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Academic Writing Ideas: A List Of 10 History Research Paper Topics

Writing a research paper in the humanities seems easier than in the sciences, as it doesn’t require lab experiments, complex calculations or special equipment. However, academic writing in humanities can have plenty of challenges, especially if it’s about history. Despite the false stereotype of being a “mere collection of facts about the past”, the truth is that history is an immensely complicated discipline studying nearly everything from the dinosaurs to the atomic bomb and from Attila the Hun to Abraham Lincoln.

Step #1: Choosing the Historical Period for Research

Before even thinking about the topic of the paper, the students should choose the historical period they’re going to write on, and do some research on the most interesting events and personalities of this very epoch. There are three basic periods in history:

  • Ancient history (3600 BC – 500 AD).
  • Ancient history is supposed to begin with the first written records and end with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and some other hegemon states of the ancient world. Such epochs as the Bronze Age and the Iron Age belong here.

  • The Middle Ages (500 AD – 1500 AD).
  • The Middle Ages, or the Medieval Times, is a period of history that started with the fall of the world’s most powerful empires and ended with the beginning of the Renaissance. It’s one of the most interesting and mysterious periods in world history with a lot of rumors, myths and stereotypes about it, widely depicted in modern films, TV shows and literature.

  • Modern history (1500 - present)
  • The term “modern history” is used to describe the timeframe from the Renaissance era to this very day. It’s often described as three separate periods: the early modern period (c.1500 – c.1800), the late modern period (1750 - 1914) and the contemporary period (from 1914 up to this very day).

Step #2: Choosing the Topic

After collecting some information about the desired epoch, it’s time to choose an interesting topic for the research. Here is a list of 10 catchy topics on different historical periods to consider:

  1. Ancient Egyptian society, culture and arts.
  2. Major wars in world history.
  3. The medieval family law.
  4. The art of the Renaissance and human nature.
  5. The Victorian Era: social aspects.
  6. The causes of WWI: on the road to war.
  7. The causes and consequences of WWII.
  8. Women in modern European history.
  9. The rise of China as an economic power in contemporary world.
  10. Genocide and other violations of human rights in contemporary history.

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