History Research Paper Topics

Learning the history of our world, and our ancestors teaches us about ourselves and how our world has progressed to where it is today. From small events to long spans of time we have been learning, progressing, and changing the world around us.


The world is full of amazing places, and people. If you are in need of history topics you have come to the right place. In this post we will compile lists of various history topics that will inspire you to research and learn about the past.

History Research Paper Topics

There are many ways people can research history. It is not a boring subject when one finds a connection to themselves or to something of interest. Here we will list a variety of historical topic ideas that can be researched.

Art and Architecture in History

Humans are creative, and being so, we have developed amazing architectural feats, and art that transcends time. Our interest in art and architecture is great, with many universities offering degrees and classes on the subject. Here are some ideas for art and architecture history research papers.


  • What is the importance of architecture in history?


  • Pyramids around the world: who built them and what purposes did they serve?


  • How has art Influenced architecture throughout history?


  • In what ways did the Mycenaeans influence art, architecture, and literature through Greek history?


  • Explore architectural models of the ancient Americas: How old are they? What are they? Why were they created?


  • Study the various forms of petroglyphs, pictographs, and other ancient rock art from around the world. What are the similarities? What are the differences?


  • Research a famous artist in history of your choice. Who were they? What works of art were they known for? How did their life influence their art? Does their art influence us today; in what way?


  • Choose a form of dwelling that humans made. How and when were they built. Were they portable or stationary? How was this type of dwelling relevant to the era and environment of the time?


Fashion in History

What people wear is greatly influenced by their culture and their environments. Here we will explore some fashion in history topics that would be intriguing research papers for those interested in fashion and the history of clothing.


  • Discuss the history of fashion design? Who is considered the first fashion designer? How did their designs influence the people around them? How did it influence the world?


  • What are the oldest forms of clothing still worn by people today? How were they made and what were their purposes? What are their purposes today?


  • Write a research paper on fashion designs in history that caused health complications in those wearing them.


  • How have women’s fashions changed through time? How have they stayed the same?


  • Explore some scandalous fashions that changed how we dressed. Why were these fashions considered improper for their time?


  • Research a time in history where the clothing seems ridiculous to wear today. Who made these fashions, and who popularized them? Were there events that made the clothing practical then?


  • Research how clothing has been used to classify groups of people within the same culture. Were these fashions chosen by the people wearing them? What would happen to those in lower social ranks if caught wearing something above their class? (i.e. Silk in China’s history.)

Technological Advances Throughout History

We are always trying to make life easier and more productive. It is through technological advances that we have built the world we know today. In this section we will explore topics related to technology and how they have influenced human life in positive and negative ways.


  • Research an ancient form of technological advancement. How was it developed? How was it useful? Was it harmful in any way? If so explain, how.


  • Research a form of energy that humans have harnessed. How was it discovered and used? Do we still use it today? How?


  • Write a research paper on the advancements of communication in history. From the telegraph to the smartphone how has communication changed?


  • Investigate the technology and history of a tool of your choice. For example, what is the oldest drill found, and how has it changed with technological advances.


  • Explore the history of the camera. How was the first camera invented? Who invented it? How has photography changed throughout time?


  • Research the technological history of transportation. How drastically has it changed? How has it stayed the same? In what ways do you foresee transportation in the future?

The Rise and Fall of Great Civilizations in History

There have been many great civilizations throughout time. How did they become so powerful and why did they crumble or disappear? Here we will investigate interesting topics for researching great civilizations of the past.


  • Research the history of the Mayan empire. Where was it? When and how was it built. How did this empire fall? What can be learned from the Mayans?


  • Write a research paper on the rise and fall of the Roman empire. How did the Romans build such a massive empire? What led to the end of Roman rule?


  • Exploring the rise and fall of different civilizations, what were the similarities of these civilizations? Were there warning signs before they crumbled? How might their history repeat itself in our timeline?


  • Study ancient Egyptian history. What made this civilization boom? What events happened to bring an end to it?


  • What was the Indus River Civilization? Who were the people that built this civilization? What happened to them?


Your History: Genealogy and the Search for our Ancestors

History can be boring to those who do not understand their relationship to it. Through researching one’s roots and learning how their grandparents and distant relatives lived throughout time gives a connection to past events they likely will not read in a history text.

  • Explore the use of DNA testing to research genetics. How can DNA help locate where your ancestors came from? How can DNA tests help you search for your roots?


  • Research a 2nd or 3rd great grandparent. Who were they? Where and how did they live? What events were happening during their life?


  • Interview a living family member about their life growing up. Research the era and location of where they lived. What historical events happened in their lives? Write a paper on what you learn.


  • Why is the study of genealogy important? What lessons can be learned from events our ancestors went through?

Issues of Slavery and Servitude Throughout History

In this section we will look at the issues of slavery and servitude in human history. Why and how have people enslaved others? It is important to learn this history to imprint the tragic and inhumane nature of such events in hopes of preventing future atrocities.


  • Research the history of slavery of the world. Who were considered the first slaves in history? How did they end up as slaves? What eventually happened in the civilization that enslaved them?


  • Investigate the difference between indentured servants and slavery. How was indentured servitude different than slavery? How was it similar? Why was it popular in history to use the forced labor of other people?


  • Research how viewpoints on slavery were changed and what role the United States played in this change. slavery was well known throughout the world before it was brought to American shores. Why did viewpoints on slavery change? How can we ensure slavery will not happen again?


  • Write a research paper on the underground railroad. How was this instrumental in the abolishment of slavery? What did the people searching for freedom face? Was it dangerous for those hiding them?


  • Investigate servitude in the United States. How did people become indentured servants? Were they led to sign contracts under false pretences? How long was the typical contract? Did the people the servants were indentured to honor the contracts?


