12 Catchy High School History Term Paper Topics

History is one of those subjects that you either love or hate, there is not usually much of an in-between. All of the dates, people, and events can be confusing and boring, or interesting and exciting depending on who you are. No matter your case though, you will likely have to write a history term paper at some point. Here is a list of topics and brief explanations for 3 common high school history classes.

American/US History


  1. Women’s Role in the Civil War

    a. Although there were not really any women fighters in the Civil war, the role of women was important and often very interesting/unexpected. A paper on the topic would be engaging and fun to write.

  2. Immigration through Ellis Island

    a. Many people have family that traveled through Ellis Island. It is interesting to see what they went through to come here to make the “American Dream” a reality

  3. Life in the 1930’s

    a. The 30’s were a much different time than now. Before the great depression there was great prosperity, and after it was very tough. An essay on the 30’s would prove interesting because of how different the times are now compared to then.

  4. Life on the Oregon Trail

    a. Moving west in the 1800’s was much different than it is today. Traveling with everything you owned on a stagecoach was tough and slow business. Many people perished on the way, but new life was also brought into the world.

European History


  1. The French Revolution

    a. This topic is interesting on a whole number of levels. The entire French Revolution is probably too broad a topic, but any number of things on it would suffice to be a fantastic history paper.

  2. The Origins of World War I

    a. There is some speculation as to what really caused WWI. You could probably write a book on this topic too, but it can be easily scaled down to be an interesting and comprehensive history paper.

  3. The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall

    a. The Berlin Wall was one of the most controversial structures in all of history. It changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people for a number of walls. Try writing an essay on the history of the wall.

  4. The End of the Roman Empire

    a. The Roman Empire was one of the greatest ancient civilizations of all time. How did this powerhouse fall and what lead to its collapse?

World History


  1. Marco Polo and the Silk Road

    a. Try writing about the spice trade and Marco Polo’s experience as a trader along the Silk Road.

  2. Life as a Viking

    a. Vikings did everything, they discovered new land, developed a written language, maintained large villages, and so much more. What was life like as a Viking?

  3. The Aztec Pyramids

    a. Why did the Aztecs have these structures? What do we know about how they were built? Who did they belong to? An essay on these structures could prove to be interesting and thought provoking.

    The Role of the Nile River in Egyptian Life

    b. The Nile River served as the life blood for the people who lived along it. How did they survive and use the Nile’s natural tides? What was a good year? A bad one?

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