Research paper topics in history: brainstorming interesting ideas


Deciding on a research topic for your history paper is about as hard as writing the paper. You have tried so many times to think of something and you just keep drawing a blank. There are some great ways to brainstorm ideas that you can use to discover interesting topics.

There are so many different history classes that you may be taking so it won’t be beneficial to list some ideas so instead I will discuss how to brainstorm them instead of simply giving you a topic to write about. You can come use these methods to come up with topics in the future.

  1. If you had to choose one topic to teach a foreign exchange student from your text book which would it be?
  2. This question can help you in the brainstorming process. Jot down any topics from the text that you wouldn’t mind teaching someone from another country. The topics that you feel more comfortable with are the easier ones to write about.

  3. Skim your text book
  4. You can skim through your book to see if any event catches your eye. An interesting topic will more than likely jump out at you. You can always read the captions to the pictures that you see that catch your eyes.

Once you have a basic idea that you want to use, get a fresh sheet of paper out. On this piece of paper, write the topic in the middle of the page. Now write all of the words that you immediately think of when you think of that topic. These can be spread all over the place on the paper. Keep it going even if you start to slow down. The more and more you write about the topic; the more ideas should come to your mind because you may associate some words with different triggers.

Now that you have some great ideas brainstormed, let’s put them in a logical order. Not all the words have to fit but do this in an outline format. That way you express the main topics and the supporting topics underneath.

These brainstorming techniques will help you come up with a solid topic to write about. Think about the different time periods and the times when you were amazed at how people acted or of the events that occurred. If you were intrigued by the Salem witch trials, write about that.