitting a paper that you have completed for another course. Premature cognitive commitment: Academic jargon for deciding on a thesis too soon and then seeking information to serve that thesis rather than embarking on a genuine search for new knowledge. Choose a Topic Back to Top "Do not hunt for subjects, let them choose you, not you them." --Samuel Butler Choosing a topic is the first step in the pursuit of a thesis. Below is a logical progression from topic to thesis: Close reading of the primary text, aided by secondary sources Growing awareness of interesting qualities within the primary text Choosing a topic for research Asking productive questions that help explore and evaluate a topic Creating a research hypothesis Revising and refining a hypothesis to form a working thesis First, and most important, identify what qualities in the primary or secondary source pique your imagination and curiosity and send you on a search for answers. Bloom's taxonomy of cognitive levels provides a description of productive questions asked by critical thinkers. While the lower levels (knowledge, comprehension) are necessary to a good history essay, aspire to the upper three levels (analysis, synthesis, evaluation). Skimming reference works such as encyclopedias, books, critical essays and periodical articles can help you choose a topic that evolves into a hypothesis, which in turn may lead to a thesis. One approach to skimming involves reading the first paragraph of a secondary source to locate and evaluate the author's thesis. Then for a general idea of the work's organization and major ideas read the first and last sentence of each paragraph. Read the conclusion carefully, as it usually presents a summary (Barnet and Bedau 19). Craft a Thesis Back to Top Very often a chosen topic is too broad for focused research. You must revise it until you have a working hypothesis, that is, a statement of an idea or an approach with respect to the source that could form the basis for your thesis. Remember to not commit too soon to any one hypothesis. Use it as a divining rod or a first step that will take you to new information that may inspire you to revise your hypothesis. Be flexible. Give yourself time to explore possibilities. The hypothesis you create will mature and shift as you write and rewrite your paper. New questions will send you back to old and on to new material. Remember, this is the nature of research--it is more a spiraling or iterative activity than a linear one. Test your working hypothesis to be sure it is: broad enough to promise a variety of resources. narrow enough for you to research in depth. original enough to interest you and your readers. worthwhile enough to offer information and insights of substance "do-able"--sources are available to complete the research. Now it is time to craft your thesis, your revised and refined hypothesis. A thesis is a declarative sentence that: focuses on one well-defined idea makes an arguable assertion; it is capable of being supported prepares your readers for the body of your paper and foreshadows the conclusion. Evaluate Thesis and Sources Back to Top Like your hypothesis, your thesis is not carved in stone. You are in charge. If necessary, revise it during the research process. As you research, continue to evaluate both your thesis for practicality, originality, and promise as a search tool, and secondary sources for relevance and scholarliness. The following are questions to ask during the research process: Are there many journal articles and entire books devoted to the thesis, suggesting that the subject has been covered so thoroughly that there may be nothing new to say? Does the thesis lead to stimulating, new insights? Are appropriate sources available? Is there a variety of sources available so that the bibliography or works cited page will reflect different kinds of sources? Which sources are too broad for my thesis? Which resources are too narrow? Who is the author of the secondary source? Does the critic's background suggest that he/she is qualified? After crafting a thesis, consider one of the following two approaches to writing a research paper: Excited about your thesis and eager to begin? Return to the primary or secondary source to find support for your thesis. Organize ideas and begin writing your first draft. After writing the first draft, have it reviewed by your peers and your instructor. Ponder their suggestions and return to the sources to answer still-open questions. Document facts and opinions from secondary sources. Remember, secondary sources can never substitute for primary sources. Confused about where to start? Use your thesis to guide you to primary and secondary sources. Secondary sources can help you clarify your position and find a direction for your paper. Keep a working bibliography. You may not use all the sources you record, but you cannot be sure which ones you will eventually discard. Create a working outline as you research. This outline will, of course, change as you delve more deeply into your subject. A Variety of Information Sources Back to Top "A mind that is stretched to a new idea never returns to its original dimension." --Oliver Wendell Holmes Your thesis and your working outline are the primary compasses that will help you navigate the variety of sources available. In "Introduction to the Library" (5-6) the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers suggests you become familiar with the library you will be using by: taking a tour or enrolling for a brief introductory lecture referring to the library's publications describing its resources introducing yourself and your project to the reference librarian The MLA Handbook also lists guides for the use of libraries (5), including: Jean Key Gates, Guide to the Use of Libraries and Information Sources (7th ed., New York: McGraw, 1994). Thomas Mann, A Guide to Library Research Methods (New York: Oxford UP, 1987). Online Central Catalog Most libraries have their holdings listed on a computer. The online catalog may offer Internet sites, Web pages and databases that relate to the university's curriculum. It may also include academic journals and online reference books. Below are three search techniques commonly used online: Index Search: Although online catalogs may differ slightly from library to library, the most common listings are by: Subject Search: Enter the author's name for books and article written about the author. Author Search: Enter an author's name for works written by the author, including collections of essays the author may have written about his/her own works. Title Search: Enter a title for the screen to list all the books the library carries with that title. Key Word Search/Full-text Search: A one-word search, e.g., 'Kennedy,' will produce an overwhelming number of sources, as it will call up any entry that includes the name 'Kennedy.' To focus more narrowly on your subject, add one or more key words, e.g., "John Kennedy, Peace Corps." Use precise key words. Boolean Search: Boolean Search techniques use words such as "and," "or," and "not," which clarify the relationship between key words, thus narrowing the search. Take Efficient Notes Back to Top Keeping complete and accurate bibliography and note cards during the research process is a time (and sanity) saving practice. If you have ever needed a book or pages within a book, only to discover that an earlier researcher has failed to return it or torn pages from your source, you understand the need to take good notes. Every researcher has a favorite method for taking notes. Here are some suggestions-- customize one of them for your own use. Bibliography cards There may be far more books and articles listed than you have time to read, so be selective when choosing a reference. Take information from works that clearly relate to your thesis, remembering that you may not use them all. Use a smaller or a different color card from the one used for taking notes. Write a bibliography card for every source. Number the bibliography cards. On the note cards, use the number rather than the author's name and the title. It's faster. Another method for recording a working bibliography, of course, is to create your own database. Adding, removing, and alphabetizing titles is a simple process. Be sure to save often and to create a back-up file. A bibliography card should include all the information a reader needs to locate that particular source for further study. Most of the information required for a book entry (Gibaldi 112): Author's name Title of a part of the book [preface, chapter titles, etc.] Title of the book Name of the editor, translator, or compiler Edition used Number(s) of the volume(s) used Name of the series Place of publication, name of the publisher, and date of publication Page numbers Supplementary bibliographic information and annotations Most of the information required for an article in a periodical (Gibaldi 141): Author's name Title of the article Name of the periodical Series number or name (if relevant) Volume number (for a scholarly journal) Issue number (if needed) Date of publication Page numbers Supplementary information For information on how to cite other sources refer to your So you want to study history page . Note Cards Back to Top Take notes in ink on either uniform note cards (3x5, 4x6, etc.) or uniform slips of paper. Devote each note card to a single topic identified at the top. Write only on one side. Later, you may want to use the back to add notes or personal observations. Include a topical heading for each card. Include the number of the page(s) where you found the information. You will want the page number(s) later for documentation, and you may also want page number(s)to verify your notes. Most novice researchers write down too much. Condense. Abbreviate. You are striving for substance, not quantity. Quote directly from primary sources--but the "meat," not everything. Suggestions for condensing information: Summary: A summary is intended to provide the gist of an essay. Do not weave in the author's choice phrases. Read the information first and then condense the main points in your own words. This practice will help you avoid the copying that leads to plagiarism. Summarizing also helps you both analyze the text you are reading and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses (Barnet and Bedau 13). Outline: Use to identify a series of points. Paraphrase, except for key primary source quotations. Never quote directly from a secondary source, unless the precise wording is essential to your argument. Simplify the language and list the ideas in the same order. A paraphrase is as long as the original. Paraphrasing is helpful when you are struggling with a particularly difficult passage. Be sure to jot down your own insights or flashes of brilliance. Ralph Waldo Emerson warns you to "Look sharply after your thoughts. They come unlooked for, like a new bird seen on your trees, and, if you turn to your usual task, disappear...." To differentiate these insights from those of the source you are reading, initial them as your own. (When the following examples of note cards include the researcher's insights, they will be followed by the initials N. R.) When you have finished researching your thesis and you are ready to write your paper, organize your cards according to topic. Notecards make it easy to shuffle and organize your source information on a table-- or across the floor. Maintain your working outline that includes the note card headings and explores a logical order for presenting them in your paper. IV. Begin Thinking, Researching, Organizing Back to Top Don't be too sequential. Researching, writing, revising is a complex interactive process. Start writing as soon as possible! "The best antidote to writer's block is--to write." (Klauser 15). However, you still feel overwhelmed and are staring at a blank page, you are not alone. Many students find writing the first sentence to be the most daunting part of the entire research process. Be creative. Cluster (Rico 28-49). Clustering is a form of brainstorming. Sometimes called a web, the cluster forms a design that may suggest a natural organization for a paper. Here's a graphical depiction of brainstorming . Like a sun, the generating idea or topic lies at the center of the web. From it radiate words, phrases, sentences and images that in turn attract other words, phrases, sentences and images. Put another way--stay focused. Start with your outline. If clustering is not a technique that works for you, turn to the working outline you created during the research process. Use the outline view of your word processor. If you have not already done so, group your note cards according to topic headings. Compare them to your outline's major points. If necessary, change the outline to correspond with the headings on the note cards. If any area seems weak because of a scarcity of facts or opinions, return to your primary and/or secondary sources for more information or consider deleting that heading. Use your outline to provide balance in your essay. Each major topic should have approximately the same amount of information. Once you have written a working outline, consider two different methods for organizing it. Deduction: A process of development that moves from the general to the specific. You may use this approach to present your findings. However, as noted above, your research and interpretive process should be inductive. Deduction is the most commonly used form of organization for a research paper. The thesis statement is the generalization that leads to the specific support provided by primary and secondary sources. The thesis is stated early in the paper. The body of the paper then proceeds to provide the facts, examples, and analogies that flow logically from that thesis. The thesis contains key words that are reflected in the outline. These key words become a unifying element throughout the paper, as they reappear in the detailed paragraphs that support and develop the thesis. The conclusion of the paper circles back to the thesis, which is now far more meaningful because of the deductive development that supports it. Chronological order A process that follows a traditional time line or sequence of events. A chronological organization is useful for a paper that explores cause and effect. Parenthetical Documentation Back to Top The Works Cited page, a list of primary and secondary sources, is not sufficient documentation to acknowledge the ideas, facts, and opinions you have included within your text. The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers describes an efficient parenthetical style of documentation to be used within the body of your paper. Guidelines for parenthetical documentation: "References to the text must clearly point to specific sources in the list of works cited" (Gibaldi 184). Try to use parenthetical documentation as little as possible. For example, when you cite an entire work, it is preferable to include the author's name in the text. The author's last name followed by the page number is usually enough for an accurate identification of the source in the works cited list. These examples illustrate the most common kinds of documentation. Documenting a quotation: Ex. "The separation from the personal mother is a particularly intense process for a daughter because she has to separate from the one who is the same as herself" (Murdock 17). She may feel abandoned and angry. Note: The author of The Heroine's Journey is listed under Works Cited by the author's name, reversed--Murdock, Maureen. Quoted material is found on page 17 of that book. Parenthetical documentation is after the quotation mark and before the period. Documenting a paraphrase: Ex. In fairy tales a woman who holds the princess captive or who abandons her often needs to be killed (18). Note: The second paraphrase is also from Murdock's book The Heroine's Journey. It is not, however, necessary to repeat the author's name if no other documentation interrupts the two. If the works cited page lists more than one work by the same author, include within the parentheses an abbreviated form of the appropriate title. You may, of course, include the title in your sentence, making it unnecessary to add an abbreviated title in the citation. > Prepare a Works Cited Page Back to Top There are a variety of titles for the page that lists primary and secondary sources (Gibaldi 106-107). A Works Cited page lists those works you have cited within the body of your paper. The reader need only refer to it for the necessary information required for further independent research. Bibliography means literally a description of books. Because your research may involve the use of periodicals, films, art works, photographs, etc. "Works Cited" is a more precise descriptive term than bibliography. An Annotated Bibliography or Annotated Works Cited page offers brief critiques and descriptions of the works listed. A Works Consulted page lists those works you have used but not cited. Avoid using this format. As with other elements of a research paper there are specific guidelines for the placement and the appearance of the Works Cited page. The following guidelines comply with MLA style: The Work Cited page is placed at the end of your paper and numbered consecutively with the body of your paper. Center the title and place it one inch from the top of your page. Do not quote or underline the title. Double space the entire page, both within and between entries. The entries are arranged alphabetically by the author's last name or by the title of the article or book being cited. If the title begins with an article (a, an, the) alphabetize by the next word. If you cite two or more works by the same author, list the titles in alphabetical order. Begin every entry after the first with three hyphens followed by a period. All entries begin at the left margin but subsequent lines are indented five spaces. Be sure that each entry cited on the Works Cited page corresponds to a specific citation within your paper. Refer to the the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (104- 182) for detailed descriptions of Work Cited entries. Citing sources from online databases is a relatively new phenomenon. Make sure to ask your professor about citing these sources and which style to use. V. Draft, Revise, Rewrite, Rethink Back to Top "There are days when the result is so bad that no fewer than five revisions are required. In contrast, when I'm greatly inspired, only four revisions are needed." --John Kenneth Galbraith Try freewriting your first draft. Freewriting is a discovery process during which the writer freely explores a topic. Let your creative juices flow. In Writing without Teachers , Peter Elbow asserts that "[a]lmost everybody interposes a massive and complicated series of editings between the time words start to be born into consciousness and when they finally come off the end of the pencil or typewriter [or word processor] onto the page" (5). Do not let your internal judge interfere with this first draft. Creating and revising are two very different functions. Don't confuse them! If you stop to check spelling, punctuation, or grammar, you disrupt the flow of creative energy. Create; then fix it later. When material you have researched comes easily to mind, include it. Add a quick citation, one you can come back to later to check for form, and get on with your discovery. In subsequent drafts, focus on creating an essay that flows smoothly, supports fully, and speaks clearly and interestingly. Add style to substance. Create a smooth flow of words, ideas and paragraphs. Rearrange paragraphs for a logical progression of information. Transition is essential if you want your reader to follow you smoothly from introduction to conclusion. Transitional words and phrases stitch your ideas together; they provide coherence within the essay. External transition: Words and phrases that are added to a sentence as overt signs of transition are obvious and effective, but should not be overused, as they may draw attention to themselves and away from ideas. Examples of external transition are "however," "then," "next," "therefore." "first," "moreover," and "on the other hand." Internal transition is more subtle. Key words in the introduction become golden threads when they appear in the paper's body and conclusion. When the writer hears a key word repeated too often, however, she/he replaces it with a synonym or a pronoun. Below are examples of internal transition. Transitional sentences create a logical flow from paragraph to paragraph. Iclude individual words, phrases, or clauses that refer to previous ideas and that point ahead to new ones. They are usually placed at the end or at the beginning of a paragraph. A transitional paragraph conducts your reader from one part of the paper to another. It may be only a few sentences long. Each paragraph of the body of the paper should contain adequate support for its one governing idea. Speak/write clearly, in your own voice. Tone: The paper's tone, whether formal, ironic, or humorous, should be appropriate for the audience and the subject. Voice: Keep you language honest. Your paper should sound like you. Understand, paraphrase, absorb, and express in your own words the information you have researched. Avoid phony language. Sentence formation: When you polish your sentences, read them aloud for word choice and word placement. Be concise. Strunk and White in The Elements of Style advise the writer to "omit needless words" (23). First, however, you must recognize them. Keep yourself and your reader interested. In fact, Strunk's 1918 writing advice is still well worth pondering. First, deliver on your promises. Be sure the body of your paper fulfills the promise of the introduction. Avoid the obvious. Offer new insights. Reveal the unexpected. Have you crafted your conclusion as carefully as you have your introduction? Conclusions are not merely the repetition of your thesis. The conclusion of a research paper is a synthesis of the information presented in the body. Your research has led you to conclusions and opinions that have helped you understand your thesis more deeply and more clearly. Lift your reader to the full level of understanding that you have achieved. Revision means "to look again." Find a peer reader to read your paper with you present. Or, visit your college or university's writing lab. Guide your reader's responses by asking specific questions. Are you unsure of the logical order of your paragraphs? Do you want to know whether you have supported all opinions adequately? Are you concerned about punctuation or grammar? Ask that these issues be addressed. You are in charge. Here are some techniques that may prove helpful when you are revising alone or with a reader. When you edit for spelling errors read the sentences backwards. This procedure will help you look closely at individual words. Always read your paper aloud. Hearing your own words puts them in a new light. Listen to the flow of ideas and of language. Decide whether or not the voice sounds honest and the tone is appropriate to the purpose of the paper and to your audience. Listen for awkward or lumpy wording. Find the one right word, Eliminate needless words. Combine sentences. Kill the passive voice. Eliminate was/were/is/are constructions. They're lame and anti-historical. Be ruthless. If an idea doesn't serve your thesis, banish it, even if it's one of your favorite bits of prose. In the margins, write the major topic of each paragraph. By outlining after you have written the paper, you are once again evaluating your paper's organization. OK, you've got the process down. Now execute! And enjoy! It's not everyday that you get to make history. VI. For Further Reading: Works Cited Back to Top Barnet, Sylvan, and Hugo Bedau. Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing: A Brief Guide to Argument. Boston: Bedford, 1993. Brent, Doug. Reading as Rhetorical Invention: Knowledge,Persuasion and the Teaching of Research-Based Writing. Urbana: NCTE, 1992. Elbow, Peter. Writing without Teachers. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973. Gibladi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 4th ed. New York: Modern Language Association, 1995. Horvitz, Deborah. "Nameless Ghosts: Possession and Dispossession in Beloved." Studies in American Fiction , Vol. 17, No. 2, Autum, 1989, pp. 157-167. Republished in the Literature Research Center. Gale Group. (1 January 1999). Klauser, Henriette Anne. Writing on Both Sides of the Brain: Breakthrough Techniques for People Who Write. Philadelphia: Harper, 1986. Rico, Gabriele Lusser. Writing the Natural Way: Using Right Brain Techniques to Release Your Expressive Powers. Los Angeles: Houghton, 1983. Sorenson, Sharon. The Research Paper: A Contemporary Approach. New York: AMSCO, 1994. Strunk, William, Jr., and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. 3rd ed. New York: MacMillan, 1979. Back to Top This guide adapted from materials published by Thomson Gale, publishers. For free resources, including a generic guide to writing term papers, see the Gale.com website , which also includes product information for schools.