Plagues, Illnesses, and Natural Catastrophes in History

People are no strangers to the plights of plagues and other illnesses. There have been many terrifying and deadly such time periods in recorded human history. We will investigate some topics on the matter here.


  • Research and write about the black death. What started it? What would happen to people who caught it? How did people cope during the plague?


  • Investigate the great plague of Athens. What was happening during the onset of the plague? What were their symptoms? How long did the plague last? Is it known what caused the plague?


  • Research the deadliest earthquake in world history: Shaanxi, China, 1500’s. Where did it happen and when? How many people were affected by it.


  • Write a research paper on smallpox. How long had this disease been around? Do they know what started the spread of smallpox? How did smallpox affect native Americans when the settlers brought it with them? Was smallpox used as a weapon? How did we eradicate this disease?


  • Investigate a deadly volcanic eruption in recorded history. Where and when did it occur? What type of volcano was it? What was the eruption like? What damage did it cause? Is there evidence that it could have generated a tsunami?



Food and Food Production Through History

Knowing how our ancestors collected food throughout time is useful to our prepackaged mindset of today. Here we will explore topics from gathering wild foods to cultivated farming and ranching.


  • Investigate the first accounts of humans cultivating food to sustain themselves. When did this occur and where? Why did people begin growing their own food?


  • Research sugarcane and the imprisonment of Hawaii’s Queen Lili U’okalani. What was going on during this time? Why was she imprisoned? How did these events change the history of Hawaii? Please note, this could be used as a topic for illnesses and plagues as well as warfare.


  • Study Ireland’s potato famine. How did this event happen? What made it more difficult for the Irish to obtain food to eat? Who came to their aid?



Warfare in History

If there is one thing humankind has been known for it is war. There has not been a culture that has not known bloodshed, and conquering. We will delve into ideas suitable for research and writing  a paper about the history of war.


  • Investigate how linguistics have been used to help conquer people. Why would conquering entities deny people the right to speak their native language? How has this affected historical accounts?


  • Research the significance of the War of 1812. Why did it begin? Who was fighting? What was the outcome?


  • Write a research paper on a war fought for freedom. When was this war? How did it begin? Who was involved? Whose freedom was being fought for?


  • Research and write about Europe’s Great Chocolate War. What was this war about? How did it start? How did it end?


  • Investigate the Pastry War of Mexico and write a paper on it. How did this war begin? Who became involved? What was the outcome?

Music and its Influence in History

Music has had a huge influence on people throughout time. We will look at topics that explore musical influences in history.


  • Research the development of melody between world war I and world war II.


  • Did drugs lead to the birth of psychedelic rock?


  • How did Blues get its start?


  • How has music been used as a weapon in History?

Histories of Indigenous Peoples of North America

The histories of the first peoples residing in various places tells us much about how life used to be and how it changed lives as people and cultures came together to form new ones.


  • Research Native women’s political social power in history and how it was demoralized in colonialism viewpoints.


  • Investigate the the laws on blood quantum and how this leads to the genocide of the Native American.


  • Investigate the adoption history of Native American children from post World War II to 1978. Why did this occur? What was done to stop it?


  • Investigate Indian boarding schools. How were these schools developed and for what reasons? How were the children treated? When did they come to an end and how?


  • Research the ancient art of flint knapping in the United States. How were stone tools made? What were they used for? What can we learn today from these tools?


  • Research the history of Native American farming techniques in the United States.

Historical Mysteries

There are few that do not enjoy a good mystery, and history is full of mysterious events. Let’s look at topics that will have you on the edge of your seat, while you write an excellent historical research paper.


  • Write a research paper on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370. When did this happen? What events were going on during the disappearance? Was anything found during investigations? What do you think happened?


  • Research the disappearance of the ship, Mary Celeste? What events led up to its disappearance? Is it still a mystery today? What do you think happened?


  • Investigate and write about the Dancing Plague of 1518. When did this begin? What were the symptoms? Did they know the cause?


  • Research the Nazca Lines. Who made them? What do people think they were for?


Historical Figures

There are people who standout in history. Here we will explore topics pertaining to historical figures, while digging into what made them unforgettable.


  • Research and write about Nelson Mandella. Who was he? What is he known for? What events happened in his life to make him famous?


  • Investigate the life of Galileo. What was it like? What is Galileo known for? What events transpired that could have altered our world today?


  • Research Akbar the Great. Who was he? What was he known for?


  • Write a research paper on Albert Einstein and Why he received the Nobel Peace Prize.


  • Investigate the history of Ireland’s King Conn of the 100 battles. What was life in Ireland like at this time?


  • Research and write about the life of Rosa Parks. What events lead to her fame? How did she change America?


  • Investigate the history of Joan of Arc. Who was she? What happened to make her famous?


History of Where You Live

Discovering and uncovering the past of where you live can be an interesting topic. In this section we will ask questions that will help those interested research and write about their home.


  • Write a research paper on the birth of your town. Do you know the history of where you reside? How was your town or neighbourhood formed and when?


  • Investigate the pre-history of your town. Who lived on the land before modern civilization claimed it? What was their culture like? Did they have a special name for your location?


  • Research the beginnings of the state you live in. How and when was it formed? Who was there before it became a state? What were the first people like? What were the newcomers like? What is your state known for and why?


  • Research a historical mystery that occurred in your state. When did it happen? What details are known? What was the outcome?

A Tip for finding History Research Topics

When trying to come up with history topics try to find something that is of interest to you. If you feel a connection to what you are studying, you’re much more likely to do the research, and write an excellent paper. The best part of history is that every subject you can think of has a history.

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