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What Should I Know Before Writing My World History Dissertation?


A dissertation is a serious and demanding academic project. It is important that you approach your research and writing properly and do everything correctly from the start. If you pursue a graduate degree in world history, make sure that you are aware of all challenges of historical research and can accept them with dignity. By keeping the following things in mind, you will be prepared to get through all stages of the writing process successfully:

  • Make sure that you pick a dissertation level topic.
  • The topic for your thesis should meet the following criteria:

    • It should be narrow enough so that you could completely cover it in your paper. For example, instead of writing about world wars in general, limit your topic to a particular war.
    • It should be something you are truly passionate about. You’ll have to live with the topic for some time, so do everything possible not to get bored in the process of work.
    • There should be enough researchable sources on the topic. Don’t select topics with little information about. Avoid writing about the issues that are not discussed in reliable sources.
  • Do not adopt your thesis too early.
  • Good historians just ask questions and look for answers in all possible sources. Do not state your thesis before your research is over. World history is a very intricate subject and one and the same event can be perceived from completely different points of view. Your task is to assess available information objectively and without bias.

  • Use both primary and secondary sources.
  • Usually, it is enough to refer to only secondary sources to write a good world history dissertation. However, the advisory committee will be really impressed if you back your ideas up with the information from primary sources. If it is possible, quote the own words of a historical person rather than analyze a biographer’s interpretation.

  • Turn to your advisor for help.
  • The fewer mistakes you make in the process of work, the better it is. Your advisor will help you avoid some of them, so don’t be shy and always ask for advice. Namely, your advisor may help you formulate a manageable and narrow topic. He or she can also advise which resources can be referred to and which ones cannot be trusted.

  • Do not give up.
  • A great deal of the work you do won’t be used in your dissertation. It’s quite normal, so don’t get disappointed. Writing a quality world history paper is about being selective, so don’t be sorry for the efforts you made and go on writing.