History Dissertation Writing Guide with Topic Samples

Writing a history dissertation is a dreadful task for many students. Unlike other fields, history dissertations require thorough research to understand a past event via examination and interpretation of presented evidence.

Good topic selection and research are thus essential in securing quality grades in your dissertation. Read on to discover the history dissertation structure and history dissertation examples to inspire your selection of the thesis topic.

History dissertation structure

A history dissertation comprises:

  • A title page
  • Acknowledgments
  • An executive summary
  • Table of contents
  • Body – consisting of the introduction, literature review, discussion, and conclusion
  • References

The introduction covers the main ideas of your paper, helping a reader to determine the scope of your argument. This section should show what you are investigating, why it’s worth exploring, your research aims, and the study’s scope.

Next, cover the ideas supporting your main ideas within the body while providing primary sources to support your argument. In conclusion, highlight the main points that address your dissertation question and the limitations of your research.

Selecting a dissertation topic

As you address your dissertation, you need to select a topic that piques your interest and can be covered with the available resources. To navigate this, chunk your writing process into a planning stage and a writing stage.


Here, you should analyze the topics you are interested in and the resources at your disposal. When selecting a topic, brainstorm multiple ideas and jot them down for investigation.

It would help if you selected up to four history dissertation topics before delving into research. Next, search for journals and thesis related to each field and register the materials available for each issue.

After this, settle for a topic you can sufficiently cover within the confines of the resources you have amassed. While at this, you may consult your advisor and peers on various platforms to determine the relevance of your selected topic to the thesis.


After selecting your preferred topic, categorize your resources into sections, developing your principal argument. However, do not rush into writing your paper in a bid to beat the deadline.

First, read thoroughly on the topic at hand to find a fresh argument that you could develop. Doing this helps gauge weak views and estimates the completeness of various perspectives before the final piece.

Familiarizing with the topic also helps you to examine each idea and determine the influences behind various occurrences.

How long is a history dissertation?

The length of history dissertations may range between 100 to 200 pages. However, this may vary depending on the instructions provided by your supervisor.

When working on long papers, consider starting early enough to do thorough research and save time for editing. You may also opt to delegate some tasks, therefore, sparing ample time to develop a unique argument.

Interesting history dissertation topics

Here are some topics for history dissertation to inspire your selection.

  1. Analyzing the events behind the American revolution
  2. The impact of religion on innovation
  3. Exploring the leading causes of the first world war
  4. Effect of the cold war on the world. What was the root cause of the cold war?
  5. How women influenced colonial America
  6. The impact of geography on ancient cultures
  7. What caused the failure of the crusades?
  8. The history of Nationalism
  9. Impact of communism on modern-day societies
  10. Origins of the French revolution
  11. The role of Japan since the end of the cold war
  12. The driving forces of the cold war and its impact on the USSR
  13. Influence of cold way on the filmography
  14. The role of Otto Von Bismark in the unification of Germany
  15. How world war I worsened the 1918 influenza pandemic outbreak
  16. Driving factors behind the stock market crash of October 1929
  17. How imperialism influenced the first world war
  18. Patterns between the alliances in WWI and WWII
  19. Role of technology in Crimean wars
  20. Causes of Lena massacre
  21. Role of women in Crimean wars and its impact in subsequent warfare
  22. Factors that led to Nazi popularity in Germany
  23. The changes that caused a shift of balance among allies in WWI and WWII
  24. Post-world-war reconstruction
  25. Analyzing the impact of French colonization
  26. Evolution of IRA
  27. How industrial revolution impacted gender roles
  28. Political violence in South Africa after independence and its current implications
  29. Strategies with which Nelson Mandela secured African freedom
  30. Impacts of the slave trade in Africa

Writing a history dissertation is a fitting challenge for scholars with ambition and determination. These topics for history dissertation should come in handy when preparing for your thesis. Good luck!

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