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History Thesis


In a history thesis, the thesis writer attempts to make a contribution to the academic study of history. In order to achieve this goal, the writer usually either offers a new interpretation or perspective on a historical figure, event, or series of events; conducts new research into the topic and releases it to the public; or draws new lines of cause and effect for historical issues.

The student who offers a new interpretation for a historical theme will probably write a highly argumentative, creative thesis. Writers of this type of thesis sometimes have a personal interest in the chosen interpretive perspective, such as a feminist who offers a new interpretation of women's role in medieval feudal societies. The student should be careful to support the new interpretation with sound, reputable research, because the depth and accuracy of the research will help persuade skeptical readers; however, the student should not hesitate to prove the value of relatively unknown research sources, if they are crucial for the strength of the interpretation.

History theses may also bring new research into the public eye. This type of history thesis may cause the student to have to go to unusual lengths to unearth new information about historical events; this may include reading ancient manuscripts, personal letters, or public records and drawing conclusions from them; making archaeological excavations; or interviewing witnesses or relatives of witnesses of the historical event under discussion.

A third type of history thesis deals with cause and effect. Writers of history theses that take this approach will demonstrate causes and effects of events that experts have heretofore not considered. For example, a student may choose to write a thesis on the relationship between a nation's economy and an event in that nation's history.

History theses should be very creative. The student may write anything that he or she can defend. The only thing a student should avoid is writing a blasé, humdrum, unoriginal repitition of ordinary views on historical events.


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