A Short Guide to the “Long” Paper in HIST 2020
Remember that you are making a particular argument in this research paper, not simply presenting a pile of information.
You should be able to answer these basic questions in a research paper in most disciplines/fields:
-What are you claiming? Or, what is your thesis? -What are your reasons for that claim/thesis? -What evidence supports your reasons? -What do you say to potential objections and other points of view? -How are your reasons relevant to your claim? Make it clear.
Work on a strong introduction and a strong conclusion to the paper. State
your thesis clearly in both places. After the introduction, early in the paper, give some context and
background on your topic. Try to include some sense of what historians and/or other scholars have said/written about it.
Each paragraph should be a coherent whole. Ideally, there is even a thesis statement for each paragraph, with the rest of the paragraph supporting it.
Have a good “flow” to the paper, with strong transitions sentences between paragraphs and ideas.
Key terms and concepts should come up throughout the paper. Make it clear to the reader how each section/paragraph relates to the
whole. Keep in mind the question, “so what?”