How to Write a History Research Paper

  • How do I pick a topic?
  • But I can’t find any material…

Research Guide

Writing guide.

See also: How to Write a Good History Essay

1. How do I pick a topic?

Picking a topic is perhaps the most important step in writing a research paper. To do it well requires several steps of refinement. First you have to determine a general area in which you have an interest (if you aren’t interested, your readers won’t be either). 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. The next step is to narrow your topic. Are you interested in comparison? battles? social change? politics? causes? biography? Once you reach this stage try to formulate your research topic as a question. 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. You might turn that into the following question: “What are the primary values expressed in films of the 1930’s?” Or you might ask a quite different question, “What is the standard of living portrayed in films of the 1930’s?” 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. By asking yourself a question as a means of starting research on a topic you will help yourself find the answers. You also open the door to loading the evidence one way or another. It will help you decide what kinds of evidence might be pertinent to your question, and it can also twist perceptions of a topic. For example, if you ask a question about economics as motivation, you are not likely to learn much about ideals, and vice versa.

2. But I can’t find any material…

No one should pick a topic without trying to figure out how one could discover pertinent information, nor should anyone settle on a topic before getting some background information about the general area. These two checks should make sure your paper is in the realm of the possible. The trick of good research is detective work and imaginative thinking on how one can find information. First try to figure out what kinds of things you should know about a topic to answer your research question. Are there statistics? Do you need personal letters? What background information should be included? Then if you do not know how to find that particular kind of information, ASK . A reference librarian or professor is much more likely to be able to steer you to the right sources if you can ask a specific question such as “Where can I find statistics on the number of interracial marriages?” than if you say “What can you find on racial attitudes?”

Use the footnotes and bibliographies of general background books as well as reference aids to lead you to special studies. If Carleton does not have the books or sources you need, try ordering through the library minitex. Many sources are also available on-line.

As your research paper takes shape you will find that you need background on people, places, events, etc. Do not just rely on some general survey for all of your background. Check the several good dictionaries of biography for background on people, or see if there is a standard book-length biography. If you are dealing with a legal matter check into the background of the judges who make the court decision and the circumstances surrounding the original incident or law. Try looking for public opinions in newspapers of the time. In other words, each bit of information you find should open the possibility of other research paths.

Learn to use several research techniques. You cannot count on a good research paper coming from browsing on one shelf at the library. A really pertinent book may be hidden in another section of the library due to classification quirks. The Readers’ Guide (Ref. A13 .R4) is not the only source for magazine articles, nor the card catalog for books. There are whole books which are listings of other books on particular topics. There are specialized indexes of magazine articles. Modern History Journals are indexed in the Social Studies and Humanities Index (Ref. A13 .R282) before 1976 After 1976 use the Social Sciences Index (REF A13 .S62) and the Humanities Index (Ref. A13 .H85). See also Historical Abstracts (Ref. D1 .H5). Reference Librarians would love to help you learn to use these research tools. It pays to browse in the reference room at the library and poke into the guides which are on the shelves. It also pays to browse the Internet.

3. Help! How do I put this together?

A. preliminary research:.

If you do not already have a general background on your topic, get the most recent good general source on the topic and read it for general orientation. On the basis of that reading formulate as clearly focused question as you can. You should generally discuss with your professor at that point whether your question is a feasible one.

B. Building a Basic Bibliography:

Use the bibliography/notes in your first general source, MUSE, and especially Historical Abstracts on cd-rom in the Library Reading Room (the computer farthest to the left in the front row as you walk past the Reference Desk — or ask there). If there is a specialized bibliography on your topic, you will certainly want to consult that as well, but these are often a bit dated.

C. Building a Full Bibliography:

Read the recent articles or chapters that seem to focus on your topic best. This will allow you to focus your research question quite a bit. Use the sources cited and/or discussed in this reading to build a full bibliography. Use such tools as Historical Abstracts (or, depending on your topic, the abstracts from a different field) and a large, convenient computer-based national library catalog (e.g. the University of California system from the “Libs” command in your VAX account or the smaller University of Minnesota library through MUSE) to check out your sources fully. 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 useful.

D. 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.

A. Outline:

Write a preliminary thesis statement, expressing what you believe your major argument(s) will be. Sketch out a broad outline that indicates the structure — main points and subpoints or your argument as it seems at this time. Do not get too detailed at this point.

B. The First Draft:

On the basis of this thesis statement and outline, start writing, even pieces, as soon as you have enough information to start. Do not wait until you have filled all the research gaps. Keep on writing. If you run into smaller research questions just mark the text with a searchable symbol. 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 end.

Critical 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 inspired.

C. The Second Draft:

The “second draft” is a fully re-thought and rewritten version of your paper. It is at the heart of the writing process.

First, 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!). You will probably find that your first draft is still quite descriptive, rather than argumentative. It is likely to wander; your perspective and usually even the thesis seemed to change/develop as you wrote. Don’t despair. That is perfectly normal even for experienced writers (even after 40 years and a good deal of published work!). You will be frustrated. But keep questioning your paper along the following lines: What precisely are my key questions? What parts of my evidence here are really pertinent to those questions (that is, does it help me answer them)? How or in what order can I structure my paper most effectively to answer those questions most clearly and efficiently for my reader?

At this point you must outline your paper freshly. Mark up your first draft, ask tough questions whether your argument is clear and whether the order in which you present your points is effective! You must write conceptually a new paper at this point, even if you can use paragraphs and especially quotes, factual data in the new draft.

It 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 individual steps in your argument must be clearly reflected in the topic sentences of your paragraphs (or a couple of them linked).

D. The Third or Final Draft:

You are now ready to check for basic rules of good writing. This is when you need to check the diction, that is, the accuracy and suitability of words. Eliminate unnecessary passive or awkward noun constructions (active-voice, verbal constructions are usually more effective); improve the flow of your transitions; avoid repetitions or split infinitives; correct apostrophes in possessives and such. Make the style clear and smooth. Check that the start of your paper is interesting for the reader. Last but not least, cut out unnecessary verbiage and wordiness. Spell-check and proof-read.

– Diethelm Prowe, 1998

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History Research Paper Topics Made Simple

Updated Aug 2021 History is a broad subject with virtually endless possibilities for writing research papers. Interesting, tragic, and inspiring events across various cultures have been happening since the dawn of time, offering many opportunities to analyze and interpret them from different perspectives.

However, since history is so diverse, picking a topic and conducting research comes with many challenges. How can you narrow down the subject to something relevant that captures the reader’s attention and makes room for in-depth analysis?

History research paper topics

One of the biggest challenges students face when writing history research papers is finding credible sources for research . The online world is full of misinformation, while there are many lengthy books to read through and verify all the facts.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of dozens of history research paper topics, ranging from medieval times and early civilizations to art research paper topics and much more. Read on to find inspiration.

What Is a Good History Research Topic?

A good history research topic tackles a relevant and interesting issue, period, or event that can inform the reader, help them learn from past mistakes, and understand their current position better.

Clarity is one of the essential elements of a good history research topic. Regardless of the period, event, or historical issue you wish to write about, you must be clear about it from the get-go.

A good topic allows you to describe events accurately, grab the reader’s attention, and entice them to want to learn more about it.

It doesn’t matter what topic you choose, as long as it motivates you to write about it in-depth to inspire the reader. When you feel passionate about something, that will reflect on your writing, and the reader will feel that passion as well.

History research papers can be analytical, comparative, argumentative, or reflective, so be sure to pick a writing style that best suits your topic and main idea.

How to Choose Interesting History Research Topics?

Some of the most exciting history research topics might be those that you can connect to the world today. You know what they say about history repeating itself, so you might be able to relate a past event or issue to current economic or cultural patterns or potential situations.

Use these tips to pick an interesting history research topic:

  • Think about what interests you the most and come up with several different topics before conducting preliminary research to find reliable sources for each.
  • Write a clear thesis statement for each topic that focuses on one or more specific historical issues or events. Leave no room for vagueness, and use credible sources to find and support all the facts.
  • Once you have your outlines, take a step back to see which topic matters the most to you and why it might be relevant today.
  • If argumentative research paper topics are your cup of tea, make sure you can provide clear arguments and counterarguments to stay unbiased. That’s how you will showcase professionalism, knowledge, and an utmost understanding of the topic. Needless to say, that’s how you will get the highest grade.

So, dig deep into what you feel passionate about, narrow down your topic, clear your focus, pick your preferred writing style, prepare a clear outline, and your paper will practically start writing itself.

History research paper topics for college students

A lot of interesting history topics one can write about usually revolve around very controversial issues that can be logically explained by representatives of both sides of the argument. The thing is, for you, as a history student, it’s not a good idea to dive into the emotional or personal context of those ideas that caused a lot of turmoil back then. Your task here is to explain the conditions under which they are now perceived as controversial, what helped them to take place, and the causative-consecutive relations of this event to many others. Opinion papers, of course, are a different topic to be discussed but when we’re talking about pure scientific research, you better refrain from undocumented or unproven claims when dealing with history research paper topics.

  • Why the Nazi’s Ideology Was So Popular Among Masses?
  • Are White Supremacists New Nazis?
  • Capitalism: What went Wrong with Arguably the Most Suitable Political Ideology
  • The Politics of Closed Border: Is Integration Possible (Case of North Korea)
  • How 1-Child Policy in China Takes Its Toll Today
  • Cold War 2.0: Russian-American Political Discourse Under Trump and Putin
  • How Consumerism Dictates the Politics
  • The Drawbacks associated with Technological Progress
  • Things We Use that Weren’t Changed Since the Roman Empire
  • Religion and History: Events that Won’t Take Place if not for Religious Reasons

World History Research Paper Topics

It’s truly an interesting time to be alive as we witness so many important events and are their contemporaries. It also gives more work for historians as their job is to document them from every possible viewpoint, and your school assignment is pretty much a part of it. There’s an option to pay for a research paper , but if you are ready to write it yourself, we have some topics for you to consider.

  • What Caused Christianity Split and How It Still Affects Us Now
  • Japanese-American Relationship: Ups & Downs
  • Rich Spain, Poor Spain: What Caused the Decay
  • Why Monarchies Still Exist
  • The Invention of Printing: How It Influenced the Cultural Live
  • Political Marriages in 14th Century
  • Who Discovered America First?
  • What Did Europeans Bring Home from Mayan People?
  • Is Australia a Silent Continent?
  • 7 Things We Borrowed from African Culture

US History Research Paper Topics

The history of the United States is so rich that college students absolutely have to study it. Here we have some good ideas to help you.

  • ObamaCare: Best Intention, Worst Execution
  • What did France Lose Because of Louisiana Purchase?
  • Charleston in the Time of Civil War
  • The Oldest Universities: Who Founded Them?
  • Why Racism Still Exist?
  • #Me_Too Movement
  • Black Lives Matter Trap
  • Is Class War Over in the USA?
  • American-Iranian Tough Relationship
  • WIll America Trigger WW3?

Texas History Research Topics

The US South was always in the spotlight on many social transformations and challenges. This is why it’s worthy to study it more.

  • French, Spanish, Mexican, American: Texas Transformation within 4 centuries
  • Texas During the Civil War
  • Life of Native American Tribes During the Colonization
  • French Influences In Texas Architecture
  • Notable People from Texas
  • Mexican-American War
  • Pre-European Period in Texas History
  • The Constitution of the Republic of Texas
  • “Texas Eleven” and its Consequences
  • Ted Cruz Political Course for Texas

American History Research Paper Topics

The U.S. revolution history before 1877 and its state during the 20th century are of particular interest for many college students, and they have their reason for it.

  • The Rise of Nazism Under Trump’s Administration
  • Feminist Movement in American History
  • Afghanistan War and the US
  • Why Contributions of African-American Soldiers During the WW2 is Still Silenced
  • Martin Luther King and/vs Malcolm X
  • How the Development of the Railway System Shaped the US Future
  • Alcatraz: World’s Most Secure Prison
  • Stonewall Inn and It’s Importance in the Gay Movement
  • Who was Alexander Hamilton?

Colonial America Research Topics

Before we know the US as it’s now, it was a bunch of territories under various European countries.

