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HIS 378 - Reynolds: Picking a Topic and Thesis

Library resources for History 378

Sources for Picking a Topic

Often one of the most challenging part of doing a research paper is choosing a workable topic, one that is not too broad or too narrow and answers a significant research question. You can search the Internet for possible topics.  However, only you in consultation with your professor can determine what works. The library has a number of useful resources that will hopefully get you started in this search.

One of the best places to start your search for a topic is browsing relevant reference articles. Reference articles provide a brief overview on a topic and will help you determine if you have enough interest in the topic to pursue it more deeply. Read the Wikipedia article on your topic and browse the references.

Internet sites with topic ideas:

Library Reference databases:

Your Textbook is a great source for finding topics. What interests you in class readings?

Faculty - consult with faculty in the History Department to get ideas.

Sources for Creating Your Thesis

Once you have chosen a topic you must develop a thesis statement. Every paper must argue an idea and must clearly state that idea in a thesis statement.

Example: The US confrontation with the Soviets was the key factor in Truman’s decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima.