When a student is assigned a research paper, especially for the first time, it can be very helpful to have a research paper sample to consult. A research paper sample can give the student valuable information about the format and style of a properly written research paper.
Writing a history essay can be a fascinating, but very challenging process for any student. While every history research paper will differ in terms of its subject matter, the focus of the class, and the specific assignment, there are several general guidelines to consider when writing any form of history research paper.
With regard to format, history research papers generally have a title page listing the title of the work, the student/author’s name, the class, the name of the institution, and the date. Each page thereafter should be numbered. When a student cites the work of any other author, or makes statements based on information directly obtained from another author’s work, it is important to correctly cite this reference in a footnote. A footnote is labeled by placing a number after the reference, and then listing information about the source at the bottom of the page or at the end of the paper. With regard to other formatting guidelines, history research papers are generally written in accordance with “Chicago style,” that is following the rules outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style. Another good source of formatting and style guidelines for history research papers is Kate Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, which adheres the same guidelines as the Chicago Manual of Style.
To write a successful history research paper, the student will need to consult sources of information. There are two important classes of sources, arranged hierarchically. Primary sources are actual historic documents, whether they are originals or exact copies. An example of a primary source might be the original or a photocopy of the Constitution of the United States. To write a high level history research paper, it is often required to consult primary sources.
Secondary sources are books, articles, and reports about history, as opposed to actual historical documents. Most of the information for a student’s history research paper will come from secondary sources. When looking for secondary sources, the student should look for high quality, scholarly research books and articles instead of encyclopedias and popular interest books.
Beyond these general guidelines, the student can study the actual assignment and the prior coursework in the class to determine the specific requirements for any history research paper assignment.