  • Origin of the City Names and the History Behind them: New Amsterdam, San Antonio, New Orleans
  • French Cultural Influence on the Southern States
  • First Colonists: Who Were They?
  • What Does the Religion Have to Do With the Colonist Wars?
  • The era of Good Feelings: Why It Didn’t Last Long
  • Alaska and Russian Colonies
  • Alaska Purchase: The Biggest Russian Trade Failure
  • El Camino Real: The Historical Importance
  • Former Dutch Colonies
  • How Ney York Became New York

African American History Research Paper Topics

From slavery issues to music to protests - African-American history is full of events that are rarely interpreted objectively and are given the importance they should have been.

  • How Slavery Shaped the Social Discourse of the 17th century America
  • Notable Events that Led to the Civil Rights Movement
  • Harlem Rennaissance
  • Stereotypical Representations of African Americans in Hollywood
  • Slavery and Literature: How History is Viewed by African-American Writers
  • Incarceration Problem
  • Segregation Policies: Why Some Politicians Still Want Them Today
  • Black Lives Matter
  • History of Jazz
  • USA Under First Black President

20th-century Research Paper Topics

From World Wars, mayhem and peace of the 1960s, recovery of the 1920s, and globalization - the last century is a well of topics to explore with research paper writing service or without one.

  • Causes of WW1
  • Bylshovyks and Nazis: What’s Similar
  • Rise of Mafia
  • Dictatorship Regimes in the 20th century
  • How China Became a Powerful State
  • Independence of African Countries
  • Apartheid Break
  • JFK Assassination
  • The implication of Atomic Weapon
  • The Rise of Globalization

Civil Rights Research Topics

The civil Rights movement was amongst the most important social movements the USA had, as it’s changed the nation’s discourse.

  • Notable Cultural Activists during the Civil Right Movement
  • The Role of AME Church
  • Malcolm X Ideology
  • MLK Assassination
  • Black Panther Party
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Separate but Equal: the Education Case of Segregationism
  • Loving v. Virginia: Interracial Marriages
  • The tragedy of Emmett Till
  • Jim Crow Policies

European History Research Paper Topics

The recent events in European history make quite a field for history students to explore and work on.

  • England Before the United Kingdom
  • Dictatorship in Europe
  • Cosa Nostra: Italian Mafia Then and Today
  • Decay of USSR
  • New Hybrid Warfare; The Case of Russia, Georgia, Ukraine and Syria
  • Germany After Hitler: Geopolitical Context
  • Berlin Wall
  • English-Irish Tension
  • Formation of the European Union
  • Brexit and Its Consequences

Ancient History Research Paper Topics

The early civilizations of ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, Persia, Babylon, China are the sources of culture we have today. That’s why it’s important to learn about them or from them.

  • Religious of the Ancient Civilizations
  • How Christianity Ruined the Culture
  • Remains of the Roman cities in Italy
  • The life and achievements of Alexander of Macedonia
  • The life and achievements of Julius Caesar
  • Nile River Valley: The History of the Monuments
  • From Persia to Iran: The Cultural Heritage
  • Origin and History of the Assyrian Empire
  • The Kingdom of Urartu
  • The Reign of Hammurabi

Western Civ Research Paper Topics

Any Western civilization is the beginning of the cultural heritage we cherish now on the European continent and beyond. Here are a few history research topics examples you might be willing to research.

  • Medieval Christendom
  • The Roman Empire and Its Biggest Achievements
  • Inventions of Ancient Greece We still Use Now
  • Reasons for the Fall of Rome
  • Kyiv Rus in the Context of Western Monarchies
  • Byzantium Empire and Its Influence on Christianity
  • The Rise & Fall of Feudalism
  • The Rise & Fall of The Second Temple
  • Cultural Heritage of Hellenistic Judaism
  • Age of Discovery: Why People Sought Better Life

Middle Ages Research Topics

Medieval times are often strongly associated with the church’s influence on every sphere of life and it makes sense to study where it all led us.

  • Division of the Roman Empire
  • Western Schism and Its Influence on Catholicism
  • Importance of the Merovingian Dynasty in France
  • War of Roses
  • Missionaries to Scandinavia
  • The History of first Crusades
  • Reconquista: Causes & Effects
  • Heroic Epos and Its Historical Context
  • The Invention of Gunpowder and Warfare Change
  • Value of Marco Polo Diaries

Native American History Research Topics

These ideas are your chance to explore the rich history of Native Americans from their origin to the present day and get custom research paper writing help you need now.

  • The History of Thanksgiving Day
  • What is the Purpose of Reservations
  • The Rise and Fall of the Navajo Nation
  • Native American Tribes in the USA Today
  • Pre-discovery North America
  • Diseases the Europeans Gifted the Native Americans
  • America Settlement: There the People Came From
  • Native Americans and Spiritualism
  • Repressions of Native Americans
  • Native Americans and Civil War

Salem Witch Trials Research Paper Topics 

The history of Puritans is marked with the cruelest court trials one can imagine. See how many issues still remain uncovered.

  • The Reasons for Salem Witch Trials
  • The Execution Methods during SWT
  • American Heresy: Salem Witch Trials and Failures
  • Political Context of Witch Accusations
  • Puritans and Calvinism
  • Gender Context of Witch Trials
  • Archeological Sites of Salem
  • Witch Trials Former Prosecutions
  • The History of Witch Cake
  • Salem Witch Trials in Modern Culture

Slavery Research Paper Topics 

A truly disgraceful period of the American nation and around the world that needs more public talking than ever before.

  • Slavery and Music in the USA
  • Slavery in Europe
  • Slavery in the Russian Empire
  • Early History of Slavery
  • Slavery in Films
  • Slave Market and Human Trafficking Today
  • Adam Smith and Slavery
  • Slave, Not Slave: The things People Did to Differentiate the Class
  • Slavery in the 21st Century
  • Sex Slavery

Black History Research Topics

The Black people in America suffered a lot of repressions until the 70s, and those policies are claimed as the tragic social norms that people implemented back then. However, we should not underestimate the cultural influence they’ve brought to the continent.

  • Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement
  • Emancipation Proclamation
  • Jazz Era and Black Culture
  • Ghettos in NYC
  • Black History Month
  • Claudette Colvin, Rosa Parks, and Other Women
  • Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • Minstrel Shows and Blackfacing: Trudeau’s Case
  • The Rise of Hip Hop Culture
  • Black Athletes that Changed Sports Forever

Civil War Research Topics

If the only help with research paper on the Civil War you need is to choose the topic, here comes your wish.

  • Union vs Confederacy: Top Differences
  • “Slave States” Politics
  • Notable Commanders and Leaders of the Civil War
  • Compromise Act of 1850
  • Fort Sumter Battle
  • Charleston Port Battle
  • Baltimore Riots
  • Military Mobilization During the Civil War
  • Civil War Ecranization
  • Conquest of Virginia and Its Historic Relevance

Cold War Research Topics

  • What was the Cold War
  • Modern Cold Wars in the World
  • Caribbean Crisis and Cold War
  • Espionage and Cold War
  • Brezhnev Doctrine
  • American Economy Under Cold War
  • USSR Motivs for Cold War
  • Raegan vs Thatcher
  • NKVD and other Special Units of USSR Military during the Cold War
  • The Marshall Plan

Vietnam War Research Topics

The event that still echoes with the disastrous consequences should be studied to avoid the same political mistakes in the future.

  • Johnson’s Reasoning for Vietnam War
  • American Interference into Asia
  • Vietnam War and Public Outcry
  • Cambodia Genocide
  • Vietnam War Belligerents and their Supporters
  • American Soldiers in Vietnam
  • Social Issues of the Vietnam War inside the States
  • Cost of the Vietnam War for Today’s Economy and Politics in the States
  • Sino-Soviet Split
  • Vietnam Syndrome

World War I Research Topics

WWI had a lot of events that need to de addressed, as many of them seem to repeat themselves throughout the 20th century.

  • WW1 Background
  • Sarajevo Assassination: the Reason or Cover-Up for the War
  • Mlada Bosna and Other Terrorist Groups in Europe
  • July Crisis and Political maneuvers
  • The Meaning of Schlieffen Plan
  • German Offensive: France and Belgium Attacks
  • The USA during the WW1
  • Military Recruitment for Armies from non-involved Countries
  • Hague Convention
  • First World War Naval Warfare

World War II Research Topics

  • WW2 Ideological Background
  • Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
  • Allies and Axis
  • Atomic Bomb Explosion in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • WWII Concentration camps, Genocides, and Slavery
  • Culture during the Second World War
  • Aftermath of WW2
  • Results of Yalta Conference
  • Nuremberg Trials

Revolutionary War Research Topics

  • Boston Tea Party
  • Continental Congress During the War for Independence
  • First President of the USA
  • Formation of the USA
  • Revolutionary War and Foreign Interventions
  • Taxation Disputes and the Beginning of War
  • Alexander Hamilton and the American Economy
  • Logistics and Warfare during the Revolutionary war
  • What Would Happen If Hamilton Wasn’t Killed
  • Native Americans in the War for Independence

Art History Research Paper Topics 

Art is an important part of human existence as it preserves the history and helps historians to learn more about the life and culture of the given period.

  • Renaissance and Painting
  • WW2 and Art
  • Fin de Siecle: Literature, Painting, Music
  • Leonardo da Vinci’s Inventions
  • The earliest Art Objects of Ancient Civilizations
  • How Photography changed the Art
  • Invention of Camera Obscure
  • The Lumiere Brothers and the beginning of Cinema
  • 7 World Wonders

Music History Research Paper Topics

Since music and lyrics group together, it stopped being an option for recreation and has obtained more social and political context to it. Explore the following themes, and you’ll learn how the social struggles were reflected in the music of the last century.

  • How Jazz Got to Europe
  • History of Rock’n’Roll
  • Hip-Hop and Black Culture
  • Music Instruments of Ancient Greece
  • Rise of R’n’B
  • Gospels in the Civil Right Movements Context
  • Indigenous American Music and Spiritual Events
  • 80s Culture: How Music Became Pop
  • The British Invasion
  • New York Jazz Scene in the 60s

Theatre History Research Topics

Being one of the oldest entertainments, the theater still remains an important historical object for research and it’s undergone many transformations since that time.

  • Roman theater vs Greek Theater
  • Japanese and Chinese Theaters: Then and Now
  • Remains of Ancient Theaters in Rome
  • Pre-Shakespearian Theater
  • Contemporary Theaters
  • The Rise of Broadway Shows
  • Spanish Classical Theater and Plays
  • Most Influential Playwrights of the 20th Century
  • American Theater vs Classical Theater
  • Ibsen’s Plays and His Role in Establishing the New Theater

Modern History Research Topics

If you want to write about events that happened from the 17th century onward, here are some of the most interesting modern history research topics you can choose.

  • The Great Recession
  • The Chernobyl disaster, response, and fallout
  • NATO interventions across the globe
  • Social and economic inequality
  • The Great Depression
  • Industrialization of the US economy
  • The Great American West
  • Religious and social movements in the US
  • Immigration in the 21st century

Controversial History Topics

There’s no shortage of controversial topics when it comes to history. When tackling one, it’s crucial to stay impersonal and weigh arguments on both sides. Here are some ideas you could use.

  • The Spanish Inquisition
  • The life of Queen Elizabeth II
  • The fall of Constantinople
  • Cultural assimilation of Native Americans
  • The rise and fall of the Roman Empire
  • Watergate scandal
  • Syrian refugee crisis
  • The Holocaust
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Writing a research paper about any historical event or period can be daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before. Fortunately, professional research paper writing services like StudyClerk can help you out with any subject and topic.

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research papers on historical events

research papers on historical events

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History Research Paper Topics

Academic writing

research papers on historical events

History is one of the most important subjects in a school, college, and university curriculum. Studying past events, people develop a better understanding of the processes that take place in the world so that they can build a bright future. There is a saying that history repeats itself; so we can use this to our advantage by tracing cultural and economic patterns and learning from past mistakes. Such an approach will allow us to make more reasonable decisions and live a better life.

Every intelligent person should know how our world reached the current development stage and how wars, tragedies, and other misfortunes could have been avoided if certain circumstances were different. Working on interesting history research paper topics could give you answers to these questions.

History also allows students to get acquainted with the culture and traditions of other nations, find out why specific laws are established, as well as discover the roots of social movements. For example, studying the slavery period, you will understand why there are so many human rights organizations nowadays. In addition, you will be able to develop your critical analysis skills as each historian interprets events differently, so you have an opportunity to look at one event from different perspectives. That is why there are so many controversial history research paper topics for college students. In this case, your task is to uncover the truth in the informational flow and offer your readers an idea supported by convincing arguments.

Besides, you may have noticed that history books occupy an important place in the world literary heritage. Learning how to describe events in a compelling, accurate, and convincing manner, you will generate greater reader interest. Many outstanding writers started their triumphant career with the consideration of history research paper topics for high school students. Their desire to explore and understand some facts as well as diligence, talent, and perseverance helped them to achieve amazing success. Why don’t you try?

Of course, it may be rather challenging to choose a research direction that would highlight your knowledge and analytical skills. Firstly, you should be interested in a subject because readers can respond to the writer’s emotions expressed in the text. Secondly, it is preferable to narrow down the topic. For example, if a general direction is Ancient Rome, you can choose a certain emperor’s reign period and discuss its economic, educational, or religious aspects. Finally, your topic may imply a comparison of political systems and social structures in different countries or description of battles.

While working on the paper, you have to make sure that reliable sources are available to you. To make sure they are, you can ask your professor’s advice. He or she can compile a list of literature or guide you on adjusting a research direction. You can also visit a library and surf the Internet to find more information. However, be careful because not all data found on the Web is trustworthy. Plots of historical movies and books are also bad sources because most of them are romanticized and supplemented by fictional details.

To simplify your choice, we have compiled several lists of good topics for a history research paper. Using them, you may be sure that your study will be relevant and interesting to a scientific community.

world history research paper topics

20 World History Research Paper Topics

  • The Role of the Shogun in Japanese History
  • China and Japan Development in Recent Historical Stages
  • Mutual Influence of Greek, Egyptian, and Roman Cultures
  • The Role of Church in Medieval Europe
  • The Ottoman Empire Most Important Events
  • How Could World War II Be Prevented?
  • The Mongol Empire Power
  • The Contribution of Gandhi to the World Peace
  • Why Do Empires Fall?
  • Lessons World Wars Taught Us
  • Ancient Conquests and Their Influence on the Modern World Map Formation
  • Western World Social Stratification
  • Women’s Rights Movement: The Main Achievements of the Last Century
  • Jamaican History of Violent Events
  • Child Emperors of Rome
  • Everyday Life of Peasants in Medieval Europe
  • The Byzantine Empire Development
  • Links Between World War I and World War II
  • South Africa Apartheid
  • Nuclear Weapons and Their Influence on the World Military Clashes

World history is quite broad and diverse research area, which covers a significant period of time: from the rise of civilizations to more recent events, such as dreadful wars of the 20 th century and development of social movements. Therefore, there are many interesting world history research topics to choose from.

Issues discussed in history papers usually touch upon significant phenomena and changes which affect humanity and determine a course of its development. A good reason for choosing world history topics for a research paper is that your project may attract the attention of the readers from different countries.

First of all, you should decide on a general research direction; for example:

  • Interaction between people and the environment: agriculture, fighting diseases, demographic or climatic changes.
  • Development and interaction of cultures: spreading religions or ideas like humanism.
  • State-building: armed conflicts, rise and fall of empires.
  • Economic systems: globalization, communism, capitalism.
  • Social structures: labor specialization, social hierarchies based on gender, race, or class.

