This is a research paper handout for students in a world history course, but it could be adapted for other courses. It comes with a description of the paper, 11 prompts for the students to chose from, a sheet to help them organize their thesis and paper, a grading checklist, and grading rubric (pick what works best for you!)
Focus is on the Fertile Crescent and Egypt.
Example of a topic: How did the Persians practice tolerance within their empire? How did that help them maintain control of such a vast territory?