I am a young, inexperienced freshman in high school, and my class has been assigned a short research paper. It involves asking a what-if question regarding historical cause-and-effect (for example, "if Hitler had never been born, would the Holocaust have transpired?"), taking a simple Yes/No stance and then supporting your claims with evidence. To all of those seasoned in these activities, it may seem like cookie-cutter business. But I'm afraid I made a fatal flaw early on.
You see, because our class is naturally unaccustomed to writing long-winded essays where evidence and references reign supreme, the teacher has conveniently broken down the assignment into small, manageable chunks. The topic I chose was, to quote:
"If the Inca empire hadn't suffered a civil war, would the Spanish have been able to conquer them as easily?"
I chose this topic because my nationality lies in Peru, the country from where the empire originated from. But what I find is a conflicting number of sources, both in literature and on the internet. My original intent was to say "No", and build off from there, but there seems to be an almost equal number of reasons to argue "Yes". I'm even considering switching sides entirely, but I fear doing so will be messy affair, especially since I've already turned in my rough thesis to the teacher.
What I ask for is how some of you professionals handle research papers such as these. If not an immediate quencher of my unquenchable worries, at least it'll give me a sense of direction and boost my meager confidence.