These are good world history research paper topics for high school, college, and university students. Of course, you may change the topic a little bit or elaborate on it further. Sometimes it is enough to prepare a 20-page report and make a brief conclusion, whereas in other cases an aspiring researcher has to make his or her own discovery and contribute to a scientific heritage, so you have to consider your choice wisely.

United States history research paper topics

the USA history research paper topics

There is no doubt that the United States has one of the most advanced economies in the world. The country reached a high development level over a short period of time; however, the American nation had witnessed many dramatic events. That is why American history research paper topics for college students are so popular.

You can write about any period of US history; for example, the Pre-Columbian era, colonial period, the American Revolution, the Federal period, the Gilded Age, the Great Depression, or the Cold War. Here are some good examples of US history topics for a research paper:

  • Impact of European colonization on Native Americans
  • Salem Witch Trials
  • Debate between Federalists and Anti-federalists
  • Labor unions, conflicts, and strikes in the 1800s
  • John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry
  • Indian Removal Act
  • Was imperialism in the late 19th and early 20th century justified?
  • Causes and results of the Mexican War
  • McCarthyism
  • Legends vs. reality in the West: Buffalo Bill, Wyatt Earp, George Custer, etc.
  • Effect of the cotton gin on economy and slaves labor
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • The most prominent people in American history
  • Women’s suffrage movement
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Transcontinental railroad and westward expansion
  • Discriminating African American soldiers in the Union army
  • Colonial America women, their role in the revolution. Who is a “republican mother”?
  • Abolitionist movement
  • Sacco-Vanzetti case
  • American Indian Movement
  • Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • The San Francisco earthquake and fire
  • Oklahoma City bombing
  • Kent State shootings
  • Settlement house movement
  • Baby boom (1950s-present)
  • 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago
  • Truman’s containment policy
  • New York draft riots during the Civil War
  • Mormons and their impact on American society development
  • Gold Rush in California
  • D-Day invasion
  • Were Ethel and Julius Rosenberg spies?
  • The Whiskey Rebellion in 1794
  • Civil rights movement in the 1960s
  • Impact of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation
  • The Underground Railroad
  • U-2 incident
  • 9/11 attacks
  • March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom of 1963
  • US in the Vietnam War
  • Yellow journalism and the Spanish-American War
  • Galveston hurricane
  • Black Sox Scandal
  • The Cuban missile crisis
  • The Dawes Act impact on the United States and Native American policy
  • Compare and contrast analysis of Lincoln-Douglas debates
  • Immigration in the late 1800s
  • My Lai Massacre
  • Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society
  • Battle of Midway
  • Oregon Trail: why did people want to move to the West despite great risks?
  • Manhattan Project
  • How did Constitution eliminate drawbacks of the Articles of Confederation?
  • Nat Turner’s Rebellion
  • The colony of Roanoke disappearance theories
  • The Great Chicago Fire of 1871
  • How did Marbury v. Madison case influence the judicial system?
  • Causes for North-South confrontation during the Civil War

European history research paper topics

European history is also a rather popular direction. Many young people are looking for easy research paper topics on AP European history to prepare a good project for Advanced Placement. Sometimes students struggle to find the research area because there are many European countries with a unique culture, political, and economic background. If you find yourself in the same situation, don’t worry! The examples below can simplify your task. Let’s start with Medieval & Renaissance Europe topics:

  • Reformation
  • Byzantine Empire
  • Medieval economic history
  • Knights and knighthood
  • Courtly love
  • Medieval church
  • Women in the Middle Ages
  • Women in the Renaissance
  • Black Death (Black Plague)
  • Medieval philosophy
  • Medieval universities
  • Papal monarchy
  • Medieval law
  • Justinian I (Byzantine emperor)
  • Medieval warfare
  • Hundred Years War
  • Islamic Empire

Here are more good European history research paper topics:

good european history research paper topics

  • Age of Reason
  • Enlightenment
  • Crimean War
  • Rothschild dynasty
  • Revolutions of 1848
  • Christopher Columbus and his outstanding discoveries
  • Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648)
  • The Medicis dynasty
  • Congress of Vienna
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Eighteenth-Century Europe
  • Napoleonic Wars

Interesting European history research paper topics on World War I:

  • Lawrence, T. E. (Lawrence of Arabia)
  • Gallipoli Campaign
  • World War I diplomatic history
  • Causes of World War I
  • Treaty of Versailles
  • War propaganda
  • The main battles of World War I

Good topics for a European history research paper on World War II:

  • Allied occupation of Germany
  • Katyn Forest Massacre
  • Propaganda of Joseph Goebbels
  • Jewish resistance during the Holocaust
  • World War II causes
  • World War II naval history
  • Nazi Germany
  • Children in the Holocaust
  • World War II War correspondents
  • Nuremberg trials
  • World War II Eastern front
  • World War II home front
  • Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors)
  • Allied occupation of Japan
  • Holocaust survivors
  • World War II air warfare
  • German resistance to Hitler
  • Atlantic Wall
  • World War II letters and diaries
  • Atrocities of Gestapo
  • Battle of Britain
  • The biggest concentration camps
  • World War II diplomatic history
  • Battle of the Bulge
  • Appeasement of Hitler

Art history research paper topics

Human life would be incomplete without art. All of the greatest civilizations had left painting, music, and literary legacy. Art always reflects social, economic, and political processes. That is why art history topics for a research paper constitute a separate and important category.

Of course, it is rather hard to understand what writers, musicians, sculptors, or painters aimed to express in their masterpieces. Fortunately, a research project operates with facts and arguments without any guesswork, personal interpretations, or speculative conclusions. It is not obligatory to understand the feelings of an artist whom you never met; instead, you can explore their creations and understand the message they sought to convey.

We invite you to get acquainted with ideas for brilliant academic projects on art. Let’s start with ancient art history research paper topics:

  • Scythian gold adornments
  • Greek theater development
  • Mesopotamian art
  • Ancient Greece sculptures. How did they influence modern art?
  • Egyptian and Greek canons of proportions

Easy research paper topics for Eastern art history:

  • Buddhist art 
  • A rt of Tibet
  • Influence of Hinduism on early Indian art
  • Japanese and Chinese traditional costumes
  • Religious motifs in Cambodian art
  • Mughal paintings in India
  • The Great Wall of China construction
  • Islamic ascendancy in Indian art
  • Korean pottery

Middle Ages and Renaissance history research paper topics for college students:

history research paper topics

  • Medieval churches
  • Renaissance women’s clothing
  • Medieval drama
  • Medieval literature
  • Caravaggio and his followers
  • Architecture in Renaissance Italy
  • Medieval music
  • Domestic art in Renaissance Italy
  • Botanical imagery in European painting
  • Gothic architecture
  • Early Netherlandish painting
  • Arms and armor in Renaissance Europe
  • Raphael’s paintings
  • The birth and infancy of Christ in Italian paintings
  • Cameo appearances
  • Medieval romance literature
  • Commercial exchange, diplomacy, and religious difference between Venice and the Islamic states
  • Medieval theater history
  • Anatomy in the Renaissance epoch
  • Bronze sculptures in the Renaissance
  • Christian symbols in Renaissance art
  • Dutch and Flemish artists in Rome, 1500–1600
  • Renaissance literature
  • Ceramics in the French Renaissance
  • Troubadours

18-19 th -century art topics:

  • Baroque architecture
  • Classical art and modern dress
  • Marquis de Sade’s novels
  • Legacy of Jacques-Louis David
  • Lithography in the nineteenth century
  • Neoclassicism sculpture
  • Paul Gauguin savage art
  • Industrialization of French photography after 1860
  • “Dancing” paintings by Edgar Degas
  • Georges Seurat and neo-impressionism
  • Exoticism in the decorative arts
  • Rococo and Baroque: compare and contrast analysis

Modern art history research paper topics:

  • Kinetic art
  • Frida Kahlo’s painting symbols
  • Thomas Nast’s political cartoons
  • Dau-al-Set  movement
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • Evolution of Pablo Picasso’s paintings
  • Post-minimalism
  • Jackson Pollock’s art

By far, these are just a few research paper topics on history. The world heritage is too vast to include everything in this article. However, we hope that this list has simplified your choice. If you face any obstacles when writing an academic project, feel free to contact Pro-Papers. We will gladly provide valuable advice or complete any tricky assignment for you!


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250 Interesting History Research Paper Topics


Table of contents

People often say that time travel is impossible. I beg to differ. Did you know that researching historical events can be regarded as time traveling? Because you will get more information about events as if you were there. Most university and college students in the United States consider writing history papers uninteresting. Some of their negative opinions stem from inability to come up with unique and fascinating historical research topics. If you have a history assignment and are stuck on finding a suitable title that can guarantee you success, you are in the right place. Our research paper writers for hire have compiled various history research paper topics that can inspire your essays. Select from different interesting topics in history to research and write on. Apart from giving you 250 research themes, this article also explains what these topics are, their characteristics, and how to choose them.

What Are History Research Paper Topics?

History research paper topics refer to titles that explore past times, events, and the evolution of cultures and traditions. As a branch of more broad  social science research topics , they evaluate social, political, scientific, and economic developments that humans have made since the beginning of time. History research topics majorly focus on recorded and unrecorded past events and times. The theme you choose for your research paper or thesis will guide your overall content. You may be provided with history paper topics by lecturers or professors in your school or required to come up with one of your own. In this case, we have got a huge list for your selection.

Characteristics of Good History Research Topics

Before writing any history paper, you should come up with or select a suitable title. Choosing good history topics to research is a challenging task. As a scholar, you may falter at this stage and pick a topic that is unsuitable for your paper, which eventually affects your grade. Since we want to make it easy for you, we will provide a checklist of characteristics to look out for when selecting titles for your essay. Good topics for a history research paper should be: 

  • Meaningful.
  • Unambiguous.
  • Attractive.
  • Expressive.
  • Well-defined.

How to Choose a History Research Topic?

Unless you are provided with a title to write on, most times, you will be required to come up with your research topics in history. Generally, this is a broad subject covering different areas. As a result, it may be a tedious task for you to try and select a suitable research topic for history paper. However, do not worry because we will present a series of steps to guide you in choosing a title for your essay. Follow this procedure when you want to pick historical topics to write about:

  • Brainstorm ideas and determine the best one.
  • Evaluate all background information that has been provided.
  • Focus on issues that are interesting to you.
  • Create a keyword list or an outline for your topic.
  • Be flexible in your research.
  • Ensure all titles meet assignment requirements.

List of History Topics to Research

To succeed in your essays, it is vital to come up with good research topics for history. Therefore, you should select unique and interesting historical topics to research. Below are examples of best history research paper topics:

  • What were major impacts of slave trade in Europe?
  • Historical development of the industrial revolution.
  • Factors that promoted construction of pyramids in Egypt.
  • Negative consequences of World Wars on the global economy.
  • Effects of the American Civil War on people’s ways of life.
  • Historical origin of the American Revolution.
  • Impacts of European scramble for and partition of Africa.
  • Factors that led to the US-Mexico war in 1846.
  • Major reasons why the Soviet Union collapsed.
  • Expressionist movement and its impacts on modern art.

The following list offers everyone what they need. If not, ask our experts for a piece of advice or generate a title to your liking with our Topic Generator .

Interesting History Topics to Research

There are many interesting history research paper topics that you can write on. However, we strive to provide you with the best. We have compiled a list of most interesting history topics for you to pick:  

  • What processes were taken in abolishing slave trade?
  • Queen Elizabeth: A historical background of how she came to power.
  • Factors that led to Americans going into Civil War.
  • Main uses of money in ancient Greece.
  • Science that led to discovery of polio vaccines.
  • Key facts about the American Revolution.
  • Assassination attempts on US Presidents in the last 70 years.
  • Effects of child labor during the Puritan era.
  • Major roles played by America during World War I.
  • What factors made the Titanic sink?
  • Environmental impacts of industrial revolution.
  • What economic role did women play during the Great Depression?
  • How did the Germantown Battle start?
  • What influenced the Spanish-American War ?
  • Roles played by religious leaders during the Aztec era.

Good History Research Paper Topics

Apart from interesting titles, there are also good topics for history research paper that can guarantee you high grades in your paper. Below is a list of good history paper topics: 

  • Historical origin of the Roman Empire.
  • What tactics were used by Greeks in their win against Persians?
  • Famous war strategies employed by Alexander the Great in his conquest of Egypt.
  • What lesson can we learn from construction and implementation of the Great Wall of China?
  • Most successful attacks by Julius Caesar on Great Britain.
  • Hun's first invasion of Europe: An analysis of its success.
  • Challenges faced by Mohammed in his journey from Mecca to Medina.
  • Impacts of Aristotle’s philosophical ideas in today’s world.
  • First Greek Olympiad and its legacy.
  • Famous African American soldiers during the Civil War.
  • Achievements of Genghis Khan in Asia.
  • Russia-Ukraine war: Origin of this conflict.
  • Challenges faced by the American army in Vietnam.
  • Economic implications of Versailles Treaty on European nations.
  • Major causes of World War II.

Unique Historical Research Topics

To stand out from other scholars, you ought to have unique history research topics. To get you there, we have provided history topics to write about:

  • Historiography of reasons that led to World War I.
  • Adoption of Rococo artistic style in architecture.
  • Major environmental impacts of late Warthe retreat in central Europe.
  • What political impacts did cartoons and propaganda experts have during World War II?
  • What vital religious roles did sculptures play in ancient Greece?
  • History of famous Christian symbols and their significance.
  • Psychological significance of Kazimir Malevich's artworks.
  • Origin and political importance of Dalits in India.
  • How did Julius Caesar and Cleopatra’s relationship affect his leadership?
  • Famous medics who played a crucial role during World War II.
  • What key implications did Balkan Wars have on the European map?
  • Achievements of Queen Victoria’s first year in office.
  • Discovery of X-Rays: How and by who?
  • Spanish Civil War: An analysis of first 100 days during the war.
  • Key events that followed after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Before you start writing a History research paper, go deep into the area you are studying and don't skip important dates. Get proficient paper help 24/7 if that sounds like a waste of time for you.

Popular History Research Topics

Your selection of research topics on history may also be driven by popularity. If that is the case, we have a list of history research paper topics for you below: 

  • What factors triggered the Great Depression?
  • History of the Cold War.
  • Black Death: Separating facts from myths.
  • Greatest scientific inventions that have shaped how we communicate.
  • Islamic Empire: Its origin and positive impacts.
  • Hundred Year War: Economic impacts on French and English kingdoms.
  • What key weapons were used during medieval warfare?
  • What was life like during the Dark Ages?
  • Significant events that took place during the Crusades.
  • What caused the American Revolution?
  • Similarities between the current economic recession and the Great Depression.
  • Significance of French Revolution.
  • Factors that led to slavery abolition in America.
  • Roles played by women during the Civil War.
  • Consequences of the Cold War in the Soviet Union.

Easy History Topics to Write About

Sometimes you are striving to beat deadlines for submitting your paper. Such times call for easy history topics to research. When you find yourself in such a situation, look at these easy historical events to write about for your inspiration: 

  • Major impacts of World War I.
  • Key achievements of the Women's Rights Movement in the past century.
  • Economic impacts of the biggest earthquake in America.
  • Salem Witch Trials: Causes and impacts.
  • How did the European invasion of Africa affect levels of education on the continent?
  • Achievements of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Apartheid in South Africa: Its social and political impacts.
  • Causes of rise and fall of Roman Empire.
  • Significant inventions during the Middle Ages.
  • How Native Americans reacted to European invasions of their lands.
  • Strategies used by the American government to overcome the Great Depression.
  • How important was Pearl Harbor during World War II?
  • Consequences brought by nuclear weapons in Europe.
  • Common effects of Greek culture in Europe.
  • Major roles played by Shogun in Japanese history.

