History Research Paper Topics: 180 Brilliant Ideas to Consider
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History Research Paper Topics: 180 Brilliant Ideas to Consider

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Author:
Samantha W.
Dec 21, 2023
12 min

History Research Paper Topics: Top A-Grade Picks for Your Project

Writing a research paper on history is a massive and incredibly time-consuming task. Compared to many other subjects, history has a lot of contradictions and contexts in it. Thus, it requires plenty of reading and critical analysis to get your assignment done. There might be a plethora of challenges facing you on this path. Yet, the first and one of the biggest ones is the selection of your topic.
The choice of a topic is nearly 50% of your paper’s success. Choose a too-broad subject ‒ and you’ll get lost in dozens of resources, unable to stick to one specific line of reasoning. However, choose a novel and engaging paper ‒ and you will be inspired to work on the task. Plus, your chances of scoring a high grade will automatically enhance.
To help you get on the right track, we’ve compiled a list of good research topics for history papers. Keep reading to find your perfect topic with us!
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What Is a History Research Paper?

A history research paper is a piece of academic writing that delivers analysis, interpretation, and evidence-based reasoning of a topic based on thorough independent research. The purpose of this work is to bring together different facts, evidence, and points of view on the same topic and interpret them for readers.
A history paper has several distinctive features from other types of research papers:
  • It’s guided by a historical question and makes a historical argument.
  • It’s grounded by evidence from primary sources (materials that were produced during the historical period you are addressing).
  • It should connect and debate with other scholars who’ve done research on the same topic.
  • It aims to make a contribution to existing historical knowledge.
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Now, let’s talk more about historical topics for research paper.

Why Should You Care About What History Topics to Research?

The importance of the topic selection is hard to undervalue. If you make a wrong choice, your entire research can be flawed, resulting in a poor grade for your paper.
For example, if the subject is too broad, you won’t be able to disclose it in full in your paper. If it’s too narrow, you won’t have enough scope for research and enough materials to use as the basis for your work.
Similarly, if a topic is boring or trivial, you will feel less motivated to work on it. You will quickly become sick and tired of writing your paper, which will harm the result. Or, if you pick a topic that lacks novelty, you won’t have much to add to it, and your research will end up valueless.
All these small flaws in your topic can hinder the writing process and your final grade. That’s why you should care a lot about what topic you choose for your study.

What Makes Good and Interesting History Topics to Research?

There are five core indicators researchers can use to choose interesting history research paper topics:
  • Feasibility. There should be enough scope for research (a topic shouldn’t be too broad or vague). All equipment and materials needed for the research must be available at the moment. And a researcher must possess the necessary knowledge and skills.
  • Interestingness. The topic must be interesting to you, your audience, and scientific society in general.
  • Novelty. The study must be unique and not duplicate already existing articles. It should introduce something new to the existing body of knowledge.
  • Ethics. The subject must not cause ethical issues, such as contradictions with the laws, values, or religious beliefs of society.
  • Relevancy. The topic must perfectly align with the overall subject and the course material that you are studying. It also should be relevant to scientific society and help conduct further research.
This is a universal formula for choosing a good topic: it must be feasible, interesting, novel, ethical, and relevant (FINER). Keep this formula in mind to evaluate your topic ideas and choose the right option.

Top 180 Good History Research Topics Students Should Consider

Now that you know what a history research paper is, why choosing a good topic is important, and how to test your ideas and identify the most winning subjects, let’s move on to the most helpful part.
In this section of our article, we are going to give you lists of good topics for a history research paper on different aspects of history. Each of these topics was carefully handpicked by our experts and tested for relevancy, novelty, and other features of a good topic.
Let’s see what’s in there for you.

General US History Research Paper Topics

US history has plenty of thought-provoking events that can serve as the base for your study. Below, you will find our top 12 picks of the most interesting general US history topics for research paper that you can consider.
22. The Role of the Homestead Act in Westward Expansion
23. How the Boston Tea Party Stimulated Revolutionary Sentiment in Society
24. Interpretation of the Founding Fathers’ Idea of a Democratic Republic
25. The Analysis of the US Victory in the Battle of Yorktown
26. Analysis of Framing the American Constitution During the Constitutional Convention
27. Revealing the Causes and Consequences of the Emancipation Proclamation
28. How Did Industrialization Transform American Society and Life?
29. The Impact of the Lewis and Clark Expedition on American Expansion
30. How Did the War of 1812 Help Forge American National Identity?
31. The Impact of the Louisiana Purchase on the US Expansion
32. Analysis of Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement in the United States
33. The Causes and Consequences of the Revolutionary War as the Main Catalyst for American Independence

