Well, you’ve just made up your mind to write your first history research. But the problem is that you still don’t know what you’re going to write about. Undoubtedly, picking up the right topic is the most crucial step in writing any research proposal and your history paper isn’t an exception here. In fact, before you choose actual topics for your work, you need to take several steps of refinement.
First, you require determining a general area where you have a sincere interest. Be honest with yourself here, your readers will definitely feel whether you’re really interested in your topic or not.
Secondly, you should narrow your topic. Choose one theme: social changes, battles, biographies or politics. Once it’s done, clearly formulate your research topic. To be exact it should be formulated as a question. For instance, this may be «What are the major values expressed in movies of the 1930s?». Thus, you can inform us of the Great Depression. If you succeed with asking yourself a question, you’ll drastically simplify the process of writing your history research.
Of course, it makes no sense to get down to work on a topic for your history paper, if you still don’t know where to find enough information about this. In fact, the cornerstone of any substantial research is a sort of detective work and the everlasting hunt for information. You can get some help from professors and reference librarians. For instance, they can give you a prompt where you can look for statistics for this particular question.
Then, make use of bibliographies of general background books. Reference aids will also bring you to special studies. Furthermore, you can find lots of sources on the web.
Once your history paper takes shape you’ll find that you require background on people, events, places and so on. Check several reputable dictionaries of biography for some background on famous people. You may also look for public opinions in newspapers of that time.
It doesn't makes sense to count on one even a very good research paper you've just found at the library. Try to use several efficient research techniques. A really valuable book on your subject may be found in a certain section of the library due to some classification quirks. Moreover, there're even books which provide detailed listings of other books on certain topics. You can also count on specialized indexes of magazine articles.
Most probably, you still don’t have a general background on your topic. Then, you'd better get the most recent general sources on your theme and read all of this just for general orientation. Thus, you can work out a clearly focused problem to be discussed in your work.
Find chapters or articles, which seem to relate to your topic and read them. Thus, you'll fruitfully work with your research question. Make use of the sources cited in this reading to create a full bibliography. Apart from that, you can take advantage of Historical Abstracts. What about a convenient, large computer-based national library catalog? No one doubts you'll get more than enough from it.
Now it's time to do the bulk of your history research. Some researchers fall into a trap of reading. They read over and over again without getting started to write their proposal. Don't follow their example. Start writing your paper. if there are several gaps in your research, you can fill them later.
At this stage, you require writing a preliminary thesis statement, expressing what your main arguments are going to be. You require sketching a broad outline indicating the whole structure, including main points and subpoints.
Based on your outline and thesis statement start writing. Don't wait until you fill all the research gaps. Just mark them with special searchable symbols, so you could get back to them later. Do your best to get to the final point of your writing as soon as possible and left pieces shouldn’t stop you. Just keep to your outline form, it will make your research more organized.
The given draft is a fully rewritten and re-thought version of your paper. In other words, it's the heart of our writing research process.
First, it would be a good thing to lay the first draft aside for some time just to gain distance from it. Then, after a while, try to read it with a critical approach. Most likely you'll notice a great number of glitches. Don’t get depressed. Just fix all of this and keep working on your research.
It's crucial that your redone draft contains paragraphs which begin with topic sentences that identify the argument you'll be making in the certain paragraph.
Now you're ready to check the redone, your final draft. At this stage you require checking accuracy as well as suitability of words. You don't need unnecessary passive and awkward noun constructions, do you? So, get rid of them. Then, eliminate repetitions and make your style smooth and clear. Make sure that the start of your work is interesting for readers. Finally, make spell-check and then proof-read.
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