History Research Paper Topics for Students

Most students always encounter challenges when it comes to selecting historical topics to research. Choosing the right title can make a difference between success and failure in your paper. This is why you need to have various history research questions to help you in selecting your focus area. It does not matter whether you are in middle school, high school, or college because we have a list of topics that will help you get good grades .

History Research Topics for Middle School

There are times when middle school students are required to select historical events to write about. If you find yourself in this situation, we have interesting topics in history suggested for you:

  • European Middle Ages: Major challenges that were witnessed during that era.
  • Gender bias roles and how they have changed over time in Britain.
  • How many soldiers did America lose during World War I?
  • In what ways have nuclear weapons changed the military?
  • What measures were taken to abolish slavery in America?
  • History of the United Kingdom monarch.
  • How were enslaved people transported to America?
  • Impacts of the Cold War on the European economy.
  • Who were the first settlers in America?
  • Agrarian revolution: Origin and impact in Europe.
  • Evolution of man according to Darwin.
  • Positive impacts brought by the Ottoman Empire .
  • Significance of Shakespearean plays to modern theaters.
  • Factors that facilitated the growth of the industrial revolution.
  • How the motor industry developed in America.

History Research Topics for High School

If you are a high school student looking for research topics in history, you have arrived at the right place. Below we have compiled history project topics for you to choose from: 

  • Factors that promoted growth of the Byzantine Empire.
  • Repercussions brought by World War II to Britain.
  • History and growth of Civil Rights Movement in America.
  • How did World War I cripple Germany's military power?
  • Major factors that made it easy for colonies to win the American Revolution.
  • Challenges faced by China in its space exploration attempts.
  • Why was America reluctant to participate in World War II?
  • Key benefits of the Cold War to Russia.
  • Factors that led to eradicating most Native Americans’ cultural practices.
  • American Wild West: Analysis of myths as portrayed by popular culture.
  • History of the American constitution.
  • Fight against terrorism: Its origin and development.
  • Berlin Wall: Its social impacts on the people of Germany.
  • Major social revolutions in Britain.
  • Revolution of the internet.

History Research Paper Topics for College Students

There is a wide range of history research topics for college students. However, to achieve the highest grade, you must find the best history thesis topics for your term paper. The following is a list of the most popular American history research paper topics for college students: 

  • A comparison between Crusaders and Jihadists.
  • Most effective farming tools that were used in Mesopotamia.
  • In what ways has Japanese art influenced European cultures?
  • Impacts of racial segregation on development of music industry in America.
  • Major racial events that have plagued American society in the past 50 years.
  • Key constitutional amendments that have taken place in the US over the last 100 years.
  • How did Europeans use religion to conquer countries?
  • Origin and benefits of vaccines to people.
  • Significance of Marie Antoinette during the American Revolution.
  • In what ways did the Medici family influence the Renaissance?
  • How did communist manifesto influence European countries?
  • Controversial issues surrounding Pope Alexander VI.
  • Roles played by women during the Vietnam War.
  • Manson family: Truths and myths surrounding them.
  • Historical account of first space exploration by America.

Historical Events to Write About

Writing a history paper should be a fun affair. To make your experience worthwhile, we have different cool history topics for research papers. Selecting a theme from these classifications will make it easy for you to write a unique and interesting essay for your research. Go through these topics for history project and use any of them as sources of inspiration for your paper. When you decide on the idea, make sure to check how to write a research paper properly. 

World History Research Paper Topics

One of the most fun titles to write on is interesting world history topics. Although this category is broad, you should not be confused about what to research and write because we have got you covered. Below are world history topics for research paper that you can choose: 

  • Significant environmental consequences of Persian Gulf War.
  • Factors that contributed greatly to the fall of Aztec Civilization.
  • What were the economic impacts brought by the rise of the Qing Dynasty?
  • Key chain of events that led to the Russian Revolution and rise of communism.
  • How did the Samurai culture greatly impact nations around Japan?
  • Life and achievements of Nelson Mandela and his struggle to liberate South Africa from colonial rule.
  • Major reasons why the Great Wall of China was constructed.
  • Factors that contributed to Babylon collapsing.
  • Economic significance of Constantinople in the Byzantine Empire.
  • Mughal architectural influences in constructing Taj Mahal.

US History Research Paper Topics

There are a lot of American history research paper topics that you can select. However, to guarantee your success in this process, we have provided the best US history topics for research paper below: 

  • Ways in which early settlers in America learned to coexist together.
  • Major factors that contributed to Witch Trials in Salem.
  • What laws were put in place to control enslaved people in America?
  • Key reasons why Boston Massacres occurred.
  • What factors led to the American Revolution?
  • Reasons why George Washington is regarded as one of the greatest leaders in American history.
  • New roles for women after the American Revolution.
  • Key events that took place in creating the American Constitution.
  • Conflicts between British and Native Americans in the 19th century.
  • Modern activism groups. Their origin and development in the USA.

Looking for anyone to work on your History paper? Stop googling ‘ pay someone to write my research paper ’, just contact Studycrumb and get proficient writing help. 

European History Research Topics

Finding the best European history research paper topics may be difficult because of European countries' different historical and cultural backgrounds. Nevertheless, below we have created interesting European history topics that will make it easy for you:

  • Niccolo Machiavelli's philosophy and its impacts.
  • Most renowned artist of the Renaissance period.
  • Maximillian Robespierre: Impacts brought by his reign of terror during the French Revolution.
  • Factors that led to creation of Austria-Hungary.
  • Rise and fall of the Viking era.
  • Characteristics that are associated with Gothic art.
  • Origin and impacts of Romanticism.
  • A comparison of great works by Mozart and Bach in the 18th century.
  • How Cubism revolutionized the art movement in Europe.
  • Military role played by British women in World War II.

European history has various events described in literature. If you want to focus on how any event is depicted in literary works, don't hesitate to browse for literature research paper topics.  

French Revolution Research Topics for History

The French Revolution is a significant historical period. If you are searching for the best historical topics to research about this period, look no further. Below are best history topics ideas for you to start with: 

  • Achievements of King Louis IV.
  • Factors that contributed to Napoleon losing the Waterloo battle.
  • Major causes of the French Revolution.
  • How has the French Revolution affected modern France?
  • Major roles played by the French Revolution in Europe.
  • What was the significance of Robespierre during the French Revolution?
  • How did the French Revolution influence music and French operas?
  • How was Napoleon’s conquest affected by the French Revolution?
  • Key societal transformation after the French Revolution.
  • Causes and impacts brought by Champ De Mars Massacre.

American Revolution History Research Paper Topics

Another popular category to write on is American history research topics. When asked to write about the American Revolution, do not be confused. The following are interesting American history research paper topics for your ideas: 

  • Social consequences caused by the American Revolution.
  • What role did women play during the revolution?
  • How did the American Revolution impact Europe?
  • How did typical Americans live during this revolution?
  • Famous female writers during the American Revolution.
  • Negative social impacts of the American Revolution.
  • Similarities between the Trenton and Princeton Battles.
  • Significant achievements of Alexander Hamilton during the American Revolution.
  • How did the revolution change the perception of America by British?
  • How did George Washington affect the outcome of the American Revolution?

History Research Paper Topics on US Civil War

When looking for popular US history topics to write about, you should consider the Civil War. If that is the case, we have good US history research topics about the Civil War for your inspiration: 

  • What factors led to the American Civil War?
  • How is the American Civil War represented in popular culture?
  • What were the roles played by African Americans during this period?
  • Impact of Civil War on American society.
  • Effects brought by the Civil War on ending slavery in America.
  • Key roles played by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.
  • Major roles played by women during the Civil War.
  • Major course of American Civil War.
  • What are the key advantages of the American Civil War?
  • How did the Civil War impact distribution of wealth in America?

Cold War History Research Topics

The Cold War has some of the most interesting history topics to research. If you want to be inspired by the Cold War historical investigation topics, we have a list for you below:

  • What key roles did America play during the Cold War?
  • What interventions were made by the UN during the Cold War?
  • How were popular cultures affected by the Cold War?
  • Why is the Cold War described as an era characterized by fear?
  • Key events that led to discussions to end the Cold War.
  • What impacts did the Cold War have on European economic development?
  • Key events that led to the Cold War.
  • What major countries were involved in the Cold War?
  • What was the aftermath of the Cold War?
  • Cultural shifts during the Cold War.

20th Century Research Paper Topics

Are you searching for 20th-century history paper ideas? Look no further. Below are interesting research topics about history and development witnessed in the 20th century:

  • Successful tactics used by Gandhi to revolt against British oppression.
  • Reasons why the assassination of King Carlos of Portugal failed to provoke a revolution.
  • How the Marne Battle made it easy to stop advancement of German forces.
  • Factors that facilitated the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
  • How did the attack on Pearl Harbor change the course of the war?
  • Methods used to spread and promote Communism ideologies in Europe.
  • How did the relationship between the Soviet Union and America change over time after 1945?
  • Factors that led to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
  • Friendship treaties signed between Fidel Castro and the USSR.
  • Cuban missile crisis: Origin and consequences.

Modern History Research Paper Topics

You may be asked to write a paper on modern history topics. When you find yourself in this situation, go through the following history topics for research paper to get your inspiration: 

  • Columbian Exchange: Its origin and consequences.
  • Foods taken by people during the Industrial Revolution.
  • How was it living in the Wild West?
  • Aftermath of the Great Famine in Ireland and how people coped.
  • Negative impacts brought by David Livingstone's exploration in Africa.
  • Russia's expansion of its territories and how they annexed Siberia.
  • Characteristics associated with the Commercial Revolution and its impact on world finances.
  • Positive consequences brought by spice trade in shaping the modern world.
  • Key inventions that facilitated the Age of Exploration.
  • Why was Alexander II assassinated?

Extra History Research Paper Topics

You can never fully exhaust historical titles because history is constantly changing and being written. But, by now, we hope you have a clear picture of interesting history research paper topics you can write on. But if you still need more inspiration for your essay, we will provide you with extra history research paper topic ideas classified in the following different categories.

History Research Paper Topics for Exam

Do you wish to study for your history exam and are looking for US history research topics to get you going? Not only do we have various topics on American history to aid you, but we also have interesting world history research topics. Below is a list that can jump-start your revision:

  • Gender roles in 19th century England.
  • Economic repercussions brought by World War II in France.
  • Major people who fought for abolition of apartheid rule in South Africa.
  • How Roosevelt contributed to ending World War II.
  • How Alabama's claim impacted America.
  • Factors that contributed to the rise of communism in China.
  • Origin and development of the Syrian crisis.
  • University education in Europe: Its origin and development.
  • How colonization of America impacted the Natives.
  • History and development of Veteran’s Day.

>> Read more: How to Write a DBQ

History Research Paper Topics for Academics

There are many interesting things to learn about in history. All you have to do is seek a fascinating historical topic to investigate and learn about. To start you off, we have topics you can look at below:

  • Similarities between European and American industrial revolutions.
  • Negative effects brought by the industrial revolution on the working class.
  • Reasons why Black Death spread rapidly in Europe.
  • Origin and development of poetry.
  • Islamic architecture’s influence on modern structures.
  • Negative environmental effects brought by World War II.
  • Importance of Mathematics in ancient Egypt.
  • Major roles played by women during the Great Depression.
  • Why was iron important during the industrial revolution?

History Research Paper Topics for Experts

Scholars should not be the only ones looking for stimulating ancient history research paper topics. Experts can also find inspiration in various US history paper topics that we have provided for you below: 

  • Origin of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
  • Gulf War: Its causes and social effects on the people.
  • Social impacts of conflicts witnessed in Syria.
  • Most respected general during the Roman Empire's rule.
  • Negative consequences of the Cold War on global politics and direction.
  • Social and political impacts brought by racism in America.
  • History of education development in Europe.
  • What causes the Mexican-American wars?
  • Factors that facilitated the rise of the Dutch Republic?
  • Controversial issues surrounding the American Civil War.

Need more ideas? We have a full assortment of titles in different fields. From education research topics or philosophy paper topics to business research topics , you are sure to choose the one you need. 

Bottom Line on History Research Topics

As a history scholar, choosing a title for your essay can seem both daunting and exciting. There are many interesting topics of history you can select to write on. However, picking the right one can be challenging. This article has provided various ideas on the US and world history topics to research and write argumentative essays on. We hope that the above list makes it easy for you to choose a title or inspire you to come up with your own. There are many good historical events to write about. All you need is to go through the list we have provided and make your choice. 

Contact our writing website for help with relevant topics! We will be glad to provide students with interesting solutions and unique ideas. If you don't have time or desire to write a research paper, we can do it for you! Check out our website for more details! 


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Choosing Inspiring Historical Events to Write About


Greetings, students of history! Unearthing the hidden corners of the past, appreciating the turns of events, and critically analyzing different perspectives are integral to studying history. With many eras, events, and figures, picking the right topic for your research paper might seem daunting. But fret not! This blog will guide you through an engaging journey into the annals of history, presenting a diverse list of topics across various epochs and geographical settings.

Before we delve into a comprehensive list of historical events, let’s discuss the significance of history and the process of writing a research paper.

Table of content

The Significance of History and Research Writing

Studying history is more than just memorizing dates and events. It offers a treasure trove of lessons about humanity, society, and our world. History opens our eyes to different cultures, ideologies, and epochs, fostering a deeper understanding of our shared past. It serves as a reservoir of our collective memory, recording human triumphs, failures, and aspirations.

Writing research papers, on the other hand, sharpens your skills in critical thinking, analysis, argumentation, and articulation. It offers the platform to delve deeper into a topic, analyze varying perspectives, and develop a coherent argument based on evidence.

Steps to Writing a Research Paper

  • Choose Your Topic

For a historical research paper, select a topic that genuinely interests you and offers ample resources for exploration.

  • Conduct Thorough Research

Engage with primary and secondary sources. Websites like JSTOR or Project Muse provide access to scholarly articles and primary documents.

  • Create an Outline

Organize your thoughts and main points. This will guide your writing process and ensure a coherent structure.

  • Write Your Paper

Begin writing, focusing on clarity and accuracy. Remember, revision is key to a polished paper.

  • Cite Your Sources

Adhere to the required citation style. Always give credit where it’s due to maintaining academic integrity.

Interesting Historical Events to Write About

Below is a list of fascinating historical events spanning different periods and regions, sure to inspire your research and captivate your audience.

Ancient History

Ancient history spans the period from the earliest human civilizations to the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD. It covers vast societies, from Ancient Egypt and the Indus Valley Civilization to Classical Greece and the Roman Empire. Scholars rely on historical texts, archeological finds, and other evidence to piece together our understanding of this distant past.