Interesting American History Research Paper Topics Before 1877

Upon slavery and the division of the country after the Civil War, the US government undertook many steps to reintegrate formerly enslaved individuals and reconnect people across the entire country, making the period before 1877 crucial for US history. Below are some great American history research paper topics for college students about this period.
27. The Role of the Homestead Act in Westward Expansion
28. How the Boston Tea Party Stimulated Revolutionary Sentiment in Society
29. Interpretation of the Founding Fathers’ Idea of a Democratic Republic
30. The Analysis of the US Victory in the Battle of Yorktown
31. Analysis of Framing the American Constitution During the Constitutional Convention
32. Revealing the Causes and Consequences of the Emancipation Proclamation
33. How Did Industrialization Transform American Society and Life?
34. The Impact of the Lewis and Clark Expedition on American Expansion
35. How Did the War of 1812 Help Forge American National Identity?
36. The Impact of the Louisiana Purchase on the US Expansion
37. Analysis of Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement in the United States
38. The Causes and Consequences of the Revolutionary War as the Main Catalyst for American Independence

Engaging World History Research Paper Topics

If you are studying world history or just looking for a more extensive and global subject, you can confidently opt for world history topics for research paper. Global history has plenty of big and impactful events to research. Below are some of our top picks among world history themes.
45. Chivalry: Analysis of the Military System During the Feudalism Era
46. Cultural History of the Early-Years Byzantine Empire
47. The Rise and Fall of the Eastern Empire
48. The Role of Religion in the History of Israel
49. Unveiling the Origins and Impact of the Thirty Years’ War
50. The Rise of Monarchy in England
51. The Rise of Constitutionalism Ideology in World History
52. Defining the Key Distinctive Features of the French and American Revolutions
53. Critical Analysis of European Diplomacy During the World War I
54. Jewish Resistance Movement During the Holocaust
55. Top Innovations Introduced to the World During the World War II
56. How Did Civil and Political Rights Change Throughout World History?

Winning Civil War Research Topics

The U.S. Civil War was one of the most critical turning points in American history. This war put an end to the institution of slavery and preserved the US as one nation. Choosing a topic from this time can be a good bet for a successful research project. Below are some ideas to consider.
62. A Comparative Analysis of Confederate and Union Armies
63. The Impact of the US Civil War on American Society
64. An Overview of the Key US Civil War Battles and Their Effects on the War Outcomes
65. Key Female Figures in the US Civil War and Roles They Played in the War
66. What Role Did the Battle of Gettysburg Have in the Civil War?
67. A Summary of the Appomattox Campaign and Its Impact on the US Civil War
68. Unveiling the Contribution of African-American Soldiers to the Civil War
69. How Did Slavery Become the Tinderbox of the American Civil War?
70. How Did the US Civil War Stimulate Massive Changes Across the Globe?
71. The Role of Europe in the Civil War
72. The Impact of the US Civil War on the Economy
73. The Pros and Cons of the Compromise of 1850

Top WWI Research Paper Topics

World War I played a big role in global history. Focusing on this time in your study can be challenging. But it’s a good option for an in-depth and compelling study. In the list below, we’ve selected some of the best history research paper topics about World War I.
79. The Key Causes of WWI and Its Impact on Global Society
80. The Impact of the Treaty of Versailles in the World War I
81. Analysis of Trench Warfare and the Role of This Fighting Method in the World War I
82. What Was the Role of New Technologies in the WWI Outcomes?
83. Analysis of the Chemical Weapons Use During WWI
84. What Was the US Policy Concerning American Soldiers Participating in WWI?
85. Schlieffen Plan: What Is It, and Why It Failed During WWI?
86. Analysis of the Gallipoli Campaign
87. The Primary Outcomes of WWI and Their Impact on Global Society
88. What Were Human Costs During WWI Time?
89. How Did the US Become Dragged Into WWI?
90. Why Was Germany Punished More Severely Than the Remnants of Austria-Hungary?

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Winning WW2 Research Topics

Being the second largest global world, World War II is another critical point in the history of humanity. Its massive impact on global society makes it another great time period to discuss in your study. Now, let’s look at some of the best WW2 research paper topics that you can consider.
96. In-Depth Analysis of the Causes of World War II
97. Key Participants of WWII and What Contribution Each of Them Made
98. The Most Noticeable Leaders of the WWII Time
99. The Rise of Adolf Hitler and His Ideology
100. Analysis of the German Resistance Movement Against Hitler
101. The Role and Impact of Diplomacy in WWII
102. The Causes and Effects of Japanese-American Internment
103. US Neutrality Acts and Their Impact on the American Neutral Position in World War II
104. Why and How Did the US Army Enter the Second World War?
105. The Role of Religion in the Holocaust During the World War 2
106. Primary Factors That Contributed to the Offset of World War 2
107. Unveiling the Causes and Issues Related to the US’ Use of the Atomic Bomb Against Japan

