Monday, July 06, 2009

Early American History Paper Topics

Looking for history class paper topics, particularly American history paper topics? You've come to the right place, though we will focus on early American history, especially the founding era.

**If you prefer American history research paper topics beyond the founding era, check out "American History Paper Topics" by Naomi Rockler-Gladen (Suite101.com)

Make sure you follow these steps in selecting the right topic...

1. Clarify Assignment Parameters

If your American history teacher has assigned you a paper to write, your first task is to familiarize yourself with the parameters of the assignment. Did your teacher specify a date range (i.e., 17th century, 18th century, etc.), a cultural/gender focus (Native American culture, women in early America), or a political angle (i.e, causes of the American Revolution, causes of the War of 1812, etc.)?

2. Brainstorm List of Topics

Once you've established the parameters of the assignment, it's time to brainstorm a list of about 10-15 topics that fit within those conditions.

Let's say, for example, that your teacher wants a paper on childhood in colonial America, you would then brainstorm all the possible angles to this core subject. A mind-mapping type exercise may be helpful.

Continuing with our example, your list might look something like...

*Infant mortality in the 1700s
*Childhood disease and medical treatment of the 1700s
*Children of Continental Army soldiers in the American Revolution
*Orphanages in Colonial America
*Early Textbooks in Colonial American Education

As you can see, there are a number of possibilities.

So.....to help get you started....here are a list of broad topics related to early American history that you can then brainstorm sub-topics from....

*The Great Awakening
*Jonathan Edwards
*George Whitefield
*Benjamin Franklin and Poor Richard's Almanack
*Scientific Discoveries and Inventions in the 1700s
*Commerce and Trade in Colonial America
*The French and Indian War
*Causes of the American Revolution
*The Siege at Yorktown
*The Franco-American Alliance of the American Revolution
*The Constitutional Convention
*The Federalist Papers
*The Anti-Federalist Papers
*The presidency of George Washington
*The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom
*The Alien & Sedition Acts
*The Kentucky & Virginia Resolutions

Again, we could go on for quite some time. There are so many topics in early American history from which to choose. But the above list should get you started.

3. Conduct Initial Research

Once you've brainstormed about 10-15 topics, do some initial research on the Internet. See which topics strike you as the most interesting and for which you can find adequate information. Don't spend too much time on research yet. Your objective is to narrow your choices down to one or two.

4. Double-check Your Choice(s) with your Teacher

If you can, take the 1 or 2 topics you ultimately select (from the above step) to your teacher and confirm that you're headed in the right direction.

5. Deeper Research


Once you get the go-ahead from your teacher, it's time for more intense research. Look for statistics, quotes, and other information on the topic. Study all angles.

And then you're ready to start your outline and write your paper.

Good luck!

****

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* The assassination of Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr.
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* The Kent State shootings
* The Women's Liberation Movement
* Richard Nixon's trip to China
* Watergate
* Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon
* The OPEC gas crisis of the 1970s
* The Iranian hostage crisis
* The assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan's life
* Ronald Reagan's invasion of Grenada
* Ronald Reagan's "War on Drugs"
* Ronald Reagan's "Tear Down this Wall" speech
* The Challenger explosion
* Oliver North and the Iran-Contra scandal
* Mikhail Gorbachev, glasnost, and peace treaties with the Soviet Union
* The invasion of Panama
* The 1991 Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm)
* Rodney King and the Los Angeles Riots
* The O.J. Simpson trial
* The Oklahoma City bombing
* Bill Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky scandal
* The controversy over the 2000 presidential election results
* The attacks of September 11th
* The War on Terror
* The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
* Hurricane Katrina
* The Virginia Tech massacre

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