Topic Examples for Ancient History:

  • The Construction and Symbolism of the Sphinx in Ancient Egypt
  • The Role of Women in Spartan Society
  • The Impact of Hammurabi’s Code on Later Legal Systems
  • The Role of Oracle in Ancient Greek Religion and Decision Making
  • The Military Tactics of Hannibal Barca and the Second Punic War
  • The Mauryan Empire and Its Contributions to Indian Civilization
  • The Influence of Roman Architecture on Later Western Architectural Styles
  • The Function and Impact of the Silk Road on Ancient Civilizations
  • The Significance of Confucianism in Ancient Chinese Society
  • The Art and Culture of the Minoan Civilization
  • The Transition from Republic to Empire in Rome
  • The Decline and Fall of the Aztec Empire
  • Julius Caesar and the End of the Roman Republic
  • Daily Life in Ancient Athens
  • The Pharaohs of the New Kingdom in Ancient Egypt
  • The Social Structure of the Ancient Mayan Civilization
  • The Philosophies of Ancient Greek Thinkers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
  • The Role of Gladiatorial Games in Roman Society
  • The Importance of the Nile River to Ancient Egyptian Civilization
  • The Historical Accuracy of Homer’s “The Iliad”
  • The Reign and Impact of Cyrus the Great on the Persian Empire
  • The Impact of Agriculture on the Rise of Ancient Civilizations
  • The Formation and Development of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Medieval History

The medieval period, often called the Middle Ages, spanned from the 5th to the 15th Century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. This era saw the rise of Islam in the Middle East, the Age of Chivalry in Europe, the Mongol Empire in Asia, and significant cultural and technological changes worldwide.

Topic Examples for Medieval History:

  • The Impact of the Viking Raids on European Society
  • The Formation and Influence of the Byzantine Empire
  • The Development and Spread of Feudalism
  • The Role of the Church in Medieval Europe
  • The Black Death and Its Impact on Medieval Society
  • The Cultural Achievements of the Carolingian Renaissance
  • The Crusades: Motives and Consequences
  • The Life and Rule of Charlemagne
  • The Architectural Evolution of Medieval Castles
  • The Role and Rights of Women in Medieval Society
  • The Power Struggle Between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor
  • The Mongol Conquest: Causes and Consequences
  • The Impact of the Magna Carta on English Law and Civil Liberties
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Its Contributions to Science and Art
  • The Gothic Architecture: Characteristics and Examples
  • The Importance of Knights and Knighthood in Medieval Society
  • The Influence of Thomas Aquinas on Medieval Philosophy
  • The Hundred Years’ War and the Concept of National Identity
  • The Role and Power of the Medieval Guilds
  • The Formation and Influence of the Hanseatic League
  • The Daily Life and Challenges of a Medieval Peasant
  • The Influence of the Norman Conquest on England
  • The Culture and Achievements of the Moorish Rule in Spain

Modern History

Modern history generally encompasses the period from the late 15th Century to the late 20th Century. This era includes the Renaissance, Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, and the Age of Imperialism, and it has seen dramatic changes in society, technology, and global power structures.

Topic Examples for Modern History:

  • The Social and Political Impact of the French Revolution
  • The Causes and Consequences of the American Revolution
  • The Evolution and Impact of Colonialism in Africa
  • The Industrial Revolution and Its Influence on Modern Economic Systems
  • The Influence of Enlightenment Philosophers on Modern Democratic Thought
  • The Life and Legacy of Napoleon Bonaparte
  • The Role of Women in the 19th Century
  • The Causes and Impact of the American Civil War
  • The Effect of the Meiji Restoration on Japan’s Modernization
  • The Impact of the Scientific Revolution on Society and Religion
  • The Role of the British Empire in Shaping the Modern World
  • The Political and Social Consequences of the Treaty of Versailles
  • The Transformation of Social Norms in the Victorian Era
  • The Effect of Steam Power on 19th-Century Industry and Transport
  • The Evolution of Nationalism in the 19th Century
  • The Legacy and Impact of the Ottoman Empire
  • The Causes and Effects of the Russian Revolution
  • The Contribution of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison to Modern Electricity
  • The Exploration and Colonization of the New World: Impact on Indigenous Cultures
  • The Influence of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation
  • The Spread and Impact of Marxism
  • The Abolitionist Movement and Its Effect on Slavery in America
  • The Impressionist Movement and Its Impact on Art History

Contemporary History

Contemporary history begins with the end of World War II in 1945 and continues into the present day. This period has seen unprecedented global interconnectivity, rapid technological innovation, and meaningful sociopolitical changes.

Topic Examples for Contemporary History:

  • The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall: Causes and Consequences
  • The Civil Rights Movement in America: Leaders, Events, and Impact
  • The Causes and Effects of the Cold War on Global Politics
  • The Internet Revolution and Its Influence on Society and Economy
  • The Influence of Feminism on Contemporary Society
  • The Formation and Role of the United Nations
  • The Evolution of Environmental Movements and Their Impact on Policy
  • The Causes and Impact of the Arab Spring
  • The Historical Background and Consequences of the War on Terror
  • The Impact of Globalization on Culture and Economy
  • The Role of the European Union in Shaping Modern Europe
  • The Rise of China as a Global Power
  • The Development and Impact of Nuclear Technology
  • The Legacy of Apartheid in South Africa
  • The Political and Social Impact of the Vietnam War
  • The Historical Causes and Impact of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • The Influence of Pop Culture on Society and Identity
  • The Development and Influence of Artificial Intelligence
  • The Causes and Effects of the Financial Crisis of 2008
  • The Ongoing Struggle for LGBTQ+ Rights
  • The Political and Social Changes in Post-Soviet Russia
  • The Humanitarian, Political, and Environmental Impact of Climate Change
  • The Role and Influence of Social Media on Politics and Society

The above topics only touch the surface of our rich past. Each topic opens up multiple sub-themes and perspectives you can explore in depth. Choose a topic that piques your interest, resonates with your academic goals, or adds a fresh dimension to your understanding of history.

Whether you explore ancient civilizations, pivotal wars, or transformative social movements, remember that studying history offers invaluable insights into our present and future. So dig into these historical events, and let the writing begin!

📎 Related Articles

1. Dive into History: Intriguing 20th Century Research Paper Topics 2. Navigating the Historical Labyrinth of Ancient Rome: Essay Topics 3. Discovering Ancient Egypt: A Guide to Essay Topics 4. Unlocking the Past: World History Research Topics 5. Unleashing Your Potential: Choosing a History IA Topic

Ancient History Research Paper Topics

Embarking on a journey through the labyrinth of ancient history research paper topics , this comprehensive guide has been expertly crafted for students tasked with writing a research paper in history. The page unveils an extensive array of 100 topics, divided into ten distinct categories, thus providing a wealth of options for exploration. To further equip students for their research endeavors, a thorough guide to choosing the perfect ancient history research paper topic is included, accompanied by practical advice on how to compose an impactful research paper on ancient history. Subsequently, the page introduces the iResearchNet’s professional writing services, offering students the opportunity to commission custom ancient history research papers on any topic.

100 Ancient History Research Paper Topics

Ancient history is a vast field of study that reveals the early cultures, civilizations, and events that have shaped our world. Here are ten categories each with ten possible topics that you may consider for your ancient history research paper:

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Ancient Civilizations

  • The rise and fall of the Sumerian civilization.
  • Egypt under the Pharaohs: A study of the Old Kingdom.
  • The Indus Valley Civilization: Art, culture, and trade.
  • The social hierarchy in the Ancient Mayan civilization.
  • The technological advancements of the Ancient Chinese civilization.
  • The political system of Ancient Athens.
  • Roman Republic vs Roman Empire: A comparative study.
  • The agricultural practices of the Ancient Aztecs.
  • The role of the Oracle in the Ancient Greek civilization.
  • The fall of Carthage: An analysis of the Punic Wars.

Significant Figures in Ancient History

  • Alexander the Great: His conquests and legacy.
  • Cleopatra: Her influence in Egypt and Rome.
  • Socrates: His philosophy and influence on future generations.
  • Julius Caesar: His rise to power and assassination.
  • Hannibal Barca: His strategies and role in the Punic Wars.
  • Ashoka the Great: His reign and conversion to Buddhism.
  • Tutankhamun: His reign and the significance of his tomb.
  • Pericles and the Golden Age of Athens.
  • Confucius: His teachings and impact on Chinese society.
  • Queen Boudica and her rebellion against the Romans.

Ancient Warfare and Conflicts

  • The causes and effects of the Peloponnesian War.
  • Military strategies in the Roman Empire.
  • The role of chariots in Ancient Egyptian warfare.
  • An examination of the Trojan War: Myth and history.
  • The Battle of Marathon: A turning point in the Persian Wars.
  • Hannibal’s tactics in the Battle of Cannae.
  • The Hunnic invasions and their impact on Eurasia.
  • The Siege of Masada: A study of Jewish resistance to Roman rule.
  • Spartacus and the Slave Revolt.
  • The significance of the Battle of Actium in the shift from Roman Republic to Roman Empire.

Religion and Mythology in Ancient Cultures

  • The role of Greek gods and goddesses in ancient Greek society.
  • The cult of Osiris in ancient Egypt.
  • The impact of Zoroastrianism on the Persian Empire.
  • The religious practices in the ancient Mayan civilization.
  • The pantheon of the Roman gods and their Greek counterparts.
  • Buddhism in ancient India: Its inception and impact.
  • The mythology of the Norse gods.
  • Monotheism in ancient civilizations: The case of Aten in ancient Egypt.
  • The ancient Celtic rituals and druids.
  • The role of sacrifice in Aztec religion.

Ancient Cultural Practices and Beliefs

  • Death and afterlife beliefs in ancient Egypt.
  • The philosophy and teachings of Stoicism in ancient Greece.
  • Slavery in ancient Rome: A societal perspective.
  • The significance of the Olympic Games in ancient Greece.
  • The role of women in Sparta versus Athens.
  • The caste system in ancient India and its impact on society.
  • The practice of human sacrifice in ancient cultures.
  • The concept of democracy in ancient Athens.
  • The importance of the Nile River in the lives of ancient Egyptians.
  • The role of the Colosseum in Roman society.

Ancient Art and Architecture

  • The architectural marvel of the Egyptian pyramids.
  • The cultural significance of Mayan glyphs.
  • The symbolism in ancient Greek pottery.
  • The evolution of Roman architecture: From the Colosseum to the Pantheon.
  • Buddhist stupas and sculptures in ancient India.
  • The significance of the Sphinx and its mysteries.
  • The stylistic features of ancient Chinese calligraphy.
  • The construction techniques and purposes of Stonehenge.
  • The portrayal of myths and legends in ancient Greek sculpture.
  • The function of hieroglyphics in ancient Egyptian society.

Ancient Scientific and Technological Innovations

  • The astronomical knowledge of the ancient Mayans.
  • The ancient Roman aqueducts and their impact on society.
  • The development of mathematics in ancient Egypt.
  • The ancient Chinese inventions that shaped the world: Paper, compass, gunpowder, and printing.
  • The construction techniques of the Great Wall of China.
  • Ancient Greek contributions to medicine: The Hippocratic Oath.
  • The development of the Julian and later Gregorian calendar.
  • The engineering marvels of ancient Roman roads.
  • Ancient Indian contributions to mathematics: Zero, decimal system, and geometry.
  • The technology behind the Nazca Lines.

Trade and Commerce in the Ancient World

  • The role of the Silk Road in cultural exchange.
  • The impact of the spice trade in ancient India.
  • The trade relations between ancient Egypt and the Near East.
  • The significance of the Phoenicians in maritime trade.
  • The Roman trade with China: Silk and spices.
  • The economic significance of the agricultural surplus in Mesopotamia.
  • The role of coinage in the Persian Empire.
  • The wine trade in the ancient Mediterranean.
  • The ancient Incas: Trade without a currency system.
  • The marketplaces in ancient Rome: A study of the Forum.

Legal Systems and Governance in Ancient Cultures

  • The Code of Hammurabi: An analysis of Babylonian law.
  • The political system of the Roman Republic.
  • The governance and bureaucracy of ancient Egypt.
  • The legal and political institutions of ancient Athens.
  • The Mauryan administration under Emperor Ashoka.
  • The Roman law: Principles and influence on modern legal systems.
  • The role of the Senate in the Roman Empire.
  • The feudal system in ancient China.
  • The role of Spartan law in maintaining a military society.
  • The judicial practices in the ancient Inca civilization.

Health and Medicine in the Ancient World

  • The practice of medicine in ancient Egypt.
  • Ancient Greek understandings of disease and healing.
  • The role of Ayurveda in ancient Indian medicine.
  • Roman public health systems: Aqueducts, baths, and sanitation.
  • The use of herbs and acupuncture in ancient Chinese medicine.
  • The medical treatments and surgical techniques in the Hippocratic Corpus.
  • The role of the Asclepeion in ancient Greek medicine.
  • The understanding of the human body in ancient Egypt.
  • Mental health and neurology in ancient cultures.
  • The significance of the Edwin Smith Papyrus in the study of ancient medicine.

This diverse list of ancient history research paper topics provides a launchpad for you to explore the fascinating epochs, individuals, and events that have formed the foundation of our current civilizations. Choose a subject that you find engaging and let the past inspire and guide your research journey.

Ancient History: Scope and Range of Research Paper Topics

History, by definition, is the study of the past. The narrative of mankind’s journey from the cradle of civilization to modern society is not just a collection of dates, events, and personalities. It is a vast, intricate tapestry that interweaves the collective experiences, cultures, and achievements of human civilizations. Among the various eras and aspects of human history, the study of ancient history stands out due to its profundity and influence on the course of humanity. This section will guide you through the landscape of ancient history and the diverse range of ancient history research paper topics it offers.

To begin with, let’s understand what ‘ancient history’ encapsulates. Typically, it refers to the period from the earliest recorded human history to the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD. Ancient history spans across numerous civilizations and continents, providing a rich soil for research that encompasses social, cultural, political, technological, and personal facets of past societies.

The study of ancient history takes you on a journey across thousands of years, from the Neolithic Revolution when humans transitioned from a nomadic lifestyle to settled farming, to the rise of city-states, and eventually to the formation of vast empires. This wide temporal frame and the spectrum of social and cultural evolution it contains are a treasure trove of potential ancient history research paper topics.

Within this broad timeline, civilizations such as the Sumerians, Egyptians, Chinese, Indus Valley, Greeks, and Romans laid the foundation stones of our modern world. They pioneered the principles of governance, law, philosophy, mathematics, and science that we still rely upon today. Researching these civilizations’ histories allows us to delve into their society’s fabric, examining their values, their interactions with one another, their struggles, and their triumphs.

For instance, one could study the grandeur of Egyptian Pharaohs, their obsession with afterlife, or their monumental feats of engineering like the Pyramids of Giza. The Greeks offer a wealth of topics from their Pantheon of gods, the philosophy of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, their pioneering concept of democracy in Athens, to their legendary wars such as the Trojan War or the Persian Wars. When studying the Romans, one could delve into their vast empire’s administration, the evolution of their republic into an autocracy, their innovative architectural designs, or their sophisticated law system.

Moreover, ancient history is not confined to the Mediterranean and Near East. Civilizations in ancient India, China, Mesoamerica, and Africa offer a variety of unique cultural, philosophical, and historical perspectives. The philosophies of Buddhism and Confucianism, the Mayan and Aztec temples and astronomical knowledge, and the great African kingdoms of Nubia and Aksum contribute to the diverse tapestry of ancient history.

Another rewarding area of study in ancient history is the analysis of significant figures and their influence on their civilizations and future generations. Famous rulers such as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, or Emperor Qin Shi Huang left indelible marks on history. Their lives, their leadership styles, their achievements, and their failures offer fascinating insights into human nature and the nature of power.