Interesting Vietnam War Topics for Research Papers

Massive, world-changing wars, such as the Vietnam War, have always played a huge role in history. Yet, there are always plenty of controversies, issues, and debates around them, making them perfect subjects for research. Further in our guide, we will give you the top 12 Vietnam War historical topics to research.
113. Historical Summary of the Vietnam War and Its Primary Causes and Outcomes
114. Religion as One of the Factors Causing the Rise of the Vietnam War
115. Ethical Implications Related to the Vietnam War
116. How Did the Media Impact the Onset of the Vietnam War?
117. Why Was the US Army Involved in the Vietnam War?
118. Women’s Activism During the Vietnam War and Its Impact on Global Society
119. Key Reasons Why the US Security Transfer Failed During the Vietnam War
120. What Was the Treatment of African-American Soldiers During the Vietnam War
121. The Impact of Nixon and Kerry on the Outcomes of the Vietnam War
122. Analysis of Global Protests Against the Vietnam War
123. The Causes and Effects of Australia’s Involvement in the Vietnam War
124. Frequent Wind Operation: Summary and Impact on the War Outcomes

Captivating Cold War Research Paper Topics

The Cold War is another crucial point in the history of the world. This war left a lasting legacy, and its impacts are still felt today, which makes it a good subject to research and discuss in your academic projects. Check out some of our handpicked history research paper topics about this period.
130. The Long-Accumulated Origins of the Cold War
131. How Did the Cold War Impact the Foreign Policy of the United States?
132. The Tangible Effects of the Cold War on the US Society
133. An Overview of How the Cold War Helped Shape Global Politics in the Past and Now
134. A Summary of the Key Events of the Cold War
135. The Key Countries Involved in the Cold War and Their Contributions to It
136. The Cold War’s Impact on Popular Culture in the US and Globally
137. Critical Analysis of the Communists’ Concept of Society
138. How Did the Cold War Affect the Middle East?
139. The Role of Joseph Stalin in the Onset of the Cold War
140. Truman’s Policies: Summary and How They Were Implemented in the Time Between 1947 and 1952
141. Getting Clear on the Domino Theory in the Cold War Era Settings

Killer European History Research Paper Topics

Just like world history or US history, European history is filled with world-changing and controversial events. This field of history is very extensive and contains engaging topics for students with different interests, skills, and levels of knowledge. Below are some of the best historical research topics about Europe to try.
147. British Monarchy and Its Role in European History
148. Analyzing the Causes and Effects of the Fall of the Roman Empire
149. The Hellenistic Time and Its Effect on the Development of European Civilization
150. The Role of Religion and the Catholic Church in European History During the Medieval Times
151. The Causes and Socio-Economic Implications of Feudalism
152. Analysis of the Causes and Effects of the Protestant Reformation
153. What Stimulated a Massive Intellectual Revolution in Europe During the Renaissance
154. What Caused European Exploration and Colonization?
155. The Columbian Exchange: Summary, Causes, and Effects
156. The Effects of the Industrial Revolution on European Nations
157. Analysis of the Post-War European Integration and Its Key Achievements
158. The Causes of the Eurozone Crisis and Its Implications on European Economies

Inspiring Art History Research Topics

If you are studying art history, this subject field also has plenty of compelling themes to research. However, choosing something novel and truly inspiring can be a challenge. To help you get on the right track, we’ve gathered the most resonating art history research paper topics.
164. Comparative Analysis of Eastern and Western Art Patterns
165. The Role and Manifestations of Symbolism in Gothic Architecture
166. What Is the Contribution of the Greek Theater to Universal Art History?
167. What Were the Most Notable Chinese Art Features in the Era of Feudalism?
168. The Role of Religion in the Early-Years Works of Leonardo da Vinci
169. The Primary Distinctive Features of Art in the Age of Expressionism
170. How Did the Rise and Popularization of Cubism Affect the Art World?
171. Comparative Analysis of the Surrealism and Suprematism Art Movements
172. The Role of Cave Art in Egyptian Culture and Its Impact on Art History
173. Analysis of the Key Periods in Ancient Greek Art
174. The Role of Pottery in the History of Ancient Greek Art
175. The Art of Henna and Its Role in African, Indian, and Middle Eastern Cultures

Non-Trivial Ancient History Research Paper Topics

If you major in ancient history or this is the main topic of your current course, choosing a suitable theme for your research paper can be tough. Below, you will find the top 12 ancient Rome research topics, as well as topics about other events and nations from ancient times.
181. The Role of Religion in the Ancient World
182. The Development of the Voting Concept in Ancient Greece
183. Comparative Analysis of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece: Key Similarities and Differences
184. The Key Philosophy Ideas in Ancient Greece
185. The Age of Gladiatorial Games in Ancient Rome From the Ethical Perspective
186. The Most Notable Leaders in Ancient History
187. The Power of the Ancient Rome Empire and Its Impact on the Rest of the World
188. Key Components of Ancient Greek Art and Culture
189. Key Technological Advancements Achieved by Ancient Civilizations
190. The Key Similar and Distinct Features of Ancient Roman and Greek Governments
191. Analysis of the Development of Technology and Science in Ancient Rome
192. An Overview of the Major Mesopotamian Civilizations

