History Research Paper Writing- How Factual Should It Be?
History is a wide ranging subject. You can study the history of the formation of countries, the development of cultures, or the industrial and scientific advancements leading to the modern age. When you make a decision to major in History at college, you give yourself a couple of years before you have to narrow down your course program to a more specific subset of the subject.
You will first be assigned classes which present general and basic history on a wide array of areas. Unlike sciences such as geology, physics, or biology, most of your required course work will be written essays or research papers. You will spend a great deal of time reading material about various issues in history, and then discussing them in class with your teacher. Typically, most classes give grades based almost entirely on a research paper submitted at the end of the semester. When you start writing this crucial paper, you always wonder the amount of factual evidence that you should include in your works.
The research paper is for your history class. It is not an essay written for journalism classes, or an opinionated diatribe produced for political science courses. It is also not a research paper to be presented after scientific studios or experiments. There needs to be a balance of facts, evidence, and opinion all contained in the same piece of writing. You will receive course on how to research, what to look for, and where to attain the knowledge to study historical events. These methods must be employed when writing a research paper.
Your opinion is not really your opinion
A history research paper is on a topic selected by you or your teacher. For example, in American History, you may be asked to write a research paper on the effects of the cotton trade on the development of the Civil War. You dive into the research. You find books about the subject, articles written in scholarly publications, and presentations and speeches made by learned men on the topic.
You review all available information and come up with a definitive option on the answer to the question in your assignment. That is great. But, remember this is not commentary. You are presenting a research paper. Any deductions, logical conclusions, or opinions you set forth must be based on a solid set of facts and historical occurrences. You can make interpretations of events, but do so based on an educated guess, not a wild stab in the dark. You research paper needs factual evidence, but a balance must be struck with your logical assumptions and interpretations.
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