Creating Good History Topics for Research Papers

Since research papers are most commonly assigned in language arts and history classes, students need to be able to create good topics in those classes. Research papers in language arts classes tend to be focused on controversial issues or literature, so those tend to be easy for students to select. Since history classes cover such a broad range of time, the topics are more challenging for students to create.

Due to the fact that history has already happened, history research paper topics often run dangerously close to being written like encyclopedia articles. The key to coming up with a quality history topic is to choose a topic that has controversy involved. Research papers need to prove something, not just restate given facts. The facts need to be used to prove an idea, which is why history topics are so challenging for students to make.

To help you with your research paper topics for history class, here are a few to use as inspiration:

  • Is America a melting pot or a salad bowl?
  • How do the Puritans continue to influence American society?
  • Should the Constitution be revised to fit the needs of the US today?
  • Is the world safer now that the Cold War is finished?
  • Why did communism fail in Russia?
  • What can the US learn from countries who had elected female leaders?
  • AIDS vs. Ebola: What are we doing differently now?
  • How is Indian culture different from American culture?
  • What was health care like in Ancient China?
  • What was the shortest war? What was the longest war? What made them last?
  • Where did Arabic numbers come from and why did we choose those over Roman numerals?
  • Who is the most important figure in all of American history?
  • What was the most unusual pet that lived in the White House?
  • Who is the best president of the 20th Century and why?

Good history topics need to have two important pieces. They need to cover a historical event or historical figure. Then, the research paper topics need to use that information to prove a point. So, if you are going to write about the best president, you need to know what the presidents have done and what makes them better than the others. In order to show that a president is better than the others, you need to develop criteria and show how the other presidents are not as good. A topic like this requires significant knowledge, but it also requires the ability to prove a point.

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