24 High School Historical Research Paper Topics You Can Investigate

A research paper in history encourages high school students to develop historical thinking and critical reading abilities. The choice of a topic idea is an important part of your assignment, so you should carefully select a topic of interest, divide it into subtopics, select the one that looks the most appealing to you, and then develop a historical question that will guide your research.

What Common Mistakes to Avoid

There are some pitfalls that you should avoid in order to get a high grade. First, you should not skip the preliminary research step. Second, select the question that you can answer with clear evidence. Do not start writing about something simply because you like the subject. Third, your topic should have a historical perspective. You should not be drawn to popular topics. If you experience difficulties, you should consult your professor instead of your friend.

What Historical Research Paper Topics to Investigate

If you are not given a list of sample topics, you can consider one of the following 24 high school research paper topics to get started:

  1. The history of the Olympic movement in ancient Greece.

  2. The main accomplishments of Cleopatra during her reign in Egypt.

  3. The Salem witch trials: the main causes and consequences.

  4. The role of the samurai warriors in Japan.

  5. The impact of trains and railroads on life in America.

  6. The effects of the black plague on European countries.

  7. The facts and myths about Vlad the Impaler.

  8. The women’s suffrage movement in Africa.

  9. The origins and effects of the Darfur conflict.

  10. The main features of the kingship concepts and practices in Western Europe.

  11. The cultural significance of the ruins of Acropolis.

  12. The reasons why the city of Florence evolved as a republic in the 13-16th centuries.

  13. The role of commerce in linking the Eastern and Western cultures the 15th century.

  14. The role of the industrial revolution in the European economic growth in the 19th century.

  15. The main effects of Cold War on the U.S. and Europe.

  16. Impacts of the Manhattan project on the world.

  17. The reasons why Martin Luther King protested against the Catholic Church.

  18. The main causes of the conflict between China and Tibet.

  19. The circumstances that led to World War II.

  20. The historical significance of the first flight to space.

  21. Anti-Vietnam War movement in the U.S.

  22. The causes and effects of the tension in the Middle East in the 20th century.

  23. The relationship between historical events and culture.

  24. The similarities and differences between the Great Recession and economic crisis of 2008.