The topic must cover a subject directly affecting the history of the North American continent, within the geographic boundaries of the Unites States, occurring BEFORE 1865.
You must be able to develop a defendable thesis from this topic. No hyperbole, no psychoanalyzing historical figures, keep within a manageable timeframe. No aliens from outer space!
The topic must be sufficiently narrow – but not too narrow – to cover within 8 or so pages.
The topic must be historical, examining change over time, using historical methods of analyzing historical documents and arguments.
You are NOT developing a thesis at this point – that will be much later. At best, you will develop a hypothesis or an idea that you will test by reading.
Think of developing a QUESTION that you would like to answer through your research.
Write the proposal:
The proposal should be roughly 3 pages long plus the bibliography (Chicago Style)
When you describe your topic, define its parameters using the who, what, when, where, how, why is it important guidelines.
You should cite all arguments, quotations, and information to which you refer in your proposal.