Ancient warfare and its strategies, tools, and impact on society and politics is another aspect that provides an array of ancient history research paper topics. The strategies of Hannibal Barca, the construction and use of Egyptian chariots, or the methods of the Roman legions all offer intriguing perspectives on how ancient civilizations waged war.

Religion and mythology formed the backbone of ancient societies, affecting their worldviews, their laws, and their daily lives. Researching ancient religions, the role of gods and goddesses, the creation of myths, and the function of priests and rituals in society can provide illuminating insights into the spiritual lives of ancient people.

Furthermore, the field of ancient history isn’t solely focused on political and cultural topics. The study of ancient economies, trade routes, and commerce provides a grounding in the practical aspects of these civilizations. Topics such as the use of coinage, the trade goods and routes of the Silk Road, or the economic significance of agriculture offer an understanding of the economics of the ancient world.

Finally, there’s an entire world to explore in terms of ancient history’s influence on art, literature, and philosophy. From the epic poems of Homer to the sophisticated drama of ancient Greece, from the hieroglyphics of Egypt to the classical statuary of Rome, ancient history offers a wealth of subjects for artistic and literary analysis.

In conclusion, the scope of ancient history is vast, offering a plethora of research topics ranging from detailed studies of specific civilizations, significant figures, wars, religion, culture, economics, to the art of the ancient world. Each of these aspects offers unique perspectives and opportunities for detailed analysis and research, providing students with the potential to delve into the intricacies of our shared past. No matter the area of interest, ancient history has something for every curious mind, and the lessons we learn from the past invariably shine a light on our present and future.

Choosing Ancient History Research Paper Topics

Choosing the right research paper topic is crucial for a successful and engaging project. In the realm of ancient history, where countless fascinating subjects await exploration, it’s essential to select a topic that aligns with your interests and allows for meaningful research. This section provides expert advice on how to choose ancient history research paper topics that are both compelling and manageable.

  • Understand Your Interests : To begin your research paper journey, take some time to reflect on your personal interests within the realm of ancient history. Consider the civilizations, time periods, events, or figures that captivate your curiosity. By focusing on what intrigues you the most, you’ll be more motivated and invested in your research.
  • Explore Different Time Periods : Ancient history spans thousands of years, encompassing various civilizations and eras. Expand your understanding by exploring different time periods, such as the ancient Near East, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and ancient Rome. Each period offers unique historical contexts and research opportunities.
  • Narrow Down Your Topic : Once you’ve identified your general area of interest, narrow down your focus by selecting a specific aspect or theme within ancient history. For example, if you’re fascinated by ancient Egypt, you might choose to explore the role of religion in the construction of pyramids or the influence of pharaohs on political and cultural developments.
  • Consider the Available Sources : Before finalizing your research topic, evaluate the availability and accessibility of relevant sources. Ensure that there is sufficient scholarly literature, primary sources, and archaeological evidence to support your research. This will enable you to delve deep into your chosen topic and present a well-rounded analysis.
  • Consult with Your Instructor or Mentor : Seek guidance from your instructor or mentor who can provide valuable insights and suggestions based on their expertise in ancient history. They can offer recommendations, point you towards reputable sources, and help refine your research question.
  • Engage with Current Debates and Research : Stay up-to-date with the latest scholarship and ongoing debates in ancient history. This will enable you to identify gaps in existing knowledge and contribute to the academic discourse. Consider exploring topics that are currently generating scholarly interest or challenging conventional interpretations.
  • Balance Complexity and Manageability : Strike a balance between selecting a research topic that is intellectually challenging yet manageable within the scope of your research project. Avoid overly broad topics that may be difficult to cover comprehensively. Instead, focus on specific research questions or subtopics that allow for in-depth analysis.
  • Be Mindful of Available Resources : While choosing your research topic, be mindful of the resources available to you. Consider the accessibility of libraries, archives, online databases, and other research materials. It’s essential to ensure that you have access to the necessary resources to conduct thorough research.
  • Consider Multidisciplinary Approaches : Ancient history intersects with various disciplines, such as archaeology, art history, anthropology, and literature. Embrace multidisciplinary approaches by integrating different perspectives and methodologies into your research. This will enrich your analysis and contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of your chosen topic.
  • Stay Passionate and Flexible : Throughout your research journey, it’s important to maintain enthusiasm and adaptability. As you delve deeper into your chosen topic, new discoveries and insights may arise, requiring adjustments to your research direction. Stay open-minded and flexible, allowing your passion for ancient history to guide your exploration.

Choosing the right ancient history research paper topic is a critical step towards a successful academic project. By understanding your interests, exploring different time periods, narrowing down your topic, considering available sources, seeking guidance, engaging with current debates, balancing complexity and manageability, being mindful of resources, embracing multidisciplinary approaches, and staying passionate and flexible, you can select a compelling research topic that will ignite your curiosity and lead to a rewarding research experience.

How to Write an Ancient History Research Paper

Writing an ancient history research paper requires careful planning, thorough research, and effective organization. This section provides a step-by-step guide on how to write an engaging and well-structured research paper on ancient history.

  • Understand the Assignment : Before you begin writing, carefully read and understand the assignment guidelines provided by your instructor. Pay attention to the research question, required length, formatting style, and any specific requirements or restrictions.
  • Conduct In-Depth Research : Start your research by exploring a variety of credible sources, including books, scholarly articles, academic journals, primary sources, and reputable online databases. Take detailed notes, ensuring to record the source information for proper citation later on.
  • Develop a Strong Thesis Statement : Formulate a clear and concise thesis statement that articulates the main argument or focus of your research paper. The thesis statement should be specific, debatable, and supported by evidence from your research.
  • Organize Your Ideas : Create an outline that organizes your ideas and research findings into a logical structure. Divide your paper into sections, including an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each section should focus on a specific aspect of your research topic.
  • Write an Engaging Introduction : Begin your research paper with an engaging introduction that grabs the reader’s attention and provides context for your research. Introduce the topic, provide background information, and present your thesis statement.
  • Support Your Arguments with Evidence : In the body paragraphs, present your arguments and support them with evidence from your research. Use a combination of primary and secondary sources to provide a comprehensive analysis of your topic. Ensure that each paragraph focuses on a single main idea and includes relevant evidence to support it.
  • Analyze and Interpret the Evidence : Go beyond summarizing the information and engage in critical analysis and interpretation of the evidence. Explore the historical context, evaluate different perspectives, and present your own analysis based on the available evidence.
  • Incorporate Citations and References : Throughout your research paper, properly cite all the sources you have used using the required citation style (such as APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.). Include in-text citations for paraphrased or quoted information and provide a comprehensive list of references at the end of your paper.
  • Craft a Strong Conclusion : Summarize your main findings and arguments in the conclusion section. Restate your thesis statement and highlight the significance of your research. Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion and provide a sense of closure to your paper.
  • Revise and Edit : Once you have completed the first draft, take time to revise and edit your research paper. Review the content for clarity, coherence, and logical flow. Check for grammatical and spelling errors, and ensure that your paper adheres to the required formatting style.

Writing an ancient history research paper requires a systematic approach that involves thorough research, effective organization, and critical analysis. By understanding the assignment, conducting in-depth research, developing a strong thesis statement, organizing your ideas, writing an engaging introduction, supporting your arguments with evidence, analyzing and interpreting the evidence, incorporating citations and references, crafting a strong conclusion, and revising and editing your paper, you can produce a well-structured and compelling research paper on ancient history.

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  • Expert Degree-Holding Writers : Our writing team consists of expert writers who hold advanced degrees in history and related fields. They have a deep understanding of ancient history and are equipped with the knowledge and research skills necessary to deliver exceptional research papers.
  • Custom Written Works : We believe in providing customized solutions tailored to your unique requirements. Our writers carefully analyze your instructions and craft research papers from scratch, ensuring originality, authenticity, and adherence to your specific guidelines.
  • In-Depth Research : Research is at the core of every successful research paper. Our writers are skilled researchers who delve into reputable sources, both primary and secondary, to gather relevant and reliable information. They are well-versed in accessing academic databases and libraries to ensure comprehensive and up-to-date research.
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research papers on historical events

200 Interesting Historical Events to Write About [New Tips]

research papers on historical events

Have you ever wondered how multifaceted and diverse history is? It impresses us with a wide variety of interesting historical events. The mysteriousness and unpredictability make studying them even more exciting.

Nevertheless, writing a speech or an essay on history can be quite challenging for students. Since there are thousands of incidents to write about, choosing a good topic becomes incredibly difficult. Unprepared for an impressive diversity of major events in world history, you can get discouraged. Even delivering insightful information may start to seem stressful.

Fortunately, you have landed on our page! Our writing team has prepared a list of interesting events in history.

Are you looking for topics for a research project? Or maybe for a speech on National History Day? Or are you just searching for historical presentation tips? We can help you with everything! Just go to the corresponding section of the article and find useful information for you.

  • Interesting Events
  • National History Day
  • Black History Month
  • More Project Ideas
  • Project Tips
  • PowerPoint Ideas
  • Speech Topics
  • Presentation Tips
  • History Questions
  • 30 More Things

🔥 10 Interesting Historical Events

  • The Chernobyl Disaster – 1986.
  • Cold War – 1947-1991.
  • The Black Plague – 1347-1348.
  • The French Revolution – 1789-1799.
  • DNA Discovery – 1869.
  • Revolution in America – 1775-1783.
  • The First Flight – 1903.
  • The Vietnam War – 1955-1975.
  • Salem Witch Trials – 1692-1693.
  • Wall Street Market Crash – 1929.

🤗 Interesting History Project Ideas

An assignment of preparing a history project can provoke diverse emotions. One student can be extremely enthusiastic about the task. For another person, the history project can become a real trial.

The project preparation includes an impressive number of challenges. However, the main requirement for an outstanding history project is a fascinating topic.

Our team developed a list of interesting topics for a history project. So, do not waste your time on the topic search. Take a look at our ideas and chose the one you find the most insightful. If this information isn’t enough, you’re always welcome to check out a free essay database and get even more topics to discuss.

You can make any history project interesting.

📅 Topics for National History Day

  • American Revolutionary War.
  • Great awakening’ history.
  • History of Soviet Union.
  • The Canadian Indians History: the White Paper 1969 .
  • The development of women’s rights.
  • Southeast Asia history: Chinese imperial expansion.
  • Belize and Mexico history: people and civilizations.
  • Liberty! The American Revolution.
  • Christianity and Asceticism in the history of religion.
  • Women’s status after the American Revolution.
  • The consequences of interaction in cultures and civilizations.
  • Abraham Lincoln’s thoughts in American history.
  • The British mandates history: Jewish and Palestinian relations.
  • Role of the civilian population in World War I.
  • The Industrial Revolution and beyond: culture, work, and social change.

The Enlightenment characterized European society during the 18th century.

  • World history: Enlightenment in society
  • Concept of imperial powers in history.
  • The major causes of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States.
  • History of Hitler’s Nazi propaganda.
  • History of Russian Revolution in 1917.
  • The Dark Ages as the Golden Ages of European history.
  • Picasso and his paintings in modern world history.
  • A social and political history of the United States.
  • European colonization impacts on the native American population.
  • Principles of liberalism and its connection to Enlightenment and conservatism.
  • Japanese occupation in Philipines. Analyze the background of this event. How did World War II affect the occupation? Indicate the leaders of both parties. Analyze the consequences of Japanese occupation in Philipines for both countries.
  • Pythagoras and his theorem in math.
  • Mendeleev and his periodic table in chemistry.
  • Einstein and his theories in physics.
  • Martin Luther King as the most outstanding historical figure of USA history. Briefly introduce his biography. Why his speech I Have a Dream is so widely-discussed up till nowadays? Comment on Martin Luther King’s impact on the USA development.
  • World War I and World War II. Compare and contrast the two world wars. What were the outcomes of both conflicts? In your opinion, during which war the military development was more effective?
  • The mysterious origins of the USA flag. Did Americans have their flag during the American Revolution of 1775? Elaborate on that do the colors and the figures on the flag mean. When did the flag become an official symbol of America?

🖤 Topics for Black History Month

  • Racism and segregation in American history.
  • Reconsidering the history: Holocaust denial. The XXI century prospects.
  • How useful is the term ‘fascism’ when applied generically to describe the far-right in interwar Europe?
  • Rosa Parks: biography and influences.
  • Blacks’ role in abolishing slavery.
  • The Holocaust and Nazi Germany.
  • Genocide in Rwanda: insiders and outsiders.
  • Role African American women in the civil right movement.
  • The propaganda of Adolf Hitler and Jim Jones .
  • The rise of fascism.

The first Italian fascist movement tried to please everyone.

  • Warfare and violence in ancient times .
  • Suffering in the ancient Roman and Greek periods.
  • Why did Europe undergo such a bloody and destructive period from 1914-1945?
  • Holocaust history, its definition, and causes .
  • German concentration camps and Japanese-American internment camps. Compare and contrast the conditions and distinctive features of German concentration camps and Japanese-American internment camps.
  • Tortures in the ancient world. What were the forms of torture?Analyze the tortures in different parts of the world. Give your own opinion: are there any positive sides of tortures implementation?
  • The Armenian genocide of 1915. Elaborate on the sequence of the events. What were the reasons for the genocide? Comment on the outcomes of this dark event.
  • The dark side of World War II. Comment on the human losses during World War II. Elaborate on the horror of being in captivity.
  • The horror of concentration camps . Analyze psychology as the tool of people’s extirpation. How did the torment was killing people? What was the reason for creating concentration camps?
  • Terror during the Soviet Union’s existence. Are there any social studies that examine this issue? Comment on the ways terror was implemented. What were the reasons for terroristic actions? Analyze the opposition of terror. Elaborate on the outcomes.

📝 Other Historical Project Ideas

  • Greek city-states – ancient civilizations.
  • Islam and Christianity impacts on the medieval word.
  • Comparisons of early Greek and early Roman cultures.
  • Arts of China: tomb of Liu Sheng and Dou Wan Jade suits.
  • The collapse of the greatest ancient civilizations: the Maya, the Aztec, and the Inca civilizations.
  • Art history: female figures in Ancient Greek sculpture.
  • Historical and theological context of Byzantine Iconoclasm.
  • The history of Egypt and the Fertile Crescent.
  • Concepts of the rise and fall of the Babylonian and Egyptian empires.
  • Ancient civilizations: the Maya Empire.

Much of Maya Empire's history is a mystery.

  • Weapon development in early European civilizations.
  • History of Celtic Christianity.
  • Greek and Roman art on the campus.
  • The first civilizations of North America.
  • The Western Roman Empire: the significance of its collapse.
  • The Agricultural Revolution: from the Neolithic Age to a New Era of agricultural growth.
  • Rome in the Middle Ages and cultural transformation.
  • The Stone Age period and its evolution.
  • Civil Rights History .
  • History of empires in the past and modern world.
  • The comparison of Roman and Mongol empires.
  • Military equipment and the technology of China in the Early Modern world.
  • Ancient history: the Great Pyramid of Giza.
  • Religion in Ancient Rome, the Byzantine Empire and the Holy Roman Empire.
  • The Mongol Empire . Analyze the effects of the Mongol Empire’s expansion in China, Korea, and Japan.
  • Ptolemy Family as one of the most powerful families in world history. Briefly describe the family history. How did this family impact ancient Egypt? While analyzing, focus your attention on the last queen of this line—Cleopatra VII. How did Cleopatra contribute to the prosperity of ancient Egypt?
  • Cultural progress as one of the most interesting topics of history. Comment on the development of culture in various parts of the world. Were there any periods when it was regressing, not progressing? Compare the distinctive features of culture in Europe, Asia, and America.
  • Adolf Hitler’s art. Briefly introduce Hitler’s biography. How did his lifespan affect his development as an artist? Comment on the topics reflected in Hitler’s artworks.
  • The role of the church in the life of the middle ages in Europe. Analyze the connection between the church and the governmental sector in medieval times. What was the impact of the church on education and the economy in Europe? Comment on the problems of the medieval church.
  • Waitangi Treaty history. Examine the intentions, expectations, and results of signing the Treaty of Waitangi.

