Research is driven by questions; not just any old questions but good ones.
These questions should stem from your curiosity and at the same time you should be thinking like a historian. The following are examples which are good questions: When did my topic occur in history? Where did my topic occur? What causes led up to my topic? How does my topic fir into the broader context of what was happening in history at the time? What effects did my topic have at the time and for the future? How did the issues surrounding my topic change over time? What impact or influence did my topic have on the nation of the world? Why is my topic significant today?
One thing that is important to keep in mind is the connection of your topic to the National History Day theme. Creating a statement between your topic and the theme can help you make sure that your topic meets the theme. Here’s an example. History Day theme= Turning Points in History Basic Interest Area= Civil War Narrowed Subject= Battle of Gettysburg Main idea to connect topic to theme= the Battle of Gettysburg was a major turning point of the Civil War because the Union began to gain advantage over the South. Now from this you can start working on a title. The title of your research should include both the overall topic and the specific issue of your work. For example, The Battle of Gettysburg: Turning the Tides of War.
Ali, Delaware Historical Society Intern