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American History Before 1865 Topics For Argumentative Essays

The United States is so rich in history and culture making it very interesting to study and consequently one of the top research paper topics for college students. Research papers on recent events though, especially in the 20th century, can be quite hard to write with the lack of perspective and the differing opinions of experts with regard to the events.

  • On the abandonment of restrictive fashion of previous eras in favor of more comfortable clothing in the modern era;

  • On the Hiroshima bombing in 1945 which was considered to be a year of beginnings and endings;

  • On the Anthracite Coal Strike in 1902 and the effects of the coal mines on coal miners;

  • On the Black Power Movement and the fight for civil rights;

  • On the Chicano Movement in the 1960s for the Spanish-Californians and their fight for civil rights;

  • On the factors that led to the Great Depression in the late 1920s;

  • On establishing Veteran’s day to commemorate the end of World War 1 which was declared to be the war that ended all wars;

  • On the rise of organized crimes in the 1920s after the 18th amendment made it illegal to manufacture, transport, or sell alcohol;

  • On the War Power Act which limited presidential military authority; and

  • On the Women’s Christian Temperance Union regulating the consumption of alcohol at the time when women had limited legal rights.

  • Writing research paper topics about United States history or even writing a research paper, in general can get really tedious. This is why students often hire professional writers to do the dirty work for them – from doing the research to writing it down accordingly into a cohesive and comprehensive piece of research work.

  • Thesis. Pick a topic that is relevant to the general public and actually calls for an answer to real world questions. Avoid writing down summaries and narratives. Instead, argue your point and substantiate them accordingly with credible references in research papers.

  • Bibliography. A research paper requires a lot of research which means you will have to go through relevant primary and secondary sources.

  • Outline. It can either be a broad general guide or a very detailed plan, whichever works better for you. This allows you to check easily your progress and re-order parts as needed. This will also help you manage your time and ensure you submit on or before the deadline, with enough time to finalize and perfect the research paper.

  • Title. The title obviously has to give the readers an idea of what the paper would be about. Choose a title that suggests a question or a debate that you will be addressing in the paper.

  • Introduction. Start strong to convince your readers to read on. The introduction should introduce the argument and present some historical context of the issue.

  • Argument. Arguments without evidence to prove them are hearsays and will not hold water. Make sure that each argument you make is substantiated with appropriate and credible references that are properly cited. Again, do not just summarize and narrate the data and information you have gathered. Make sure to analyze the facts.

  • Conclusion. Summarize the entire argument at the end and add the value or reason of your research paper. It should reinforce the relevance of your research paper and convince your readers to actually act on the matter.

  • Style. Write in clear, concise English and avoid colloquial English or slang. In writing about history, make sure to use the past tense all throughout the paper.

  • Paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain one major point that will advance your argument.

  • Quotations. Keep all quotes short because what is important is your analyses and your thoughts on the subject matter. Remember to acknowledge the source of all direct quotations in the footnotes. Check with your instructor on which citation style guide to use. Otherwise, there are several style guides you can choose from.

  • Annotation. You can use either footnotes or endnotes, but never both. As already mentioned, you would have to check with your instructor on which citation style guide to use. In any case, the standard guides are M.L.A. or the Chicago style.

  • Revisions. Make sure to edit and proofread your first draft more than once. You can also ask other people to edit your work for fresh eyes. Make sure to look into your spelling, grammar, and writing style. These are the little details with big effects.

  • Technical desiderata. Research paper assignments usually go with instructions but absent these instructions, do provide a cover sheet and number pages.


    13 Originals: Founding the American Colonies The thirteen colonies listed in the order of their founding with links to the state’s homepage, constitution , and colonial history.

    Experience Colonial Life What did a gentleman wear in colonial Williamsburg? What did he and his fellow citizens eat? Answers to these questions and many more are on this Colonial Williamsburg site.

    Early America Through the Media of the Day Original documents, portraits, maps, newspapers, magazines, and writings of early America.

    Liberty: the American Revolution The official online companion to the PBS series about the American Revolution

    The Newburgh Conspiracy Read about the conspiracy of the Continental Army officers and how General Washington and his spectacles saved the Republic. Links to documents concerning the event.

    The Constitutional Convention Excellent links to biographies of the Founding Fathers, the complete text of the constitution, and questions and answers pertaining to the Constitution.

    The Federalist Papers Arguments written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay in support of the ratification of the Constitution. Searchable by word or phrase.

    The First Federal Congress 1789 - 1791 Read about this precedent setting Congress that took the Constitution and made a government.

    George Washington: First President of the United States Provides president's speeches as well access to his papers.

    The Unwritten Constitution Processes of the federal government (many established by the Washington administration) that are not actually in the Constitution but are a part of how the government works.

    Antebellum American History Created by Lone Star College-Kingwood Librarians, this guide covers the antebellum and civil war period.

    The Corps of Discovery Explore with Lewis and Clark the wilderness acquired by Thomas Jefferson in the Louisiana Purchase.

    Democracy in America The book written by a young Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, about his nine month travel through the United States in 1831-32. His observations on that new form of government, democracy, are still relevant today.

    John Brown's Raid An ardent abolitionist and eighteen co-conspirators captured the federal arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia with the intention of arming and freeing the near-by slaves. An incident that inflamed an already volatile atmosphere.

    The Dred Scott Case The Supreme Court decision that declared that all blacks – free as well as slave- could not be citizens of the United States.

    American Civil War Site From the Univ of Tennessee, this is one of the best collections available.

    American Civil War.com A searchable site of information – political, social, military, people – about this conflict.

    The H. L. Hunley The first submarine to sink a ship in battle. Salvaged on August 8, 2000 off the coast of Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina


    Citing Sources Using the Library MLA Style Guide | Lone Star College-Kingwood Library guide. Examples of both paper and electronic citations.

    Learning Center | Check our Learning Center hours for in-house tutoring.

    Content by Bettye Sutton Oct. 2001.  Rev. JNC 08/10, Updated KMB 08/11.

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