Loyola College Culion

A Quick Guide To Writing A Medieval History Research Paper

Medieval History is undoubtedly one of the most interesting time periods to explore and write a research paper about. Monarchies still held considerable power, the sword had not yet passed into nothing more than a romantic instrument of status, and people lived painfully difficult lives. You don’t want to write about history in the same way that you write any other paper. This is the past; you won’t be starting out with an actual thesis. So how do you write a Medieval History research paper? Here is a quick guide.

  1. Firstly, ditch the idea of coming up with a thesis straight away. How would you know what your main argument is if you have yet to read any material? Simply form a question about a medieval topic you are interested in. Perhaps you are wondering if the stories of Robin Hood were based on the adventures of a real life ruffian, or what really lead up to the fall of the Roman Empire, or why the Arab Siege of Constantinople caused a considerable shift in several seats of power, or how the death of Offa became the end of Mercian rule in England. Perhaps your question is not as broad as those examples.
  2. You’ll want to find as many reference books on your chosen topic as possible, even books that just barely hint at what you are looking for. They can also prove to be little geodes with nuggets of interesting information inside. Search engines and online resources for scholarly articles are two other places to look for information on your topic. Keep track of all your references so you can easily know which book contained a quote you want to use, or a vital piece of information that may answer your research question.
  3. Find resources that are contemporary to the time. In this case, medieval manuscripts. Libraries often carry translations of these works that can help you really get into the mind of a person living at the time.
  4. Once you have gathered relevant information that may or may not answer your question (depending on how you are planning on writing your paper), develop an outline to help you structure all your ideas, quotes, and resources.

It is important to note that a research paper on history is written in the Chicago, or Turabian style. Finding a style sheet online or in a writing guide book will help you write your paper and bibliography in the accurate format. After gathering information from various scholarly sources and creating a thorough outline, you will have already come up with several things you want to say, making the flow of writing much simpler.

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