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Creating An Excellent History Research Paper Thesis Statement

History teachers like to lecture and they love to assign research papers. When you craft a research paper, you need a thesis statement. Without it, the research paper will be without a focus. Without a thesis, writers flounder and wander around different topics and readers have no idea what the paper will do. Writing a good controlling sentence for a history paper is not as difficult as students often think it is. Here are some tips:

  • Choose a topic. You cannot write a research paper argument without a topic. Hopefully, your instructor will give you some ideas to work with so you do not have to create a topic from scratch. Remember that you are writing a research paper and not a collection of books, so be sure that the topic you choose is small enough to fit completely in a small project like this.
  • Develop a yes-or-no question: In order to write a solid thesis, it is a good idea to begin with a question, especially a yes-or-no question. If you are writing about World War II and the role of women, you could ask a question to yourself: Did female pilots get enough credit for their work in World War II? You can start a yes-or-no question with did or should.
  • Use the question in the thesis: Your history argument is easy to write if you work the question into the statement. If you use the question about women pilots, you could easily write a thesis like “Female pilots did not get enough credit for their work during World War II.” Or, you could write that they did.
  • Test the thesis statement: It is important to test your thesis to be sure that it will do what you want it to do. You can check the sentence by asking yourself if you can actually prove what you wrote. Are there documents that support what you want to argue? Do people actually care about the sentence you created? Is there a counterargument that you can try to disprove? Is the sentence overly opinionated without facts to support it?
  • Add to the predicate: Good thesis statements will often have reasons or other information in the predicate. For example, “Female pilots in World War II deserve more credit and should have commemorative events and statues created in their honor.” With more information in the predicate of the sentence, the statement becomes more focused.
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