Interesting Great Depression Research Topics

The Great Depression was one of the crucial events in the history of America. This event caused the US Government to pull back from important international involvement for some time. Yet, it helped the US emerge as a global leader. Check out some history research paper topics related to the Great Depression.
198. What Are the Main Triggers That Led to the Great Depression?
199. The Impact of the Great Depression on the US Position in International Relations
200. Critical Analysis of the Key Responses of the US Government to the Great Depression
201. How Did the Great Depression Affect Social Life and Poverty in the US?
202. The Dust Bowl Disaster: Key Facts and Its Impact on the Great Depression
203. The Stock Market Crash of 1929: Key Facts and Events
204. Analysis of the Major Population Movements Caused by the Great Depression
205. The Impact of the Great Depression on World History
206. Analyzing Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Plans to End the Great Depression and Recover From It
207. How Did the Depression Affect the Average US Household?
208. The Role of Herbert Hoover In the Great Depression
209. The Effects of the Great Depression on Women’s Lives

Top Modern History Research Paper Topics

If you want to write a compelling history research paper, you don’t necessarily need to focus on the history of the past. There are lots of excellent historical research paper topics that can be taken from modern history. Below, you will find some of the most exciting modern history topics.
214. Comparative Analysis of the Key Social Movements in Modern America
215. The Role of Industrialists and Inventors in the Modern World
216. The Rise of Global Terrorism in the Modern World
217. The United Nations and Their Role in Maintaining Peace in the Modern World
218. The Impacts of the Fall of Germany in the WWII on Modern Europe
219. The Implications of the French Revolution on Modern France
220. Analysis of the Positive Effects of Spice Trade on the Development of the Modern World
221. The Causes of the Commercial Revolution and Its Effects on Modern Economics
222. Critical Analysis of the Patriot Act
223. Chernobyl Explosion and Its Lasting Consequences
224. How Did Religion and Culture Change in the Modern World?
225. NATO: Key Facts and Roles in the Modern World Community

Simple History Research Paper Topics for College Students

If you aren’t sure what event or time in history to focus on in your study, the choice of the topic can get even more challenging. There are plenty of different directions and branches of history to choose from. To help you make this choice effort-free, we collected some of the best simple history research topics for college students.
231. Aftershocks of the Cold War on the US Ways of Living and Society
232. The Main Events in the Colonization of South America
233. What Impact Did the Reconstruction Policy Have on the American Economy?
234. Comparison of World War I and World War II
235. The Byzantine Empire: The Rise and Fall
236. Analysis of Women’s Rights Movement and Its Key Achievements Throughout the Past Century
237. The Biggest Conquests in the Ancient World and Their Effects on the Development of the Modern World Map
238. The Key Effects of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian Cultures
239. In-Depth Analysis of Lives of Average Peasants During Medieval Times in Europe
240. The Effects of Nuclear Weapons Development on the Global Military Conflicts
241. The Effects of Crusades on Religion Today
242. Comparative Analysis of Capitalism and Communism

Popular History Research Topics

No matter how challenging or engaging some history topics are, sometimes, all you need to do to score an A is to choose a topic that’s already well-known and popular. If you choose popular history research topics, you will be guaranteed to have plenty of information and resources to handle your task. Below are some popular ideas that you can try.
248. The Causes and Effects of the Seven Years’ War
249. Early Days of Modern Europe: Key Facts and Events
250. Analysis of the US Democracy and Its Impact on the World
251. The Most Notable American Presidents and Their Contributions to the Country’s Development
252. History of European Colonization of the Americas
253. Causes and Effects of the American Revolution
254. Alexander the Great and His Legacy
255. The Impact of the Allies’ Occupation of Germany
256. How Did the US Immigration Policy Change From Colonial Time Until Today?
257. The Effects of Mormons on the American West Settling
258. A Brief History of the US Navy and Its Development
259. Development of Egyptian Civilization
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FAQ

The topic you choose will determine whether you will have enough scope for research and define the right direction for your study. Most importantly, an interesting topic will motivate you to work on the task and make the process fun. Lastly, it will make your paper more engaging for readers.
First of all, a good topic must be interesting to you and your readers. Also, it must be relevant to the subject matter, ethical, and novel to help you make a tangible contribution to the existing body of knowledge. And it must be feasible.
The choice of a solid topic typically gets down to three core steps:
Brainstorm ideas and choose a relevant topic that aligns with your course and teacher’s requirements.
Do some background reading and narrow your topic down to something manageable.
Discuss your choice with your professor to gain some feedback.