Getting ideas and exploring possibilities

  • There are a number of things that will help you generate ideas. You can talk with other students who are currently writing theses and you can read some of the earlier theses that are on file. In advanced courses you can pay attention to the nature of research done by historians who study this field. What kinds of questions do they ask? What methods or approaches do they use? Sometimes looking at the titles of conference papers or journal articles can help you see how historians formulate questions and present arguments. Talk with as many people as you can—from other students to your academic adviser to your favorite professors. Professors are particularly good at helping you generate ideas and evaluate possible topics.