Tips for formatting a history research paper

The format of a history research paper is in some ways like many research papers; there are constant characteristics which you will find in all streams. The most basic of course is the structure of the format. This involves an introduction, the body or supporting paragraphs, and finally the conclusion.

A history research paper, unlike a persuasive essay for example, does not begin with a question or story related to the topic, but rather with the key facts which are to be presented in the essay. The supporting paragraphs will provide the reader with historical evidence to support the thesis statement. The number of supporting paragraphs you have in the body of your research history paper will depend on the number of significant points you wish to make.

Whilst always keeping in mind the number of words required for the history paper, the more points you wish to make the more paragraphs there will be within the body of the essay.

The conclusion of a history paper requires you to use different words to explain the main fact you introduced in the introduction. You will also include a summary of all that has appeared in the supporting paragraphs and you will not use any new information.


This is an important part of any history research paper and involves quotations, footnotes and bibliography. Getting the format right in using all of these points is most important. It is important to understand that in any history research paper, it is not a good idea to use too many quotations. How many is too many will depend on the length of the paper. Using direct quotations is acceptable but keeping them short is preferable. Use double quotation marks at either end of the quotation. If you have a quote which is more than three lines in length, you should indent the quote at both margins by about half an inch or 1 cm.

Footnotes are used to back up a quotation. The quotation in the body of the essay has the source of the quotation listed in the footnote. In the footnote you will include the name of the author or title of the work from which the quotation has come, the date of publication, and if from a website, then the URL address from where the document has been found. You may also include the date on which you read the website because, unlike printed material, websites tend to come and go.

The bibliography will appear on a separate page at the end of the essay. Again you would need to understand the requirements of the educational institution. The list of titles you have referred to and researched in preparing your essay will be listed alphabetically using the last name of the author. Usually the bibliography is formatted using the MLA style manual or the Chicago manual of style.