🥇 History Project Tips

History project development is hardly ever uncomplicated. Sometimes, the process of preparation can result in a massive discouragement for students.

But wait, let us tell you something.

Our team of experts gathered the most useful tips in one place. Use them and make your project development process more pleasurable!

  • Search for an appropriate topic. There are plenty of fascinating historical facts to talk about. The choice of the most relevant one will make your project indeed successful. Choose wisely. The project about the cultural regression of Europe on the European cultural day is a horrible idea. Unless you want to fail. Pick the topic that will be interesting for the audience and relevant to the event.
  • Become a real expert in your field. To achieve the highest results, conduct the background and primary source research. You need to be ready to spend a lot of time investigating the topic on a deep level. It will help you to create a well-developed history project.
  • Keep your materials in order. The development of historical projects requires a wide variety of materials. Prevent a mess! Sort out all the sources you are using and keep track of the additional materials. A wise arrangement will make the research process more smooth. This way, you will get the desired final product.
  • Plan your time wisely. Even a dedicated history fan can develop a sophisticated history project in a short time. Therefore, don’t follow the popular student’s rule “I’m doing everything the night before the due date.” Divide your work into small chunks and create a project gradually. Also, review what you have done from time to time. It will help you to arrange your working plan to achieve a great result. Be flexible and create a worthy project.
  • Create a unique final product. Your project has to be special and memorable. Provide some bright examples, introduce fascinating historical facts. Use additional aids (slides, posters, etc.) to impress your audience. Nobody is intrigued by common historical knowledge. Use a narrative writing style to deliver information effectively.
  • Back-up everything! Do you think that the highest level of pain is then you break your leg? You are mistaken. Nothing can cause more pain then accidentally deleted documents or the missing piece of vital information. You might be asking yourself how to avoid this pain. In this case, here is the answer. Make a copy of your work and upload the document on a cloud. You will have easy access to it without risks of losing data.

Written notes are easy to lose or mix up.

😍 Interesting History Topics for Presentation

Are you stressing out about the upcoming history presentation? Are you lost in the topics to present? Are you not sure if you need any visual aid for your performance or not?

We have good news for you!

Our team collected the most interesting topics for a presentation. Below, you’ll find two sections. The first one offers topics for presentation with visual aids. The second one provides a wide variety of expressive informative speech topics. Picking one of them, you can deliver your information without any additional effects.

Scroll down and choose something useful for you

📽 Ideas for PowerPoint Presentations

  • Rococo and neoclassical art.
  • Historical art periods: a critical evaluation of Baroque and Rococo artistic styles.
  • Collective invention during the Industrial Revolution.
  • Renaissance versus Baroque.
  • The ancient civilization of Maya.
  • Ash Kyrie art: looking into the eyes of war.
  • Western world history presentation.
  • Imagination, values, and emotions in different historical art periods.
  • The historical development of fine arts in Korea from 1950 to the present.
  • Harlem Renaissance: historical and social background.
  • Cultural exchanges in the Medieval Period.
  • World War II innovations.

There are numerous innovations of World War II.

  • A history of modern Europe: from the Renaissance to the present.
  • Examining an archeological site: the pyramids of Egypt. There are plenty of interesting historical facts to choose from. Additionally, include some bright images if Egyptian pyramids in your PowerPoint presentation. Imagine how impressed your audience will be!
  • Mayan calendar system. Show the main figures and tables. It will be beneficial for your audience’s understanding of the material.
  • The four voyages by Christopher Columbus . Use maps as visual aids to illustrate the directions of Columbus’s voyages.
  • From World War One to globalization. Conduct a historical investigation on the period between WWI and the globalization era. Use charts and graphs to smooth the digestion of information.
  • The Kings of Ancient Egypt. Impress your audience with interesting facts about Egyptian kings. Appropriate images will help you to deliver information effectively.
  • Scientific Revolution. Comment on the development of psychology, philosophy, physics, chemistry, and medicine. Illustrate the key figures of the scientific revolution in a PowerPoint presentation.
  • World War II: consequences for the world. Even an impromptu speech will be successful if you use this topic. But if you add effective visual aids, your presentation will become even more memorable.

🎙 Historical Speech Topics

  • Progressive Era in the United States.
  • American Revolution and the crisis of the Constitution of the USA.
  • Welcome to Ancient Egypt. When legends were born.
  • Declaration of independence in American history.
  • Concepts of feminism as one of the most controversial topics.
  • Slavery and the Civil War relationship.
  • The civil rights movement: oppressing the black population.
  • The American War of Independence.
  • The kings of ancient Egypt.
  • Mongol conquest’ causes, battles, and results.
  • Abraham Lincoln against slavery as one of the most interesting history informative speech topics.
  • History’s definition and concept.
  • The Great War’s history.
  • Pearl Harbor history .

Pearl Harbor recalls the surprise Japanese air attack that resulted in the United States’ entry into World War II.

  • French revolution and the Napoleonic era.
  • Enlightenment in society – a topic for a successful public speaking performance.
  • The significance of Martin Luther and the protestant reformation in the history of western civilization.
  • Roman Lifestyles’ influence on civilization.
  • History of Christianity contributions to the Western World.
  • The Christian Crusades.
  • African-Americans social reform.
  • The war finance feature in promoting military success.
  • European Christianity and its decline from the XVI century. Think of possible reasons for Christianity’s decline. Introduce them in your speech and elaborate.
  • The Black Saturday Bushfires – a tragedy of 2009. As the event is relatively recent, try to search for information on social media. Social networking can assist in finding and processing the data.
  • World War II as the most devastating war in world history. Introduce your own opinion regarding the losses of World War II. Provide a critical analysis of WWII’s impact on the modern world development.
  • The heritage of the Soviet Union. Comment on of the Eastern, Central, and Western Europe unification. Compare and contrast social and cultural progress among countries of the Soviet Union.
  • The history of the Berlin Wall. It’s one of the most insightful ideas for public speaking. Analyze the lifespan of the wall from its construction till the falling. What was the impact of the Berlin Wall on the country?
  • The Sumerian
  • The Akkadians
  • The Amorites
  • The Assyrians
  • The Chaldeans
  • Golden Pectoral—a famous cultural artifact. Where was Golden Pectoral found? Analyze the historical background. Where is it kept now?
  • The European Union creation. Analyze the historical background of EU creation. What is the specific purpose of the EU? Briefly introduce the timeline of the process of EU creation. How does it operate now?

There are six founding countries of the EU.

🗨 History Presentation Tips

Do you want to prepare an outstanding history presentation, but not sure where to start? Not a problem! Our team created a list of useful history presentation tips. Examine and implement them in your preparation process to ensure high-quality results.

  • Create a strong introduction. The main purpose of the introduction put the listeners into the picture of the topic. That’s why, initially, you have to spark the interest of the audience. For that, include an attention-getter at the beginning of your presentation. Moreover, make sure your thesis statement is clear, and you previewed all the essential points. This will help your audience to follow up with your ideas.
  • Develop an effective conclusion .To finish your speech successfully, spend time working on your conclusion. It has to summarize your arguments and provide a clear picture of the discussion. A small tip from us: An inspirational thought at the end will make your presentation more memorable.
  • Work on the organization and development of the presentation. A clear and easy-to-follow structure is a formula for success. Thus, make sure you have strong transitions between the points. Pay attention to the accuracy of the information you present. Include proper citations of the sources and an annotated bibliography, if necessary. It will make your work informative and prevent a lot of misunderstandings.
  • Make the delivery of your presentation effective. A natural posture, appropriate body language, well-established eye contact are underrated. They are critical for good delivery! The wise use of your voice’s capabilities will put you one level above the other performers. Practice a lot before delivering your speech to astonish the audience.
  • Your visual aids have to be professional and clearly readable.
  • Always refer to the visual aid while presenting the information (for instance, “Take a look at the graph”).
  • Your PowerPoint slides will be useful only if you put the key ideas on it, but not the entire text.
  • Before giving the speech, make sure all the technologies are working properly. Ensure that no pitfalls are waiting for you.

Choose visual aids according to their purpose.

💯 Interesting Historical Questions

Our team’s aim is to help you succeed in history studying. Therefore, we decided that a list of basic historical questions will be useful for you. Look through it and ask yourself what is most appropriate for you.

  • What is the connection between the Enlightenment and romantic age?
  • What are the effects of the Industrial Revolution in relation to WW 1?
  • What is the history of the imperialism era from 1848 to 1914?
  • What are the parallels between the Revolutions of 1848 and Arab revolutions?
  • What is the timeline of the Mexican war?
  • Should the United States have annexed the Philippines?
  • What is the role of airplanes during WW I (1914-1918)?
  • What are the cultural relations between white and black people?
  • What is the national and factual identity of Britons?
  • What is the history of Athens?
  • What is the impact of Julius Cesar on Rome’s development?
  • What are the major aspects and historical events of the Cold War?
  • What are the three Rs of the new deal in United States history?
  • What was the role of the gardens in Great Depression?
  • What was the Mesopotamian influence on the Oman Peninsula?
  • What is the importance of US Foreign Policy between 1890-1991?
  • What are the features of the Russian working-class movement?
  • What is the role of America in World War 1?
  • What are the causes of depression in the 1890s?

1890s depression was the most severe in Australia's history.

  • Why the Scientific Revolution did not take place in China – or did it?
  • What were the Great Britain Empire’s Alliances?
  • What is the US Role in the Egypt-Israel war?
  • Who are the legendary warriors of Old Japan?
  • What are the similarities and differences between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King?
  • What is the importance of the unification of GDR and FRG in the history of Germany?
  • What effect did Industrialisation have on the levels of water pollution? Elaborate on the link between the lack of drinkable water and the Industrial Revolution.
  • How did the development of psychology during the Scientific Revolution impact the world’s perception?
  • What is the history of astronomy development and steroids studying during the Scientific Revolution?
  • What are the most fun facts about the history of the world?
  • What are some concepts of civilization development that are significant for the world’s history holistic picture?

👌 30 More Interesting Things in History to Write about

You have probably noticed already that there is plenty of interesting topics of history to write about. The essay writing process can become more pleasurable if you know what to analyze. When the students have a clear view of the time frame and territory they need to explore, they struggle less with a paper.

Your assignment may indicate the time period and territory for your history paper.

In case you’re asking yourself how to make the search for fascinating ideas easier, we have an answer. We prepared a pleasant bonus for you—a collection of interesting topics about history.

Five interesting things to write about in world history:

  • World War I .
  • World War II .
  • Role of democracy in the world .
  • Revolutions’ history and definition .

Five interesting things to write about in European history:

  • The Roman Empire .
  • The Thirty Years War .
  • Protestant Reformation .
  • Enlightenment and revolution .
  • European Union .

Five interesting things to write about in US history:

  • The Civil War .
  • Progressive Era.
  • Race relations and women’s status .
  • Native American culture and American Indians .
  • The Compromise of 1850 .

Five interesting things to write about in ancient history :

  • The Stone Age period.
  • Greek city-states.
  • Ancient Egypt history .
  • Mesopotamian civilization.
  • Maya, Aztec, and Inca collapse .

Five interesting things to write about in modern history :

  • Total War in modern world history .
  • Industrial Revolution .
  • Scientific Revolution .
  • Renaissance period .
  • Great Awakening’s history.

Five interesting biographies to write about:

  • Alexander the Great .
  • Karl Marx .
  • Napoleon Bonaparte .
  • Abraham Lincoln .
  • Adolf Hitler .

Thank you for reading our article! We hope you found some useful tips and chose an interesting topic for your assignment. Do not forget to leave your comment and share our page with your friends!


  • The 25 Moments From American History That Matter Right Now: Time
  • 5 (Recent) Historical Events You Should Discuss with Your Students: Josh Work, Edutopia
  • Ideas, National History Day: Indiana Historical Society
  • 3 Ways to Make a Good Presentation Great: Geoffrey James, Inc.com
  • How to Convert Your Paper into a Presentation: Writing Studio, Thompson Writing Program, Duke University
  • Oral Presentation and Powerpoint: The John A. Dutton e-Education Institute, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University
  • Stages of a Historical Research Project: DoHistory
  • Project Categories: National History Day, NHD
  • 150+ Presentation Topic Ideas for Students [Plus Templates]: Orana Velarde, Visual Learning Center by Visme
  • History: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Writing a Thesis and Making an Argument: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, The University of Iowa
  • African American History Month: The Library of Congress
  • Writing with Writers, Speech Writing, Tips from the Pros: Teacher’s Activity Guide, Scholastic
  • 20 Public Speaking Tips for Students: Arlin Cuncic, Verywell Mind
  • Share via Facebook
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  • 180 Top History Research Paper Topics
  • 180 Interesting History Research Paper Topics

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  1. Best History Research Paper Topics

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  3. Interesting American History Research Paper Topics

    100 Interesting American History Research Paper Topics Exploring the fascinating realms of American history offers students and researchers a multitude of opportunities to delve into captivating topics. In this section, we present a comprehensive list of interesting American history research paper topics, carefully organized into 10 categories.

  4. 140 Good Research Topics for History Papers

    This article will help you find good research paper topics for history in many different eras and time periods and give you good suggestions for generating unique ideas. All suggested topics are focused, specific, and easily divided into three main sections. ... Three Events from the First Greek Olympiad; How, Where, and When Rome was Founded ...

  5. Historical Research

    The new virtual issue from Historical Research shines a light on some of the classic articles from the journal's recent archive. It features some of the most read and most cited articles from the journal's archives and covers a wide range of topics of perennial interest to both historians and to a wider readership. Browse the virtual issue.

  6. PDF A Brief Guide to Writing the History Paper

    Some papers are concerned with history (not just what happened, of course, but why and how it happened), and some are interested in historiography (i.e., how other historians have written history, specifically the peculiarities of different works, scholars, or schools of thought).

  7. American History Research Paper Topics

    This page presents an exhaustive guide for students exploring American history research paper topics. American history, rich in its complexity and breadth, spans across centuries of transformative events, influential figures, and groundbreaking policies. Our comprehensive list of 100 research paper topics is systematically divided into ten ...

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    Historical Abstracts with Full Text Alumni Edition offers graduates a useful database for post-college historical research. Covering world history (excluding the United States and Canada) from the 15th century to the present, it includes key full-text history journals, plus useful features such as the ability to search by time period.

  11. A Step by Step Guide to Doing Historical Research

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    The "second draft" is a fully re-thought and rewritten version of your paper. It is at the heart of the writing process. First, 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!).

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    300+ Research Paper Questions and Topics for History Class. How to Select a Research Paper Topic One of the most difficult aspects of writing a research paper is the selection of a research topic and thesis. This article provides its readers with a list of different research topics (and questions) in the field of World History.

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    142,699 History is one of the most fascinating and influential fields of study. It's not merely a narration of the events of the past but a constant search for answers. It's a re-examination of our human experience and understanding of how far we have come. We will write a custom essay specifically for you for only 11.00 9.35/page

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